This is the consolidated wealth. What the American people need to remember is most of this involves criminal activity and lots of unconstitutional actions and all of this can be reversed and recovered. A government aiding and abetting crime and suspending Rule of Law is denying citizens DUE PROCESS and therefore Statutes of Limitations are not in play. So, just engage in politics and take back your government!
Rebuilding Rule of Law and public justice should be the top issue for every American.
Make a good life for your children and grandchildren.
Must Read: The Corporate State of America – Widespread Crime, Corruption and Fraud
October 18, 2007, 10:28 am PR WATCH
Corruption widespread in India, says US report |
Business Line www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/international/...
There is widespread corruption in India in all ... the Bombay High Court ordered that a special team be formed to investigate an alleged fraud in which money ...
EY raises alarm over cybercrime, widespread corruption ... www.vanguardngr.com/2014/06/ey-raises-alarm-cybercrime... West Africa Leader of EY’s Forensic/Fraud ... respondents who perceive bribery and corruption to be widespread in Nigeria. 72 per cent of the ...
Compliance and law combine to stem corruption in Brazilian ...
www.insidecounsel.com/2014/06/23/compliance-and-law... CachedJun 23, 2014 ·
A study has determined that 70 percent of Brazilian executives interviewed believe that corruption is widespread in ... fraud and corruption is ...
One in five executives thinks corruption is widespread in Canada’s business world, EY report shows
Claire Brownell | June 11, 2014 | Last Updated: Jun 11 5:29 PM ET Financial Post
US commission finds widespread waste and corruption in ... www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2011/0901/US... CachedSep 01, 2011 · US commission finds widespread waste and corruption in wartime ... Afghanistan has resulted in as much as $60 billion in waste and fraud ... .
This article does a good job summing up the war on the middle-class. He cleans up his commentary by not declaring fraud and corruption as the problem and you can see an allegiance to Clinton when he points fingers at all the Presidential culprits but cannot name Clinton. Rather he speaks of breaking Glass Steagall/deregulation/ Nafta without mentioning Clinton's name......and the massive subprime housing fraud was a transfer of wealth. I do like how he identifies THE SEQUESTRATION AND FORCED BUDGET AGREEMENTS TO PAY DOWN THE $17 TRILLION DEBT as simply the final attack on public wealth by neo-liberals and neo-cons working together. These trillions of dollars in cuts......the deliberate manipulation of inflation to zero etc are all assaults on what is left of the American middle/working class wealth and what we won't get will be handed away as corporate subsidy or lost to continuing fraud.
Here in Maryland all pols are neo-liberals and Maryland has moved further than most states in dismantling Democracy and public justice......
SIMPLY REBUILDING A DOMESTIC ECONOMY WITH SMALL AND REGIONAL BUSINESSES AND KEEPING GLOBAL CORPORATIONS AT BAY ALONG WITH REBUILDING RULE OF LAW AND OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY IS ALL THAT IS NEEDED TO REVERSE THIS ATTACK!
It’s Official: Rich Declare War on the Middle Class
For the past thirty years the rich have been waging war on the middle class. It’s been astonishingly effective, partly because it has been undeclared. But even that pretense is now being abandoned. The President’s National Deficit Commission has effectively declared that the rich will now go after what is left of working and middle class wealth and will take whatever steps are necessary to seize it. If allowed to succeed, their plan will reduce Americans to a state of serfdom.
Ronald Reagan began the war on the middle class with his “supply-side” economics. Its very purpose, according to David Stockman, Reagan’s Budget Director, was to transfer wealth and income upwards. It cut the marginal tax rate on the highest income earners from 75% to 35% while dramatically expanding spending for war. The results were two-fold: massive federal debt and an astonishing rise in the share of income and wealth going to those who were already the wealthiest people in the world.
The national debt quadrupled between 1980 and 1992. George W. Bush would repeat Reagan’s policies and double it again between 2000 and 2008. Meanwhile, the share of national income going to the top 1% more than doubled, from 9% to 24%. The share going to the top one-tenth of 1% of income earners more than tripled. We now have the most unequal distribution of income in the developing world and the inequality is growing rapidly.
Shifts of this magnitude over such short periods of time have never been seen in American history. With the rich getting much, much richer, its means that everybody else is getting poorer. And in fact, real wages for median workers are lower today than they were in 1973. Indeed, while the inflation-adjusted income of the bottom fifth of workers fell by $6,900 between 1979 and 2007, the top 1% saw its annual income increase by $741,000!
To try to keep up with living standards Americans resorted to debt. They increased their personal debt-to-income ratio from 62% in 1980 to 130% in 2008. When housing prices fell 35% nationwide in the recent collapse it left Americans with a smaller share of equity in their homes, 48%, than at any time since the Great Depression. The share they have lost has been taken by the banks.
In other words, all of the income and wealth gains for middle Americans from the “golden years” between 1945 and 1975 have now been wiped out. Or more accurately, have now been transferred to the very rich. The top 1% holds 34% of the nation’s wealth while the bottom 50% holds just 2.5%. The bottom 40% owns absolutely nothing.
These effects and numbers can be numbing, even dizzying. But it’s important to understand that they have not been the result of random events or impersonal market forces. Rather, they have followed as the intended consequences of the relentless application of a wide array of government and industry policies.
The massive run-up in debt is one such policy. The wealthy are net lenders. This means that massive public and private debt transfers interest income to them from the rest of the economy. Another method for effecting massive wealth transfer: Beginning in 1981 the Reagan administration effectively stopped enforcing anti-trust laws, allowing monopolies to gouge everyone who had to buy their products.
The government actually provided tax subsidies so that corporations could eliminate jobs in the industrial heartland and ship them to Mexico and later, China, India, and other low-wage countries, reducing wages and pitting American workers against each other for those jobs remaining.
The bank deregulation that began in the early 1980s reached its apex with the repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act in the late nineties. This set up the “casino capitalism” of the next decade that would spawn massive criminality and mortgage fraud by the nation’s leading banks—none of which has been prosecuted. The result was the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression.
But even as more than five million homeowners have lost their homes, the wealthy had their losses covered by the Bush and later Obama administrations. Bloomberg news estimates that the transfer to the banks through the financial bailout comes to some $13 trillion dollars.
We could go on and on and on with the roster of ways the wealthy have used the government to transfer national wealth to themselves. Environmental and health laws that are not enforced. Deals with the pharmaceutical industry so they don’t have to compete with foreign manufacturers. Health care “reform” that forces tens of millions of Americans to buy questionable insurance products, even as insurers continue to kick legitimate claimants off their rolls. Give-aways of the telecommunication spectrum worth hundreds of billions of dollars to media monopolies that ladle out state propaganda as if were news and never, ever challenge official narratives.
In these and a thousand other ways, the rich have conspired with the government they largely control to shift more and still more of the nation’s wealth away from the working and middle classes, to themselves. It amounts to the most insidious class warfare and the most rapacious looting of public and private resources in the history of the world.
The result is vast impoverishment, demoralization, and the destruction of the American middle class. One out of eight Americans are on food stamps. One out of five people are in official poverty. One out of four children are raised in poverty. Twenty five million people cannot find enough work, while their skills atrophy and their families and communities are destroyed. These are not figures describing a banana republic, a disaster-stricken region, or a third world country. They describe the United States of America after three decades of plunder by the rich. And now they want to go in for the kill.
Not satisfied with the staggering wealth they have already siphoned away, the ultra-rich are now using Barack Obama’s National Deficit Commission to propose even more brazen plunder. And the looting is no longer taking place behind closed doors or under the cover of arcane public policies.
The commission proposes to cut the federal government’s budget deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. But 75% of the “savings” will come from gutting programs that help stabilize the middle class and their communities. None of it comes from policies that would harm the rich.
For example, the commission proposes cutting the tax deduction for mortgage payments. Not only will this render housing much less affordable for millions of prospective home buyers, it will reduce housing prices, perhaps substantially, for without the tax writeoff, buyers will be able to afford much less house. This will decimate the sole source of wealth of tens of millions of Americans.
It is housing wealth that undergirds retirement security for the middle class. Or, at least it did until one out of four homeowners went underwater on their mortgage in the recent bank-triggered collapse. Then, even as the Commission plans to decimate home prices and owner equity, it proposes cutting back benefits to Social Security recipients.
It would lower Social Security cost-of living adjustments while raising the minimum retirement age. And this is being proposed at the very moment that the bank-owned Federal Reserve Board is beginning to print hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out the banks from what’s left of their toxic assets still held from the housing crash.
The ensuing inflation is going to destroy the value of retirement incomes at exactly the moment that 77 million baby boomers head off into retirement. It was exactly this process of money printing and bankrupting of retirees that destroyed the German middle class in the early 1920s, giving rise to Adolph Hitler.
The Commission’s proposals would increase co-pays and deductibles for Medicare, making it unaffordable to millions. It proposes taxing as income the health insurance benefits millions receive from their employers. The Child Tax Credit would be eliminated as would 10% of all federal government jobs. This, at a time when more than 20% of the workforce is already underemployed and there are five workers trying for every available job.
We should be crystal clear: these policies amount to a mortal assault on what remains of middle class solvency and the democracy that a vibrant middle class makes possible.
But even as it girds up for this assault, the Commission barely touches the ultra-rich on whose boards they serve and who have gained so much over the past 30 years. And it cannot go without being said that it was these same professional predators who actually wrecked the economy, pitching it into its greatest collapse since the Great Depression.
The Commission’s proposals would actually lower the maximum tax on the highest income earners, from 35% to 24%. The nominal tax rate on corporate income would fall as well, from 35% to 26%. There is nothing proposed to raise taxes after so many decades of steadily amassed wealth. No financial transactions tax (as the IMF recommends) to stanch the kind of tsunami of speculative buying and selling that brought down the economy. Such a tax would raise over $700 billion over the next decade.
Of course, there will be no claw-backs of the trillions of dollars transferred to the rich under the phony duress of “saving the system” during the height of the financial crisis. No proposal that the cap on earnings subject to Social Security withholding should be removed. That proviso alone would raise more than half a trillion dollars over the next decade.
In fact, it is in comparison with other give-aways to the rich that the take-aways from the middle class by the Commission can be seen as so one sided and venal. Remember, they propose to save $4 trillion over 10 years.
But the war in Iraq, which we now know was entirely premised on lies, will cost more than $5 trillion, according to Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz. It has proven a huge boon to the rich weapons makers, bankers, logistics companies and oil companies that Bush used to coddle as his “base.”
As mentioned above, Bloomberg news estimates that the financial bailout cost some $13 trillion, all of it going to the very richest people on the planet. There is not a syllable in the Commission’s report proposing getting any of that back to help reduce the deficit.
Or consider the notorious Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 where fully 40% went to the top 1% of income earners. Obama once promised to overturn them but, as is his typically cowardly pattern, is now folding. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has estimated that they will cost the government more than $18 trillion over their lifetime—four times what the Deficit Commission claims it will achieve in savings. But God forbid we should ask for even a penny of that back to help battle the deficit.
In other words, there are many, many substantial and just ways that the savings the Commission proposes to create could be secured via small contributions from those who have gamed the system and gained the most over the past three decades. But that is not the Commission’s plan. And it is in that omission that its true intent is revealed.
There is no more time for stealth, no more need for subtlety. Western capitalist economies are declining at a pace that is frightening their elite stewards and compelling such desperate, slovenly measures as the wholesale printing of money to postpone the inevitable. While Obama sings lullabies of “hope” and “change” to tranquillize the suckers out front, the rich are backing the truck up to the vault in the back, no longer even deigning to disguise the heist. And of course, why should they? They have the additional diversion of the moronic Tea Party vigilantes (“Keep the government out of my Medicare”), ever ready to cut other people’s throats to cure their own nosebleeds.
The Commission’s proposal is the most naked, undisguised declaration of class warfare possible. Its agenda is not to reduce the deficit but rather to reduce what is left of the American middle class and American workers, to a condition of servitude, of feudal peonage. Their poverty will make them docile and subservient. This will make possible the final looting of America by those whose sociopathic greed has brought it so low already. The battle over this proposal is the last bulwark against the devastation and final destruction of America. It must be fought and won or our freedom and security ceded forever. There is no other choice.
Below you see one quality of life issue being tackled by US corporate media. You look above and you see why the middle-class is fading and you look below and you would never see that all of this simply needs justice to reverse who has the money.
In Baltimore, Johns Hopkins is pushing Michelle Rhee education privatization and that includes removing playgrounds from schools and building parks for the children to be 'reflective'. There is often no recess,
yet amazingly the hype for education and health care reform in Maryland is wellness and fitness.
The other stat that is interesting is that 20% of Americans are doing OK----FOR NOW. They are moving for only 10% so you better watch out! I point this out because it shows exactly the percentage of voters coming to the polls in elections. THOSE 'LIKELY' VOTERS. Indeed, 80% of Americans are disaffected because they are the victims of the frauds and corruptions listed above and those 20% doing OK are profiting from the fraud and corruption. See why salaries for people in government are rising above $200,000? Taxpayers are not paying for quality employees.....the rich are buying loyalty. So, in Baltimore we have Baltimore Development Corporation and Johns Hopkins skimming billions of dollars of city and state revenue that means they have to allow those minions in City Hall skim thousands just as is done in Afghanistan. Baltimore City Hall actually preys on Baltimore citizens with corrupt fines, fees, and taxes. IT IS BREATH-TAKING. This is what is happening in those nations listed above and the #1 winner----Wall Street banks and their investment firms.
If you notice, the conversation in college athletics is not why are coaches and sports departments being allowed to become corporations----it has become making the college athlete a paid worker. There goes amateur sports. Look below again and you see the real picture----the vocationalizing of K-12 with children tracked into sports training at youth. That is what sports in America will look like just as it does in China say the neo-liberals and neo-cons. We only need children playing sports if they can create profit as professionals!
WAKE UP!!!!!! LET'S SIMPLY TURN THIS AROUND.
Sports & Leisure 2/03/2014 @ 5:11PM
As The Middle Class Fades, The Casual Youth Athlete Dies Out With It
As businesses are ignoring political debates and determining that climate change is real, so, too, are they stepping out of the arguments over income inequality by operating as if it exists. In particular, that there are two markets: the few and the wealthy, and the many and the not-so-wealthy. The market that doesn’t exist — or at least not like it used to — the middle class.
From The New York Times:
“Those consumers who have capital like real estate and stocks and are in the top 20 percent are feeling pretty good,” said John G. Maxwell, head of the global retail and consumer practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers .
In response to the upward shift in spending, PricewaterhouseCoopers clients like big stores and restaurants are chasing richer customers with a wider offering of high-end goods and services, or focusing on rock-bottom prices to attract the expanding ranks of penny-pinching consumers.
“As a retailer or restaurant chain, if you’re not at the really high level or the low level, that’s a tough place to be,” Mr. Maxwell said. “You don’t want to be stuck in the middle. …
In 2012, the top 5 percent of earners were responsible for 38 percent of domestic consumption, up from 28 percent in 1995, [economic] researchers found.
I bring this up because I think the decline of the middle class, the greater presence (and acceptance) of an all-or-nothing economy, has something to do with why, according to one major report, fewer children are playing team sports.
The Sports & Fitness Industry Association, a trade group for what it calls “leading industry sports and fitness brands, suppliers, retailers and partners,” in January reported that since 2008, or around the start of the Great Recession, “team sports have lost 16.1 million participants or 11.1% of all team participants, measured by those who played at least once a year.” The sports taking the biggest hit in 2013 were the biggest sports: football, basketball and baseball — a trend that the National Sporting Goods Association, a retail trade group, noted in June (and that are increasingly being reflected in high school sports participation numbers).
The Sports & Fitness Industry Association is very sure of why that decline is happening. The issue is not so-called “core” athletes, who play frequently. In 15 out of 24 team sports measured, the number of core athletes increased (compared with only five out of 24 in 2011). But the occasional athlete, the weekend warrior, the kid just trying out a sport — those numbers are falling hard. From a news release quoting the association’s director of communications and research, VJ Mayor:
“The degradation of the casual team sports participant cannot be ignored,” said Mayor. “Casual participation is the gateway to more core participants. We have already begun to see a decline in core participation among traditional team sports over the last five years which is alarming. The drop could be influenced by several factors including increased single sport specialization, overuse injury, athlete burnout, safety concerns, and the marginalization of the recreation player. …”
Actually, the several factors spelled out by Mayor are all related to one factor: the increasing professionalization of youth sports and younger and younger levels. Parents are savvy enough to know that their children, at very early ages, are being sorted by a well-organized system into the pile as future athlete, or the pile as future nonathlete. There is no third pile. And there are many businesses out there — not just sporting goods businesses — that know how to exploit the ambitions and/or fears of the parents who want their kids in the athlete pile.
Exacerbating this system is a top 20 percent (as Maxwell described it) willing to spend more on kids’ education — including sports careers — out of the willingness of any parents to do what they can for their kids, while also aware that their peers are doing the same thing and thus could squeeze their kids out.
As for the other 80 percent — well, while there are long-told tales of athletes using sports as their perceived only way out of poverty, the middle class is also looking at sports as their only perceived way for their kids not to slip into poverty. At the least, spending big for a college scholarship so they have a chance at graduating from school without mounds of loans to pay. But those 80 percent have to weigh, constantly, whether the cost of play is worth it, with that cost of play driven by the upper 20 percent’s ability and willingness to pay. So you end up with two populations — the one that’s all in, and the one that’s shut out.
Of course, in the whole of the population, there are kids who will opt out of the youth sports rat race because they’ve found other interests. But a nagging question is, if they had access to sports that weren’t hard-core, would they find joy and pleasure in them, and keep playing? Or would they have a chance to discover at a later age, like 10, that they might enjoy a certain sport?
We’ll never know, because like in the American economy as a whole, increasingly there is no middle ground in youth sports. So I would expect that participation surveys in future years will show more of the same — a few playing a lot, most playing not much at all.
US Attorney General Eric Holder who along with Obama can see no corporate fraud really hates when his time is pulled back to the American people demanding justice as if they were still citizens with rights and the US Attorney General worked for public justice. He is a corporate lawyer and his entire day is working for US global corporations and their legal issues around the world. This is why corporate fraud and government corruption is rampant----our state and US Justice Departments do not do public justice. A bone is thrown now and then to assuage the masses.
Below is for whom Obama and your neo-liberal Congress person works----it is for whom O'Malley in Maryland has dedicated all economic and development---the International Chamber of Commerce. These are the corporations winning all Federal, State, and local contracts for work and they are the ones openly fleecing governments and individuals with no fear from neo-liberal or neo-con pols.
We must start at the state and local level to rebuild Rule of Law. If Maryland becomes a Rule of Law state the Governor will demand the US Justice Department protect the citizens of Maryland.
DO YOU HEAR YOUR INCUMBENTS SHOUTING TO REINSTATE RULE OF LAW? VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE IF NOT!
A word from our Secretary General Welcome to ICC, a unique global business organization.
ICC is – and has been throughout its long existence – a steadfast rallying point for those who believe, like our founders, that strengthening commercial ties among nations is not only good for business but good for global living standards and good for peace.
To that end, ICC provides a forum for businesses and other organizations to examine and better comprehend the nature and significance of the major shifts taking place in the world economy. We also offer an influential and respected channel for supplying business leadership to help governments manage those shifts in a collaborative manner for the benefit of the world economy as a whole.
While policy advocacy is a major part of ICC’s work, everything else we do is also devoted to promoting international trade and investment. Indeed, much of our work is of a very practical nature, focussed on making it easier for business to operate internationally. Our world-renowned commercial arbitration service is a form of impartial and dependable private justice that gives more security to commercial partners doing business across frontiers.
Drawing on the expertise and experience of its worldwide membership, ICC has also over time developed a large array of voluntary rules, guidelines, and codes – - sometimes referred to as ‘trade tools’ –- which facilitate cross-border transactions and help spread best practice among companies. A notable example is ICC’s famous Incoterms® rules –- first elaborated in 1936 –- which are accepted as the global standard for the interpretation of the most common terms used in contracts for the international sale of goods.
ICC strives to ensure that the emerging new world, with new poles of power and leadership, stays faithful to the precept that international trade and investment and the market economy system are key factors in raising and spreading wealth.
I remain convinced that the core values that led to the creation of ICC over 90 years ago are as relevant today as they were then. Those values will continue to provide a compass for our efforts on behalf of business to help shape the new world that is emerging.
International Chamber of Commerce