Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wealth Inequality We Need Another Andrew Jackson to Take Them Out

Tags: Less Talk More Action Propaganda Used to Control Us Elites Most Propagandized who Serve Wealth and Power which Controls Our Increasingly Bleak Life

Kawakami: Why are we so fearful about our jobs, about whether our children and grandchildren will lead bleak lives due to increasing higher and higher power of the wealthy and corporations over what happens to us? It's no accident. It was planned! Cantor (R-VA) who is slated to become the Majority Leader of the House under House Speaker Boehner(R-Ohio). How ironic! Americans who hated Wall Street elected those who helped Wall Street kill the life of average Americans! Cantor wants to kill the Finance regulation bill. The SEC under Bush in 2006 or so allowed the use of unregulated High Speed Computers so people could not track what is happening or even understand what is happening as we saw stocks of large corporations go almost to zero in seconds and up gain after the manipulators made their profits.

As we have seen already Democrats know how to govern, but they seem to also be heavily influenced by Wall Street. Note there are three Democratic Parties: Progressive Caucus, regular Democrats, and conservative Democrats. Most of our leaders in the Senate belong to the latter. By conservative, I mean corporate.

President Obama added more jobs for Americans than Bush/Cheney did all their 8 years of corporate rule. Did you see Olbermann with a video of Justice Alito campaigning for Republicans? Frank Rich of the NY Times explains what is happening to us. How could they get away with it? Read Jon Meacham's book American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, 2009, Winner of the Pulitzer.
The brain washing of Americans started in a big way during the President Wilson era because he and his elites anticipated greater world influence by helping to defeat Germany. In many ways this so-called liberal President was more of a tyrant than George W. Bush/Cheney. He sentenced a top labor union leader, Eugene Debs, to ten years in prison for opposing the war and made good use of President John Adams’ Alien & Sedition Act.

Read Propaganda by Edward Bernays, Nephew of Sigmund Freud, the Father of Propaganda in the USA, who persuaded us to consume, consume, and consume more. Bernays', a Jew, helped Hitler make the Holocaust and Wars possible when Hitler used his book Propaganda to convert Germans to follow him.

Taking a lead from Bernays who helped get us into World War I, independent journalism had to be killed so in the 1920s Journalism School was established to exclude many citizens who did not take as kindly to the establishment. Many of the so-called liberal elites concurred with the conclusions that information must be limited because Americans would come to the wrong conclusions because they are so dumb.

The truth is more that the elites believe their own organization’s propaganda than the so-called dumb people. This happens all the time. Common sense and ethics seem not to apply in the higher realms of the so-called Thinking Elites.

Simple truths from scholar Noam Chomsky:

Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.

Noam Chomsky

Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it.

Noam Chomsky

The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.

Noam Chomsky

Corporate Strategy: Excess of Labor with Lower Wages and Salaries:

Caesar Chavez, head of the farm workers union in the 1980s was strongly opposed to bringing immigrants from Mexico as farm workers which would lower all the wages drastically. That is what happened to all Blue Collar working Americans when all Presidents from Reagan to G.W. Bush did not put a high priority of preventing corporations from hiring illegal immigrants which took American jobs away not only in farming, but also in high paying jobs such as in the meat processing industry, construction, and other jobs requiring little education.

Propagandizing Americans that they must go to college lowered salaries for the college educated and exporting good jobs to China, Mexico, and elsewhere put everyone in a more vulnerable position and increased the willingness of Americans to work for much less money to support their families. Bringing in skilled educated workers also had the same effect and led to large numbers of educated computer engineers to only get part time work. Now other profession workers such as lawyers, accountants, architects, and others no longer have a secure job base to change jobs or ask for more pay and benefits.

Below is an article sent by a good friend in Asia from the website by Sugimoto. It has very informative articles which applies to all of us. Yes, they are long. Here is an excerpt.

Yoshio Sugimoto: ... "The second proviso bears upon the optical illusion that appears to have persisted during the high economic growth era. There is no doubt that the high-growth economy of postwar Japan led to changes in the occupational composition of the population and shifted large numbers from agriculture to manufacturing, from blue-collar to white-collar, from manual to non-manual, and from low-level to high-level education.10 However, this transfiguration left a false impression – as though industrialization were conducive to a high measure of upward social mobility.

In reality, the relative positions of various strata in the hierarchy remained unaltered. For example, the educational system which produced an increasing number of university graduates cheapened the relative value of degrees and qualifications. To put it differently, when everyone stands still on an ascending escalator, their relative positions remain unaltered even though they all go up. A sense of upward relative mobility in this case is simply an illusion. When the escalator stops or slows down, it becomes difficult for the illusion to be sustained.

The occupational system cannot continue to provide ostensibly high-status positions, and eventually it must be revealed that some of the social mobility of the past was in fact due to the inflationary supply of positions. This is exactly what many in the labor force began to feel when Japan’s economy came to a standstill, recording negative growth in the 1990s and entering into a deflationary spiral in the early 2000s. The reality of class competition began to bite only when the economic slowdown failed to discernibly enlarge the total available pie." ...

Jim Kawakami, Nov 14, 2010,

Gentlemen Ivy Leaguers Rarely Want to Fight Their Pals: For a Fight about Principles We Need a Warrior, Frank Rich, NY Times, Nov 14, 2010, … The wealthy Americans we should worry about instead are the ones who implicitly won the election — those who take far more from America than they give back. They were not on the ballot, and most of them are not household names. Unlike Whitman and the other defeated self-financing candidates, they are all but certain to cash in on the Nov. 2 results. There’s no one in Washington in either party with the fortitude to try to stop them from grabbing anything that’s not nailed down.

The Americans I’m talking about are not just those shadowy anonymous corporate campaign contributors who flooded this campaign. No less triumphant were those individuals at the apex of the economic pyramid — the superrich who have gotten spectacularly richer over the last four decades while their fellow citizens either treaded water or lost ground. The top 1 percent of American earners took in 23.5 percent of the nation’s pretax income in 2007 — up from less than 9 percent in 1976. During the boom years of 2002 to 2007, that top 1 percent’s pretax income increased an extraordinary 10 percent every year. But the boom proved an exclusive affair: in that same period, the median income for non-elderly American households went down and the poverty rate rose.

It’s the very top earners, not your garden variety, entrepreneurial multimillionaires, who will be by far the biggest beneficiaries if there’s an extension of the expiring Bush-era tax cuts for income over $200,000 a year (for individuals) and $250,000 (for couples). The resurgent G.O.P. has vowed to fight to the end to award this bonanza, but that may hardly be necessary given the timid opposition of President Obama and the lame-duck Democratic Congress.

On last Sunday’s “60 Minutes,” Obama was already wobbling toward another “compromise” in which he does most of the compromising. It’s a measure of how far he’s off his game now that a leader who once had the audacity to speak at length on the red-hot subject of race doesn’t even make the most forceful case for his own long-held position on an issue where most Americans still agree with him. (Only 40 percent of those in the Nov. 2 exit poll approved of an extension of all Bush tax cuts.) The president’s argument against extending the cuts for the wealthiest has now been reduced to the dry accounting of what the cost would add to the federal deficit. As he put it to CBS’s Steve Kroft, “the question is — can we afford to borrow $700 billion?”

That’s a good question, all right, but it’s not the question. The bigger issue is whether the country can afford the systemic damage being done by the ever-growing income inequality between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else, whether poor, middle class or even rich. That burden is inflicted not just on the debt but on the very idea of America — our Horatio Alger faith in social mobility over plutocracy, our belief that our brand of can-do capitalism brings about innovation and growth, and our fundamental sense of fairness. Incredibly, the top 1 percent of Americans now have tax rates a third lower than the same top percentile had in 1970.

“How can hedge-fund managers who are pulling down billions sometimes pay a lower tax rate than do their secretaries?” ask the political scientists Jacob S. Hacker (of Yale) and Paul Pierson (University of California, Berkeley) in their deservedly lauded new book, “Winner-Take-All Politics.” If you want to cry real tears about the American dream — as opposed to the self-canonizing tears of John Boehner — read this book and weep. The authors’ answer to that question and others amounts to a devastating indictment of both parties.

Their ample empirical evidence, some of which I’m citing here, proves that America’s ever-widening income inequality was not an inevitable by-product of the modern megacorporation, or of globalization, or of the advent of the new tech-driven economy, or of a growing education gap. (Yes, the very rich often have fancy degrees, but so do those in many income levels below them.) Inequality is instead the result of specific policies, including tax policies, championed by Washington Democrats and Republicans alike as they conducted a bidding war for high-rolling donors in election after election.

The book deflates much of the conventional wisdom. Hacker and Pierson date the dawn of the collusion between the political system and the superrich not to the Reagan revolution, but to the preceding Carter presidency and its Democratic Congress. They also write that contrary to the popular perception, America’s superhigh earners are not mostly “superstars and celebrities in the arts, entertainment and sports” or the stars of law, medicine and real estate. They are instead corporate executives and managers — increasingly (and less surprisingly) financial company executives and managers, including those who escaped with outrageous fortunes as their companies imploded during the housing bubble.

The G.O.P.’s arguments for extending the Bush tax cuts to this crowd, usually wrapped in laughably hypocritical whining about “class warfare,” are easily batted down. The most constant refrain is that small-business owners who file in this bracket would be hit so hard they could no longer hire new employees. But the Tax Policy Center found in 2008, when checking out similar campaign claims by “Joe the Plumber,” that only 2 percent of all Americans reporting small-business income, regardless of tax bracket, would see tax increases if Obama fulfilled his pledge to let the Bush tax cuts lapse for the top earners. The economist Dean Baker calculated that the yearly tax increase at the lower end of that bracket, for those with earnings between $200,000 and $500,000, would amount to $700 — which “isn’t enough to hire anyone.”

Those in the higher reaches aren’t investing in creating new jobs even now, when the full Bush tax cuts remain in effect, so why would extending them change that equation? American companies seem intent on sitting on trillions in cash until the economy reboots. Meanwhile, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office ranks the extension of any Bush tax cuts, let alone those to the wealthiest Americans, as the least effective of 11 possible policy options for increasing employment.

Nor are the superrich helping to further the traditional American business culture that inspires and encourages those with big ideas and drive to believe they can climb to the top. Robert Frank, the writer who chronicled the superrich in the book “Richistan,” recently analyzed the new Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans for The Wall Street Journal and found a “hardening of the plutocracy” and scant mobility. Only 16 of the 400 were newcomers — as opposed to an average of 40 to 50 in recent years — and they tended to be in industries like coal, natural gas, chemicals and casinos rather than forward-looking businesses involving the Green Economy, tech or biotechnology. This is “not exactly the formula for America’s vaunted entrepreneurial wealth machine,” Frank wrote.

As “Winner-Take-All Politics” documents, America has been busy “building a bridge to the 19th century” — that is, to a new Gilded Age. To dislodge the country from this stagnant rut will require all kinds of effort from Americans in and out of politics. That includes some patriotic selflessness from those at the very top who still might emulate Warren Buffett and the few others in the Forbes 400 who dare say publicly that it’s not in America’s best interests to stack the tax and regulatory decks in their favor.

Many of the countless tasks that need to be addressed to start rebuilding an equitable America are formidable, but surely few, if any, are easier than eliminating a tax break that was destined to expire anyway and that most Americans want to see expire. Two years ago, Obama campaigned on this issue far more strenuously than he did on, say, reforming health care. Now he and what remains of his Congressional caucus are poised to retreat from even this clear-cut battle. You know things are grim when you start wishing that the president might summon his inner Linda McMahon.

1 comment:

  1. See creative way to fix the budget at
    The Government could save $50 billion per year by having two shifts of white collar employees work each day. Office space costs $50,000/year for each employee yet we only use space 30% of time. We can no longer afford to have banker's hours for all. With over 2 million federal employees this cost-free paradigm change could avoid lay offs/furloughs and reduce pollution.