Economic Injustice

Koch Brothers EXPOSED • FULL DOCUMENTARY

The Koch Brothers Grab $16.4 Million Every Day. [Editor’s Note: Given the impact of the surreptitious Koch brothers’ machinations in Wisconsin a review of their role in American politics is in order. There pernicious influence on universities is especially dangerous. This is a good, concise review. Be sure to watch all the way through the credits at the end. — Mark L. Taylor]  Brave New Films (1/21/15) The last time we exposed the Koch Brothers’ dealings to the world we here at Brave New Films wound up in their crosshairs. They produced online ad campaigns attacking us, but, it takes more…

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Greed Unbound: New Study Shows CEO Pay Has Grown More Than 1,000% Since 1978

“An obscene concentration of profit at the top levels of companies.” By Julia Conell Common Dreams (8/14/19) As even some of the wealthiest Americans have begun to call for major reforms to the U.S. economic system to narrow the wealth gap, a new study released Wednesday revealed that over the past four decades, salaries for the top executives in the U.S. have gone up by more than 1,000 percent. CEOs at the 350 largest companies now take home salaries that are 278 times higher than those of the average worker, according to the new Economic Policy Institute (EPI) analysis. With an average compensation…


John Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes Of Wrath’ Documented Another Time Of American Cruelty, Greed & Oppression

“I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this.” By Sam Jordison The Guardian (8/13/19) In March 1938, shortly before he began working on The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck wrote to his agent Elizabeth Otis to turn down a commission to write about migrant workers. “The suffering is too great for me to cash in on it … it is the most heartbreaking thing in the world,” he wrote. “I break myself every time I go out because the argument that one person’s effort can’t really do anything doesn’t seem to apply when you come…


The American Corporate Wealth Care System Is A Needlessly Complicated, Colossal Mess … That Kills

Corporate Wealthcare In The United States 66.5 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States are linked to health care financial stress. 45,000 people die every year due to a lack of health insurance. In 2017, 3.9 million children were uninsured, up from 3.6 million in 2016. Life expectancy at birth in the U.S. fell by 0.1 years, to 78.6, in 2016, following a similar drop in 2015. This is the first time in 50 years that life expectancy has fallen for two years running. In 25 other developed countries, life expectancy in 2015 averaged 81.8 years. ***** “The American health…


She Defended Her Land Against A Mine In Guatemala Then Had To Flee For Her Life

The roots of the mining industry in Guatemala are soaked in the blood of its 36-year civil war. By Alleen Brown Video by Martyna Starosta The Intercept (6/23/19) TERESA MUÑOZ WAS riding her motorbike along her regular delivery route on a winding Guatemala road, carrying the homemade cheese she sold for a living, when she saw in her rearview mirror one of the white sedans that employees of the Escobal silver mine drove. Mining company cars had followed her before, but this time, the vehicle swerved. The driver rammed her motorbike, pitching her into the street, and then sped off. Muñoz was left…


The Numbers Are In, Proving The Shady Trumpublican Tax Cut Was The Scam Critics Had Warned Of

This tax bill was constructed on a foundation of lies. By Marshall Auerback Independent Media Institute (7/16/19) The most commonly heard refrain when Donald Trump and the GOP were seeking to pass some version of corporate tax reform went something like this: There are literally trillions of dollars trapped in offshore dollar deposits which, because of America’s uncompetitive tax rates, cannot be brought back home. Cut the corporate tax rate and get those dollars repatriated, thereby unleashing a flood of new job-creating investment in the process. Or so the pitch went. Since the passage of the tax bill, the data show no…


The Creepy Epstein Scandal Reveals The Deep Bipartisan Rot Of The Nation’s Supposed ‘Elites’

  By Frank Rich New York Magazine (7/12/19) In the wake of Jeffrey Epstein’s indictment in New York, a number of powerful people formerly in Epstein’s orbit — Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, Bill Clinton, lawyer Alan Dershowitz, and Donald Trump — have been scrambling in the face of renewed scrutiny. What will Acosta’s exit and the new Epstein prosecution shake up, and what might they not be able to change? Perhaps at long last a serial rapist and pedophile may be brought to justice, more than a dozen years after he was first charged with crimes that have brutalized countless girls and women. But…


I Hope Jeffrey Epstein Sings Like A Bird, Even If Some Democrats Go Down

  Wherever these questions lead prosecutors and reporters must follow. And the public must demand real accountability, no matter the answers. By Jill Filipovic The Guardian (7/10/19) I hope Jeffrey Epstein sings like a bird. The wealthy and well-connected financier and registered sex offender was arrested this week in New York on accusations of child sex trafficking. He just may bring a lot of bad men – and a few bad women – down with him. Epstein allegedly groomed and recruited dozens of underage girls, many of them vulnerable runaways, for sex with him and his friends. Despite being caught by…


Should We Abolish Billionaires? Oh, Hell, Yeah! The Sooner The Better.

  About 60 percent of all the wealth in America today is inherited. By Robert Reich Robert Reich’s Blog (7/2/19) America now has more billionaires than at any time in history, while most Americans are struggling to make ends meet. With such staggering inequality, it’s fair to ask: should we abolish billionaires? There are basically only four ways to accumulate a billion dollars – and none of them is a product of so-called free market capitalism. Billionaires themselves aren’t the problem. The real failure is in how our economy is organized. One way to make a billion is to exploit…


Tax Boycott: While You Pay Yours, The Wealthy — Like Trump — Get By With Paying Little Or No Taxes

On Contact: A Tax System Rigged for the Rich with David Cay Johnston. [Editor’s Note: And then when the wealthy get into financial trouble — as they inevitably do — the government rescues them with cash pay-outs, like 2008, that we pay for. The discussion also shows how economic disparity eventually leads to fascism. — Mark L. Taylor] By Chris Hedges On Contact / RT (10/15/16) On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges sits down with David Cay Johnson, author of “The Making of Donald Trump” to examine how the Republican presidential nominee and the rich are benefiting…


Words To Remember: FDR’s Letter To Corporate Democrats Will Blow Your Mind

  Jimmy Dore Show (3/29/17) Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote a letter to corporate democrats threatening to withdraw his nomination if they did not support his progressive Vice President pick Henry Wallace. His sentiments about the need for Democrats to be more progressive applies even more to today’s world. Link to 15-Minute Video ***** Full Text Of FDR’s 1940 Letter To Corporate Dems Franklin D. Roosevelt Letter to the Democratic Convention  July 18, 1940 Members of the Convention: In the century in which we live, the Democratic Party has received the support of the electorate only when the party, with absolute…


Duuh, Dems! Here’s What Neoliberal Democrats Who View Bernie Sanders As An ‘Existential Threat’ Have Yet To Realize

A centrist candidate—which, let’s be honest, means one who is beholden to the uber rich and corporations—cannot and will not address these truly existential issues. By John Atcheson Common Dreams (6/23/19) Over the past few days, the mainstream Democrats’ war on Bernie Sanders has come out of the closet.  Recent articles in Politico and the Guardian, detail how centrist organizations like Third Way have been pushing the narrative that Sanders is unelectable.  The reason, according to Third Way leaders and other neoliberals, is the dreaded label of “socialist.” There’s two things wrong with this premise. First, Sanders has been a nationally known figure…


Welcome To Trump’s Corrupt State – A Star Wars Cantina Of Republican Politics & Policy

The Corrupt State starts with Trump himself, giving new meaning to the old adage about a fish rotting from the head down. By Robert Reich The Guardian (6/15/19) Trump has been ramping up his “Deep State” rhetoric again. He’s back to blaming a cabal of bureaucrats, FBI and CIA agents, Democrats and “enemies of the people” in the mainstream media for conspiring to remove him from office, in order to allow the denizens of foreign “shitholes” to overrun America. But with each passing day it’s becoming clearer that the real threat to America isn’t Trump’s Deep State. It’s Trump’s own…


Crime Report: Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion In Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom 50% Of Us Lost $900 Billion

“The top one percent owns nearly $30 trillion of assets while the bottom half owns less than nothing.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (6/14/19) Adding to the mountain of statistical evidence showing the severity of U.S. inequality, an analysis published Friday found that the top one percent of Americans gained $21 trillion in wealth since 1989 while the bottom 50 percent lost $900 billion. Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People’s Policy Project, broke down the Federal Reserve’s newly released “Distributive Financial Accounts” data series and found that, overall, “the top one percent owns nearly $30 trillion of assets while the bottom…


The Nepotism Might Finally Be Too Much To Ignore

The idea of American meritocracy was imperfect from the founding, but it’s never been as transparently laughable as it is today. By Dahlia Lithwick Slate (6/12/19) Even in these tortured times, it is worth devoting a small sliver of outrage to the fact that Jared Kushner—whose only qualification to senior-advise the president on policy is that he is married to the president’s daughter—seems to have taken, per the Guardian, $90 million in foreign funding since 2017 from an “opaque offshore vehicle.” This influx comes via a stake he kept in a real estate company after assuming his government post, and given that the cash has…


A Commoner Writes: Demands Of Big Money Politics Block Many Promising Candidates

  Mark Taylor’s commentary [The Price Of Money: Political & Moral Defeat 6/13/19] about the disparity of funding between Clinton and Trump during the 2016 election was well constructed and informative but does not diminish the corrupt influence that money has had on our electoral process, and our democracy as a whole. Greed, PAC’s, billionaire donors have poisoned our democratic principles, and will continue to do so unless our politicians have the courage (quite doubtful) to reconstruct the funding process for political office. Here’s another problem with our current funding system. Many potential, highly qualified candidates for office often lack the…


The Price Of Money: Political & Moral Defeat

“The Democrats have no power to change the system. Yet. So if they want to stay in the game and be competitive they’re going to have to match the Republican’s fundraising juggernaut, otherwise Trump will out-organize, out-advertise and flat out bury us in 2020.” — Facebook post (6/6/19) By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/13/19) So let’s take a look at that siren call of money… Two figures to consider from the 2016 presidential race: $1.2 billion and $217.5 million. The first is the amount of money raised by Hillary Clinton. The second is the amount of money raised…


Rev. William Barber: A Moral Man In Immoral Times Fights For The Poor To Be Heard

Racist Gerrymandering Created A GOP Stronghold Across The Nation. We Must Fight Back Democracy Now! (6/10/19) Longtime civil rights leader Rev. Dr. William Barber joins us to respond to his conviction Thursday for trespassing during a 2017 protest against gerrymandering and attacks on healthcare at the North Carolina Legislature. Barber had refused to leave the General Assembly as ordered, after he organized a sit-in at the legislative building when Republican leaders refused to meet with him about concerns with voter ID requirements and redistricting plans that would weaken the power of the black vote. “The GOP extremists are afraid. They know they cannot win…


‘Socialism for the rich’ — The Real Life Evils Of Bad Economics

“There’s been class warfare going on for the last 20 years and my class has won.” — Warren Buffet, billionaire investor By Jonothan Aldred The Guardian (6/6/19) In most rich countries, inequality is rising, and has been rising for some time. Many people believe this is a problem, but, equally, many think there’s not much we can do about it. After all, the argument goes, globalisation and new technology have created an economy in which those with highly valued skills or talents can earn huge rewards. Inequality inevitably rises. Attempting to reduce inequality via redistributive taxation is likely to fail because the…


In Just 3 Minutes Robert Reich Explains What Oligarchy Means & Why It Describes Our Current Political System

The typical American has no influence at all. [Editor’s Note: The following is the script for the wonderful 3-minute video linked to below. Words are powerful and it is an act of power and liberation to use the correct word to describe economic and political realities. Pass this on. — Mark L. Taylor] By Robert Reich Robert Reich’s Blog (5/2/19) “Oligarchy” means government of and by a few at the top, who exercise power for their own benefit. It comes from the Greek word oligarkhes, meaning “few to rule or command.” Even a system that calls itself a democracy can become…


Law & Disorder: Why Corporatism Will Dominate US Policy For Decades To Come

Democracy in jeopardy By John Atcheson Common Dreams (5/26/19) Remember when Republicans ran on a law and order platform?  Well, nowadays, we’ve got a President – in fact an entire Party — at war with the idea of the rule of law in general, and any constraints on corporations in particular.  Democrats console themselves with the idea that this can all be righted in the next election.  Vote Trump out, retain the majority in the House, and win the Senate.  Problem solved. Except it isn’t.  McConnell and Trump are doing everything they can to hand over the Judiciary — lock, stock and…


A Stunning Parallel To The Fall Of Rome: How Our Tottering Republic Could Die In The Age Of Trump

He is our nation’s Augustus Caesar, the killer of a republic and the herald of a corrupt and collapsing empire.   By Thom Hartmann Independent Media Institute (5/20/19) The American republic could die, just like Rome. Wavering for some time on the verge of becoming a complete oligarchy, America is on the verge of flipping from a democratic republic to a strongman or autocratic form of government, something that’s happened to dozens of democracies in the past few decades, but never before here. It’s possible we won’t recover from it. The death of a republic is different from the death…


‘Let’s Expand Employee Ownership’ — Bernie Sanders Backs Plan To Give Workers Power Over Corporate Decisions

  “Employee-owned companies will not provide starvation wages to workers and huge compensation packages to CEOs. They will not allow for unsafe working conditions.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/28/19) Decrying an economic status quo that “produces huge CEO bonuses while millions are paid starvation wages,” Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday backed a pair of policies aimed at reducing soaring inequality by giving workers more power over corporate decision-making. According to the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein—who first reported on Sanders’s plans—the Vermont senator is developing a proposal that would force large companies to “regularly contribute a portion of their stocks to a fund controlled…


SUCKERED! Study Proves Trump Tax Cuts Led To Virtually No Wage Growth & More Proof They Were ‘Designed To Put A Big Windfall In Oligarch Pockets’

“It’s done nothing to raise wages and flown right into corporate execs’ pockets.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/29/19) Despite lofty promises from President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that went into effect last year have done little—if anything—to raise workers’ wages, boost economic growth, or spur business investment. That’s according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), which appeared to vindicate warnings from progressive critics that the GOP tax cuts were little more than a scam designed to put more money in the pockets of wealthy Americans. In its 23-page report (pdf), the independent…


Bipartisan Rip-Off: How Congressional Republicans & Democrats Joined Claws To Screw The Poor (Again)

After campaigning against the flagrant, unparalleled corruption of the Trump administration in 2018, the new House Democratic majority started 2019 by offering up a dose of milder, bipartisan corruption. It might be progress, but it isn’t pretty. By Zach Carter & Arthur Delaney The HuffPost (5/19/19) For most people, filing taxes is supposed to be free and easy. Instead, the vast majority of Americans pay a fee to a private tax preparer each year. We owe this annual ripoff to one of the most celebrated and misunderstood practices in American politics: bipartisanship. Despite all the talk about widening political divides, Congress…


How Much Longer Will We Tolerate A Government By And For The Wealthy Few?

It is utterly farcical to call the United States government democratic. By Nathan Robinson The Guardian (5/20/19) The core democratic principle is that people should have a meaningful say in political decisions that affect their lives. In Alabama, we’ve just seen what the opposite of democracy looks like: 25 white male Republicans in the state senate were able to ban almost all abortion in the state. The consequences of that decision fall exclusively on women, who will be forced to carry all pregnancies to term if the law comes into effect. And, as has happened in other countries with abortion bans, poor women will…


The Republican Tax Lie: While Reaping $21 Billion Windfall From Trump Tax Cuts, AT&T Hiked Executive Pay While Slashing 23,000 Jobs

Members of the Communications Workers of America demonstrate outside of an AT&T building. (Photo: Communications Workers of America) By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/14/19) AT&T promised to create thousands of new jobs as President Donald Trump’s tax legislation moved through Congress in 2017—but the telecom giant has done precisely the opposite since the bill became law, while raking in over $20 billion in extra profits. That’s according to an analysis published Monday by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which found that AT&T has slashed 23,328 jobs since Congress passed Trump’s tax bill in 2017, including nearly 6,000 in the first quarter of 2019…


Whiny Libtard Article Misses The Good News. SAD!

The important thing that this whiny article completely ignores is that American billionaires and corporations are enjoying the biggest tax cuts they have ever had amidst the highest profits they have ever scammed. Sure, kids have it tough in America, but damnit we have a tiny band of entitled super rich to support and engorge.  Downer libtard pity party articles like this take the giddiness away from all the good news about our oligarchy. Sad! Kids In America Are Missing School Because They Can’t Afford Soap, Toothpaste & Tampons By Liza Ramrayka The HuffPost (5/9/19) The locked metal cabinet doesn’t look…


Chris Hedges: Coming Down To Corporate Totalitarianism’s Brutal End Game

  “I’m calling for the overthrow of the corporate state.” [Editor’s Note: This powerful, prescient talk by author Chris Hedges has been posted in the Commoner Call  before. What we have seen with the recent Barr hearing and suppression of the Mueller report is the gathering storm drawing near. Hedges’ assessment of the corporate state’s rush to totalitarianism is moving fast. His comments about resistance and hope are a lesson for all. — Mark L. Taylor] By Ed Mays Pirate TV (10/9/18) Pirate TV welcomes back Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges for the 6th time. In his current book, America:…


On This Tax Day Remember, While You Paid Your Taxes For The Common Good, These Mega Corporations Betrayed The Nation By Paying Nothing

Smile, Suckers, As The Rich Get Richer. By Kathryn Kranhold The Center for Public Integrity (4/11/19) Taxpayers are scrambling to make last-minute payments due to the Internal Revenue Service in just four days, but many of the country’s largest publicly-held corporations are doing better: They’ve reported they owe absolutely nothing on the billions of dollars in profits they earned last year. At least 60 companies reported that their 2018 federal tax rates amounted to effectively zero, or even less than zero, on income earned on U.S. operations, according to an analysis released today by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, the Institute…


Goliath: How Monopolies Came To Be

  BBC (4/9/19) Political economist, academic and journalist Will Hutton traces the history of monopolies and public attitudes towards them. Coming at the subject with an open mind full of strongly held beliefs — some of which are in opposition to each other — he considers the great ironies and tensions at the heart of the modern monopoly. The last 200 years have been dominated by two schools of thought on how the economy functions. One, originating from Adam Smith, focuses on competition. The other, conscious of how Smith’s brand of liberalism leads to rapid concentration of wealth, takes its…


Wall Street LOVES Socialism … For Bankers – But Not For Ordinary Americans

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon decries socialism. Unless of course it’s the banks wanting government bailouts! By Robert Reich The Guardian (4/8/19) In his annual letter to shareholders, distributed last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took aim at socialism, warning it would be “a disaster for our country,” because it produces “stagnation, corruption and often worse.” Dimon should know. He was at the helm when JPMorgan received a $25bn socialist-like bailout in 2008, after it and other Wall Street banks almost tanked because of their reckless loans. Dimon subsequently agreed to pay the government $13bn to settle charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages…


CHRONIC INFECTION! New DCCC Chair Rep. Cheri Bustos Is The Best Pal Of Insurance Big Money

How health insurance cash creates misinformation on Medicare For All. [Editor’ Note: For godsake, don’t waste a tarnished penny on the DCCC. Find and support positive progressive candidates and groups, especially those taking on infected corporate dems like Rep. Cheri Bustos or, closer to home, Rep. Ron Kind, and, of course anyone running against republicans. — Mark L. Taylor] By Wendell Potter Tarbell (3/15/19) Here’s a headline you can bet my former colleagues in the health insurance business were thrilled to see last week: “DCCC chief: Medicare for All price tag ‘a little scary.’” That headline topped the lead story…


Anand Giridharadas: The College Bribery Scandal Is Just A Glimpse Of The Many Ways The Wealthy Rig Society To Their Benefit

When a scandal like this breaks, it’s really important for us to understand that we’ve gone from seeing 0 percent of a system to 0.003 percent of a system, right? There’s so much more here. This is a little biopsy of a world that we happen to get. Democracy Now! (3/15/19) As the fallout continues over the elite college admissions scandal that investigators nicknamed “Operation Varsity Blues,” we speak with journalist Anand Giridharadas, author of “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.” His book examines how the so-called elite class of America have worked the system to…


The Big Cheat: Brutal Lesson For Children Of Middle & Working Classes

  By Leo Gerard OurFuture.org (3/14/19) The children of working stiffs learned a brutal lesson this week as federal prosecutors criminally charged rich people with buying admission to elite universities for their less-than-stellar children. The lesson is that no matter how hard you work, no matter how smart or talented you are, a dumb, lazy rich kid is going to beat you. It’s crucial that everyone who is not a wealthy movie star, hedge fund executive, or corporate CEO – that is, 99 percent of all Americans – see this college admissions scandal for what it really is: a microcosm…


Right At Home! The Ever Eternal Marie Antoinette Stages A Comeback On Capitol Hill

Antoinette toasts to Wilbur Ross at the House Oversight Committee hearing. “My fabulosity and philosophy are eternal!” By Marie Antoinette Inequality.org (3/14/19) She’s back — in all her out-of-touch glory. More than 225 years after losing her head to a guillotine, Marie Antoinette has made a grand re-entrance into the halls of power. With her reattached head holding up a frothy mound of white curls, she descended on Capitol Hill on March 14 to attend a House Oversight Committee hearing. The star witness: billionaire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Ross is just one of numerous Trump administration officials who’ve distinguished themselves with…



‘There Is No Meritocracy’ — College Admissions Scandal Exposes Systemic Rot Benefiting Freeloading Wealthy Progressives Say

A wake-up call for people who have fallen for the lie the wealthy earned what they have stolen from working families. By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (3/13/19) The most far-reaching college admissions plot ever prosecuted, revealed on Tuesday by federal investigators, provides a window into how wealth and power operate in American society, progressives say. The scheme involved getting the children of wealthy people into the colleges of their dreams, often by manipulating sports scholarships, disability allowances on tests, and by inflating resumes. Per Democracy Now!, “50 people were arrested, including 13 college coaches, for taking part in a scheme where wealthy parents…


On The Death Of My Family’s Dairy Farm

The consolidation of dairy and the continual shrinking of profit margins have led to drastic changes to the industry over the years. By Abe Voelker abevolker.com (3/6/19) This Christmas, like every other, I traveled to northern Wisconsin to stay with my parents on the dairy farm I grew up on. As usual I took the opportunity to help my dad and younger brother with barn chores and milk cows. The cows need to be milked twice a day, every day, roughly around 4AM and 4PM. I didn’t help out every shift but I worked more than enough to once again be…


Tired Of Winning, Yet? Trump’s Trade War Cost U.S. More Than $3 Billion A Month, Economists Report

Companies in America purchasing imported products pay the tariffs, and most if not all of those costs are typically passed onto U.S. consumers who buy the products.  By Mary Papenfuss HuffPost (3/4/19) President Donald Trump’s trade war cost American businesses and consumers  $3 billion a month last year in higher prices, according to a study by top economists. The U.S. “experienced substantial increases in the prices of … goods, dramatic changes to its supply-chain network, reductions in availability of imported varieties, and complete pass-through of the tariffs into domestic prices of imported goods,” noted the study issued Saturday by economists from the…