Economic Injustice

Where’s The Money To Address Pandemic? Time To Crack Open The Tax Havens

There are trillions of dollars’ worth of cash and other assets tucked away in offshore tax havens belonging to both private individuals and large corporations. The Real Story / BBC (7/24/20) While the coronavirus pandemic is raging around the world, discussions over rebuilding the global economy are already underway. Globally, the recovery will cost trillions of dollars. Governments and finance ministries are working around the clock to design financial packages at a time when income from tax has hit rock bottom. There’s concern that many governments will have to raise taxes to cope with the shortfall in revenue. But what…

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Shake Down, Strangle, Extort: We Either Take On The Tech Mob Now Or Perish

Jeff Bezos’ wealth apparently grew by $11 million while he sat before Congress mumbling at his desk.  By Laura Flanders Common Dreams (8/1/20) Six months into a global pandemic, the US economy just took its most grievous hit on record, while Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook only added wealth. In just three months, April through June, so many workers were furloughed, laid off or forced to work and school from home, that the economy shriveled by 32.9% or almost a third. While the US was tanking, Amazon’s share price rose by half, and Facebook’s growth rate approached 60%. If we think inequality was…



As Childen Go Hungry & Families Homeless, Jeff Bezos, The World’s Richest Oligarch, Added $13 BILLION To His Fortune In Just One Day

“Thanks to a combination of government assistance and pure luck, a handful of companies are raking it in and making already rich shareholders even richer.” By Rupert Neate The Guardian (7/21/20) He was already by far the world’s richest person, but Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has set a fresh record increasing his fortune by an additional $13bn (£10bn) in a single day to take his personal wealth to an unprecedented $189bn. The huge increase in Bezos’s wealth on Monday alone is equivalent of adding nearly 30 times the Queen’s £350m fortune. His total wealth now makes him worth more than Britain’s biggest…


Chris Hedges: America Faces A Historic Choice — “ugly corporate tyranny” Or Revolution

These are “the good times,” says Hedges, compared to what may lie ahead. But there’s real hope in the streets. [Editors Note: Want to understand the context of what is happening? Journalist Chris Hedges lays it out the bipartisan failure unspooling before us . — Mark L. Taylor] By Chauncey Devega Salon ( 7/16/20) Time is broken in Donald Trump’s America. Minutes feel like hours, hours feel like days. Weeks are months, and months are years. And there is an overwhelming sense of time warped by dread as the country careens towards a dangerous climax on Election Day — whatever the outcome. Disorientation is…


Economist Richard Wolff: The Crash IS Coming! What To Watch For

“I fear we are really heading into a blind tsunami because of the blindness and the denial of the few at the top who are doing well.” By Julianna Forlano act.tv (7/15/20) Julianna welcomes back recurring guest, Marxian Economist Professor Richard D. Wolff, to the show to discuss how Economists are warning Americans that while the recent unemployment numbers were surprisingly positive, the long-term consequences of the pandemic could be severe joblessness for millions of Americans faced with permanent unemployment. And according to Professor Richard Wolff, there has been a widespread understanding among experts that a whole raft of jobs…


On Tax Day — As Millions Go Homeless & Hungry — Analysis Shows Billionaire Wealth Growth Since START Of Pandemic Exceeds Total Budget Deficits Of 23 US States

“A few very wealthy people in states are doing really well, while millions suffer. If there ever was a wake-up call to make the rich start paying their fair share of taxes this is it.” By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (7/15/20) A new study out Wednesday shows that billionaires around the U.S. have added to their wealth in the months since the coronavirus pandemic began in March at levels exceeding budget shortfalls due to the economic crisis triggered by the outbreak in 23 states. “This analysis shows how out of whack our economy has become with handfuls of billionaires in…


As The Corporations & 1% Cash In, Half Of Americans Faces Crushing Impoverishment

“coming poverty epoch, rather than an episode” By Paul Buchheit Common Dreams (7/13/20) There is something perverse about an economic system in which the stock market keeps climbing while people are dying. And in which 20 individuals can own as much wealth as the entire bottom half of the population. For the great majority of Americans without a share of the stock market, and for those who can’t work from home, the pandemic is adding the prospect of a financial collapse to all their other concerns. Half of America was In or Near Poverty BEFORE the Pandemic Anywhere from half to three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. The American Psychological Association recently estimated that 62% of…


Robert Reich’s (Partial) List Of All The Ways America Is Exceptional In All The Wrong Ways

This pandemic has exposed what has long been true: On the global stage, America is the exception, but not in the way we would like to believe. [Editor’s Note: The one thing Reich does not mention in this list of American failure is that it is a bipartisan failure; both Republicans and Democrats are responsible. While it is easy to focus on the myriad, ever-cascading craplist of Trump failures, never forget that when it comes to issues of war and enriching the corporations there isn’t a frog’s hair of difference between the R’s and the D’s. They have both created…


Mike McCabe: America’s New Jim Crow

  “We’ve got to deal with the fact that we live in a country that started with a constitution that said people could be property. And once that constitution was amended and slavery was abolished, those who sought that kind of economic and social control weren’t about to embrace equality. They went about constructing Jim Crow. They went about building segregation laws that would allow them to continue to exercise that control. And once Jim Crow was swept away by the civil rights legislation of the 1960’s, they didn’t embrace equality. They went about building a new structure, and that…


HELP THIS WORKER! Time To Get Corporate Profit Gouging Out Of Health Care: Essential 3M Worker Hit With $1,840 When Ordered To Get Tested For COVID-19″

In a bitter ironic twist, she works as a supervisor at a 3M distribution center for N95 masks. [Editor’s Note: This is about as perverse as things get in America’s so-called health (corporate wealth) care system. And, of course, 3M, which is making huge profits off government contracts, abandoned a worker that makes those profits possible. Disgusting. If you would like to express your displeasure to 3M, call: (888) 364-3577. Time for Medicare For All. — Mark L. Taylor] By Sarah Varney MPR (6/30/20) Carmen Quintero works an early shift as a supervisor at a 3M distribution warehouse that ships…


The Economic ‘Elite’ Counting On The Police Being Violent To Keep People Down

“It’s not enough to say that the police are too violent, or racist, or detached from society. Powerful people already know this perfectly well. Indeed, they’re counting on it. They’re counting on cops being violent to protect elite interests; nor is racism the worst thing in the world, they believe, as long as it’s not hurting their financial bottom lines. If it divides people, making them all the more exploitable, so much the better. And who cares if cops are detached from the interests of the working and lower middle classes from which they’ve come? Again, all the better, since…


Stories Of Unemployed Expose Cruelty Of The Corporate State & Callous Govt. Indifference

  The Daily /New York Times (6/24/20) Three months after mass layoffs began across America, 20 million Americans remain out of work because of the pandemic. Federal employment benefits are about to run out, and Congress can’t agree on more help. We called people struggling with unemployment to hear how they are doing. On today’s episode: Julie Creswell, Sabrina Tavernise and Ben Casselman, reporters at The New York Times, spoke with Nicolle Nordman, Analía Rodríguez and Nakitta Long about being laid off. Link To Story And 30-Minute Audio  


Professor Richard Wolff: Neither Dems Or GOP Will Do Anything To Ease The Coming Economic Crash

It Will Be Like NOTHING In Our History. And What Could Be Done To Protect Families By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/29/20) Socialist economist Richard Wolff talks about what both Trump and Biden and the Republicans and Democrats don’t get — and won’t do — to ease the pain of pandemic economic dislocation of families. Other western nations have both taken care of workers and reduced Covid-19 infection rates. Meanwhile in the United States, callous and completely clueless bipartisan inaction leaves families suffering and the pandemic raging on. Neither Trump nor Biden will do what needs to be…


The Supreme Court Just Gave Corporations A License To Loot Your Retirement Funds

The courthouse door was just slammed shut on workers and retirees whose pension plans get bilked. By David Sirota TMI (6/24/20)   In the 1987 classic film Wall Street, pension funds make a brief but important appearance, as Gordon Gekko hatches a plan to steal 6,000 airline workers’ retirement savings. An angry Bud Fox asks Gekko: “How much is enough?” — a question warning the audience about unbridled greed and the financial vipers in our midst. Thirty-three years after the release of Wall Street, it seems the U.S. Supreme Court saw the film as a guidebook rather than a cautionary tale: In a landmark…


Talk Is Cheap: While Paying Lip Service To Black Lives Matter, Walmart Shamelessly Exploits Black Lives

Empty public relations announcements will not suffice. By Cat Davis & Dorian Warren NBC News (6/19/20) Following weeks of riveting nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic anti-Black racism, some of the nation’s largest corporations responded with public declarations that Black Lives Matter. Among them was Walmart, the largest corporate employer of America’s Black workforce. Earlier this month, CEO Doug McMillon announced that his company was committing $100 million over five years to build a “center on racial equity.” Walmart’s self-aggrandizing gesture is emblematic of a long-running problem in how corporate America deals with race: McMillon’s pronouncement was a soothing delay tactic that failed to offer any…


While The Media Reports On Racial Justice, The Daily Brutality Of Economic Injustice Is Ignored

  Corporate capitalism has proven itself to be fully capable of methodical sadism in the pursuit of maximizing profits. [Editor’s Note: It is not a matter of GOP vs Dem or Left vs Right or even Trump vs Biden — it is all about TOP vs BOTTOM.– Mark L. Taylor] By Norman Soloman Reader Supported News (6/10/20) Grassroots outrage and nationwide protests after Minneapolis cops murdered George Floyd have pushed much of U.S. corporate media into focusing on deadly police mistreatment of black people. The coverage is far from comprehensive on the subject of racism in the “criminal justice” system…


Big Bank CEOs Want To ‘Listen’ To Black Communities. How About They Just Return Their Stolen Wealth Instead

There’s a whole lot of cheap Wall Street listening going on, but not much doing. By Richard Eskow Common Dreams (6/9/20) Fox News triggered legitimate outrage last week with a graphic showing that the stock market rose after the uprisings that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, the acquittal of Rodney King’s attackers, and the murders of Michael Brown and George Floyd. But Fox performed a public service, too, by revealing an underlying truth about our financialized economy: When it comes to profits, Black lives and Black pain don’t matter at all. In fact, they’re often good for business….


The Enemy In Our Backyard: Milwaukee’s Bradley Foundation Funneled Millions Into Voter Suppression, Union Busters, Climate Deniers, Right-Wing Media & Hate In 2019

By David Armiak Exposed / Center For Media & Democracy (6/8/20) In 2019, the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation gave millions to groups working to suppress the vote, bust unions, and spread climate misinformation, and to right-wing media outlets. The 2019 spending was detailed in an annual review document prepared by Bradley staff and examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Bradley, one of the largest funders of right-wing infrastructure in the United States with $854.2 million in assets as of December 2018, states that it distributed $42.1 million in grants in 2019, a marginal increase over the $40.1 million it gave out in…


James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time”

From thepostarchive This is the full audio book of James Baldwin’s the Fire Next Time (1963) read by Jesse L. Martin. It contains two essays: “My Dungeon Shook — Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation,” ( 0:00 – 12:00 ) and “Down At The Cross — Letter from a Region of My Mind” ( 12:00 – ). Check out this playlist of other Baldwin videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair…


Now, Who Exactly Is Doing The Looting & Who’s Being Looted Of What?

We live in an Orwellian era, in which working-class people pilfering convenience store goods is called “looting.” Rich people stealing hundreds of billions of dollars, on the other hand, is just well-functioning “public policy.” By David Sirota Jacobin (5/29/20) Headlines this morning are all about looting — specifically, looting in Minneapolis, after the police killing of an unarmed African-American man was caught on video. In the modern vernacular, that word “looting” is loaded — it comes with all sorts of race and class connotations. And we have to understand that terms like “looting” are an example of the way our media often imperceptibly trains…


Is Elon Musk(rat) Really A Genius? Um, No, He’s Just Another Whiny, Self-Important, Hypocritical, Freeloading, Grifting Little Billionaire

Just another freeloading beneficary of taxpayer support, exploitation of workers and big talking record of lying. “F*ck, Elon Musk.” By Mehdi Hasan Deconstructed (5/14/20) OVER THE WEEKEND, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to voice his frustrations about the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown in Alameda County, California. The billionaire entrepreneur threatened that he would take his auto factory to another state if it was not allowed to reopen immediately. On Monday, he announced that he would be resuming production at the facility in contravention of the lockdown. By Wednesday morning, the county had caved to Musk, announcing that his factory would…


House Dems’ Covid-19 Zero ‘Heroes Act’ A Recruiting Gift To Fascist Movement

Twisted by loyalty to corporate whim, corporate democrats are blind to the seeds of destruction they are sowing. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/14/20) Once again House democrats under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) left average working people — those losing their jobs, health care and homes in the midst of a deadly pandemic — out in the cold. In the democrats’  recently proposed “Heroes Act” corporate interests — and even corporate lobbyists for Godsake — got a full menu of bailouts, tax breaks, kickbacks and tax shelters. Meanwhile, the people at risk — those working…


What’s Really Going On Behind All The Headlines, News Updates & Trump Tweet Storms

Now the oligarchy is striking back. Forget Trump. He is just their useful idiot du jour.  By John Lemberger The Commoner Call (5/10/20) Trump is many ugly things. He is a serial liar, a sexual abuser of women, a swindler, a narcissist, grifter, and  psychological chameleon capable of converting from a sociopath to a psychopath right before our eyes. But he is also a Libertarian of the worst kind — the Charles Koch kind — which means he will lie, cheat and steal to destroy our majority-democracy and replace it with minority-rule Libertarianism. The important battle right now in America…


Billionaires Are Eating Our Economy & Future

While a few have pledged small percentages of their fortunes to fight the virus, most have held fast to their wealth. By J.C. Pan New Republic (5/7/20) Earlier this week, public health researchers projected that one in four Americans would experience hunger and food insecurity in the coming months as a result of the economic crash and mass unemployment set off by the pandemic. Even now, up to 71 percent of people who applied for unemployment benefits haven’t yet received them, and food bank lines are overextended, with car lines stretching for miles in some cases. In the new economic downturn, which so far shows every sign of approaching or…


Capitalism And The Empty Illusion Of American Democracy

Neoconservative foreign policy— support for right-wing coups abroad, stealth wars and the consolidation of power in the U.S. presidency, are matched through neoliberal support for Wall Street and austerity programs. By Rob Urie Counterpunch (4/24/20) Something to consider while suffering through the daily barrage of fabulist blather from Donald Trump is that if the Democrats thought it would benefit their cause, they would be putting Joe Biden front and center to counter this pain. That they aren’t suggests that they understand exactly how politically tenuous Mr. Biden is. In turn, that Joe Biden is their choice suggests that all isn’t…


Cashing In On Pandemic? Documents Show Lawmakers Made 1,500 Stock Transactions Worth $158 Million as Covid-19 Spread

“The stock trading was bipartisan—27 Democrats, 21 Republicans, and 1 independent were making trades as the devastation that Covid-19 would exact on the U.S. crystallized.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/30/20) A new analysis of financial disclosure documents found that Republican and Democratic members of Congress made nearly 1,500 stock transactions worth up to $158 million between February and April as the coronavirus spread across the U.S., heightening suspicions that elected officials in charge of the federal response to the pandemic have opportunistically cashed in on it. The Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a non-partisan watchdog group, uncovered at least 127 purchases or sales in securities by…


Viral Injustice: How The Pandemic Is Unmasking The U.S Economic, Racist & Immigration Systems

  America Unmasked By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (4/29/20) THE U.S. HAS now surpassed a million confirmed Covid-19 cases and is nearing a death toll of 60,000. This week on Intercepted: While the statistics are grim, the harsh reality is how the Trump administration — as well as some governors and mayors — handled this crisis made the situation much more deadly than it should have been. New York Magazine writer Zak Cheney-Rice discusses how the economic, social, racial, and gender injustices that predate this pandemic have impacted the most vulnerable people in the United States. He also discusses Trump’s incompetence, Joe…


Freeloading CEOs, Not The Unemployed, Are America’s True ‘moral hazard’

Many Republicans believe economic relief for those without jobs encourages slacking off. But it is grifting corporations that are bailed out again and again. By Robert Reich The Guardian (4/20/20) The coronavirus relief enacted by Congress is barely reaching Americans in need. This week, checks of up to $1,200 are being delivered through direct-deposit filings with the Internal Revenue Service. But low-income people who have not directly deposited their taxes won’t get them for weeks or months. Worse yet, the US treasury is allowing banks to seize payments to satisfy outstanding debts. Meanwhile, most of the promised $600 weekly extra unemployment benefits remain stuck in offices…


‘I struck a nerve’: The Comedian Whose Rant Against Bipartisan Congressional Bailouts Of Corporations & Bilionaires Went Viral

  “That video isn’t an act, that’s coming from the heart and soul. It resonated with working people because we have no voice in this country.” By Poppy Noor The Guardian (4/24/20) Vic DiBitetto is a performer, so he’s used to drawing in big crowd – but he didn’t quite expect that a recent video he made would be viewed over 10m times. The near five-minute rant about the government’s response to the coronavirus shows DiBitetto, a New Yorker, enunciating so much that spit flies around him in the car. His face is red and he barely finishes a sentence…


The Brutal Bipartisan Betrayal — If You Are Not In The 1% Or A Major Corporation Do Not Expect Any Meaningful Help From Congress

No meaningful care will come from congress or the White House. [Editor’s Note: The following is commentary I made in the April 24 broadcast of the ‘Month In Review’ on the community-supported radio station WDRT. In the face of a frightening public health emergency, both Republicans and Democrats have — for all practical purposes — abandoned the people. — Mark L. Taylor] By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (4/27/20) One positive thing the pandemic has done is it has stripped bare the inequity and corruption of  both political parties and made clear the job of the government is not…


Meet The Economist Behind The One Percent’s Stealthy Overthrow Of America

    The Holy Grail was the Constitution: alter it and you could increase and secure the power of the wealthy in a way that no politician could ever challenge. By Lynn Parramore Institute For New Economic Thinking (5/30/18) Ask people to name the key minds that have shaped America’s burst of radical right-wing attacks on working conditions, consumer rights and public services, and they will typically mention figures like free market-champion Milton Friedman, libertarian guru Ayn Rand, and laissez-faire economists Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. James McGill Buchanan is a name you will rarely hear unless you’ve taken several…


PSST, Here’s The Plan: Save Capital & Let The People Die

  Whether Americans know it or not, their government is not working for them. By Hamilton Nolan In These Times (4/6/20) Fantasize for a moment that we could set aside politics and operate based upon common sense. What would the federal government do to best mitigate the devastation that this pandemic will visit upon human beings? It would, first of all, provide free healthcare to everyone. It would distribute medical resources nationally based on the greatest need. Then, to protect people from the necessary economic deep freeze we are all in due to social distancing, the government would pursue measures…


Mike McCabe: A Nation In Distress & Crippled By Corporatocracy

It all comes down to sovereignty—the question of who rules. By Mike McCabe Our Wisconsin Revolution (4/20/20) Our nation’s founders were racist, sexist, elitist and quite a few other ists. Some more than others. But they had something else in common. They hated being under the King of England’s thumb. At the time, monarchs were thought to have a divine right to rule, a mandate from heaven. To think otherwise was to deny providence. Rather than continuing to submit to royal decrees, the founders chose to deny providence. These slaveholding aristocrats did a radical, revolutionary, heretical thing. They redefined the…


Billionaire Investor: “Why I argued billionaires, speculators should get wiped out.”

Now mind you, the congressional democrats signed off on this as well. The Rising / The Hill (4/17/20) Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and CEO of Social Capital gives insight on how Congress should approach the bailout bills, after his CNBC interview went viral. Link To 9+-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2020. Open source and free non-derivative use with link to www.thecommoner.call )  


Circling The Drain: The Rich Wanted To Strangle A Tiny Government In A Bathtub To Avoid Taxes; Now It Turns Out We Need A Competent State

Right wing false economy: A “closed indefinitely” sign has literally been hung on the American economy. By Jim Hightower Other Words (4/15/20) Amazingly, America has become a nation of socialists, asking in dismay: “Where’s the government?” These are not born-again Bernie Sanders activists, but people of all political stripes (including previously apolitical multitudes) who are now clamoring for big government intervention in their lives. Nothing like a spreading coronavirus pandemic to bring home the need that all of us have — both as individuals and as a society — for an adequately funded, fully functioning, competent government capable of serving…


“There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. “

  “Men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges, and they are angry at the crime, angry at the people who have come to take the fruit. … There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. … In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.” — John Steinbeck, The Grapes Of Wrath (1939) ***** Wisconsin Dairy Industry Calls For Help As Farmers Forced To Dump Milk Amid COVID-19…


Capitalizing On Death: The Plan Of The American Establishment Is To Save Capital & Let The People Die

We are told we’re a nation at war. In real wars, we have higher taxes on the rich. This time, we are giving investors a tax cut. By Hamilton Nolan In These Times (4/6/20) Fantasize for a moment that we could set aside politics and operate based upon common sense. What would the federal government do to best mitigate the devastation that this pandemic will visit upon human beings? It would, first of all, provide free healthcare to everyone. It would distribute medical resources nationally based on the greatest need. Then, to protect people from the necessary economic deep freeze…


Want To Understand What Is Going On In America Right Now? Then Understand The ‘Shock Doctrine’

Intercepted: Mehdi Hasan & Naomi Klein Review Mounting Cost Of  Pro-Corporate Coronavirus ‘Shock Doctrine’ Capitalism Intercepted (4/7/20) The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan speaks with Senior Correspondent Naomi Klein about coronavirus capitalism and the selective use of emergency measures to offload risks onto workers and families, while the people who are relatively more secure get no-strings-attached bailouts. Link To 33-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L.Taylor, 2020. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) ***** The ‘Shock Doctrine’ Documentary By Naomi Klein The Shock Doctrine is Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein’s companion piece to…


America’s Billionaires Brag About Giving To Charity – But Much Of It Is Self-Serving Rubbish

Well-publicized philanthropy shows how afraid the super-rich are of a larger social safety net – and higher taxes. By Robert Reich The Guardian (4/12/20) As millions of jobless Americans line up for food or risk their lives delivering essential services, the nation’s billionaires are making conspicuous donations – $100m from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos for food banks, billions from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for a coronavirus vaccine, thousands of ventilators and N95 masks from Elon Musk, $25m from the Walton family and its Walmart foundation. The list goes on. On Wednesday, Forbes released its annual billionaires list, happily noting that “the planet’s wealthiest are…