One Percenters


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…


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…


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…


‘Black Lives Matter’ Is About Far More Than The Police

Let’s make sure that Black life matters at every stage and in every facet of society, well before a cop has his knee on a man’s neck. By Patrisse Cullors ACLU (6/23/20) Every time another Black person is murdered by the police, it’s easy to point to a single officer as the culprit. George Floyd was killed under the knee of officer Derek Chauvin — we saw it ourselves. But Chauvin is just one officer in a culture of police violence, and policing is just one of the systems responsible for taking Black lives. COVID-19 exposed a number of the…


‘Big Banks Couldn’t Be Happier’: Trump Regulators Gut Restrictions On Risky Wall Street Gambling

  Dangerous deregulatory agenda By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (6/26/20) Bank stocks jumped and lobbyists rejoiced Thursday after U.S. regulators voted to gut the so-called Volcker Rule, a set of regulations imposed in the wake of the 2008 Wall Street collapse limiting the ability of financial institutions to engage in high-risk behavior that threatens the systemic health of the economy. “Instead of protecting our financial system in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis, Trump-appointed regulators are plowing ahead with their dangerous deregulatory agenda,” tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “The big banks couldn’t be happier about it.” CNBC reported that the shares of JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Wells…


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…



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….


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…


The Chilling Truth: Trump Is Willing To Kill You & Your Family To Win Reelection

Trump needs just enough of an economic bounce by November to help him slither through the piles of corpses. By Les Leopold Common Dreams (5/7/20) President Trump has finally made public his fateful choice. He’s all in on reopening the economy even if it sends the virus death count into the millions. Actually he made that choice long ago. His logic is simple but cruel. Before the virus struck, his re-election hinged on taking credit for the robust economy he inherited. With unemployment at record lows he hoped to hang onto just enough votes in the key battle ground states…


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…


Secretive “Dark Money” PAC Organized Specifically To Prevent Sanders From Primary Wins

“After Sanders’ path to the presidential nomination became a near-impossibility, Big Tent Project’s activity dropped precipitously—further evidence that its major purpose was defeating a federal candidate.” By Brendan Fischer Common Dreams (5/7/20) Voters from across the political spectrum are concerned about the rise of secret spending in our elections and rightly so. Political transparency is a means to advance the principles of the First Amendment by encouraging the exchange of ideas needed for voters to make informed decisions. Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against “The Big Tent Project” for illegally hiding the identity…


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…


The Elites Will Have Humanity For Us Only When They Are Forced To

  “There is a moment in Henry Kissinger’s memoirs — do not buy the book — when Nixon and Kissinger are looking out at tens of thousands of anti-war protesters who have surrounded the White House. Nixon had placed empty city buses in front of the White House to keep the protesters back. He worried out loud that the crowd would break through the barricades and get him and Kissinger. And that is exactly where we want people in power to be. This is why, although he was not a liberal, Nixon was our last liberal president. He was scared…


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…


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…


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…


‘Dirty Money’ is back on Netflix—and it’s investigating the FDA, the EPA & Jared Kushner

The second season of the docuseries about business gone bad broadly covers capitalism run amok, and examines the boundaries companies are willing to cross in the name of turning a profit. By Yasmin Gagne Fast Company (3/11/20) In 2006, at the age of 25, Jared Kushner purchased the storied weekly newspaper The New York Observer (now a digital-only publication known as Observer). Over the next few years, he used the media property to elevate his social standing in New York’s elite circles. At the same time, he oversaw his family firm’s disastrous acquisition of the (incredibly named) 666 Fifth Avenue for a record…


Give To The Rich: The Bill Gates Charity Paradox

A ‘Nation’ investigation illustrates the moral hazards surrounding the Gates Foundation’s $50 billion charitable enterprise. By Tim Schwab The Nation (3/30/20) Last fall, Netflix premiered a three-part documentary that promises viewers a rare look at the inner life of one of history’s most controversial businessmen. Over three hours, Inside Bill’s Brain shows us a rare emotional side to Bill Gates as he processes the loss of his mother and the death of his estranged best friend and Microsoft cofounder, Paul Allen. Mostly, though, the film reinforces the image many of us already had of the ambitious technologist, insatiable brainiac, and heroic philanthropist. Inside Bill’s Brain falls into a…


Toilet Paper Teaches You All You Need To Know About Economics & The Political Parties

    Capitalism: You have a case of toilet paper. You loan one roll to someone in exchange for regularly receiving more rolls from them. Vulture Capitalism: You buy up the world’s supply of toilet paper, and sell off the individual pieces at a steep markup. Free-market Capitalism: You have a roll of toilet paper, which you are free to use as you wish… or you could sell it, if you want to eat. You have total freedom of choice in the matter. Late Stage Capitalism: You have one roll of toilet paper. Some people have none. I have warehouses…


US Senators Accused Of Coronavirus Insider Trading Embody The Moral Bankruptcy Of The Establishment

[Cartoon Note: Inspiration was drawn from one of many online comments seen throughout the past five days. The idea stuck with me, but I do not recall who wrote the original comment. — Mark L. Taylor] By Nathan Robinson The Guardin (3/21/20) There’s something deeply disturbing about seeing someone profit from a disaster, and we’ve already seen a few examples in the present crisis. First it was the guys who bought up over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer in the hopes of selling them at a high markup. (After Amazon put a stop to their sales, the pair of hoarders donated the sanitizer.)…


Welcome To The New Legitimation Crisis: Bernie Sanders vs. The Corrupt Bipartisan Plutocrats

“Going forward, we have the platform; we have the issues. These have broad public support already. Exit polls show that even in states that went for Biden, majorities want to replace private healthcare insurance with a public plan and support free college tuition. Bernie can still find a path to victory by doubling down on such issues and by drawing stark political contrasts with Biden, who has always represented the banking and credit card industries. It’s going to be a damn good fight!   “In the meantime, we might be forgiven for laughing when Democratic establishment attacks burnish Bernie’s popularity…


They Rule: Sorry, No Easter Bernie

“The “normal” constitutional and electoral paths of “resistance” are a complete fail. The system is a ruling class-imposed travesty, delivering us to tragedy on a mass scale. “Actual leftists need to take advantage of this. This is what we have been saying. The major party ballot box is the coffin of class consciousness. The Sanders thing and indeed social democratic politics in the U.S. are over: trade in your ballot for a yellow vest. “The bourgeoisie will not be unseated – as it needs to be for humanity to survive – through the existing constitutional and electoral channels. It just won’t….


Status Quo Joe Biden Schmoozes & Reassures Rich Donors That If Elected: “Nothing would fundamentally change”

  “I hope if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you.” By Igor Derysh Salon (6/19/19) Former Vice President Joe Biden assured rich donors at a ritzy New York fundraiser that “nothing would fundamentally change” if he is elected. Biden told donors at an event at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan on Tuesday evening that he would not “demonize” the rich and promised that “no one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change,” Bloomberg News reported. Biden’s assurance to donors in New York came shortly after his appearance at the Poor People’s Campaign Presidential Forum in Washington…


In It’s Blatant Actions Against Sanders, The Corporate Democratic Establishment Revealed Their Weakness & Desperation

“We’re taking on not only the corporate establishment, we are taking on the political establishment.” — Bernie Sanders By Mark L. Taylor Commoner Call (3/5/20) Climate activist Greta Thunberg was recently the target of a crude, sexually abusive graphic sticker put out by X-Site Energy Services, an Alberta, Canada oil field company. The sexual abuse launched at the 17 year-old has prompted an online petition (which you should definitely sign, here) and a call for the company’s bullying board to resign. Displaying poise and wisdom far beyond the oil company management team, Thunberg had the perfect response to such abusive behavior,…


Here They Come Again: The Kind Of Neoliberal Democrats Who Actually Prefer Trump Over Sanders

Here’s the question: to what extent is the Establishment’s commitment to democratic institutions greater than their commitment to current forms of capitalist hierarchy? It seems like we are about to find out. By Adolph Reed Jr. Common Dreams (2/11/20) Twenty-four years ago, I published an essay titled “Liberals, I Do Despise” in the Village Voice, which Common Dreams reprinted as an enduring oldie in 2009. The title was a play on an old doggerel, in this case rendering it: Liberals and flies, I do despise The more I see liberals, the more I like flies. I wrote the essay in disgust after Bill Clinton concluded…


America’s Top 10 Corporate Tax Avoiders, Cheats & Freeloaders You Pay For

  Sen. Bernie Sanders Senate Website 1. General Electric From 2008 to 2013, while GE made over $33.9 billion in United States profits, it received a total tax refund of more than $2.9 billion from the Internal Revenue Service. G.E.’s effective U.S. corporate income tax rate over this six year period was -9 percent. In 2012, GE stashed $108 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying income taxes. If this practice were outlawed, GE would have paid $37.8 billion in federal income taxes that year. During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve provided GE with $16 billion in financial assistance, at a time when its CEO…


Democracy vs. Dictatorship: Don’t Let Bloomberg Muddy That Choice

If there is one way for the Democrats to bungle this battle for democracy, Bloomberg is it. By Laura Flanders Common Dreams (2/15/20) The 2020 presidential race didn’t get decided this week, but the choice before us did: more democracy or less of it. That’s the decision we are facing, and if the Democrats manage to foul this up, they may not get another chance. The very same day that New Hampshire held its primary, the president was out there bullying federal workers via Tweet. By the end of the night, Trump’s criminally-convicted chum Roger Stone’s sentence was suspended, and…