One Percenters

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…

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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…



Want To Attack “Democratic Socialism” – Bring It On Corporate Socialists!

Taxpayers don’t want our commonwealth being owned by tax-dodging, gouging corporations. By Ralph Nader Common Dreams (2/15/20) Crooked Donald Trump, the erstwhile failed gambling czar and corporate welfare king, is assailing Bernie Sanders for his “radical socialism.” How ludicrous given Trump’s three-year giveaway of taxpayer assets and authorities to giant corporations – a perfect portrait of crony capitalism. Others are joining the socialist labeling bandwagon, including corporatist right-wing radio talk show blowhards, themselves freeloaders, profitably using the public airwaves. This pack includes Lloyd Blankfein, former lawbreaking chairman of Goldman Sachs. Bernie knows, of course, how to rebut this distorted interpretation…


Buying America: Mega-Billionaire Bloomberg’s $350 Million Ad Spending Blitz

  “At some point Bloomberg is mass bribing cable/local news.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (2/11/20) In a staggering milestone in what critics have characterized as an effort to buy the Democratic nomination, billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg has already poured more than $350 million of his own personal wealth into television, digital, and radio advertising since launching his 2020 presidential campaign last November. “This is what plutocracy looks like,” author and environmentalist Naomi Klein tweeted Monday in response to a CNN graphic comparing Bloomberg’s ad spending to that of his 2020 Democratic rivals. No other candidate has spent as much on advertising as Bloomberg, the former…


Bernie’s Bottom Line On Greedy Billionaires

“Here’s the bottom line. When you have three people that own more wealth than the bottom half of America, when half of the people are living paycheck to paycheck, when 500,000 Americans are sleeping out on the street, yes, the rich have got to pay and the large corporations have got to pay their fair share of taxes. We will raise taxes very substantially on billionaires — no apologies for that.” — Sen. Bernie Sanders, Bernie Sanders fires back at CNN’s Tapper after being confronted with past statements about income inequality (2/9/20)


Philanthropy May Occasionally Ease Some Of The Impacts Of Economic Injustice, But It Does Nothing To Address The Structural Problem

The Real Story / BBC (1/16/20) Many of the world’s rich and powerful will gather at the Swiss resort of Davos next week to discuss the future of the world, including how to make it a more equitable place. According to most estimates, the richest one percent of the world’s population owns more than half of its wealth. Overall, the rich have spent billions in projects ranging from healthcare, education and humanitarian assistance to scientific research and good governance. But critics say that in the United States, only a fifth of the money actually went to the poor. So, is…



What Citizen Needs Could Be Met If Billionaires Paid The Taxes They Should? We Do The Math

The richest 1% own nearly 40% of all the wealth, but pay only 20% of all the taxes.   By Michael Linden The Guardian (12/13/19) “Every billionaire is a policy failure.” So says a key adviser to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ocasio-Cortez herself says that it’s wrong to have a “system that allows billionaires to exist” alongside poverty. And the New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo recently called for us to “abolish billionaires”. For most of the last four decades, the gains from economic growth have flowed overwhelmingly to the rich. Much of those gains to the rich weren’t “earned” in any traditional sense, but rather extracted,…


Wealth Of World’s Richest 500 Zoomed 25% In 2019

  By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman Huffington Post (12/27/19) The world’s richest 500 people increased their collective wealth by 25% in 2019 ― a stark reminder of worsening income inequality, particularly in the U.S. The 500 wealthiest people held a net worth of $5.9 trillion dollars ― collectively up $1.2 trillion over this year alone, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Topping the list of richest people were familiar names: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, French luxury group head Bernard Arnault, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The 400 richest people in…


Trump’s Sour Holiday Menu: More Handouts For Billionaires, Hunger For The Poor

Ultimately, we must make a choice as a society: will we tolerate the insatiable greed and cruelty of the billionaire class? By Bernie Sanders & Rep. Rashida Tlaib The Guardian (12/24/19) When it comes to billionaires benefiting from the generosity of the American taxpayer, the holiday spirit is alive year-round. Taxpayers paid out $115m to Donald Trump so he could play golf at his own resorts. And Amazon didn’t just pay zero in federal taxes on $11bn in profits – taxpayers gifted the corporation $129,000,000 in rebates. That’s enough to pay for CEO Jeff Bezos’s three apartments in Manhattan, including a penthouse, that cost him $80m. We must demand that the…


Billionaire Nick Hannauer Reveals The Dirty Secret Of Capitalism — And A New Way Forward

`Modern neoliberal economic policy is built on lies and false assumptions. TED Talk (10/18/19) Rising inequality and growing political instability are the direct result of decades of bad economic theory, says entrepreneur Nick Hanauer. In a visionary talk, he dismantles the mantra that “greed is good” — an idea he describes as not only morally corrosive, but also scientifically wrong — and lays out a new theory of economics powered by reciprocity and cooperation. Link To 17-Minute Video


For Growing Numbers, America Is Regressing Into A Brutal Developing Nation

The U.S. is no longer one country, but splitting into two separate economic and political worlds. By Lynn Parramore Institute For New Economic Thinking (4/20/17) You’ve probably heard the news that the celebrated post-WW II beating heart of America known as the middle class has gone from “burdened,” to “squeezed” to “dying.”  But you might have heard less about what exactly is emerging in its place. In a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, Peter Temin, Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT, draws a portrait of the new reality in a way that is frighteningly, indelibly…


Billionaires Profit Directly Off The Suffering Of Children

  “A tax that took about 1% of that wealth each year would yield about $4tn over the next decade. To put that amount in perspective, $4tn is more than the federal government will spend over the next decade on foster care, school lunch, school breakfast, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps, unemployment compensation, supplemental security income for the elderly, blind people and those with disabilities, and all the tax credits for working families combined.” — Michael Linden, What could the US afford if it raised billionaires’ taxes? We do the math.


Trump Is ‘A Problem’ But Impeachment Doesn’t Address ‘The Problem’ That Created Him

Impeaching Trump without addressing America’s deeper structural problems, says Hedges, will only make things worse. By Chauncey Devega Salon (12/9/19) The United States is sick with income and other forms of social inequality. It suffers from cruelty, loneliness, greed, gangster capitalism, white supremacy, violence, sexism and a culture of ignorance and distraction. Our broken political system does not encourage critical thinking or nurture a capacity for responsible, engaged citizenship.President Donald Trump is the human embodiment of almost everything wrong with American society. He is both the symptom and the disease. Trump and the Republican Party’s fascist movement and its news…


Heist: Where Has All Our Money & Security Gone?

“From the late 1940’s until the late 70’s, income in the US grew at about the same rate for every sector of the population. In fact, the bottom 50 percent gained a bit more than the upper echelons of the economy. “Back in 1980, the share of national income going to the top 1 percent was just a bit over 10 percent and the bottom 50 percent’s share of all income was about 20 percent. By 2015, that situation had reversed, with the top 1 percent getting about 20 percent of the national income pie, and the bottom 50 percent getting…


Knock, Knock, Knocking On Corrupt Capitalism’s Palace Doors

If you can squint past the smoke from the barricades, the commonalities start to stand out.  By Ben Ehrenreich The Nation (11/25/19) Something—someone—keeps knocking at the door. It’s cold out there and getting colder, but the people inside are cozy on the sofa with the TV on and a blanket on their laps. But there’s that knock again: at the front door now, then the side door, then the back. Maybe it’s the wind. Now there’s knocking at the windows and the roof and the walls of the house—who knew they were so thin? It’s hard to understand: How could so…


Whiny Boo-Hoo Billionaires: America’s Indulged Super-Wealthy Are Freaking Out About 2020

TURKEY ***** “There is something about the very wealthy, they don’t have enough people telling them that they are full of shit.” By Dominic Rushe The Guardian (11/16/19) The 1996 US election was all about the “soccer mom”; 2004 belonged to the “Nascar dads”; Donald Trump won the White House with a “basket of deplorables”. Every election cycle seems to have a key demographic said to define the race, and 2020 is no different. This is the campaign of the “beleaguered billionaire”. There’s a billionaire in the White House and two of the top Democratic rivals for Trump’s job, senators Bernie…


Revenge Of The Billionaires: How An Oligarchy Of The Morbidly Rich Can Take Down Democracy

This is a crisis point for our nation as real and critical as those we hit in 1776, 1861, and 1932. In each of those three cases—roughly four generations apart—the oligarchs lost the battle. This time they could win. By Thom Hartmann Independent Media Institute (11/22/19) The current issue of the Atlantic magazine founded itself in the years just before the Civil War, is ominously titled, “How to Stop a Civil War.” If we are, indeed, on the brink of a second Civil War, it’s already being waged as a “cold war,” with the occasional armed skirmish being provoked by the so-called…


The ‘Audacity Of Nope’ — Actually, Barack, We Do Need To Tear Down The System

By John Atcheson Common Dreams (11/21/19) There are two ways to practice politics: you can either follow polls or shape them.  For four decades now, Democrats have been poll followers, and Republicans have been poll shapers. Recently, President Obama urged the Democrats to continue being poll followers, saying, “The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it.”  The evidence suggests he’s wrong about that, but even if he isn’t, Democrats need to change the mind of the average American, not be led by it. Here’s why. “The system” was designed by and for corporate America and…


Nepotism Giveaways: Hunter Biden? What About ‘Special Assistant To The President’ Andrew Giuliani

But his father’s centrality to the Ukraine scandal could put it all in jeopardy. By Elaina Potter The Atlantic (11/18/19) It’s hard to turn on cable news or scroll through Twitter these days without catching the name “Giuliani.” Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, is a central character in the House’s impeachment inquiry. Meanwhile, Rudy’s third wife, Judith Giuliani, has commanded her own headlines as she’s aired details of the couple’s contentious, ongoing divorce proceedings. Scarcely mentioned, however, is Andrew Giuliani—the former New York mayor’s 31-year-old son—who works in the White House. Rudy Giuliani told me his son’s hire…


Icky, Sticky & Secretive: Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?

The campaign is run by Acronym, a dark money group, but here are some clues as to who’s funding it. [Editor’s Note: Money + Secrecy = Who Owns The Party. — Mark L. Taylor] By Alex Kotch Sludge (11/6/19) Veterans of the Obama campaigns are launching a $75 million digital ad effort to counter President Donald Trump’s dominance of online advertising and viral misinformation. Acronym, a “dark money” nonprofit, and its affiliated super PAC, Pacronym, plan to boost Democratic candidates and the party’s image in five 2020 battleground states: Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. On Monday, the groups announced a…


Cashing In On Murder, Mayhem & Profit Making: Women CEO’s Of Top Weapons Manufactures Cash In On International Murder & Mayhem

“This is the diversity of the ruling class. This is what the ruling class does to let us think there has been progress.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/21/19) Jimmy Dore (10/23) and his panel of comedians take on a recent Fortune magazine feature celebrating the rise of women executives to lead American war profiteering corporations, beginning with Lockheed Martin’s CEO Maryliyn Hewson, who began her work life as an ambitious teen dishing up ice cream at her hometown Dairy Queen and now markets weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction used to maul, main and murder families around the…


The Guardian View On Prince Andrew: Entitled, Obtuse & Shamefully Silent Over Epstein’s Victims

A man rendered incapable by privilege of normal processes of discernment, moral judgment and empathy. Editorial The Guardian (11/17/19) There was a moment towards the end of Emily Maitlis’s extraordinary interview with Prince Andrew when she was unable to conceal her astonishment at what she was hearing. Did he, Ms Maitlis had asked, feel any sense of shame at his association with the convicted child sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein? “Do I regret that he [Epstein] has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes,” was the prince’s reply. “Unbecoming?” said Ms Maitlis incredulously. “He was a sex offender.” It was an…


Senate Dems Join GOP To Back ‘Automatic Austerity’ Bill That Will Lead To Gutting Social Programs, Hamstring Needed Reform & Investment

By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (11/14/19) A handful of Senate Democrats joined forces with Republicans last week to advance sweeping budget legislation that would establish an “automatic deficit-reduction process” that could trigger trillions of dollars in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and other social programs—and potentially hobble the agenda of the next president. The Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act (S.2765), authored by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), passed out of the Senate Budget Committee on November 6. The legislation is co-sponsored by five members of the Senate Democratic caucus: Whitehouse, Mark Warner (Va.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Chris Coons (Del.),…


Exposing Jeffrey Epstein’s International Sex Trafficking Ring

Epstein’s death in one of the most secure jails in America ended the possibility of a trial that would have involved prominent figures. [Editor’s Note: It is important to not lose track of the Jeffrey Epstein story. His connections and relationships with the wealthy and corrupt political elite is clearly an ongoing threat to those running the show. — Mark L. Taylor] Associated Press (11/ WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors offered a plea deal to two correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein on the night of his death, but the officers have declined the offer, people familiar with the…


Inside ‘The Corporate Coup D’Etat’ That’s Created A New, Brutally Unjust Gilded Age

“They are just looting and stealing as fast as they can as everything collapses.” — Author Chris Hedges, interviewed in The Corporate Coup D’Etat.   [Editor’s Note: Film producer Jeff Cohen has pointed advice for democrats in 2020 regarding the party’s timid, go-slow, incremental ever corporate-friendly posture. Advice, that if ignored could well assure Trump victory in 2020. — Mark L. Taylor] Status Coup (7/20/19) Status Coup’s Jordan Chariton speaks with Jeff Cohen, the founder of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) and executive producer of the film “The Corporate Coup D’Etat’.” Link to 19-Minute Video (Commoner Call art by Mark…


Cornered Billionaires Are Freaking Out!

Bill Gates is thinking about voting for Donald Trump, while Mike Bloomberg intends to vote for himself. By Zach Carter HuffPost (11/8/19) Since early summer, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been drawing huge crowds to their rallies, dominating the televised debates, and setting fundraising records with support exclusively from small donors. Most importantly, their surging popularity stems from their plans to dramatically expand the federal government, paid for in large part through a wealth tax. This populist turn has the rest of the Democratic presidential field scrimmaging for what’s left — namely, the support of the party’s super-rich….


After Trump Tax Giveaways The Richest 1% Close To Topping Wealth Of Entire Middle Class

  By Mary Papenfuss HuffPost (11/9/19) As the wealth gap in the U.S. continues to widen, the top 1% of Americans are close to amassing more wealth than the entire middle class, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve, Bloomberg reports. Part of that growing divide is fueled by President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and his relentless drive for lower interest rates. The top richest Americans had assets of about $35.4 trillion in the second quarter. That’s just short of the $36.9 trillion held by the tens of millions of Americans who make up the middle and upper-middle classes…


McDonald’s Fired CEO Is Getting Cushy $42 Million Pay Out While Many Of His Workers Depend Upon Welfare To Survive

More than half of fast-food workers rely on public assistance programs like food stamps. By Alina Selyukh NPR (11/6/19) Former McDonald’s CEO Stephen Easterbrook is getting an exit package of almost $42 million after his relationship with an employee was found to violate company policy. The size of his compensation puts a new focus on the widening gap between the pay at the top and the bottom of the corporate ladder. According to an analysis by executive-compensation experts at Equilar, Easterbrook’s exit package totals $41.8 million, which includes six months of severance pay, shares he can cash out in the future and…


Not To Worry, We’ll Just Put It On Your Tab: Trump Treasury Moves To Eliminate Rules Against Corporate Tax Cheating

Companies will avoid taxes on $235 billion in profits each year going forward. By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (11/1/19) President Donald Trump’s Treasury Department on Thursday took the first step toward eliminating remaining regulations designed to prevent corporations from avoiding U.S. taxes by storing profits overseas, a move critics decried as yet another harmful giveaway to big business. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, said in a statement that the 2017 GOP tax law—which disproportionately benefited the rich—rendered Obama-era rules against offshore tax avoidance “obsolete” by significantly reducing the corporate tax rate. “The corporations that got a massive taxpayer handout are getting another gift…


Former NYC Medical Examiner Says Evidence In Jeffrey Epstein Death Indicates Homicide — Not Suicide

  [Editor’s Note: Note how this story has disappeared from the mainstream media. Jeffrey Epstein had a list — a bipartisan list — of powerful friends. You will only find stories about the Epstein sex scandal in the alternative media. It is an important story we need to keep track of. — Mark L. Taylor] By David Badash The New Civil Rights Movement (10/30/19) A former New York City medical examiner and forensic pathologist says the evidence in the Jeffrey Epstein case points not to suicide – as has been officially declared – but homicide. Epstein, a convicted sex offender, was awaiting…