Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rich People Now Own 60% of Wealth, Unions Lose More Pay

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Republican Robbing the Hood has already concentrated 60% of the wealth into the hands of 1% of the population! The GOP wants more tax cuts for them and more wage concessions from workers. This will lead to the collapse of the government.

From the New York Times:
In 2003 the top 1 percent of households owned 57.5 percent of corporate wealth, up from 53.4 percent the year before, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the latest income tax data. The top group's share of corporate wealth has grown by half since 1991, when it was 38.7 percent.

In 2003, incomes in the top 1 percent of households ranged from $237,000 to several billion dollars.

For every group below the top 1 percent, shares of corporate wealth have declined since 1991. These declines ranged from 12.7 percent for those on the 96th to 99th rungs on the income ladder to 57 percent for the poorest fifth of Americans, who made less than $16,300 and together owned 0.6 percent of corporate wealth in 2003, down from 1.4 percent in 1991.
This is 100% due to tax cutting and free trade. Right now the very rich are meeting in Davos, trying desperately to extend more free trade so they can freeboot the planet and leave us all in debt and destruction.

This insane program might be interrupted by an asteroid strike or summer of nonstop hurricanes or something.

The deliberate program of extending deceptively cheap loans to the hardpressed middle class then strangling them by reducing income is how the middle class has been killed in the past in many other eras. Namely, after the first flush of imperial wealth, the working class and farmers have to compete more and more with slave labor brought in or used from afar by the ruling elite. If workers protest, they are either killed or lured into the military and used to watch over the slaves for a small remittance or shipped to rebellious colonies far away even as a tidalwave of new slaves are brought in to depress wages even more.

Small farmholds disappear and are replaced by huge estates serviced by slaves toiling for the ruling class.

Our Founding Fathers feared this but their feeble barriers to this collapsed day one thanks to the fact that many of them owned slaves who toiled on huge estates while the masters tried to create a democracy. The tensions leading to the Civil War were fueled partly by rage of the working class trying to compete with slaves. Luckily for the working class, slaves aren't motivated to work hard.

The NYT article doesn't address the vital issue of debts. So here is my second pyramid of power showing what happens if the housing boom, produced by cynical money manipulations between China, Japan and America:

If the cheaper than inflation loans disappear (and they will!), this is the good scenario. The bad one is, the base, already pretty unstable, collapses and the bottom 2/3rds pancakes into extreme poverty. This can happen. That would lead to very explosive political actions not too different from Germany 75 years ago. Already, inflation is eating the lower classes alive, actually, the illness has spread to 80% of America's workers. There is no unrest only because of the super cheap loans extended to homeowners willing to go into hock up to the eyeballs.

In banking collapses, the money saved by thrifty people evaporates, quite literally. Namely, the government seizes it by fiat. They also will seize all valuables in bank vaults "in a national emergency" when they need funds for the IMF or someone. This is where the famous "keeping your money in your matress" comes from. Literally, people who keep money aside at home end up being the only ones with money.

Almost no one is alive today who remembers the "bank holiday" we enjoyed the second year of the Great Depression. Literally, there was no money. Hitherto, one could exchange dollars for gold. This was made illegal, a new currency was launched that was not redeemable for gold and any gold in circulation was squirrelled away in the huge vaults at Fort Knox, under heavy guard.

Thanks to our WWII victory, we relaxed and trusted fiat paper but this collapsed in the Vietnam war failure. Once again, the government began to suction money out of bank accounts. I remember this really well, it really pissed me off and is the sole reason Nixon was driven out of office.

Thus, Bretton Woods I which reestablished the dollar at half its value.

Reagan's tax cuts caused another collapse and Bretton Woods II when we set up the Japanese buying our debts/American dollar keeps value since it flows out and never comes back, the debts being turned over and over.

Clinton started us on the road to solvency which is why Bush was favored by the real rulers who liked the idea of all wealth flowing to them while all debts flow to the working class.

This liberalization effort without a socialist base has caused the financial situation of the working class to collapse. From the New York Times:
The bad news is that the figure stood at 7.8 percent — less than a third of the rate of the early 1970's.

Even worse for labor, the rate of unionization has further to fall, according to most labor economists and experts in industrial relations. "In the immediate future, unions will carry on shriveling in the private sector," said Richard Freeman, a professor of economics at Harvard.

While union leaders attribute the weakness to everything from insufficient organizing vigor to a hostile political environment, unions, in a way, are victims of their own success. They have obtained better wage and benefit packages for workers, and in an increasingly competitive business world, that is working against them. Businesses in some competitive industries cannot afford unions.
So why did we drop our trade barriers---remember, Japan has gigantic trade barriers to this day!---and end up on this treadmill down? Workers love cheap stuff, they feel they can buy more of whatever if it is cheap. So they were conned into dropping trade barriers. Lowering prices didn't last long because the government cut taxes to the rich and immediately cranked out money for them, this caused inflation and the only way to "fix" it is to either cut wages at home or ship industry to cheap labor sites.

Now the spiral is a death spiral. Workers were lured to their deaths by promises of tax cuts which made them feel rich....for a year. As soon as they pocketed their lucky windfalls and happily voted for their tormentors to take over, we now live in a spiral to hell as the workers struggle to make ends meet, going deeper and deeper into debt. Under Bush, debts ballooned, tripling and now quadrupling in size.
Mr. Bryson said that even in the private sector, there were still industries in which competition was modest and corporations could raise prices without fear of losing markets to rivals. On economic grounds, these industries would seem prime candidates for union expansion.

What kind of businesses are we talking about? Hospitals would be one place to look. Energy companies would be another. Or why not an even bigger prize? Perhaps the labor movement should forget about cars and focus instead on a company that has crushed much of its competition: Wal-Mart.
Incredible. Organize hospitals? Hahaha. I remember what happened to any striking nurses.

There is a company that moves strikebreaker nurses from facility to facility. Unlike longshoremen, nurses aren't murderous or have deals with the Mafia to enforce strike picket lines. So every strike, without exception, was brutally broken by the hospitals. So there are no nurses who can wrest concessions from anyone. Indeed, the pressure to lower overhead in the medical field is extremely intense just like it is, everywhere.

Unsurprisingly, Bush's response to all this is totally insane.
The White House said it did not believe that the 2003 tax cuts had much influence on wealth shares. It also said that since wealth is transitory for many people, a more important issue is how incomes and wealth are influenced by the quality of education.

"We want to lift all incomes and wealth," said Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman. "We are starting to see that the income gap is largely an education gap."
Indeed. An education gap.

It certainly is, but not in the way these clowns think! The working class has been hit by a tidal wave of propaganda for 100 years and many can't think their way out of a paper bag at this point which is why the government and the rulers spent billions re-educating everyone to hate socialism and love the very rich. As I have pointed out, the well educated upper middle class lost relative value to the top 1%. And the well educated, too, is very deep in debt and very dependent upon the home value ATM machine cranking out money magically. Once that fails, they, too, will fall into the abyss.
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