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Archive for January, 2011

Financial affairs

for more great cartoons dealing with the financial system, see these, from the Michael Journal, a Canadian Catholic magazine dedicated to social justice:

http://www.michaeljournal.org/gallery.htm

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The Big Obscenity: A Trillion Dollars a Year to the Richest 1%
(That’s seven times more than the budget deficits of all 50 states combined)
January 20, 2011 “Commondreams

” – -If you make less than $114,000 a year (90% of us), you’ve been financially damaged by the flow of income to the richest 1% of Americans over the past 30 years. Based on Internal Revenue Service figures, if middle- and upper-middle class families had maintained the same share of American productivity that they held in 1980, they would be making an average of $12,500 more per year.

If you make less than $160,000 a year (95% of us), your household value has decreased, percentage-wise, over the last 25 years. According to noted researcher Edward Wolff, only the top 5% of American families increased their percentage of the country’s total household net worth from 1983 to 2007.

U.S. GDP has quintupled since 1980, and we all contributed to that success. It’s not unreasonable to say that upper-middle class families should have maintained the same size of their slice of pie.

But if earnings since 1980 were based on this measure of productiveness, the richest 1% of Americans would be making $1 trillion less per year.

A trillion dollars a year. That’s more than we spend on the entire military.

A trillion dollars a year. That’s seven times more than the budget deficits of all 50 states combined. Many states have been forced to cut police forces and teachers to balance their budgets.

A trillion dollars a year. Yet Congress just voted to continue the Bush tax cuts….

Read more by clicking Commondreams link above

 

By Paul Buchheit

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How Can the Richest 1 Percent Be Winning This Brutal Class War Against 99% of Us?Who are we? All the rest.
By Larry Beinhart
January 21, 2011 “AlterNet
 

Which poses an interesting question.

” — Who are they? The richest 1 percent. And maybe the next 9 percent.

 

How has a tiny fraction of the population – which is diverse in many ways – arranged for their narrowest economic interests to dominate the economic interests of the vast majority? And, while they’re at it, endanger the economic well-being of our nation, and bring the financial system of the whole world to the brink of collapse.

They have money.

We have votes.

Theoretically, that means we should have the government. Theoretically, government should be a countervailing force against the excesses of big money, take the long view for the good of the nation, and watch out for the majority. Let alone for the poor and downtrodden.

What we actually have is one political party that is flat out the party of big money and another party that sells out to big money.

Well, at least we have safety nets.

George Bush’s biggest regret is that he didn’t privatize social security. Why so eager?

One reason is that it is a big pile of money. Absolutely gigantic. It drives the bankers and brokers crazy that they can’t get their hands on it.

The other is ideological hatred. Stephen Moore (senior fellow at the Cato Institute, contributing editor of National Review and president of the Free Enterprise Fund) wrote, “Social Security is the soft underbelly of the welfare state. If you can jab your spear through that, you can undermine the whole welfare state.”

Where Bush failed, Obama has now taken the first step.

His recent tax deal includes cuts on employee contributions to Social Security. Which means defunding, weakening, and setting a new precedent, that Social Security contributions can be cut to “stimulate” the economy.

The crash has put the states in trouble. Rather than raise taxes, or borrow, several have decided on cuts to Medicaid, the program that services several categories of low income people: pregnant women, children under 19, the blind, disabled, or who need nursing home care. If you’re a poor kid who needs a liver transplant, you can beg, rob a convenience store, or die.

This shift to the right is a triumph of a long and very well-funded propaganda campaign.

Every time I read an op-ed in the New York Times that was written by a “senior scholar” from the Hoover Institute or a “fellow” from the Cato Institute, I want to scream, please replace that with “paid whore funded by psychotic right-wing billionaire.” Which is significantly more accurate…..

Read more by clicking on link above

 

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Moving right along, from back to front. on the Central Verein:

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Today, when we Americans are seeing the complete demolition of the social safety net, labor laws, banking laws and the top 1 percent of Americans are sucking out all the wealth of the country, here is a timely reminder, from the Catholic monthly Jubilee, July 1955:

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