Thursday, January 21, 2016
"An Economy for the 1%: How Privilege and Power...
in the Economy Drive Extreme Inequality and How This Can Be Stopped". That's the title of a new Oxfam America report. From the Report and as reported on Democracy Now, the 62 richest billionaires in the world (a majority of them in the USA) now are as wealthy as the poorest 3.6 billion people worldwide combined. The inequality is due primarily to: deregulation (i.e., Crony Capitalism), privatization (more Crony Capitalism), and offshore tax havens (even more Crony Capitalism). [Those are key components of Neoliberalism...which is subscribed to by most Democrats and Republicans (at the highest levels) here in the USA.]
In one such tax haven, the British Virgin Islands (population 24,000), there are 800,000 shell corporations associated with real corporations from around the world. Anxious to get in on the action, there also are a total of fifty banks there. Here in the USA for the last 20 years, politicians have talked about closing the loopholes in the Tax Code that allow tax havens. In that timespan, there have been periods when both the Repubs and the Dems each have controlled Congress separately. Nothing has been done. Lobbyists. More Crony Capitalism. Democrats and Republicans both are to blame.
Some here would argue that the corporations need every break they can get, and that allows them to expand and create more jobs. It's the old "Trickle Down Theory of Economics". Unfortunately, nothing much is trickling down anymore. The tax avoidance wealth is either being held offshore, or being used to close, dismantle, & ship factories out of the country, or buy/lease existing factories in another country, or raid companies here & the downsize them, or invest in bizarre financial derivatives, or in foreign currencies, or in foreign bonds, or in a number of other ventures that also create zero jobs in the USA. So much for the Trickle Down argument. Mega Corporations seem to rarely invest in their communities anymore (or even in the USA); instead, they move their operations to wherever the labor is the cheapest. Apple Computer is a prime example: they don't make even one of their products in this country...not one. Remember that the next time you buy something from Apple.
Meanwhile, the Middle Class here shrinks, wages essentially are stagnant (& have been for 30 yrs), our manufacturing base rapidly is disappearing, jobs are becoming more & more inferior, employee benefits are shrinking, and the income of the Upper Crust has increased 700% in the last thirty years. Plus because of the crashing economy, in 2016 alone many 401ks already have lost from $2,000 to $6,000.
While eight million jobs here evaporated after the 2008 Crisis, the Mega Banks grew by 37%, significantly increasing their profits. At the same time, their Executives avoided prosecution for what was blatant FRAUD during the time leading up to the Crisis. More Crony Capitalism. Politicians know on which side their bread is buttered. SSDD.
NeoFeudalism is well on its way to being here.
Not only my opinion. Be Well