Corporate Domination


Background Info and Links

Fortune 500 Corporations 2019

I’m Not Your Product

The Sanders Institute

Amazon Tracker - As of 5/2019 Amazon has received $2.5 Billion in government subsidies, and counting.

Refund America Project - complete details on the Wall St. induced ‘debt crisis’ in Puerto Rico

Liberty From All Masters - Americans are only now awakening to what is perhaps the gravest domestic threat to our liberties in a century—in the form of an extreme and fast-growing concentration of economic power. Monopolists today control almost every corner of the American economy. The result is not only lower wages and higher prices, hence a concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few. The result is also a stripping away our liberty to work how and where we want, to launch and grow the businesses we want, to create the communities and families and lives we want.

The rise of online monopolists such as Google, Facebook and Amazon—designed to gather our most intimate secrets and use them to manipulate our personal and group actions—is making the problem only far worse fast. Not only have these giant corporations captured the ability to manage how we share news and ideas with one another, they increasingly enjoy the power to shape how we move and play and speak and think.

America as it should be: a place where hard work is rewarded, everyone participates, and everyone enjoys a fair share of our collective prosperity.

5 points:

Stop offshore tax dodging which costs the US and developing countries more than $100 billion each year.

Raise the minimum wage so that working families can make a living wage.

Fight discrimination of all kinds and ensure equal pay for equal work.

Build and invest in a social safety net for everyone.

Ensure every person has access to affordable, high quality healthcare and education - which can only be achieved by a more progressive tax system rather than the harshly regressive system we have today.

See Oxfam entry of 1/15/17.

“Capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxury to the classes. Call it what you may, call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.”
Martin Luther King

Neo-Liberalism: Very poorly defined “free-market” ideology that pushes austerity, privatization, and deregulation for corporations at the expense of the public good. Neoliberals aim to turn people into consumers and replace human rights with private property (corporate) rights. For them, the idea of ‘the commons’ has no place...give public land, water, etc to corporations and then let them charge people for the use of what used to be their own. We’ll probably soon be paying for the air we breath.

Internet Noise - On 3/28/17, Congress passed a law making it legal for your ISP to track and sell your personal activity online. Running “Internet Noise” will fill their databases with noise.


New Yorker: The National-Security Case for Fixing Social Media - “We’ve entered a world in which our national well-being depends not just on the government but also on the private companies through which we lead our digital lives. It’s easy to imagine what big-time criminals, foreign adversaries, or power-grabbing politicians could have done with the access the teen-agers secured.”


New Yorker: The Great Coronavirus Divide: Wall Street Profits Surge as Poverty Rises - Morgan Stanley profits are up 25% over last year. Goldman Sachs up almost 100%. Jeff Bezos’ net worth is up $80 Billion since February.

Why? The Fed has electronically printed over $3 Trillion since February and given most of it to them and the rest of the 1%.

Meanwhile 10 million fewer people are now employed than in January. The US poverty rate has jumped 84%, rising to 6 million people.

Democracy-NOW: Dark Money & Barrett Nomination: The Link Between Big Polluters & the War on ACA, Roe & LGBT Rights - A good description of how work gets done in DC since Citizens United. Donors Trust.


New Yorker: Why Facebook Can’t Fix Itself - The chief incentive for Facebook’s business model is to keep people on the platform. The longer a person stays on the platform, the more behavioral information it can obtain about the user’s interests and desires, and the more likely it becomes that the user will buy something from one of its ads. That information is then sold to corporate marketing groups and used to drive content that interests particular users, keeping them on the platform. Facebook, and their corporate marketing group customers, create psychological models and selectively market to users who are susceptible to these targeted strategies. A vicious cycle.

Incendiary rhetoric unfortunately drives a disproportionate amount of engagement. Facebook’s incentive is to drive more of that, not less. This is why Zuckerberg continues to go on these apology tours, but never changes the strategies. That would be bad for business.


Consumer Reports: House Antitrust Report Calls Big Tech Monopolies, Seeks Stronger Regulation


New Yorker: The Sackler Family’s Plan to Keep Its $Billions - These are the folks primarily responsible for the oxycontin crisis. Trump’s going to get them off the hook.


Reuters: America’s Wealthy Likely to Power Pandemic-Hit US Holiday Sales - ‘Let them eat cake!’


Nation: Mark Zuckerberg Has Set Our Democracy On Fire - Article contains repeated examples of Zuckerberg stating that he was changing policies to cut down on right-wing misinformation, when in fact Fbook is encouraging it. Why? The misinformation gets more views and therefore makes him more money.


CBS Sunday Morning: Income Inequality, and Coronavirus’ Economic Fallout - Includes an interview with Thomas Piketty, Valerie Wilson of the EPI, and Tara Raghuveer of KC Tenants.

Nation: For Tara Raghuveer, ‘Every Eviction is an Act of Violence


Sierra: Bailout: Billions of Dollars of Federal COVID-19 Relief Money Flow to the Oil Industry - With assistance from DOCUMENTED, and Guardian

From the article:

$3 to $7 Billion paid to oil companies through the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP). 10% of companies reported no jobs retained, thousands of jobs cut and executive salaries and bonuses boosted.

The CARES Act gave $3.2 Billion in tax write-offs to at least 50 publicly traded companies - Marathon Petroleum: $1.1 Billion, Occidental Petroleum: $195 Million, Valero: $117 Million, Devon Petroleum $98 Million, Superior Oil: $30 Million, Liberty Oilfield Services: $9.3 Million.

The Federal Reserve (we taxpayers) holds $315 Million in fossil fuel company debt. BlackRock is the intermediary steering $750 Billion into the corporate debt market - much of it in junk bonds issued by fossil fuel corporations.


Forbes: Trump’s Business Partners Allegedly Involved in Human Trafficking, Mafia Matters, Probably Money Laundering

Guardian: Revealed: How the Gas Industry is Waging War Against Climate Action


Reuters: Novavax Executives Could Get Big Payday Even if Vaccine Fails - more #CorporateWelfare

Southern Poverty Law Center: DeVos Sued by Public School Parents, NAACP, and School Districts to Block Illegal Rule that Diverts Critical Covid-19 Aid From Public to Private Schools - Also see Here, Here

New Yorker: How Trump is Helping Tycoons Exploit the Pandemic


Yes!: History Shows That Sustained, Disruptive Protests Work - The main point of the article is that change never happens without sustained, radical disruption.

Examples: John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1861 was a major catalyst in the Civil War, as were the slaves that burned property, escaped and joined the Union army. The Freedom Riders of 1961, sit-ins at lunch counters, MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham jail”, and his later dismissal of moderates and ‘white middle-class support’ are factors that drove eventual desegregation. The unabating Vietnamese resistance, the Tet offensive in January 1968, constant pressure from the radical anti-war movement in the US, the disillusionment of Johnson’s Wise Men culminated in his decision to de-escalate the war, and the eventual withdrawal of all US troops from the country.

In every case the majority of Americans initially did not agree with the initial, radical, disruptive actions of the minority, but eventually did come around to favor the eventual outcome.

In the fourth paragraph the author points out the fact that majority doesn’t rule in our current plutocracy.  Numerous studies have shown that “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” We live in a plutocracy where the only two parties allowed to run for office are funded by the plutocrats, and the people are manipulated by fear to vote against their own interests in a mirage democracy of rigged elections. For the plutocrats, it’s the second Gilded Age. Profits continually rise, as wages shrink.


NBC News: ‘Same Old Defense’: Civil Rights Groups Hammer Facebook - and Reuters


NPR: DeVos Reroutes $1.5 Billion of Covid/School Money to Private Schools - #CorporateWelfare


Guardian: High Levels of Arsenic Found in Whole Foods Bottled Water Brand - Owned by Amazon. Leave it to Jeff Bezos.


FAIR: Diane Ravitch on Pandemic School Privatization - Discusses Bill Gates’ project inBloom.


CBS News: Amazon Employees Who Spoke Out About Worker Treatment Fired Immediately and Here


Democracy-NOW: Profiting From the Pandemic: Will Pharmaceutical Giants Use Patents to Limit Access to Covid Drugs?


Democracy-NOW: Economist Thomas Piketty: Coronavirus Pandemic Has Exposed the Violence of “Social Inequality”

Guardian: Jeff Bezos’ Wealth Soars Amid Coronavirus Crisis


Yes Magazine: To Keep the Economy Afloat the Fed Turns to North Dakota


OEN: Robert Reich: Covid-19 Pandemic Shines a Light On a New Kind of Class Divide


Visual Capitalist: The World’s Wealthiest Individuals


Milken Institute: Technology Platforms Must Operate For the Public Good - Large private tech corporations control the infrastructure of the internet. It has become the de facto “intermediator of reality and our information environment, wielding power over our actions and the US, 13 percent of people thought coronavirus was a hoax during the critical weeks where earlier notification to shelter-in-place would have saved thousands of lives. Tech platforms have an ability through their persuasive techniques and micro-targeting to influence the behavior of society in ways traditional media can' more than 70 countries, disinformation campaigns via social media manipulation have been used to undermine elections, swing referendums, and elect quasi-dictators...delivering mass behavioral modification in the service of commercial interests that hollows out humanity’s capacity to make good choices for the future. COVID-19 response could be a critical turning point.”


Intercept: The Stock Market is Healthy as American Die. Why?


FAIR: Right-Wing Media Joined Trump in Enabling Health Disaster - mostly Fox, but there were others


Visual Capitalist: The Anatomy of the $2 Trillion Covid-19 Stimulus Bill


Guardian: Jeff Bezos Sold $3.4Bn of Amazon Stock Just Before Covid-19 Collapse


Guardian: Robert Reich: It’s Morally Repulsive How Large Corporations Are Exploiting This Crisis. Workers Will Suffer.


Reuters: How One Elite New York Medical Provider Got Its Patients Coronavirus Tests - This should be criminal, but instead it is openly advertised.

Barrons: The Trump Bump is Officially, Totally Reversed - Isn’t it remarkable that every time we give the keys to the family car to Republicans, they total the car out in the ditch and then are indignant that we take the keys away.


Reuters: Fed to Buy Short-Term Corporate Debt - Put another way: The US taxpayer is paying off the debts of large corporations. When corporations are making money, they are Capitalist Heros! When they are losing money, they want Socialism. The people get neoliberal austerity all the time.


Politico: Oil Industry Push for Trump Bailout - Oil industry goes from super-capitalists when times are good, to super-socialists when things are bad. ‘We’re hurting! Give us money!’


Guardian: The Super-Rich: Another 31,000 Join the Ultra-Wealthy Elite - ...defined as those with wealth over $30 Million. But much more is still hidden, and Here.


Guardian: Socialist Kshama Sawant Reignites Fight to Tax Amazon for Affordable Housing


My Broadband: Inside the $9.7 Billion Hydrogen Powered Superyacht That Bill Gates Did Not Order - Straight up Class Warfare. He ordered it, then saw how bad the press would be and then apparently changed his mind? This is what the super-rich are doing with that Trump tax cut. Meanwhile, 1/3 of American children live in poverty


Guardian: House to Vote on Legislation to Protect Workers’ Rights to Form and Join Unions - If you enjoy working a stable 40 hour week, getting 2 weeks vacation per year, and not worrying that your young ones will have to give up their childhood just to help feed the family....then remember the union members that sacrificed in the late 19th and early 20th century for your family. NEVER cross a picket line.


Children’s Defense Fund: The State of America’s Children 2020 - “One in six children in America (12 million) lives in poverty, with income inequality having grown to the widest gap our nation has seen in 50 years. Millions of children are homeless and millions more are just one missed paycheck away from losing their homes. Far too many children lack access to quality early childhood care during the most critical years of brain development. For the first time in a decade, the number of children without health coverage is on the rise. And across the country, from urban centers to rural towns, our nation’s gun violence epidemic is killing more children, more often.”

Also according to the study, about 1.4 million children experience homelessness in a given year, double the number before the 2008 recession, and 500,000+ are homeless on any given night.

About 428,000 children are in foster care on any given day, and that number has risen every year for the past 4 years. About 11 million children in America go to bed hungry every night


NYTimes: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies is Putting Patients At Risk


Democracy-Now: “Dark Waters”: Meet the Lawyer Whose 20-Year Fight Against DuPont Inspired the New Film


EuroNews: World’s Billionaires Own More Wealth Than 4.6 Billion People - ...and the richest 1% own more wealth than 6.9 billion people - 90% of the world’s population.


EFF: Top Apps Invade User Privacy By Collecting and Sharing Personal Data - Resulting in “discrimination, manipulation, and exploitation of users.”


NYTimes: Fired Boeing CEO Will Receive More Than $60 Million - Blood money and true sociopathic behavior


Seattle Times: How Big Corporations Won New Tax Breaks From the Trump Administration - #CorporateWelfare Disgraceful!


Guardian: The Historical Case for Abolishing Billionaires - An outline of what Adam Smith really said in Wealth of Nations. George Will is a complete idiot and stooge for the rich.


Guardian: Nestle Cannot Claim Bottled Water is ‘Essential Public Service,’ Court Rules - It should go without saying that water is a natural resource and part of the Commons benefitting all of mankind. Corporations are trying to convert it to their own private resource and then sell it back to us. This ruling is a big victory, but it is being appealed. Nestle, a Swiss multinational,  currently pumps 250 gallons per second from a wellhead in Evart, MI. They want much more. Flow: For the Love of Water is a great documentary that covers all facets of this issue. What’s next, the air we breath? Save your scoffing. They’re working on it.


Investopedia: How Much Income Puts You in the Top 1%, 5%, 10%?


Reuters: Amazon’s $1.5 Million Political Gambit Backfires in Seattle City Council Election - “The election results are a repudiation of the billionaire class, corporate real estate, and the establishment,” Kshama Sawant said at a press conference on Saturday, flanked by supporters holding a “Tax Amazon” banner. Corporate reaction to the election outcome was muted. Amazon has since not responded to further requests for comment.”


FAIR: Is ‘OK Boomer’ the ‘New N-Word’ or Are Millennials Still Destroying Everything? - Corporate media is promoting anything that will keep the classes divided against each other. The latest meme is ‘OK Boomer.’ Instead of focusing on intergenerational fighting as a dividing mechanism, we should be focused on class as a fundamental divide in our culture.

It was not boomers who prevented meaningful action on climate change, nor was it they that increased college tuitions. It was a small group of people at the top of society - in corporate boardrooms and high political office. The current generational conflict narrative mainly serves to obscure the vast differences in wealth and power between those privileged few in high corporate/political office, and the working class.

Over 25 million Americans aged 60+ are economically insecure, with over a third of senior households broke or in debt at the end of the month. Therefore, by emphasizing age and not class, corporate media are effectively playing generations off against each other, allowing the rich to play divide and rule.

The issue is not a fight between disgruntled young people angry at an older generation who refuse to retire, but rather is one about the inherent structural inequalities of capitalism that inevitably leave the majority in subordinate positions, while failing to provide a social safety net sufficient to allow the elderly to stop working.

Dividing people by age rather than class has an intrinsic appeal to corporate media outlets owned by the wealthy elite of this country. While there are certainly genuine divides along age lines in Western society, they are all too often promoted in lieu of discussing more relevant class divides, effectively pitting the generations off against one another, leaving those responsible for the current mess laughing all the way to the bank.


Market Watch: The $15 Minimum Wage Was Supposed to Hurt NYC Restaurants - But Both Revenue and Employment Are Up


Common Dreams: “When We Fight, We Win”: After 11 Day Strike Chicago Teachers Reach Deal With Mayor - They won pay raises, more teachers, smaller class sizes.

The Atlantic: The GOP Tax Cuts Didn’t Work - “Republicans said the reform would grow the economy by up to 6 percent, stimulate business investment, and pay for itself. None of that happened.” GDP growth has slowed to less than 2%. Business investment has declined for the last 2 quarters. Instead of balancing the budget as Trump promised, the federal deficit now exceeds $1 Trillion. The US manufacturing index (ISM) is at it’s lowest rate in 10 years. Real exports of goods and services and mining jobs have declined in the past year.”

“Finally, hovering in the background behind declining investment, sputtering manufacturing, and wilting exports is the trade war with China, which has proved neither “good” nor “easy” for American businesses.”

What the Trump tax cuts of 12/17 did accomplish was a huge transfer of wealth to the rich and corporations, give a kick in the teeth to the middle class, and explode the deficit, see Here and Here. Democrats immediately cooperated with Rethugs to raise spending limits, and the debt ceiling. Remember what the Rethugs used to do when the shoe was on the other foot? Corporate executives continue to pocket huge tax windfalls while laying workers off - the opposite of what they all promised would happen. The US is now an aristocracy of the rich. 80% of the $1.5 Trillion in tax cuts go to the rich. The Congressional Research Service concluded in May of 2019 that the tax cuts did not significantly affect the economy or boost wages.

Companies that paid no tax in 2018:

Amazon, worth over $1 Trillion in assets, paid $0 taxes on $11.2 Billion in profits - and got a $129 Million tax rebate. Over the previous two years they paid $412 Million and $273 Million. and Here

All of the oil companies.

FedEx and 60 of America’s largest corporations


Common Dreams: ‘What Is The Fed Not Telling Us?’ - $Billions for the big banks, austerity for the rest of us.


Intercept: Iowa Politicians Protect Meat Industry by Making Animal Rights Activists Criminals - Caution: Very graphic, disturbing video accompanies this article. Mercy for Animals is trying to do something about it.


NYTimes: How to Tax Our Way Back to Justice - “It is absurd that the working class is now paying higher tax rates than the richest people in America.” Another extremely important study by Emmanuel Saez. Counting all taxes: federal, state and local income tax, payroll tax, sales tax, property tax, estate tax.


Guardian: Revealed: Anti-Terror Center Helped Police Track Environmental Activists - It has been recognized since 1939 that 2 of the Early Warning Signs of Fascism are when corporate power is protected and labor power is suppressed.  This article is about a government-corporate cooperation to gather billions of phone calls and all types of private, electronic correspondence without a warrant, in order to subdue lawful progressive dissent. Examples of how this is done are: Here, Here, Here, Here, Here. This is not new under Trump. These ‘fusion centers’ were first created under Bush, and enhanced by Obama, especially when he signed an Executive Order to share data collected by the NSA with 16 other government agencies, and many times with private, corporate security groups. He signed the EO in January of 2017, just in time to hand it over to Trump. Data from the fusion centers has routinely been used in extra-legal attempts to go after political and corporate enemies, and Here. The 4th Amendment has been obliterated, and individual privacy no longer exists in our current proto-fascist society.


Politico: Court Mostly OKs FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal, But Lets States Craft Their Own Rules - FCC chairman Ajit Pai was appointed by Obama specifically for this purpose. Dems and Rethugs - No Difference.


Vox: Amazon is Creating Draft Facial Recognition Laws to Pass to Congress - ...who will then dutifully pass it for him.


BAR: Late Stage US Capitalism Fosters Death and Despair, But Can It Foster Class Unity?


Labor411: GM, Which Made $8.1 Billion in Profit and Paid Its CEO $22 Million, Just Cancelled Health Benefits for 50,000 Workers


Socialist Alternative: UC Workers’ Strike Wins Big Gains -  Obama’s Sec. of Homeland Security, as president of the university was trying to give the workers a paltry wage increase while keeping a $175 Million slush fund for herself. That didn’t work out so well.


The Verge: Google Under Antitrust Investigation by 50 Attorneys General


Guardian: Trial Judge: Johnson & Johnson Responsible for Fueling Opioid Crisis - He fined them $572M. That’s less than 1% of $81.5B annual revenue, and less than 4% of $15.3B annual net income. That’s punishment?


American Prospect: Hedge Fund Capital Flows to Presidential Candidates At Puerto Rico’s Expense - Sanders and Warren returned the money. K. Harris, Biden, O’Rourke, C. Booker and Buttigieg did not. It was Obama and R’s and D’s in Congress that put Wall St in charge of austerity in Puerto Rico in the first place. Then H. Maria hit, and Here.


PR Watch: Election Manipulators Use ALEC to Push Their Partisan Power Grabs Against Voters


Guardian: US Deficit Reaches $1T - Republicans passed a $2T tax giveaway, 85% of which went to people who already have so much money they literally don’t know what to do with it, and Here, Here, and Here. Then the Republicans and Dems together, without much comment, passed a law to increase federal spending limits and another to increase the debt ceiling - something they used to use when Obama was president to threaten the country with default. I don’t want any Republican or Dem to ever, ever talk to me about the deficit.


Economic Policy Institute: CEO Compensation Has Grown 940% Since 1978 - Typical worker compensation: 12%

Rolling Stone: The Next Recession is Going to Be Brutal - “Some 40 percent of American families struggled to cover the cost of food, health care, housing or utilities last year, according to a report from the Urban Institute. A Fed found four in 10 adults couldn’t cover a $400 emergency expense. Even at the current low unemployment rate, about 6 million workers are actively looking for jobs right now — and that doesn’t include part-time workers looking for more hours or those who want work but have stopped looking. Men in the prime of their lives are employed at lower rates than they were before the last recession. Suicide rates are spiking, driving down U.S. life expectancy.”


New Yorker: “Kochland” Examines the Early Crucial Role in Climate Change - The one person on earth who is by far the most responsible for climate change denial and the subsequent extinction of our species, is Charles Koch.


Guardian: How Monsanto’s ‘Intelligence Center’ Targeted Journalists and Activists


Guardian: Amazon Touts High Wages While Ignoring Warehouse Issues


Guardian: Pentagon Testing Mass Surveillance Balloons Across the US - “We do not think that American cities should be subject to wide-area surveillance in which every vehicle could be tracked wherever they go,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Even in tests, they’re still collecting a lot of data on Americans: who’s driving to the union house, the church, the mosque, the Alzheimer’s clinic,” he said. “We should not go down the road of allowing this to be used in the United States and it’s disturbing to hear that these tests are being carried out, by the military no less.” “[We would like to know] what they are they doing with that data, how they are storing it, and whether they are contemplating deploying this in the US,” said the ACLU’s Stanley. “Because if they decide that it’s usable domestically, there’s going to be enormous pressure to deploy it.” “The FCC filing notes that this networking includes video information. That suggests that the balloons might also carry a Sierra Nevada video capture system called Gorgon Stare. This wide-area surveillance system comprises nine cameras capable of recording panoramic images across an entire city simultaneously. The Southcom surveillance tests are probably just the tip of the iceberg.”


PBS Frontline: Flashback: Inside Facebook’s First Tangle With the FTC


Guardian: Capitalism Gone Wrong: How Big Pharma Created America’s Opioid Crisis

Intercept: As Puerto Rico Erupts in Protests and Governor Resigns, “La Junta” Eyes More Power - The entire financial crisis engulfing Puerto Rico can be explained in two words: Goldman Sachs, and Here. Both the Obama administration and Here, and the Trump administration are complicit. For more see:  Here and Here. There are plenty of ways that PR could be restructured, but it won’t happen as long as Goldman Sachs is in charge.

Guardian: Facebook to Pay $5 Billion Fine - That’s less than 9% of yearly revenue, which is currently soaring. They are absolved of any past wrongdoing, and there are no new rules on handling user data. Zuckerberg says they will make ‘major structural changes’ in how they handle users’ personal information. But three things they won’t do: 1. Share your personal data with the highest bidder only after you ‘opt in’; 2. Make it easy for you to ‘opt-out’ if you should then change your mind. You shouldn’t have to be a settings wizard in order to accomplish that task; 3. If you decide to leave the social media site, you should be able to take all of your media with you. Facebook does not provide any of those three options now, and they will not change just because of this latest fine.


Democracy-NOW: How “Ricky Leaks” Exposed Puerto Rico’s Governor and Sparked a Movement to Remove Him - “Half a million people in the street”...we can only imagine what we could accomplish if we had half a million climate breakdown people in the street. But for now, many remain silent.


Democracy-NOW: Amazon Workers Demand Fair Pay & Conditions As Company Continues Undercutting Rivals


Guardian: Whole Foods Workers Say Conditions Declined After Amazon Takeover

Reuters: Retired US Justice John Paul Stevens Dead - Stevens wrote the most eloquent dissent on the Citizens United decision. Here is a great article outlining how Justice Roberts held the case over to the next session (almost unheard of) while he completely changed the scope and meaning of the case to accomplish his predetermined end. He turned decades of Supreme Court precedent on its head and put the lie to his confirmation testimony that he would respect stare decisis.

There is no better example of the judicial branch creating new law from the bench. As a result there is no limit to the amount of money that corporations, and even foreign people/corporations, can give to their hand-picked candidates, and the will of the majority of tax payers is now meaningless. When you send a letter to your congressman, his staff opens the letter, turns it upside down and if a check for at least $10,000 doesn’t fall out, it goes in the trash.

Also see Stevens’ solutions for how to fix the problem, written 4 years after the case was decided.

Democracy is dead.

Capitalism killed it.

Citizens United was the final nail in the coffin.

May he rest in peace. There will never be another like Justice Stevens.


Intercept: How US Tech Giants Are Helping to Build China’s Surveillance State - Some great links to related material both in and below the article. Easy to copy hardware/software for any country that wants to monitor its citizens every move or to completely close off its intra-country internet from the rest of the world. Very scary and right now there are no laws preventing it.


Intercept: Chicago City Council Socialists Fight for Affordable Housing, Immigrant Rights


Inequality.Org: Bernie’s Right: 3 Billionaires Own More Than Bottom 50% of Americans


Guardian: Bosses Pocket Trump Tax Windfall as Workers See Job Promises Vanish - Links for the following in  the article: For example the AT&T CEO promised if the tax windfall bill passed, his company would invest $1 Billion in capital expenditure and hire 7,000 new workers. AT&T got a windfall of $21 Billion the first year and $3 Billion/year thereafter. AT&T then eliminated 23,328 jobs, and reduced their capital investments by $1.4 Billion.

Similar numbers for General Motors and Wells Fargo.

Per Americans for Tax Fairness, only 4% of the US workforce saw any sort of pay increase or tax bonus. Corporations have cut thousands of jobs, and have used $1 Trillion of tax windfalls to buy back their own stock which only benefits CEOs and large investors.

The Congressional Research Service has found that the tax windfalls did not significantly boost the economy or wages, but did put $Billions in the hands of C-level employees and directors of large corporations around the country.

“It’s like putting a gun to your head,” said one worker. “They’re not hurting workers. They are hurting families.”

Capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxury to the classes. Call it what you may, call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.

Martin Luther King


The Hill: Bernie Sanders Blasts Amazon Over New Credit Card for People With Bad Credit


Washingtonian: Koch Influence Over George Washington University ‘Think Tank’


Politico: DOJ Takes Step Toward a Bruising Anti-Trust Battle With Google


Intercept: Tenn. Governor Bill Lee’s Office Is Working With Volkswagen to Crush a Union - One of the basic tenets of fascism is the close cooperation between government and corporations known as corporatism and Here.


New York Magazine: Study: Trump Tax Cuts Failed to Anything But Give Rich People More Money - Here’s the study.


Guardian: Toxic America: Banned Bread: Why Does the US Allow Banned Additives That Europe Says Are Unsafe?


Business Insider: One Brutal Sentence Captures What a Disaster Money in American Has Become - “The bottom half of Americans combined has a negative net worth.”

Saez and Zucman's research on wealth inequality also found that 20% of American wealth is controlled by the top 0.1% of taxpayers — or about 170,000 families. The top 1% control about 39% of the country's wealth, and the bottom 90% hold only 26%, despite years of economic growth in the US overall.”

Millennials are saddled with more than $1 trillion of student loan debt

More than 3 million Americans aged 60 and older are still paying off their student loans”

“while the income of the top 1% of American taxpayers made up 11% of the national income in 1980, it now makes up more than 20% of the country's income.”

“income of the bottom half of Americans, which was 20% of the national income in 1980, has fallen to just 12%”


Guardian: Toxic America: Internal Emails Reveal How the Chemical Lobby Fights Regulation


FAIR: Corporate Media Now Pushing for Trump’s Space Force


Guardian: Google Has Given $150,000 in Free Ads to Deceptive Anti-abortion Group

Guardian: Monsanto Must Pay Couple $2Bn in Largest Verdict Yet Over Cancer Claims - 5 things to know about Bayer.


Guardian: About 13M US Children Live Below the Poverty Line - one in five, while there are people like Jeff Bezos who makes more in 10 seconds than the average base salary of his employees... “No child should have to worry where her next meal will come from or whether she will have a place to sleep each night in the wealthiest nation on Earth.” The Southern Education Foundation’s research finds that more than half live in poverty, and Here.

NYTimes: These Ads Think They Know You - Every action you take online is collected. These actions plus other data available about you - where you live, how old you are..., are used to predict your next move and also to nudge you into making decisions you would not otherwise make. Is that OK with you?

Also listen to Noah Harari’s discussion (about 11 minutes in) of how this information can be used to control who you vote for: “A dictator may not be able to provide me good health care, but he will be able to make me love him and to make me hate the opposition; he can hack our feelings - not just our email and bank account - and then use these feelings to polarize and destroy democracy - he can make democracy an emotional puppet show.”

Also see Glenn Greenwald’s TED Talk on why privacy matters, even “if you’re not doing anything wrong.”


Mozilla: Did Cambridge Analytica Help Create ‘Digital Wokeness’? - From the article: “We all need to better grasp what the trade offs really are, because once you learn how to modify human behavior at scale, we’re talking about a kind of power now invested in these private companies”

Intercept: Pelosi-Trump Drug Pricing Talks Are About Mediating Fights Between Corporate Interests - ...not about helping sick people get the medications they need. So much for the #Resistance.


Guardian: Carol Cadwalladr: My TED Talk: How I Took on the TED Titans in Their Lair -


Huff Po: Democrats Ran on Lowering Drug Prices. They Lied. Again.


EFF: Google’s Sensorvault Can Tell Police Where You’ve Been


NYTimes: Tracking Phones, Google is a Dragnet for Police


Reuters: Beto O’Rourke’s Past Support for Charter Schools Scrutinized In 2020 White House Bid - His wife Amy is a former charter school leader and now sits on the board of the business-backed (Bill and Melinda Gates and the Hunt family) Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development, or CREED, a local education reform group that supports expanding charter schools. CREED has made it clear that it has no interest in getting involved with the public school system and working with administrators and teachers to see how they might help change the direction of these vastly underfunded schools. O’Rourke himself has been silent on this subject.

Never listen to what they say, only watch what they do.


Guardian: Amazon Shoppers Misled by ‘Bundled’ Star Ratings and Reviews


Guardian: Revealed: Amazon Employees Are Left to Suffer After Workplace Injuries

South China Morning Post: How US Went From Telecom Leader to 5G-Also Ran Without Challenger to China’s Huawei


Intercept: How to Think About Breaking Up Big Tech - See Here for details.


MoJo: She Injured Herself Working at Amazon. Then the Real Nightmare Began.


NYTimes: Facebook Data Deals Under Criminal Investigation - “The disclosures about Cambridge last year thrust Facebook into the worst crisis of its history. Then came news reports last June and December that Facebook had given business partners — including makers of smartphones, tablets and other devices — deep access to users’ personal information, letting some companies effectively override users’ privacy settings.

The sharing deals empowered Microsoft’s Bing search engine to map out the friends of virtually all Facebook users without their explicit consent, and allowed Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact information through their friends. Apple was able to hide from Facebook users all indicators that its devices were even asking for data.”

Note the 3 corporate names above: Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple - all working in concert.

Question: What would a responsible social media company look like?

Answer: It would: 1. Share your personal data with others only after you have provided your affirmative informed consent via an ‘opt-in’; 2. Make it easy for you to ‘opt-out’ if you should then change your shouldn’t have to be a settings wizard in order to accomplish that task; 3. If you decide to leave the social media site, you should be able to take all of your media with you. Facebook does not provide any of those three options now, and they will not change just because of this latest dust-up.


Intercept: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism - Yuval Noah Harari has spoken extensively on this subject. Last November he was featured on the “Unintended Consequences” episode of the TED Radio Hour - beginning at about 11:05 into the podcast. After collecting data on hundreds of millions of clicks, hovers, page abandons, purchases, etc., big data companies (Google, Face Book, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft) now know what gets our interest, makes us happy, mad, or sad etc. That combined with breakthroughs in biotechnology, and AI put them in position to use the algorithms derived from all those clicks to engage in behavior modification for whatever purpose they choose.

It is now becoming possible to to steer the emotions and control behavior by manipulating the decision making process. Once enough data is collected, then biochemical processes can be easily manipulated. Once you have a system that can decipher the human operating system, it can predict human decisions and it can manipulate human desires and feelings. These methods can be used to hack our behaviors and use feelings to polarize and destroy democracy.


Democracy-NOW: Amazon’s Defeat in NYC Galvanizes Movement to Stop Billion-Dollar Corporate Welfare


Chalkbeat: Empowered, Tired, and Better Off: Victorious Teachers Reflect on Denver Strike


Truthdig: Amazon Won’t Pay A Dime in Federal Taxes This Year

Intercept: Amazon’s Pullout Shows What Anti-Capitalist Organizing and Leftist Politicians Can Do


Democracy-NOW: Glenn Greenwald: As Bezos Protests Invasion of His Privacy, Amazon Builds Global Surveillance State

UK Guardian: Trump Offers Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for Everyone Else - Some amazing factoid examples in this article.


Friends of Earth: Toxic Secret - Links within this article to the actual report and its methods. See also Here for a list of brands that don’t use Round Up (Nature’s Path, Simple Truth, Kashi Heart, Cascadian Farm, 365 Organic).


Reuters: US Steel Wins Tax Breaks From One of America’s Poorest Cities


UK Guardian: Virginia Students Learn in Trailers While State Offers Amazon Huge Tax Breaks


Intercept: With AOC, Americans Finally Have a Politician Who Agrees With Them About Taxes -  Polls cited in this article show that roughly 2/3 of Americans have basically always been in favor of heavily taxing the rich. But we also know that “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Now that Citizens United is firmly in place, we no longer live in a democracy, but rather in a dictatorship of the ultra-wealthy.

In the words of Chris Hedges: Our system “ a vicious form of class warfare. It is profoundly anti-democratic. It is about forming nations of impoverished, disempowered serfs and a rapacious elite of all-powerful corporate oligarchs, backed by the most sophisticated security and surveillance apparatus in human history and a militarized police that shoots unarmed citizens with reckless abandon. The laws and rules it imposes on the poor are little more than organized sadism.”


Oxfam: Public Good or Private Wealth? - The rich pay taxes at the lowest rate in decades. 26 billionaires own as much as the world’s 3.8 billion poorest people.


Intercept: LA Teachers Are Mad About Charter School Growth. Top Dems Remain Silent

Reuters: Purdue Pharma’s Sackler Family Pushed Opioid Marketing, Massachusetts Says


Democracy-NOW: As Gov’t Shutdown Drags On, IRS Continues to Aid the Rich & Corporations While Targeting the Poor

Bloomberg: Trump Tax Cut Turns Out Better for Corporations, Worse for Us - Facebook gets an $8.3 Billion tax cut.


UK Guardian: ‘We Are Not Robots’: Amazon Warehouse Employees Push to Unionize

Corporate Domination 2018

Forget about income and wealth inequality, #CorporateWelfare, defunding public education, crumbling American infrastructure, the lack of difference between the only 2 major neo-liberal war parties that we’ll ever get a chance to vote for, the dysfunctional health care delivery system, drone murders, perpetual war. Just focus on what’s  

               REALLY SCARY RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Whether the concern is climate, labor, finance, war, food/water shortage, environmental destruction, lack of adequate/equal health care, or LGBT issues, the root cause is the same: unregulated, out of control corporate capitalism. It’s not working and it keeps getting worse by the day.