Corporate Domination 2017



Bloomberg: Bumper Year: World’s Wealthiest Became $1 Trillion Richer in 2017 - This was before their recent $1.5 Trillion entitlement program, aka the new Tax Plan.


The Hill: Trump Told Friend at Mar-a-Lago “You All Just Got A Lot Richer” After Tax Bill Passed


Trump Tax Plan signed into law today. Here is a good run down of it’s provisions and how they affect you. Total tax reduction is $1.5 Trillion, 80% of that, or $1.2 Trillion goes to the 1%. We get the crumbs.

Mother Jones: Here Are Some Other Things We Could Have Accomplished With That $1.5 Trillion Giveaway to the Ultra-Rich - Make college free to all. Wipe out all Student Debt. Completely repaire all of US infrastructure. Universal pre-school with $1 Trillion to spare. Universal housing vouchers for all with $1 Trillion to spare. 100 plus years of children’s health care funding. Fight global warming. Build 15 new space stations. But all of that would have been ‘unrealistic.’

SF Chronicle: GOP Tax Plan Is A Triumph of the American Oligarchs


WGBH News: Why Jill Stein Isn’t Worried About the ‘Investigation’ Into Her Campaign - This is a tough interview and Stein knocks it out of the park. The Dems are attempting to smear her campaign, but it’s only going to backfire on them.

UK Independent: Donald Trump Accidentally Admits the Republican Tax Bill Was Deceptively Sold As a Boost to the Middle Class - Trump just can’t keep his trap shut. He exults in his own victories, and attempts to smear others in his defeats - of which he has had many so far - the opposite of a true statesman. Pitiful.


CNN: White House, GOP Celebrate Passing Sweeping Tax Bill - By getting rid of the mandate, it probably also means the end of Obamacare. Bernie Sanders: “Republicans are celebrating raising taxes on working families to give tax breaks to billionaires, corporations, private jet owners and themselves. Remember that.”


NPR: Charts: See How Much of GOP Tax Cuts Will Go To the Middle Class - In 2027, households earning $1 Million or more will get 82% of the total benefits from this bill. Just 26% of Americans approve of this plan. Time for a new party. These two suck.

Intercept: Corporations Say Publicly They’ll Pocket the Tax Cut, But Republicans Aren’t Listening

Robert Reich: Triumph of the Oligarchs - “Before the new Trump-Republican tax hoax, blue states had been sending more tax money to Washington than they got back, while red states were sending less than they got back. Starting January 1st, the blue-to-red state subsidy will be even larger.”


Vox: The Republican Tax Bill Gives the Top 1%, 83% of the Gains - That’s in the final year, when 53% of Americans will pay more in taxes. Even in the first year of the bill, the richest 20% will get 67% of the tax gains. This is as per the bipartisan Tax Policy Center study.

This does not count the cost of the repeal of the individual mandate, which will cost 13 million Americans their health insurance, and save the federal government $338 Billion - another tax increase on the poor and sick to help pay for the savings for the top 1%.

The only 2 parts of the bill that are permanent are a 40% reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21%, and to help pay for that there is a permanent, slower-growing inflation measure, which again will increase taxes on the poor to pay for tax savings for the 1%. The pattern here is tax the poor in order to give welfare to the rich.


Robert Reich: A Guide to Why the Rethuglican Tax Plan is a Disgrace - In addition to what Reich points out in this article:

Current corporate tax rates in the US are already the 4th LOWEST of any developed country as a percentage of GDP.

Corporations currently pay an effective tax rate of less than 20%. Many pay no tax.

Corporations are already sitting on $2.5 Trillion in cash. They will only use further tax cuts for stock buybacks (which were illegal until Reagan) and larger executive salaries as they are already doing - not investing in new jobs for the middle class.  Stock buybacks are only good for executives for 3 reasons: 1. They increase ‘earnings per share’ on which most exec bonuses are calculated, 2. By reducing the number of shares in circulation, they drive up the share price, another bonus trigger and 3. increased share price also allows execs to sell their shares at an artificially high price.


Human Rights Watch: UN: With Passage of Tax Law, US Becomes World’s Champion of Extreme Inequality

Intercept: Killing Net Neutrality Has Brought On a New Call for Public Broadband

Common Dreams: Millionaire’s Viral Video Explains Why New Tax Plan Will Cut His Taxes, But Not Yours


Reuters: Disney to Buy Fox For $52 Billion - This brings the number of corporations that control most of American media down to 4, from 50 in 1983, and 6 in 2012. No wonder we keep hearing repetitive phrases from all cable, print and radio talking heads. Abortion, Gays and Guns are used as wedge issues to divide Americans. Medicare for All is said to be unrealistic and pie in the sky. “A tax cut for all Americans...” “War on Terror!!!” “ISIS!!!” “WMDs!!!” Celebrity/Super Rich Interviews - but never average working people. Americans are trained to worship the rich (our true religion), agree on whatever they say, and never question their true motives.

Reuters: US States Sue Trump Administration For Not Granting Student Loan Relief -  Not surprising when the Sec. of Education made $Billions through for-profit, unaccountable charter school schemes.


Consumer Watchdog: Google, Amazon Digital Assistants Patents Reveal Plans for Mass Surveillance - From the article: “Digital assistants can be “awake” even when users think they aren’t listening. The digital assistants are supposed to react only when they “hear” a so-called “wakeword.” For Amazon Echo it’s “Alexa” and for Google Home it’s “OK, Google.” In fact, the devices listen all the time they are turned on – and Amazon has envisioned Alexa using that information to build profiles on anyone in the room.”

They can listen to conversations in the room to target marketing to you. They can monitor when you’re home, how much TV you watch, how much sleep you get, who you wake up with, your hygiene habits, when you shower, when you flush the toilet, and with Nest cameras can monitor the books on your bedside table and the logos on t-shirts that you wear. They can then share the data with retailers, utility companies, insurance companies, etc. Hackers and identity thieves can easily access the data collected.


Reuters: Apple Aims To Block Climate, Rights Proposals With Quick Use of SEC Guidelines


Reuters: How Monsanto’s GM Cotton Sowed Trouble in Africa


NYTimes: We Can’t Trust Facebook to Regulate Itself - 5 months after this was published, this very issue blew up in Facebook’s face.


Truth-Out: Trump’s Pick for Health Secretary Led Company That Jacked Up Insulin Prices


Medium: Friendly Reminder That Jeff Bezos is Trying to Take Over The Universe


NYTimes: How Business Titans, Pop Stars and Royals Hide Their Wealth - Paradise Papers - This is not available to you or I. Shameful.


Democracy-NOW: Former Greek Finance Minister: Global Capitalism & How Trump’s Tax Plan is Class War Against the Poor - Also see this informative TED talk where he clearly explains just why democracy and capitalism are diametrically opposed.


Politico: How The Koch Are Trying to Shake Up Public Schools One State At A Time - Their, and Betsy Devos’ favorite tool: Charter Schools


Business Insider: Amazon and Walmart Battle For the ‘Permanent Underclass’ Market, Revealing a Dark Truth About the Death of the Middle Class - The big retailers realize that more and more families are permanently falling into a subsistence life style and its going to stay that way. At some point it will dawn on Americans that it was not such a good idea for Amazon, Google and FaceBook to own everything and for Walmart to destroy all of the mom-and-pop small retailers.


Truthout: Fifty-One GOP Senators Just Voted to Cut $1.5 Trillion From Medicare and Medicaid to Give the Super-Rich and Corporations a Tax Cut


NYTimes: Silicon Valley is Not Your Friend - A very informative 12 minute read, with some good links. Facebook, Amazon and Google are the enemy. See Here and Here.

Now that Google, Facebook, Amazon have become world dominators, the questions of the hour are, can the public be convinced to see Silicon Valley as the wrecking ball that it is?...

...the extreme concentration of wealth and power is a threat to our democracy by making some people and companies unaccountable.

In addition to their power, tech companies have a tool that other powerful industries don’t: the generally benign feelings of the public. To oppose Silicon Valley can appear to be opposing progress, even if progress has been defined as online monopolies; propaganda that distorts elections; driverless cars and trucks that threaten to erase the jobs of millions of people; the Uberization of work life, where each of us must fend for ourselves in a pitiless market.

As is becoming obvious, these companies do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. We need greater regulation, even if it impedes the introduction of new services. If we can’t stop their proposals — if we can’t say that driverless cars may not be a worthy goal, to give just one example — then are we in control of our society? We need to break up these online monopolies because if a few people make the decisions about how we communicate, shop, learn the news, again, do we control our own society?”


NYTimes: Why Corporate Tax Cuts Won’t Create Jobs - This is a great, short primer for discussion with anyone who thinks they will.


People’s Policy Project: New Fed Data: Top 10% Now Own 77% of Wealth

LATimes: GOP Tax Plan Would Benefit Super-Rich the Most, Analysis Finds - From the article: “Taxpayers in the top 1% (incomes above $730,000) would receive about 50% of the total tax benefit (in the first year); their after-tax income would increase an average of 8.5%.” Their benefits would then rise over time. This group would get 80% of the total tax benefits from the GOP plan after 10 years. “The ultra-rich would top that. People with incomes of more than $5 million would have nearly 10% more after-tax income under the plan in 2027.

Lower-income households might see a modest gain from the increase in the standard deduction to $24,000 (for couples). But they’d lose out from the repeal of all personal exemptions for them and their dependents. As other experts have noted, the combination of these two factors could well mean a tax increase for lower- and middle-income families with two children or more.

With a proposed additional deficit of $1.5 Trillion in the first year, and possibly $8 Trillion over the next 10 years, the Trump tax plan will prove a day of reckoning for Rethug Deficit Hawks.


Americans For Tax Fairness: Updated: Trump’s Unpaid-For Tax Cuts May Total $5 Trillion in New Tax Plan


ABC News/Washington Post Poll: Two/Thirds of Americans Say Large Corporations Pay Too Little Tax - While the statutory tax rate for corporations is 35%, the rate they actually pay is less than 1/2 of that, and that’s on the profits that they book in the US. They currently have stashed about $2.4 Trillion in overseas tax havens. If they brought those profits back, they would owe $700 Billion in unpaid taxes. Almost half of off-shore profits are held by health care corporations and information technology corporations.

Democracy-NOW: Puerto Ricans Call for Aid Amidst Catastrophe: “We’re American Citizens. We Can’t Be Left to Die.” - During the Obama Administration, Puerto Rico was forced to sign a series of “Capital Appreciation Bonds,” which work exactly the same as payday loans. Control of the country was taken over by a ‘control board’ appointed by Obama to inflict austerity measures on the country. These loans were negotiated by the big Wall St. banks, primarily Goldman Sachs - the same exact people (Gary Cohn, Steve Mnuchin, Jay Clayton) who now serve on Trump’s cabinet. The vast majority of the money that Puerto Rico now owes is interest, not principle. They are being forced to pay an effective interest rate of 785%. Puerto Ricans are now literally starving while Wall St. “investors” make $Billions. Both Retugs and Democraps had a big hand in this and now look the other way.


NYTimes: The Law Strangling Puerto Rico


Robert Reich: Why We Must Raise Taxes on the Corporations and the Wealthy, Not Lower Them


Open Markets Institute: To Address Inequality, Let’s Take on Monopolies


Intercept: Government by Goldman


Jacobin: An Organizing Seat in City Hall - Socialist Alternative candidate for Minneapolis City Council Ginger Jentzen talks about the struggle for a $15/hour min. wage in Minneapolis and her campaign to represent working people. Minneapolis is an example of a city run by contemporary liberal Corpora-Dems, who talk about how they hate Donald Trump and use terms such as “inclusivity,” and then jet off to country club fundraisers to court $Millions from local developers. At first all of the Corpora-Dems said that increasing the minimum wage would be “illegal” under the city charter, up until Socialist Alternative put thousands of people in the street. Then they increased it.


Black Agenda Report: Charter Schools: A License to Steal


Real News: Corporate Dems Have a Vested Interest in Not Listening to Workers


Common Dreams: As Tech Giants Threaten Democracy, Calls Grow for New Anti-Monopoly Movement


NYTimes: Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by...Google - Once they accept Google money, so called independent think tanks become nothing but Google mouthpieces. The New America Foundation is no exception.


Career Builder: Living Paycheck to Paycheck Is A Way of Life for Majority of US Workers - Didn’t used to be, and doesn’t have to be.


Economic Policy Institute: Corporations’ Effective Tax Rate: 13% - And very few pay even that, since they move their headquarters overseas specifically to avoid paying any tax, while most American workers making minimum wage cannot afford to rent a 1 bedroom apartment.


Quartz Media: Amazon Owns Whole Collection of Secret Brands


NYTimes: Wall Street, Climbing Sharply, Skips Washington’s Soap Opera - What’s going on at the Trump White House and even more so the fake conspiracy theories surrounding Russia-gate are nothing more than a form of highly dramatized and affected Kabuki theatre. Trump is serving the oligarchs well, and they are happy to keep it that way. But the stock market is entering bubble-land. It won’t last.


Real News: Trump Stacking the NLRB to Favor Corporations - Looks like I’m going to have to start a new page: “Things Trump’s Been Doing Behind the Scenes While We Focused on the Madcap Adventures of His White House Staff.” For now I’m keeping up with them on the Trump Cabinet/Actions page, navigable via the Politics page.


Nation of Change: In the Last 40 Years, CEO Pay Has Risen 937%; Worker Wages 0% - The Study. Couple that with the fact that all income gains since the 2008 meltdown have gone to the top 1%, and you have the recipe for a real revolution. To the pitchforks!


Democracy-NOW: Trump’s Re-Negotiation of NAFTA Begins to Resemble TPP


Human Rights Watch: The World Bank’s Investment in Forced Labor

Democracy-NOW: Charter School Billionaire Betsy Devos Undermines Civil Rights and Favors Predatory Lenders Over Students - With the elimination of the enforcement powers of the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, the elimination of any protections against campus rape, the elimination of the “borrower defense rule” and the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, Devos and Trump are attempting to eliminate public schools and replace them with for-profit non-accountable ultra-right-religious private charter schools at all levels, encourage segregation, and put lenders in charge of collecting student debt. Any form of ‘student aid’ is being eliminated so that education opportunity will be totally eliminated for the most vulnerable and the poor. This will put us back before Brown vs Board of Education and education in this country will return to the days of separate and un-equal education systems.

But the evening news will be consumed with the daily circus of the latest Trump antics and the Trump/Russiagate conspiracy theories.


Intercept: Financial Advisers Want to Rip Off Small Investors. Trump Wants to Help Them Do It. - If you don’t read this now, then definitely do so the next time you get one of those flyers in the mail that invites you to a free fancy steak dinner where you can learn more about financial and/or retirement planning.


UK Independent: The Rich Are Getting Richer, And the Young Are Losing The Most


Intercept: Congress Trying to Sneak Through Major Giveaway to Defense Contractors - #CorporateWelfare


City Lab: How Income Inequality Makes Economic Downturns Worse


Tax Policy Center: Trump’s Tax Plan Would Cut Revenue (and thus increase the deficit) By $7.8 Trillion - After tax income increase for low-wage earners, earning less than $25,000 per year: 1%. For those making $50,000 to $86,000, an after tax income increase of 3%. For those earning over $732,000 (the top 1%) would get an after tax income increase of 18% and those the top 0.1%, earning $1.6 Million per year, would see an after tax income increase of 20%. 40% of the benefits from Trump’s tax plan would go to the top 1%.


NYTimes: The Deep Industry Ties of Trump’s Deregulation Team - Trump’s “deregulators” are working in secret creating riches for themselves and their clients. #CorporateWelfare


Common Dreams: The Fortress World of Capitalism vs. The Beautiful Possibilities of Cooperation


Common Dreams: “We Will Be Fearless”: Teachers Vow to Defend Students From Trump and Devos - President of National Education Association delivers scathing speech defying Trump’s plan to privatize the American education system through the proliferation of charter schools.


ABC News: Dakota Access Security Firm Operated in ND Without A Proper License, Board Says - See entries of 6/3 and 6/1. They coordinated their activities with local law enforcement in service to the firm building the pipeline. They applied for a license to carry out security services in ND, were turned down, but then did it anyway with the full knowledge of all three parties. They turned attack dogs on peaceful demonstrators exercising their Constitutional rights. They sprayed water hoses on demonstrators in sub zero temperatures. They shot and severely injured demonstrators with rubber bullets to the face and tear gas canisters, with one demonstrator probably losing her arm. They infiltrated groups of demonstrators and hacked into their email servers, gathering information considered derogatory “to be used at a later time.” All of the above would have been illegal if done by law enforcement. At worst they will pay a small fine as a cost of doing business and this type of behavior will become the new normal. This is what America has come to.


Bilaterals: US In Trade Talks With Asian Nations to Replace TPP


Mail & Guardian: Brics Meet At Key Point in Battle Against Global Inequality


UK Independent: Global Inequality Much Worse Than Previously Reported, When Hidden Offshore Assets Are Taken Into Account - To the pitchforks! Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos: Come Clean!

The Hill: GOP Chairman Seeks Tax Reform Recommendations - ...from “industry groups.” He’s not going to hear anything about making the super-rich pay a 40% tax rate like most of the rest of us, or forcing huge corporations and the very rich to pay the $750 Billion they owe on assets hidden abroad, or getting rid of the carried interest loophole for hedge fund managers, large real estate investors and high paid lawyers, or nixing the $600 Billion tax cut for the rich in Trumpcare (on top of the $400 Billion tax cut for the rich during Bush’s first term), or replacing #CorporateWelfare with infrastructure jobs.


Common Dreams: The 5 Richest People Own As Much As the World’s Poorest 3.75 Billion - Get out the pitchforks!


City Lab: The Hourly Wage Required to Rent A 2-Bedroom Apartment - Rent is affordable in only 12 counties in the USA.

Democracy-NOW: House Votes to Repeal Financial Regulations of Dodd-Frank - ...while everyone was focused on James Comey just a few steps away.


Medium: Bernie Sanders: Why Trump’s Public-Private Partnership Model Is Good For Wall St, But Bad For America

Charlotte Observer: Lowe’s Lays Off 120, Will Send Jobs to India - I thought Cheeto-Man said this wouldn’t happen.


Occupy: You Get What You Pay For: If Money is Speech, Can Democracy Work?


Intercept: Standing Rock Documents Expose Inner Workings of Surveillance-Industrial-Complex - An example of how a very large corporation, in cooperation with publicly funded law enforcement, will use disinformation campaigns, fabricated leaks to the press and political connections to attack the very citizens who pay the salaries of law enforcement, and to create propaganda and lies that ‘justify’ abuse of those very citizens to achieve more profits. TigerSwan portrayed the peaceful protestors as violent, drug using “diviants” and “jihadists”, when the truth is that TigerSwan was the violent party, turning attack dogs on the protestors, spraying them with water in sub-zero temperatures, and shooting tear gas canisters directly at protestors, blowing one woman’s arm off. We apparently now live in a corporate run totalitarian state.


Grist: Paramilitary Tracked and Targeted DAPL Opponents As “Jihadists” - “How do people feel about mercenaries being deployed on U.S. civilians for the benefit of an oil corporation?! My intention, my hope is that people wake up to the reality that what we’re seeing right now are incremental steps to a totalitarian reality.” 

TigerSwan situation report of 10/16: “social media cell has harnessed a URL coding technique to discover hidden profiles and groups associated with the protesters allowing the firm to access private social media information. … Self-incriminating information can be gathered on protesters to be used at a later date.”

All of this information will sooner or later be shared with DHS, and private corporations to keep tabs on and manipulate private citizens who don’t happen to agree with corporate initiatives. The founder of TigerSwan, James Reese, has on numerous occasions worked with Blackwater (now known as Academi), and owned by Eric Prince, brother of current Sec. of Education Betsy Devos. James Reese is currently a top candidate to replace James Comey as Director of the FBI. See entry of 5/27 & 5/30.

Counter Punch: Poverty Fuels European Extremism - Throughout Europe, including Germany which still has a relatively strong economy, neo-liberal policies are causing greater and greater inequities in wages and wealth. The neo-liberal promise of higher wages and better jobs never materializes. Neo-liberal policies have no track record of improving any economy. It only leads to extremist parties arising on both left and right, as we are seeing here in America as well. Extensive empirical evidence shows that Keynesian policies and an end to stock buybacks are the only avenues to improved economies for everyone.


McCleans: Ontario to Raise Minimum Wage to $15/Hour - Remember where this all got started.

Tech Dirt: Congress Fast-Tracks Bill That Gives DHS Agencies Access to NSA Collections - Between Bush and Obama, the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution has been completely shredded, just in time for Trump. DHS Fusion Centers, which are routinely used by large corporations to get dirt on their critics and Here, Here, will now have access to all electronic communications from around the world, and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, which are collected in the NSA’s giant $2 Billion, 20 terabyte per minute, 12+ exabyte data center, and Here. This information will also be very useful for the new Ministry of Propaganda.


Intercept: Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used At Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies” and Democracy-NOW - The cooperation between public law enforcement (paid for by all taxpayers) with private security firms to protect private corporate interests and eliminate public protest supposedly protected by the Constitution is chilling to say the least. It is one of the fundamental conditions defining fascism. The DAPL protestors were simply attempting to protect lands already guaranteed to them by the US government, and there were alternative routes that would not have endangered Native American land. Obama gave lip service to this approach, but apparently never had any intention to carry through - an action typical of his entire time in office. Compare the repressive measures used by our government in this case with the light hand used against the heavily armed Bundy protestors.

Socialist Alternative: On The Verge of Victory How ‘Fight for $15’ Was Won in Minneapolis - It all started Here.


ProPublica: The Beleaguered Tenants of Kushnerville - This whole family is a bunch of low-class miscreants.


Broadcasting Cable: FCC Commissioner: Only Silence Will Kill the Internet


Newsweek: Private Prison Company GEO Group Gave Generously to Trump; Now Has Lucrative Contract


Bureau of Investigative Journalism: Big Pharma’s Pollution Is Creating Deadly Superbugs While the World Looks the Other Way - These bugs are worse than MRSA and can alter their own DNA in response to various types of treatment.


Robert Reich: Trump and His (6) Banksters Seem to Think Americans Have Forgotten What They Lost in 2008 - 6 Goldman Sachs execs on his cabinet now: Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Sec. of State Gary Cohn, Sec. of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, Dep. Sec. of Treasury James Donovan, SEC Chair Jay Clayton, Dep. Natl. Security Advisor Dina Powell. Goldman finally admitted in 2016 to having defrauded investors during the 2007 - 2008 meltdown, and paid a $5.1 Billion settlement. Of course, it was a sweetheart deal and not one executive went to jail - while Americans lost their jobs, homes and savings.

Black Agenda Report: Study Shows School Vouchers Hurt Students - But Trump and DeVos Couldn’t Care Less - #CorporateWelfare. As always, the Democrap, and Koch Bros. neoliberal stalking horse, Corey Booker, is at the lead of this charge.


Common Dreams: Opposing Trump’s “Moral Chaos,” People’s Budget Offers Roadmap For Resistance - Sorry to say, this is an annual donation-raising exercise for the Congressional Progressive Caucus. You won’t hear another word from them about this outside of their effort to use it to get contributions. The Green New Deal and Green Party Platform continue to support a more realistic initiative.


Intercept: Wall Street Firm Paying Obama $400,000 Faced Internal Controversy After Pocketing Huge 9/11 Settlement


Economic Policy Institute: Why America Needs a $15 Minimum Wage - A good article, but it mis-states where this all started.

Common Dreams: Goldman Sachs Execs Roll Out  Trump’s Tax Cut Plan for the Ultra-Wealthy

Alternet: Robert Reich: 5 Reasons Why Trump’s Corporate Tax Cut Is Totally Moronic

Common Dreams: Obama’s $400K Speech to Wall Street Fat Cats - Payday for Obama. He took care of them during his administration and now they are taking care of him. This was the plan from the very beginning.


Science: The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940 - Children born since 1980 have almost no chance of earning more than their parents did, whereas children born around 1940 had a 90% chance of doing so. The solution: a steeply progressive income tax that would more equitably distribute wealth and truly create opportunities for investment and prosperity.


UK Independent: US Has Regressed to Developing Nation Status, Per MIT Economist


The Atlantic: How “School Choice” Turns Education Into A Commodity - Just another form of neoliberalism that hurts good education for all - a necessary feature of a successful country. File under Charter Schools.


Vox: New Poll Shows What Americans Really Think About Taxes: The Rich Should Pay More


New York Magazine: Trump Budget Director Admits Their Goal is High Inequality, Not Low Deficits


Americans For Tax Fairness: Talking Points on Donal Trump’s Tax Plan - File this under #CorporateWelfare.


Democracy-NOW: Noam Chomsky: Trump Administration is Aiming To Decimate All Programs To Help Working People


AJC: Big Tax Breaks Given to Large Corporations At Taxpayer (schools, services, infrastructure) Expense - #CorporateWelfare


Alternet: The Rich Pay Fewer Taxes Than The Poor and Get More Services - #CorporateWelfare It’s the rich and corporations that receive the most ‘entitlements’/‘welfare’. Between deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, loopholes, underpayments, tax havens, corporate tax subsidies/credits, the total exceeds $3 Trillion. That’s 3 X more than the US deficit, or 3 X the amount of total conventional welfare expenditure, and enough to guarantee a full time job for every middle-class household in America.


Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy: The 35 Percent Corporate Tax Myth - File this under #CorporateWelfare. In the period studied, 2008 - 2015, 18 of the country’s most profitable corporations paid nothing in taxes. 100 corporations had at least one year in which their tax bill was zero or negative (refund). The study examined only the corporations that were consistently the most profitable over the eight year period. As a group they paid 21.2% in taxes, just over half of the statutory 35% rate. Collectively they received $513 Billion in tax breaks over the period studied. How did they do it? Loopholes in the tax code, industry specific subsidies, the ability to write off executive stock options, etc.

One Example:

In the US, oil companies - the most profitable enterprises in the history of the world - receive about $40 Billion in annual subsidies, and Here. Worldwide, they receive about $1 Trillion yearly.


ProPublica: Florida to Examine Whether Charter Schools Underreport Dropouts

Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY: Decision-Makers Skip NY Nuclear Bailout Hearing - More #CorporateWelfare. The Public Service Commission saw no point in attending a hearing with politicians because the PSC has already ruled that ratepayers are going to bail out the private corporation Exelon to the tune of several $$$Billion over the next 11 years. And just as soon as the PSC members finish their terms, they no doubt already have cushy jobs lined up at Exelon until they retire.


Frontline: How the Deck is Stacked


NYTimes: Trump to Seek $54 Billion Increase in Military Spending - Cuts to come from environmental, educational, science and poverty programs. Current US defense spending is already over $850 Billion (including Veterans’ Services, and Foreign Military and Economic Aid), more than the total defense spending of all other countries on Earth combined. There is only one group of people that benefit from this: the Boards of Directors and C-level employees of defense contracting corporations. It’s just another form of #CorporateWelfare - entitlements for the rich.


Democracy-NOW!: “For Profit President”: A Look At How Trump is Pushing Wholesale Corporate Takeover of the Govt - Public Citizen Report. Corporate Cabinet

TruthOut: More Republican Handouts to the Rich


Truth-Out: Authentic Hope in the Twilight of Failed Neoliberal Capitalism - Interesting. The opposite of retrotopianism.

“...a focus on responding to local conditions with solutions that have the potential to be scaled to connect with larger movements...

a national movement to preserve heritage seeds among Mexican campesinos stands out as having enormous global potential...

a global network of hackers who educate university students on truly disruptive tech social innovation to address economic inequity...

residents partner with tech experts to solve problems specific to their barrio with locally appropriate technology...

"trafkintu" that mirrors the seed exchanges I found in Mexico. In premodern Mapuche culture, there were regular trafkintu to allow different tribal branches to share knowledge and goods, including food and seeds. In this native economic model, seeds were considered to be gifts, and the exchange was an expression of friendship to build communal bonds among tribes. There was no quid pro quo. This native social-economic tradition is being revived across the Andes as a de facto counterweight to the corrosive ethos of modern consumer culture...

requires major changes in the way political strategy is conceived and executed on the left. Creating a civic life strong and diverse enough to counter and supplant the current destructive ethos of globalized neoliberal capitalism requires full political engagement of a kind that is very different from simply voting...

cynically hip capitalist modernity...

Outdated industrial-era thinking that insists on using assembly-line factory models as the primary reference point does nothing to inspire or illuminate the kinds of small scale, often joyful civic actions and creative mindset that are necessary to advance humanity's cause...

The paucity of new ideas about work and play on the left is already at a crisis point. Global capital has outflanked ossified leftist political theory by inventing a so-called "sharing economy" in which human subjectivity itself has become the product. Under this new "cognitive capitalism," even the interactions of friendship and hospitality have been monetized as commodities...

emerging collaborative civic sensibility...authentic sharing and vibrant communal attachment to life in the elaboration of a common cause with others. They are also the opposite of retrotopianism.


Intercept: Bank/Corporate-Protector That Obama Placed At The Top of the SEC, Returns to Her Happy Place


Real News: Upward Distribution of Wage Income Behind Social Security’s Shortfall - Synopsis: The last time the Social Security cap was changed was in 1983. The cap was set at the point where 10% of wage earners were above the cap of $127,000. Today 20% are above that cap. When Rethuglicans claim that Social Security is underfunded and is about to fail, they never mention this. Bottom line: Remove the cap and Social Security will be funded well beyond any actuarial projection. Here’s a tool that shows when the wealthiest Americans stop paying into Social Security.


Real News: Greek Creditors Demand New Austerity Measures, Is Grexit Back on the Table?


Kansas City Star: Grieving Moms, Wives Form Front Line Against CTE at Super Bowl - Why is this entry under Corporate Domination? Follow the publicity, celebrity...and the money.


Truth Out: Trade Deal Proponents Double-Down In Defense of Harmful Trade Policy - An important study. Synopsis: In answer to those who say that the loss of manufacturing jobs is not due to trade agreements such as NAFTA, but rather is a result of automation:

All according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Despite the fact that the pace of automation in the US has been climbing steadily since 1970, the number of manufacturing jobs fell only 0.5 million (about 3%) from 1970 to 2000. From 2000 when NAFTA was signed into law, to 2007 just prior to the economic meltdown, the number of manufacturing jobs fell 3.4 million.

The three states that determined the Trump victory, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan lost a total of 800,000 jobs or about 30% of their original total. Those people were hurting and they were pissed and they were not about to vote for more of the same. “Trade policies supported by the leaders of both parties had a devastating effect on the lives of millions of workers and their families...Denying this reality is not a promising path for winning back the support of these voters, although it may make the people who benefited from these trade policies feel better about themselves.”


UK Guardian: Capitalism As Species Destroyer


Waging Nonviolence: The History of Anti-Authoritarian Struggle Is Worth Repeating

PBS Independent Lens: Today Only 5 Corporations Own Most News Media - Down from 6 in 2012. When you start hearing a chorus of media all chanting the same phrase (such as ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ or ‘fake news,’ or ‘hacked the election,’ or ‘civil rights icon’), it’s called neuro-linguistic programming. MSM uses this technique all the time.


CNN: Nobel Economist: One-Percenters, Pay Your Taxes


OXFAM: Just 8 People Now Have The Same Wealth As The Poorest 3.6 Billion - A 2 minute read with some very interesting links.

“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


Washington Post: As Socialist Venezuela Collapses, Socialist Bolivia Thrives. Here’s Why. - Socialism doesn’t explain either situation. Only pure Keysnesian economic theory does.


Truthdig Chris Hedges: Defying Donald Trump’s Kleptocracy - If left uncontested, he will usher in the final stage of capitalism and the complete destruction of our society. He will fleece the government and the people. He is “impulsive, ignorant and inept.”

Corporate Domination 2016