USuncutMN says: Tax the corporations! Tax the rich! Stop the cuts, fight for social justice for all. Standing in solidarity with http://www.usuncut.org/ and other Uncutters worldwide. FIGHT for a Foreclosure Moratorium! Foreclosure = homelessness. Resist the American Legislative Exchange Council, Grover Norquist and Citizen's United. #Austerity for the wheeler dealers, NOT the people.



We Are The 99% event

USuncutMN supports #occupyWallStreet, #occupyDC, the XL Pipeline resistance Yes, We, the People, are going to put democracy in all its forms up front and center. Open mic, diversity, nonviolent tactics .. Social media, economic democracy, repeal Citizen's United, single-payer healthcare, State Bank, Operation Feed the Homeless, anti-racism, homophobia, sexISM, war budgetting, lack of transparency, et al. Once we identify who we are and what we've lost, We can move forward.



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Real-redistribution-wealth-forbes-400-triple-wealth-5-years: Squattable

The Real Redistribution of Wealth: Forbes 400 Triple Wealth in 5 years

If you've ever listened to Rush Limbaugh, you've probably heard him talk about the "liberals" and their 'communist/socialist plot" to redistribute the wealth.
But that's in the make believe Limbaugh-land. In reality, the redistribution of the wealth has already happened, but it was in the opposite of direction of Rush's claim.
From 1995 to 2000, the Forbes 400 tripled their wealth!


Wow, aren't they 'good investors'. But looking at the graph got me wondering about the years prior to 1995. So I looked up the source stats, which came from a Fed paper, which I'm not sure can be completely trusted- they cook the numbers everywhere else, so why not here too?
Regardless, the fed paper does have the stats from 1989 and up:

The 400 richest Americans wealth grew:
$49 billion over the 6 year period from '89-'95
$955 billion over the 5 year period from '95-'00


During the initial period, the Forbes 400 average income was $20 million per year. Then during the next 5 years their average income increased to $478 million per year. Sounds fair, doesn't it?
Isn't this the wealth redistribution Rush is always talking about, but in reverse? As usual, the truth is the exact opposite of Limbaugh's claims.
Then I started questioning why the Fed Paper started in 1989- was that the first year of the Forbes 400? As it turns out, 1982 was the first year- here's a chart with the Forbes 400 first 20 years, from 1982 to 2002.

As you can see, the wealth of the uber-rich was growing steadily until the mid 90s, then it shot through the roof. That great sucking sound was caused by NAFTA, which opened the floodgates to outsourcing. Corporations fired workers by the thousands and hired replacements in the third world, often for less than a dollar per day. But that was only the beginning of the great heist.
The top 400 did lose some wealth during the stock market crashes of 1987 and 2000, but it is clear that post-crash, they were still way above their previous levels of wealth. Everyone else that invested in the tech boom didn't fare so well.
Some of you may recall how MCI Worldcom was poised to own the internet with it's fiber optic dominance. So millions of Americans invested in what they thought was a secure investment, the future of the internet. But then MCI overstated it's earnings by $11 billion, causing the stock to plunge to zero. Millions were devastated, $150 billion in stock was wiped out, goodbye retirement suckers!. But Worldcom only had to wait a year, pay a measly $500 million fine, and they were back in business, as the very same day the fine was announced, they received a $45 million gov't contract to help rebuild Iraq, in addition to the annual $750 million in federal contracts. Two guys went to jail, the rest took the money laughing all the way to the bank.
This redistribution has worked our really well for the elite, well connected and already super wealthy, but what of the rest of us?
As we have grown accustomed to the two income families still unable to to make ends meet, now having three jobs to get by has become 'uniquely American'. The loss of jobs due to outsourcing, combined with illegal schemes to steal American's homes through foreclosures, has put millions of Americans on the streets homeless. Millions of America's children are homeless, struggling to get through school every day underfed and with no stability whatsoever. Millions of Americans freezing on the streets every night even as millions more homes sit empty, because of bankers with no soul.
Meanwhile the federal government not only enables but encourages this financial redistribution of wealth. Even as their policies tank every day Americans, an Administration favorite JP Morgan found a way to make money by taking over the food stamp program and _outsourcing_ it, taking who knows what percentage for themselves. With the HAMP program which was supposed to help stop foreclosures, the same banks that caused the crisis were paid more money to do the HAMP paperwork. The bankers were given their payment whether or not the new loan went through, and in 50% of the cases HAMP failed the homeowner. Often the banks do not even own the loans, but are just the 'servicers', because they sold the mortgages in the MBS scam. So now looking at a foreclosure, the MBS investors (ie pension funds) would be better off giving the family a loan modification, but the bank makes more money if they foreclose... see a problem here? And it's set up so the banks decide when to foreclose, with no oversight! Who set this up? Obama. Why? Because he's a friggin' bankster puppet. Just ask his new Chief of Staff, JP Morgan executive Bill Daley (of the Chicago mafia/mayoral monarchy).
The overt and unacceptable greed of the last 30 years has led to the situation that the elite now fear. The people have nothing, and therefore nothing to lose. The Super greedy could not stop at having 95%, they want it all. The Moron governor of Wisconsin finally pushed people too far and provoked a new movement of We the People across the country.
The Cheddar Rebellion in Wisconsin has sparked protest across the country, 600 people march on Fox News, 1,000s gather to protest Bank of America, new protest groups forming in every community with the common underlying theme that "we have had enough!"
The federal government at this time, apparently having no idea just how angry we have become, plans to gut all social programs just to save $60 billion, which is a pittance compared what is spent on the military industrial complex. $60 billion is one 'emergency supplemental' for the war machine, but means everything to the Veterans that will no longer get housing vouchers, the Seniors that will freeze to death, and the families that can no longer put their kids in head start while they go to their second or third job.

See this chart for a good breakdown of the 'need' for 'austerity' measures, so 'we' can all feel the pain in our 'shared sacrifice'.

This is all because of a suddenly pressing need to cut the deficit that has grown due to tax cuts, wars, homeland security, bailouts and all of the other things that have made the rich richer.
Thanks to insatiable greed, the truth of this financial redistribution is now evident to even those barely paying attention or willfully ignorant. Finally, the American people have had enough and the government is just dumb enough to completely expose themselves. The idea that teachers make too much money but wall street deserves the bonuses they paid themselves off of the taxpayer bailouts...sorry ruling elite, but people are just not that stupid. But we appreciate that you are because now the whole system is coming down.

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