How The Government Is Screwing You And Why You Aren’t Enjoying It

A lengthy quote from a Common Dreams piece by Robert Freeman:

Here is the executive summary of U.S. economic policy over the past 30 years:   

Dramatically lower taxes on the wealthiest people in the country; meanwhile, undercut the working and middle classes by shipping their jobs overseas so corporations can profit by paying Chinese and Indian workers 5% of what they pay American workers; send the finished products back to the U.S. and sell them to former workers with now-downsized jobs by getting them to take on onerous levels of debt; when that is still not enough to keep the economy afloat, have the government increase its debt, in the process binding those former and downsized workers with government debts that they will carry for the rest of their lives; have the whole system laundered through big banks who create nothing, but take a piece of the action on every transaction; make sure these banks are "too big to fail" so that when they fail, the downsized, indebted workers can be made to disgorge the last of their remaining assets in order that the banks and their owners don’t  suffer any losses on their predatory investments that went bad.     

Repeat this process until the working and middle classes have been milked of all of their assets and their wealth has been transferred into the hands of the richest people on earth.     

It’s working exactly as planned.   

Between 1993 and 2007, 50% of all the growth in the U.S. economy went to the richest 1%.  Between 2002 and 2006, it was even worse:  an astounding three quarters of all the economy’s growth was captured by the top 1%.   In 2007, this top 1% captured 20% of all the income in the entire nation.  The top 10% corralled fully half of all the income earned in the entire country, as much as the bottom 90% combined.  Only one time since 1913 has so much of the nation’s income been seized by such a small elite.  That was 1928, the year before the stock market collapsed, ushering in the Great Depression.   

The data on concentration of wealth are even more startling.  The top 1% own more than 50% of all assets in the U.S.  They own more than 70% of all financial assets.  Meanwhile, the bottom 50% of wealth holders own a mere 3.5% of all the assets in the country.  The bottom 40% own nothing.  They have a combined net worth of zero.  Middle class homeowners now own less of the equity in their homes, 45%, than at any time since World War II when the figure stood at 70%.  They lost $13 trillion in the housing meltdown, even as the entire past decade produced zero net new jobs. 

So where are we now?   

Seven million high-paying manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas in the past decade, one third of all those in the entire economy.  Twenty per cent of the nation’s labor force – thirty million people – are idle or underutilized.  Thirty percent of the nation’s factory capacity is idle.  Three quarters of the nation’s home building capacity is idle.  More workers are out of work longer that at any time since such statistics started being collected, in 1948.  The results are cataclysmic.  

Ten thousand homes enter foreclosure every day.  More than 39 million Americans – one out of eight – are on food stamps.  Half of all American children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives!  Seventy-seven million Baby Boomers stand on the threshold of retirement, expecting, hoping, praying that the nation will honor the promises it has made to them for the last 50 years.  It will not, because it cannot. 

The national debt that stood at $1 trillion in 1980 now stands at $12 trillion.  And this was run up over a period of supposed economic prosperity!  Personal debt has risen from 65% of income in 1980 to 125% today.  The nation’s unfunded liabilities – debts it has committed to pay but for which there is no identifiable source of funding – exceed $65 trillion.  The U.S. economy must borrow more than $5 billion every day just to keep its lights on.  Most of that comes from foreign creditors-China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and such.  Interest payments on this debt will soon reach $1 trillion a year.  Not since before the Civil War has the U.S. been so dependent on foreign capital.   

When all the assets that are pledged as collateral against this borrowing have been exhausted, the lights will go out, as they must.  The creditors will simply pull their capital out of the economy as they did from the Asian countries in the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.  The U.S. has become a banana republic, ruled by a small, ultra-rich oligarchy who look after themselves, with everybody else living entirely at the mercy of their wealthy masters.  

Despite Obama’s cheesy rhetoric and faux-liberalism, his economic program is, in fact, little different than that of George W. Bush.  More than $14 trillion have been committed to the banks in the bailout but only $135 billion have been committed to the automobile industry.  That’s $100 to the banks that wrecked the global economy for every $1 devoted to the "real" economy, where real people live and work.  This ratio played out exactly in December when, on Christmas eve, Obama, with a wave of his magic pen, increased funding for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by $400 billion.  Later, he begrudgingly relented on an additional $4.5 billion for GMAC.  Once again, that’s $100 to the banks for every $1 to the automobile companies and their workers.   

This policy reaches its abusive extreme when the government allows banks to borrow unlimited amounts from the Federal Reserve at 0% and then re-loan the same money to maxed-out credit card holders at 27%.  Or, with the same banks opening their own payday lending arms to milk truly desperate borrowers with interest rates of 400% or higher.  If the front door of the looting operation was the $14 trillion hand-over during the bailout, this is the back door, out of sight but ever so effective because, with everybody hooked on debt, they have no alternative.   

The rest of the article offers a solution to rebuild the economy, for real people, not for the wealthy pirates and sociopaths who have set out to destroy the country in order to enrich themselves.

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5 Responses

  1. I actually learned the other day that part of the AT&T deal to acquire BellSouth included a provision that AT&T must eliminate some of its outsourcing staff and rehire Americans. For BellSouth, not outsourcing was a matter of quality. Its customers were more satisfied with service when technical support spoke the same English as BellSouth customers.

    Now the whole reunification of Ma Bell is a whole other issue, but I did prefer tech help that didn’t bullshit and pretend to understand me. Plus, she didn’t lie to me and say her name was Abraham Lincoln.

    I really thought Obama was going to start a Green revolution with government rebuilding of infrastructure. (He said he was going to.) Money has to get into the hands of people to begin to get the economy going. They have to work. They have to have money. I guess he’s too scared or too bullied by conservatives to try.

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    • But it is a green revolution – didn’t you see all that green going into the pockets of the rich guys that brought down the economy? That’s pretty revolting.

      Agree with you on the technical support thing. I tried to get a simple thing done with Trend Micro and it was like dealing with a truckload of morons. Simple question, and nobody, nobody could get it right. Not the first company either. No matter how clearly you word your question, no matter how precise the information, the tech staffs don’t even read what you write. They look for key words and pump out a pre-written answer. And if you question them they get huffy in uncertain English. I’m dumping TM as soon as my subscription runs out, but I don’t actually expect to find anything much different in support services (and the damn TM anti-virus program takes way too long to load every day). Minimum wage Indians speaking stilted English who don’t know what they’re talking about. You go, American industry! Yowsah!

      Obama cut his own throat and the Dem party’s throat when he chose to take care of the financiers and the health insurance companies instead of working for the people. If he doesn’t change course the people aren’t going to get jobs or money – they’re just going to bleed to death. He and his crew of old Washington hands have been on the wrong side of every issue that matters emotionally and intellectually to the people who voted for him. That may well show up in the results of tomorrow’s election here in Massachusetts. But anyone who votes for the Republican tomorrow, who can’t see through his empty suit, deserves the son-of-a-bitch. But if he does win, maybe the Obama people will get the message that they shouldn’t have sucked up to the health ripoff industry and the bankers. That’s what the election is really about. I’ll vote for Coakley because she’s by far the better candidate, will be a better Senator, and there isn’t a Republican alive I’d cross the street to help (screw the good Samaritan bullshit – these clowns are evil, and they’re clowns, and clowns are scary).

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      • Public Enemy of the United States are the united Corporatecrafters and their hack politicians mostly masked as Republicans. These greedy parasites of imagined nobility must be excluded from positions of power via elections with the talented from the working class and small business owners. They have yet to earn a single dollar of the trillions they have plundered from the Treasury via their corruption of the natural order of our constitutional Republic. A pure constitutional Republic free of corruptive forces will work with perfection for the “general Welfare.” The working class as a natural voting majority must unite and thus reclaim our constitutional Republic before it is too late.

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  2. Great article and thoughts, Grumpy Lion! Hammered nail!

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  3. I thought that the government was working for the people of the United States of American. But their NOT we live and breath and pay them to do a job that should be a job that they should fill proud to have. They shouldn’t get paid so much to have that position. And never make any more then $20,000.00 a year and they hold another job as well to make a living. BUT IT’S ALL A LIE WE WORK FOR THEM AND KNOW ONE IN THE FREE COUNTRY SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO WHAT THAT DO. LIKE WALKING OUT OF THE HOUSE SENATE, THE UPPERHOUSE OF THE U.S. CONGRESS WHEN THEY DON’T GET THEY WAY AND STILL GET PAID FOR IT THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG HERE.

    Based on what I see and hear we are know different then the other countries, as I read and lean about Hitler he was trying to do the same thing. Just like writing this little peace I really look to get shot for saying this, But I’m ready to die for my country. what happen to this country? No one will not stand together cause fear for their life, cause if they are not rich they feel that they don’t have a chance to make their word count. Anyone that holds a possition in the government should have a cap on what they get paid, and grandfather claused it back 200 years ago. Lets see who is a true american and run for a government job. And no one can make over $75,000.00 a year. And donation’s are a act of treason.

    Just like the bail outs WHAT A BIG ass joke, there were so many ways that could had help the american people but sorry not the rich ones, sorry but you were left out of the picture and YES you would pay a lot more taxes then you do now. And a lot of the deit would have been paid back aready, like I said I look to die over this but the truth needs to be said.

    Well you may think that I’m downing the government because I disable and was making around $60,000.00 a yr and after going to 15 specilist trying to get better and being in the hospital so many times, with a blood disorder and many diffenert things, But the government rep. the judge stated that that there was nothing wrong. And all the paperwork was in front of them but in short they were all lies, 3 years later I’m still trying going though all of my 401K’s and they don’t give a damn if my child drinks water or haves clothes to wear or to eat. nor if I get my meds. to stay alive, so you pick and choose what you can buy. Be after talking to them yesterday and them telling me that I have another 13mouths before I will hear any thing, and I talked about my child and they stated OH well. This government is SOOOOO screwed up, THIS IS WHY I SAY I’LL BE SHOT I DON’T CARE, BUT MY SON WILL BE FEED, CLOTHED AND GET WHAT HE NEEDS. So he can spend the rest of his life paying back school loans to make somethjng out of hisself. Remember the government controls the banks.

    As he grows I keep telling him that he really needs to think,,,,,,Does he really want to be a amercian and see who he can screw in stead of giving a helping hand to, or what. So good luck living in this so called free conutry that hasn’t been here since they took the land from the Indians the free left then, the american people are to stupid to do anything about it.

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