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Posts Tagged ‘Concentration of wealth

27 Signs That The Standard Of Living For America’s Middle Class Is Dropping Like a Rock

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61% of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck. That was up substantially from 49% in 2008 and 43% in 2007

Michael Snyder,   Business Insider Oct 16, 2010

If you still have a job and you can put food on the table and you still have a warm house to come home to, then you should consider yourself to be very fortunate.  The truth is that every single month hundreds of thousands more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty.  The statistics that you are about to read are incredibly sobering.  Household incomes are down from coast to coast.

Check out the signs here >

Enrollment in government anti-poverty programs sets new records month after month after month.  Home ownership is down, personal bankruptcies are way up and there are not nearly enough jobs to go around.  Meanwhile, the price of basics such as food and health care continue to skyrocket. Don’t be fooled by a rising stock market or by record bonuses on Wall Street.  The U.S. economy is not getting better.  After World War II, the great American economic machine built the largest and most vigorous middle class in the history of the world, but now America’s middle class is disintegrating at a blinding pace.

Most of those who write about the plight of the American middle class believe that things can be turned around and that the middle class will eventually be stronger than it ever has been.  But unfortunately, that is just not the case.  As a society, we have lived far, far beyond our means for decades.  Now the bills are coming due and none of our leaders seem to know what to do.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is being rapidly assimilated into the emerging one world economy.  Middle class American workers now find themselves in direct competition for jobs with the cheapest labor on the other side of the globe.  Of course many multinational corporations have taken advantage of this by moving factories and jobs to countries like China where blue collar workers make about a dollar an hour.  This has helped raise the standard of living for workers in those nations by a nominal amount, but it has been absolutely devastating for the standard of living of America’s middle class.

So what does all of this mean?

It means that the U.S. economy is headed for collapse and middle class Americans are in for some really, really hard times.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/standard-of-living-middle-class-2010-10#ixzz12eCVJGpL

Wealthy Reap Rewards While Those Who Work Lose

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By Adrianne Appel    IPS

BOSTON, Jul 9, 2010 (IPS) – Times are tough for workers in the U.S. where a recession has a stranglehold on much of the economy, but life is perfectly rosy for those at the top.

The riches of the wealthiest North Americans grew by double digits in 2009, primarily from interest their money earned when it was invested in the stock market and elsewhere, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group.

Millionaires in the U.S. and Canada saw their wealth increase 15 percent in 2009,  to a total of 4.6 trillion dollars, the report found.

Worldwide, 11 million – or less than 1 percent of all households – were millionaires in 2009. They owned about 38 percent of the world’s wealth or 111 trillion dollars, up from about 36 percent in 2008, according to Boston Consulting Group.

About 4.7 million millionaires live in the U.S., four percent of the population and more than anywhere else in the world. Japan, China, Britain and Germany followed the U.S. in the number of millionaires.

Their fortune is a stark contrast to the lives of more than 15 million people in the U.S. who are unemployed and searching for work, and the eight million more who are just getting by with a part-time job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than two million more people were working prior to the recession but have now dropped out of the labour force.

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We have met the enemy (and yes) it’s us

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Someone sent me a disturbing video the other day of Hitler and a huge crowd singing “Moving on Up!” (the Jeffersons) which was virulently racist but must have an enormous appeal considering where it came from. In view of the real danger of fascism, the mischaracterization of Obama’s policies as ‘socialism’, etc. manipulating forces are at full bore while growing Corporatism- real fascism- is unattended.

Newt Gingrich recently spoke up for the vampire elite by claiming that Obama’s feeble efforts to thwart growing concentration of wealth and the shift of power from the people to corporations is more dangerous than the Nazis or Stalin!  It’s a neat trick to ensnare people to defend Corporate power against their own interests.

But articles about Gingrich’s comments are just as flawed. In Gingrich: Obama As Threatening as Nazi Germany and Soviet Union

one comment in particular doesn’t sit well with me:

“Since America is still a country in which free speech is protected and in which state terrorism is prohibited, serious talk of totalitarianism in the context of American politics is the province of fools.”

What a blithe and naïve comment about the biggest purveyor of state terrorism in the world!  Don’t worry, be happy….while the military build-up and endless war go on and on, our rights fade away under a siege of surveillance and eavesdropping, and Banksters concentrate wealth by cannibalizing the rest of us.

Gingrich and company have a real reason to fear, as do we all. But they are being urged to enable the very forces arrayed against us. Similarly I have no confidence that fat-cat Democrats will ever get out of sell-out mode or provide any functional resistance.  We need an entirely new focus and leadership if we are not to go down a very dark road.


Obama’s phony banking “reform”

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The Elite at the hub of our financial crisis have established themselves in positions of preeminent wealth and power without actually contributing anything useful to America’s economy.  They make and do nothing,  just taking bites out of what others have produced. Since they have so little stake in our society, it is not surprising that their corrupt system built the bubble and arranged to profit when it collapsed.

The revolving door between Wall Street Banksters and the government meant to regulate them means no real change is likely without a sustained outcry of the American people.

Photo by Rich Tatum

Obama’s phony banking “reform”

Barry Grey 27 April 2010

Debate on the Senate version of the Obama administration’s bank regulatory overhaul is expected to begin shortly. The House of Representatives passed its banking bill last December.

Neither bill does anything to curb the power of the banks or limit their parasitic and socially destructive activities. What the media is calling the “most sweeping overhaul” of the banking system since the Great Depression in reality sanctions the ever greater monopolization of the financial system by a handful of Wall Street giants, imposes no limits on executive pay, and allows the banks and hedge funds to continue gambling on exotic and largely unregulated securities such as collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps.

The so-called bank “reform” is an exercise in mass deception—an attempt to placate popular hostility to the banks and provide the government with political cover while it continues to do the bidding of Wall Street.

The bills have been drawn up in the closest consultation with bankers and bank lobbyists. This collusion has been widely reported in the press and presented as a perfectly normal and acceptable fact of political life. The front-page lead article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal describes the intensive lobbying being carried out by billionaire investor Warren Buffet to alter the Senate bill’s provisions on derivatives.

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