Sunday, November 29, 2015

America is a Nation of the Oligarchs

A former Walmart executive blows the whistle on Walmart's mistreatment of workers. He recounts how he would watch "associates" sit in the break room during their lunch hour without eating because they couldn't afford food. Walmart banned management from offering their rank-and-file employees any money to buy lunch.

Walmart's corporate philosophy is to "do more with less" — meaning, they want the associates to do more, while Walmart pays them less. Employees have been required to work "off the clock" — shaving minutes from worker's timecards was a common way to steal wages to keep Walmart's labor costs under control.

Employees would be fired just for mere SUSPICION of discussing unionization. Workers were terminated for the slightest offenses to create a culture of fear. To Walmart, their employees ("associates") are nothing more than disposable people.

The wealth accumulated by the richest one percent will exceed that of the other 99 percent in 2016, according to a study by Oxfam.

Another study from last year shows America might already be an oligarchy (via the Daily Kos):

"Our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a wide-spread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened."

Robert B. Reich was once the Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. In his new book, Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few, he reveals how power and influence have created a new American oligarchy — and exposes the falsehoods that have been bolstered by the corruption of our democracy by huge corporations and the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street.

In a recent book review, the economist and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman reviews Robert Reich's book in an article titled: Challenging the Oligarchy, writes: "Saving Capitalism is a very good guide to the state we’re in."

Here's an example of the media black-out on Senator Bernie Sanders — a typical day in TV news — when Bernie attempts to spread this message to the American people...


  1. Naked Capitalism (December 2, 2015) New Studies: Do ‘Competitive’ Corporate Tax Cuts Boost Growth?

    SPOILER ALERT: No. It just contributes to more cash hoarding, not more investment or job creation.

  2. The Angry Bear (December 2, 2015)

    "Facebook founder and his wife have decided to give away 99% of their fortune. That is $45 billion. Now, I know many will heap praise upon them for their generosity. Same deal when the Gates and Buffet did their give away announcement. But, I’m not so keen on this. I know, how heartless of me. How ungrateful."

  3. According to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies, the 20 wealthiest people in the U.S. (as identified in the Forbes 400 list) possess more wealth than half the U.S. population (the poorer half, numbering 57 million households).

  4. Center for Public Integrity:

    "A staggering 77 percent of the $26.2 million Bernie Sanders, an independent U.S. senator running as a Democrat, collected during the third quarter came from contributors giving $200 or less. The haul helped Sanders narrow the fundraising gap between his campaign and that of Democratic Party frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who raised $29.9 million during the same period ... The strongest small donor campaigns are not about raising money, they’re about raising enthusiasm and getting actions ... Dollar for dollar, small-dollar donors are worth more than big-dollar donors. Those are the donors that can keep giving over and over [and] such donors are also likely to turn out to vote for a candidate, and possibly volunteer as well."

    But Democratic political consultant Joe Trippi, best known for serving as Howard Dean’s campaign manager in 2004 when the former Vermont governor broke fundraising records during his failed presidential bid, says:

    "Both party establishments are pretty good at making sure that a candidate who isn’t of the establishment doesn’t make it ... It’s not just the money. A lot of the rules and things are set up to stop insurgent candidates ... The entire Democratic establishment would come out of the woodwork to stop Bernie Sanders from being the nominee. The establishment fervently believes that a socialist cannot be president of the United States."