Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Robert Reich: Follow the Money

Robert Reich (November 17, 2014)

The richest Americans hold more of the nation’s wealth than they have in almost a century. What do they spend it on? As you might expect, personal jets, giant yachts, works of art, and luxury penthouses. And also on politics.

Their political investments have paid off in the form of lower taxes on themselves and their businesses, subsidies for their corporations, government bailouts, federal prosecutions that end in settlements where companies don’t affirm or deny the facts and where executives don’t go to jail, watered-down regulations, and non-enforcement of antitrust laws.

Since the top .01 began investing big time in politics, corporate profits and the stock market have risen to record levels. But the bottom 90 percent don’t own many shares of stock. They rely on wages, which have been trending downward. And for some reason, politicians don’t seem particularly intent on reversing this trend.

If you want to know what’s happened to the American economy, follow the money. That will lead you to the richest .01 percent. And if you want to know what’s happened to our democracy, follow the richest .01 percent. They’ll lead you to the politicians who have been selling our democracy.

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* A mere 5 human beings living in the United States and working as Supreme Court judges killed democracy for 315 million people in America with two court decisions: Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon vs. FEC — and the 5 horrible and evil offenders are:

  • John G. Roberts
  • Antonin Scalia
  • Clarence Thomas
  • Samuel Alito
  • Anthony Kennedy


  1. Fleecing Uncle Sam

    A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government.

    “A growing number of corporations spend more on executive compensation than federal income taxes.”


  2. Jared Bernstein (Joe Biden's former economic advisor) writes: The economic shampoo cycle (bubble, bust, repeat) is underway. He mentions that there was a hostile takeover bid by a hedge fund. The deal fell apart, but the hedge fund still walked away with over $2 billion in profit.


    He leaves these two links:

    New York Times (Nov. 17, 2014): Ackman Has Luck of a Loser, to the Tune of $2.2 Billion


    New York Times (Nov. 17, 2014): One of the biggest booms ever in mergers and acquisitions is currently underway (billions spent on buying other companies instead of raising wages).


  3. The Latest Scandal: Goldman, Fed Employees Busted For Illegally Sharing Confidential Information:

    "Goldman Sachs controls the New York Fed, period, the end."


  4. Obama in bed with tax dodgers

    As of November 12, Antonio Weiss is President Obama’s pick to oversee the domestic financial system — including the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act and consumer protection agency at the Treasury. Antonio Weiss also put together the deal for Burger King to move to Canada to avoid taxes. Elizabeth Warren proclaimed:“Enough is enough. It’s time for the Obama administration to loosen the hold that Wall Street banks have over economic policy making.”