Posts tagged Corporatism
Top 1% Has 65 Times More Wealth Than The Bottom Half And The Global Elite Like It That Way
Did you know that the 85 richest people in the world have about as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the entire global population does? In other words, 85 extremely wealthy individuals have about as much wealth as the poorest 3,500,000,000 do. This shocking statistic comes from a new report on global poverty by Oxfam. And actually Oxfam’s report probably significantly underestimates the true scope of the problem, because Oxfam relies on publicly reported numbers. At the very top of the food chain, the global elite are masters at hiding their wealth. In fact, as I have written about previously, the global elite have approximately 32 trillion dollars (that we know about) stashed in offshore banks around the world. That would be about enough to pay off the entire U.S. national debt and buy every good and service produced in the United States for an entire year. These elitists live on an entirely different planet than the rest of us do. In fact, according to Oxfam, the richest one percent of the global population has 65 times more wealth than the bottom half of the global population combined.
There is certainly nothing wrong with making money. In fact, the founders of the United States intended for this nation to be a place where free markets thrived and where everyone could pursue their dreams. Unfortunately, this country (along with the rest of the world) has moved very much in the opposite direction. Today, we have a debt-based global financial system which is dominated by gigantic predator corporations and big banks. Working together with national governments, these corporations and banks have constructed a system that I like to call “Corporatism” in which the percentage of all global wealth that is being funneled to the very top of the pyramid steadily grows over time.
The Founding Fathers were very correct to be very suspicious of large concentrations of power. In the early days of the United States, the federal government was very small and the size and scope of corporations was greatly limited. Our nation thrived and a huge middle class blossomed.
Sadly, over the past several decades the pendulum has completely swung in the other direction. Today, our society is completely and totally dominated by big banks, big corporations and big government.
And of course this is also happening in virtually every other nation on the face of the planet. The global elite have rigged the game to send just about all of the rewards their way, and it is working. The following are facts taken directly from Oxfam’s latest report…
•Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.
•The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.
•The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
•Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.
•The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.
•In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.
Starting on Wednesday, several thousand members of the global elite will gather for the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, Switzerland. The following is how USA Today described this conference.
For several days at the end of January, presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and corporate titans jostle with actors, rock stars and major influencers for top billing at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. The confab takes place in the Alpine village of Davos, about 90 miles southeast of Zurich, and for a brief spell each year the pristine ski resort half-sheds its Graubünden roots and becomes a ground zero for the political and business elite.
Unless you are independently wealthy, you can forget about going to this conference. A ticket to Davos is going to cost you about $30,000, and that is on top of the $55,000 that it costs to join the organization.
Needless to say, it is an organization of the elite, by the elite and for the elite.
This year, the theme of the meeting is “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business“. And the founder of the World Economic Forum says that the time has come to press the “reset” button for the global economy…
It’s time to press the “reset” button on the world, the founder of the World Economic Forum said Wednesday, addressing media ahead of the WEF’s much ballyhooed annual meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, that gets underway in a week’s time.
“The world is complex, it’s fast-moving, it’s interconnected, and we in Davos want to provide a mirror to the world as it is. It is not a meeting devoted to one set of issues. It’s a meeting that address the complexity of our world,” said Klaus Schwab, the WEF’s founder and executive chairman.
At first glance, that sounds pretty good.
Personally, I would love to hit a “reset” button for the global economy.
But what the elite mean by “reset” is much different from what most of the rest of us would mean.
The following is an excerpt from the executive summary for the agenda for the 2014 World Economic Forum…
“At an international level, the formal architecture for global governance was not designed for the interdisciplinary challenges and collective action problems of today. As a result, international cooperation has yet to fully enter the information age and capture its associated productivity gains.”
For the global elite, the answers to our problems always involve more centralization and more “global governance”. In other words, the answers to our problems always involve giving them more control and more power.
The elite never actually want the pendulum to swing back in the direction of the “little guy”. The elite are generally pleased with how the game is being played because they are winning.
Most people don’t even realize that they are participants in a debt-based neo-feudalist system in which money is being used as a form of social control.
As I have written about previously, there is about 190 trillion dollars of debt in the world, but global GDP is only about 70 trillion dollars.
There is no way that all of this debt could ever be paid off at one time. It is mathematically impossible. Over time, all of this debt transfers the wealth of the planet away from us and to the global elite. If this game was allowed to go on long enough, eventually they would have nearly all of it.
And some would argue that we are already getting close to that point. A study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research discovered that the bottom half of the global population only owns approximately 1 percent of all wealth, and at this point about a billion people throughout the world go to bed hungry every night.
This is one of the reasons why I am so adamant about the fact that the Federal Reserve needs to be shut down. It is at the very heart of the debt-based system that we have in the United States, and over the past 100 years it has brought us to the brink of economic Armageddon.
Sadly, most Americans do not understand any of these things. They just assume that the debt-fueled prosperity that we have been enjoying will be able to go on indefinitely.
So is there any hope for the “little guy”?
Well, you could try to win the one billion dollar NCAA tournament bracket contest that Warren Buffett is backing.
Or you could go out and try to win the lottery or try to date a famous professional athlete.
But the odds of any of those things actually happening are so low that they aren’t even worth mentioning.
Personally, I would rather spend my time trying to wake people up and help them understand how our global system really works.
I believe that a “great awakening” is coming.
I believe that millions of people are going to start breaking out of the “matrix of control” that has such a tight grip on their lives and are going to start thinking for themselves.
I believe that as the darkness gets even darker that the light is going to get even brighter. I believe that we are going to see “renewal” on a whole bunch of different levels.
Yes, a great economic collapse is coming.
Yes, there is going to be a tremendous amount of pain.
But it won’t all be bad news.
The times ahead are going to be full of adventure and excitement for those who are willing to embrace it.
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Who will win the war for the Internet? The corporate state or individuals?
Are corporations partnering with government going to kill the freedom and liberty we have all enjoyed on the Internet for years? Will CISPA and similar laws skew power toward the state, turning the wild and free net into a locked down digital commons. A prison yard even?
The government it seems would like to lock down the net. The once free United States is actively eavesdropped on by her own government. We now know this for sure. In a clear violation of the 4th Amendment the government is gathering our data to be processed by algorithms yet to be developed.
Add Diane Feinstein and her ilk in Congress relentlessly trying to shut down any free thought at all on the web (unless officially sanctioned) and its plain to see that we liberty loving cyber citizens are under severe threat.
Sadly many of the champions of the Internet, some of the trail blazing companies born in the recent past have been brought to heel, and into the government fold. (Most probably had no choice.) There was even a report that Windows 8 has an NSA Trojan horse component built into it. At least the German government thinks this might be the case.
It seems that the tide of corporatism and outright statism on the net is rising. But it can be beaten back.
(From The Atlantic)
We’re in the middle of an epic battle for power in cyberspace. On one side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments and large multinational corporations. On the other are the distributed and nimble: grassroots movements, dissident groups, hackers, and criminals. Initially, the Internet empowered the second side. It gave them a place to coordinate and communicate efficiently, and made them seem unbeatable. But now, the more traditional institutional powers are winning, and winning big. How these two side fare in the long term, and the fate of the rest of us who don’t fall into either group, is an open question—and one vitally important to the future of the Internet.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Summary: In a press conference held Wednesday morning, FBI agent Shawn Henry said the current cyber security of corporations in the US is completely unsustainable. The cyber expert even went as far as to say that companies need to make major changes in the way they use computer networks to avoid National Security and economic threats. This comes after dozens of high profile attacks by so-called Hacktivists from the Department of Justice to Sony have been targeted and hundreds of millions were successfully hacked. Greg Housh, an Internet activist and CEO of Local SEO Company, joins RT\’s Liz Wahl to explain.
Funny story if you really listen to this. China hacks not discovered for 1 year. Fear mongering to….? This is affecting the corporatism, not you and I. Trying to recruit the smart folks, but they are not willing to play, lol. Maybe the more intelligent of the crowd realize that they can think for them selves. Please say the word “terrorist” 100 more times. We The People are not the threatened corruption in DC. Internet CEO represents banks and corporations but wanting to spread the fear to you and I.
By Jack Hunter
Rick Santorum got into trouble this week for appearing to suggest that Obama would be a better president than Mitt Romney. Now this is funny. I would be far more interested in hearing from Santorum how he would be a departure from Obama in terms of spending and massive government growth, Santorum’s specialty while he was a senator (No Child Left Behind, Medicare Plan D, raising debt ceiling five times).
But there is a point to be made about the policy similarities between candidates like Romney (and Santorum and Gingrich) and the Democrats’ agenda, and how the establishment of both parties are far more alike than different.
Ron Paul made this important point in October on Meet the Press:
Stand up for Liberty, help stand down Tyranny!
Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!
By Timothy Noah
Jon Corzine’s testimony before the House agriculture committee may mark the definitive end to the Democratic party’s love affair with Wall Street.
Once upon a time, Wall Street bankers were Republicans. Not terribly ideological, they preferred whenever possible a minimum of taxation, regulation, and government in general, but they didn’t make a fetish of it. As the GOP moved right starting in the mid-1960s the east coast Republican establishment began to crumble, and by the late 1980s it was mostly gone. These silk stocking conservatives had been driven out of the Republican party by a social agenda that frightened them, a budget deficit that threatened their livelihoods, and a base that increasingly viewed moderates as RINOs (“Republicans In Name Only”).
By the early 1990s Wall Street was ready to go Democratic. In his new book, Back To Work, former President Bill Clinton writes,
“For every person on Wall Street who resembles the character Michael Douglas played in the Wall Street movies, there are many others who give lots of money every year to increase educational and economic opportunities for poor kids and inner-city entrepreneurs.
“Most of these people are grateful for their success and know that because of current economic circumstances, they’re in the best position to contribute to solving our long-term debt problem and to making the investments necessary to restore our economic vitality. Many of them supported me when I raised their taxes in 1993, because I didn’t attack them for their success. I simply asked them, as the primary beneficiaries of the 1980s growth and tax cuts, to help us balance our budget and invest in our future by creating more jobs and higher incomes for other people.”
In crafting his first budget bill, Clinton was mindful of the bond market to such a degree that James Carville famously complained, “I used to think that if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the President or the Pope or as a .400 basball hitter. But now I would like to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.”
The Wall Street-Democratic Party love affair came out of the shadows and into the sunlight when Robert Rubin, former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, became Treasury secretary. The economy was booming, the budget deficit was disappearing, and all was right with the world. The romance deepened through most of the aughts, so much so that in 2010 Rich Lowry of National Review complained, “the Democratic majority was bought and paid for by Wall Street and corporate money.” In 2008 the finance sector actually gave more to the Democrats than to the Republicans, something that hadn’t happened since 1990.
It all started to come apart in the late aughts as Democrats realized that Rubin’s distaste for financial regulation (and that of his deputy and successor, Larry Summers, which was more pronounced) had contributed to the 2008 financial meltdown, in part because Rubin and Summers had outmaneuvered Brooksley Born, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, when she wanted to regulate derivatives. Summers (who wasn’t from Wall Street but was a Rubin acolyte) became director of the National Economic Council during President Barack Obama’s first two years in office and the economy floundered. That deepened the alienation between Democrats and Wall Street.
Passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law drove the lovebirds further apart as Wall Street enlisted Republican goons first to weaken the bill (and succeeded in many instances) and then to neuter it by pressuring federal agencies to write regulations that created as little accountability as possible.
Corporatism Is Not Capitalism: 7 Things About The Monolithic Predator Corporations That Dominate Our Economy That Every American Should Know0
[CIM Comment: If there was one article to read and share this weekend this might be the one]
Right now, there is a lot of talk about the evils of “capitalism”. But it is not really accurate to say that we live in a capitalist system. Rather, what we have in the United States today, and what most of the world is living under, is much more accurately described as “corporatism”. Under corporatism, most wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of giant corporations and big government is used as a tool by these corporations to consolidate wealth and power even further. In a corporatist system, the wealth and power of individuals and small businesses is dwarfed by the overwhelming dominance of the corporations. Eventually, the corporations end up owning almost everything and they end up dominating nearly every aspect of society. As you will see below, this very accurately describes the United States of America today. Corporatism is killing this country, and it is not what our founding fathers intended.
The following is the definition of “corporatism” from the Merriam-Webster dictionary….
the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction
Corporatism is actually not too different from socialism or communism. They are all “collectivist” economic systems. Under corporatism, wealth and power are even more highly concentrated than they are under socialism or communism, and the truth is that none of them are “egalitarian” economic systems. Under all collectivist systems, a small elite almost always enjoys most of the benefits while most of the rest of the population suffers.
The Occupy Wall Street protesters realize that our economic system is fundamentally unjust in many ways, but the problem is that most of them want to trade one form of collectivism for another.
But our founding fathers never intended for us to have a collectivist system.
Instead, they intended for us to enjoy a capitalist system where true competition and the free enterprise system would allow individuals and small businesses to thrive.
In an article that was posted earlier this year on Addicting Info, Stephen D. Foster Jr. detailed how our founding fathers actually felt about corporations….
The East India Company was the largest corporation of its day and its dominance of trade angered the colonists so much, that they dumped the tea products it had on a ship into Boston Harbor which today is universally known as the Boston Tea Party. At the time, in Britain, large corporations funded elections generously and its stock was owned by nearly everyone in parliament. The founding fathers did not think much of these corporations that had great wealth and great influence in government. And that is precisely why they put restrictions upon them after the government was organized under the Constitution.
After the nation’s founding, corporations were granted charters by the state as they are today. Unlike today, however, corporations were only permitted to exist 20 or 30 years and could only deal in one commodity, could not hold stock in other companies, and their property holdings were limited to what they needed to accomplish their business goals. And perhaps the most important facet of all this is that most states in the early days of the nation had laws on the books that made any political contribution by corporations a criminal offense.
Our founding fathers would have never approved of any form of collectivism. They understood that all great concentrations of wealth and power represent a significant threat to the freedoms and liberties of average citizens.
Are you not convinced that we live in a corporatist system?
Well, keep reading.
The following are 7 things about the monolithic predator corporations that dominate our economy that every American should know….