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The Super-Rich and the Rest of Us: Some Outrageous Facts About Inequality

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posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 04:36 PM
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Just a few illustrations from Paul Buchheit who teaches Economic Inequality at DePaul University of the ludicrous imbalance of responsibility and burden sharing that exists in the United States.


1. U.S. companies in total pay a smaller percentage of taxes than the lowest-income 20% of Americans. Total corporate profits for 2011 were $1.97 trillion. Corporations paid $181 billion in federal taxes (9%) and $40 billion in state taxes (2%), for a total tax burden of 11%. The poorest 20% of American citizens pay 17.4% in federal, state, and local taxes.



4. Many Americans get just a penny on the dollar.
– For every dollar of NON-HOME wealth owned by white families, people of color have only one cent.
– For every dollar the richest 1% earned in 1980, they’ve added three more dollars. The poorest 90% have added one cent.
– For every dollar of financial securities (e.g., bonds) in the U.S., the bottom 90% of Americans have a penny and a half’s worth.
– For every dollar of 2008-2010 profits from Boeing, DuPont, Wells Fargo, Verizon, General Electric, and Dow Chemicals, the American public got a penny in taxes.


www.counterpunch.org...

I am sure some/much of this is applicable to other countries including my own the UK. It just seems to be so extreme in the US. How can it be acceptable for these corporations, who were able to grow and flourish in the US, to pay such a low proportion of the billions of their profits back into maintaining the future prosperity of the country that set the conditions and friendly environment for them to succeed?

I feel for the way US citizens are treated by their governments in cohorts with the corporations who fund their campaigns and retirement.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have even weighed in recently with their own conclusions and recommendations on the other types of tax relief that the rich receive.


Limiting the tax relief available to the richest Americans on pension contributions and mortgage payments will help curb income inequality that the OECD says is the fourth-highest among the 34 countries it surveys. “Income inequality and relative poverty are among the highest in the OECD,” the organisation said in its annual survey of the US. “At the same time, there is no consensus in the economic literature that reducing inequality would be harmful to economic growth.”


www.telegraph.co.uk...

The Land of the Free is dead, long live the Land of the CorpPolitical Zombie.
edit on 2-7-2012 by Peruvianmonk because: Layout




posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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A bit more from the article,


2. The high-profit, tax-avoiding tech industry was built on publicly-funded research. The technology sector has been more dependent on government research and development than any other industry. The U.S. government provided about half of the funding for basic research in technology and communications well into the 1980s. Even today, federal grants support about 60 percent of research performed at universities. IBM was founded in 1911, Hewlett-Packard in 1947, Intel in 1968, Microsoft in 1975, Apple and Oracle in 1977, Cisco in 1984. All relied on government and military innovations. The more recently incorporated Google, which started in 1996, grew out of the Defense Department’s ARPANET system and the National Science Foundation’s Digital Library Initiative.



The combined 2011 federal tax payment for the eight companies was just 10.6%.


The Military-Industrial complex and standard economy are so linked within the US. I never knew about Google's connection with it though. Why can't they just pay their taxes? Even the small amounts that are demanded? I don't see how this would damage their competitiveness.



posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 06:17 PM
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reply to post by Peruvianmonk
 

feeling a little marxist today?

mind your own hellhole of equal misery...



posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by bjax9er
 


Marxism spoke the truth about capitalism, i.e. The power of one social class to control the means of production enables its exploitation of the other classes. This is all around us. Look at the banks whose production is completely false, i.e. derivatives,securities, but its impact is all encompassing on all classes.

I don't support all of the Marxist ideals or order, I am not an extremist and do not want to see a state control of all resources etc. However the out of control power of corporate entities is so destructive to all in this world that something needs to be done to check this power, this will only come from public pressure on their elected officials or a violent revolution.

I hope for the former.



posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 06:40 PM
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reply to post by Peruvianmonk
 


corporations are not the problem, it is the law, and the politicians.
corporations will do whatever it takes to make money, it is human nature.



posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by Peruvianmonk
I don't support all of the Marxist ideals or order, I am not an extremist and do not want to see a state control of all resources etc.


Marxism isn't state control. Marxism is a way to re-order society in order to allow socialism to work.

It supports a temporary state system where some forms of the old capitalist system remains and industry is mostly nationalised. This is called the transition period. The idea is during this transition period production would be increased, and re-organized, in order to meet peoples needs. The state system is supposed to eventually be dissolved, and then society will make the move to communism. Communism is just another form of socialism, but instead of money and markets resources are communally held by the community, and the community decides how to distribute those resources.

Not all socialists supported this political path of the Marxists and wanted direct action instead, they called themselves Anarchists. The final goal is the same, free association...


In the anarchist, Marxist and socialist sense, free association (also called free association of producers or, as Marx often called it, community of freely associated individuals) is a kind of relation between individuals where there is no state, social class or authority, in a society that has abolished the private property of means of production. Once private property is abolished, individuals are no longer deprived of access to means of production so they can freely associate themselves (without social constraint) to produce and reproduce their own conditions of existence and fulfill their needs and desires.


Free association (communism and anarchism)


In place of the constitutional bourgeois state, which for Hegel constituted the end point of historical development, Marx puts forward the concept of 'the free association of producers'. This is a social order which dispenses with any kind of coercive force standing over and above it, and whose members manage their own affairs through consensus....


Hegel and Marx


According to Marx, capitalism is merely a stage of historical development. It will eventually collapse under the weight of a laboring class (the proletariat) which increasingly becomes poorer and more numerous. The inconsistency of fewer and fewer people controlling more and more of the means of production will lead to capitalism’s collapse because eventually it will become too great an interference with production. At that time, the proletariat will create a rational society with no wages, no money, no social classes, and, eventually no state - “a free association of producers under their own conscious and purposive control.” (McInes, Neil “Karl Marx,” in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Volumes 5 & 6, MacMillan Publishing Co. (NY: 1967) p. 172.)


Karl Marx (1818-1883)


edit on 7/2/2012 by ANOK because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by bjax9er
corporations are not the problem, it is the law, and the politicians.
corporations will do whatever it takes to make money, it is human nature.


It's not Human nature, it is the nature of capitalism.

Corporations are the problem because they protect the wealth of capitalists when the screw up, only we the workers suffer from the lack of "jobs".



posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 06:55 PM
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reply to post by bjax9er
 


I think they are. They are the entities whose people set out in influence the elected politicians. law, implementation of the law, regulation, anything that will take any tiny bit of possible profit from them, even if what is proposed is for the good of the rest of society, a society they emerged from.

Corporations are now vested with so much untouchable power that they control the means of production and sit above elected governments, as allowed by successive governments across the world seduced by the promises of continuous growth and employment if the corporations are allowed to make as much money as they want.

Mussolini's Italy has been defined as a system of governance as Corporatism. Some call what we have today Corporatism, I think that is being kind. We seem to be witnessing the complete takeover of every service, industry, public space by corporations, the extreme opposite of Marxism, with little or no oversight by regulators, elected officials etc.



posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 07:03 PM
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reply to post by ANOK
 





Marxism isn't state control. Marxism is a way to re-order society in order to allow socialism to work. It supports a temporary state system where some forms of the old capitalist system remains and industry is mostly nationalised. This is called the transition period. The idea is during this transition period production would be increased, and re-organized, in order to meet peoples needs.


Yes agreed, however those who have seized control through Marxist ideals have never seen it through as a transition period either as a result of pressure from counter revolutionary forces abroad i.e. Cuba or though the cynicism of those involved and corruption of power in a one party state i.e. Soviet Union and others.


According to Marx, capitalism is merely a stage of historical development. It will eventually collapse under the weight of a laboring class (the proletariat) which increasingly becomes poorer and more numerous. The inconsistency of fewer and fewer people controlling more and more of the means of production will lead to capitalism’s collapse because eventually it will become too great an interference with production. At that time, the proletariat will create a rational society with no wages, no money, no social classes, and, eventually no state - “a free association of producers under their own conscious and purposive control.”


If that does not describe the state of and effect of capitalism in much of the developed and developing world today I don't know what does.



posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 07:31 PM
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Originally posted by Peruvianmonk
Yes agreed, however those who have seized control through Marxist ideals have never seen it through as a transition period either as a result of pressure from counter revolutionary forces abroad i.e. Cuba or though the cynicism of those involved and corruption of power in a one party state i.e. Soviet Union and others.


That is true. It's why I don't support Marxism. The Marxist approach was tried in the UK, it was how we got the Labour Party in the 1920's. The Labour Party started out as a revolutionary worker ran Party to represent the workers. WWI created a set back for the working class. After WWI the workers regained power, and they had the revolution in Spain supported by socialists from many countries. But then we got WWII which destroyed the power of the working class completely. Post WWII the working class was sold the idea of social climbing instead of solidarity and worker ownership. Socialism was replaced with liberalism, and liberalism became the new "socialism". But liberalism isn't socialism. Liberalism is capitalism with a social safety net, socialism is worker ownership of the means of production.

"Liberalism is not socialism and never will be" Winston Churchill, 1908, in a speech when he was the party candidate for the Liberal Party in Dundee Scotland.


If that does not describe the state of and effect of capitalism in much of the developed and developing world today I don't know what does.


I don't agree with Marx's plan, but he was spot on with his assessment of capitalism. He predicted what would happen exactly. This is why the capitalist class put so much effort in demonizing socialism, and replacing it with liberalism. Social handouts costs capitalists nothing, we pay for that ourselves. The capitalists new what Marx new, and set society up so that when the capitalist economy fails the workers would not revolt, and take over the running of industry themselves.


edit on 7/2/2012 by ANOK because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 3 2012 @ 04:19 AM
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reply to post by ANOK
 




Socialism was replaced with liberalism, and liberalism became the new "socialism". But liberalism isn't socialism. Liberalism is capitalism with a social safety net, socialism is worker ownership of the means of production.


Yea an an excellent analysis, which I can agree with.



The capitalists new what Marx new, and set society up so that when the capitalist economy fails the workers would not revolt, and take over the running of industry themselves.


People are revolting though, I'm not sure how long it will last and if the "good" times come back then I am sure normality will resume. These good times feel a long way off though, so the revolt may grow into a bigger movement supported by greater numbers.

More on the rampant excesses of unfettered corporate powers and its effects on workers.


This week, David Segal at the New York Times broke the news to America that not only was Apple -- the computer and gadget manufacturer formerly seen as a symbol of good old American ingenuity -- making its profits on the backs of abused factory workers in China, but also on poorly paid store employees here in the US.

Apple store workers, he wrote, make up a large majority of Apple's US workforce—30,000 out of 43,000 employees in this country—and they make about $25,000 a year, or about $12 an hour. Lawrence Mishel at the Economic Policy Institute notes that that's just a dollar above the federal poverty level. This for a company that paid nine of its top executives a total of $441 million in 2011.



Corporate taxes, too—at least the ones corporations actually pay—are at a 40-year low, with an effective tax rate paid of 12.1 percent. They've fallen from about 6 percent of GDP to less than 2 percent, according to ThinkProgress's Pat Garofalo. Once again, that's what you can buy when you'd rather pay politicians than your workers.


www.alternet.org...

I do not understand how anyone (including the executives mentioned) can back or support this kind of behavior either morally or economically.
edit on 3-7-2012 by Peruvianmonk because: Layout



posted on Jul, 3 2012 @ 02:02 PM
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From Mike Whitney on the Libor fixing scandal gripping the UK.


“In late November, 2007, a Barclays employee responsible for submitting Libor borrowing costs said in an email that Libor was “not reflecting the true cost of money … Not really sure why contributors are keeping them so low but it is not a good idea at the moment to be seen to be too far away from the pack,” according to the FSA regulatory filing.”

How do you like that? Caught red-handed. So why has it taken 4 years for the first fines to be imposed when anyone with two neurons and a frontal lobe could see that the rates were being tweaked back in 2008? Where are the regulators? Where are the criminal prosecutions? Why isn’t anyone in jail?

The stench of corruption is overpowering.


www.counterpunch.org...

The elite are being exposed in every industry. The banks, the drug companies, the transnational corporations. Is there anyone in the elite not trying to game the system?



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 06:24 PM
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Here are some more numbers detailing the inequality in America for you to feast your eyes upon.




-18- to 35-year-olds: Your median net worth has dropped 68% since 1984. It’s now less than $4,000.

-The Richest 1%: They tripled their share of income between 1980 and 2006, then took 93% of all the new income in the first year after the 2008 recession. Their median net worth is now over $5,000,000.



As your parents and mentors, we told you to stay in school and work hard and everything would be fine. But you don’t have jobs. Over half of college graduates were jobless or underemployed in 2011. More than 350,000 Americans with advanced degrees were receiving food stamps or some other form of public assistance.



Yes, it’s a lifetime investment, for the holder of your student loans. As corporate profits and CEO salaries and incomes of the 1% have surged over the past ten years, education financing declined by 24 percent, and tuition at state schools increased 72 percent. Since 1985, while consumer prices have approximately doubled, tuition has risen almost 600%. Total state education cuts for fiscal 2012 were $12.7 billion. A study by Citizens for Tax Justice noted that 265 of our nation’s largest companies avoided about the same amount in state taxes each year from 2008 to 2010.


www.counterpunch.org...



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 06:53 PM
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Originally posted by bjax9er
reply to post by Peruvianmonk
 


corporations will do whatever it takes to make money, it is human nature.


A truer statement was never spoken. They will destroy the environment, destroy human beings, and will destroy anything else that stands in the way of them making the almighty dollar. Greed is not a family value.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 07:12 PM
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I don't understand the reaction people have, it's reflexive, that when someone implys that our form of capitalism isn't working perfectly then there's this violent opposition where the OP gets labeled an evil socialist.

"You don't back our system that's currently falling apart?! You're an evil socialist! SOCIALIST!"

I mean, good god, calm down, argue the facts, and stop turning ideas into pejoratives just because you heard someone say "Socialism is bad, MMKAY!"



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 07:31 PM
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Originally posted by bjax9er
reply to post by Peruvianmonk
 


corporations are not the problem, it is the law, and the politicians.
corporations will do whatever it takes to make money, it is human nature.




With all due respect, you are WRONG. Corporations have bought of the vast majority of Politicians, ( They don't have Bernie Sanders) they own the judges and they right the laws. Corporations are the problem, they are heartless, sociopathic and have stolen many of the commons ( water, land, resources that belong to ALL of us) and they are raping the planet. They have broken every social contract that they had with the people. They are an ememy of the people. Sorry but your little inuendo... pinkno, commie, marxist socialist ploy doesn't work anymore this isn't the 1950's and your no Joe McCarthy. Just a humble suggestion, why don't you open your eyes and take a look around objectively, put away all the bullsh$t that THEY crammed into your head during your indoctrination and think for yourself. If not, stay the way you are, it's your choice and remember that someone tried to help you out. PEACE.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 07:37 PM
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reply to post by ANOK
 


Dear ANOK, If we look at all the religious, political, economic and social structures that are on the planet now we see that they are all based on a Master-Slave paradigm. It is time for this to end. Enough. No more. You will also note that the capitalist system is crumbling. It is a dead man walking. It is a zombie Good ridence. No Gods & No Masters. Freedom is around the corner my freind. Can you feel it in the air?



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 07:42 PM
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Originally posted by v1rtu0s0
I don't understand the reaction people have, it's reflexive, that when someone implys that our form of capitalism isn't working perfectly then there's this violent opposition where the OP gets labeled an evil socialist.

"You don't back our system that's currently falling apart?! You're an evil socialist! SOCIALIST!"

I mean, good god, calm down, argue the facts, and stop turning ideas into pejoratives just because you heard someone say "Socialism is bad, MMKAY!"


Thats just the old reactionary response to anything progressive..your a "socialist". They use to call you a pinko, commie back in the 60's. It's just old programming, an old method of belittling the bringer of new ideas. People are afraid, they have been indoctrinated to be in fear. That is how the system controls, through fear. I say enough already, there is nothing to fear. PEACE.


Ex

posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 07:44 PM
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reply to post by BubbaJoe
 


My question to Mittens is, if corporations are people, as he has said,
does that then mean Mittens is a mass murderer?
After all, hasn't Baim Capitol been responsible for the bankruptcy of several corporations
he took over? They are now dead, no longer in existence,
therefore he is a murderer if indeed corporations are people.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 08:06 PM
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reply to post by Ex
 


Not only that. What about the employees from these companies, are they still alive, going strong? The stress has probably taken years off their lives, what about any suicides? This can be said for millions around the world affected by the economic tyranny of the bankers.




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