A new report has been published which compiles detailed information about the enormous amount of money that is being hidden by billionaires in offshore accounts. The research, The Price of Offshore Revisited, shows that over 21 trillion dollars, more than the total combined GDPs of both the United States and Japan, are being sequestered out of sight into the legally murky offshore economy. The super elite are using every available resource to exploit loopholes in cross-border tax rules to avoid paying their fair share.
Since the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, our nation’s democratic process has become so corrupted by unlimited corporate donations that it seems to be crumbling before our very eyes. Now that money is considered speech, the voices of millions of citizens are being crushed by a handful of billionaire plutocrats and narrow big business interests. The corrupting influence of unrestricted campaign donations upon our elections was evidenced in yesterday’s elections in Wisconsin.
Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize winning economist and author of the new book, End This Depression Now!, spoke with Rachel Maddow about the direct correlation between expanding income inequality and the increasingly divisive political polarization present in the United States. The wealth disparity between the rich and poor has been historically shown to greatly increase just prior to a severe economic crisis, as it did before the Great Depression; and the wealth gap in our country has never been as extreme as it is right now.
The United States is becoming an increasingly severely stratified plutocracy. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities just released a new study proving that the richest 1% are continuing to amass greater and greater amounts of wealth, while the rest of the population is still struggling financially.
The highly esteemed economist, Robert Reich, clearly explains what some of our country’s largest financial system problems are, offers a clear plan with well defined policy solutions, and presents this concise message to President Obama:
“We’ll give you a mandate in your second term to raise taxes on the rich, including capital gains taxes, and put a tax on financial transactions, also, resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act, limit the size of big banks, and force them to modify the loans of millions of Americans who are now underwater; and invest in public schools and other infrastructure so that all Americans can prosper in this new economy.”
Massive corporate banks and billionaire plutocrats are proving that they have a vested interest in dismantling the growing Occupy protests. Chris Hayes has just revealed that a politically connected lobbying firm with close ties to Republican John Boehner, has asked a wealthy banking group for nearly a million dollars to develop a strategic plan to destroy the Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as any politicians who might express support for the activists.
More people in the United States are using food stamps now than ever before in the history of our nation — 41.8 million Americans are currently getting food aid. The Department of Agriculture just released updated national participation numbers for food assistance programs, which show that the amount of food stamp recipients has jumped 18% from last year, and has increased 1.4% just since June. Although this ignoble new record is not really so very surprising; our nation’s dire economic situation has caused the number of families in need of food assistance to set new records for each of the last 20 months straight.
The distribution of wealth and resources in this nation is more extreme and inequitable than it has ever been in our country’s recorded history. In this current economic Depression the richest 5% of our populace now owns and controls 2/3 of everything. The wealth gap is so severe that it has helped to create the violently volatile and unstable economy that we currently enjoy. The Pew Research Center has just released some mind boggling income survey research which shows just how gargantuan the disparity of resources has now grown.
Stop blaming yourself if you feel exhausted and overworked, because you are. If it seems like for years you have been laboring more hours and making less money, struggling more just to get by, it is indeed true. Even though U.S. citizens on average are now working more hours with much greater productivity, our wages remain stagnant. If we are lucky enough to even have a job in this dire economy, we are told to be grateful and industrious, and not to complain about the increasingly small pittance we are now earning.
It is difficult to comprehend just how rich the plutocracy in the United States has now become. The distribution of wealth and resources in this nation is even more extreme and inequitable than what we are all earning for our wages (if you are fortunate enough to actually even have a job). According to new research released by the Economic Policy Institute,”The State of Working America’s Wealth”, the volatility and turmoil in our economy continues to increase, as the massive chasm between the grotesquely rich and everyone else grows even more immense.
The dirty fingers of the billionaire Koch brothers seem to be leaving their grubby money-stained prints all over the news lately. ThinkProgress has just released a very telling video of Republican Senator Scott Brown enthusiastically sucking up to David Koch last week in Massachusetts. In the video, Koch repeatedly licks his lips, perhaps in eager anticipation of all the money that he will make with Brown’s compliant assistance. The weird tongue gesture is actually rather creepy and reptilian.
The greater the disparity in wealth between the very rich and everyone else, the more unstable an economy becomes. Our nation has now created a larger gap in the distribution of wealth than the massive chasm that helped fuel the Great Depression.