Corporate Domination

 

Background Info and Links


5/27/16


NYTimes: Behind the Scenes, Billionaires’ Growing Control of News - Another facet of the control large corporations have over the news and thus the zeitgeist. See also entry below of 5/7.


5/12/16


Open Secrets: Hedge Fund Megadonors Capitalize on Offshore Opportunities - $400 Billion camped out in the Caymans, well away from US taxation. Here’s a little secret: They don’t pay their fair share. This article highlights 7 individual hedge fund managers who have given $60 Million to US politicians of both parties just since the beginning of 2015. You can get in on this, but only if you have at least an extra $5.4 Million minimum investment lying around somewhere.


5/7/16


HuffPo: Bernie Sanders Calls Out MSNBC’s Corporate Ownership -- In Interview on MSNBC - 6 corporations control the vast majority of everything we see, hear and read.


Comcast owns NBCUniversal owns MSNBC, NBC, Bravo, USA, other channels


Time Warner owns CNN, HBO, Time, Warner Bros.


News-CORP owns Fox, WSJ, NY Post and the top newspaper on 3 continents


Disney owns ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Miramax, Marvel Studios


Viacom (majority owner Sumner Redstone) owns MTV, Nick JR, BET, CMT, Paramount Pictures


CBS Corp. (majority owner Sumner Redstone) owns Showtime, The Movie Channel, FLIX, Smithsonian Channel


5/6/16


ESMT Berlin: Where Did The Greek Bailout Money Go? - To bailout the banks, this study concludes. Of the $246 Billion in bailout funds, 5% went to the Greek budget, 95% to German banks. Here is Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz’s take on the issue and ex-Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. Meanwhile German banks facilitate tax avoidance for large corporations and rich investors.


5/2/16


RT News: TTIP Risks to Health & Environment, US Pressure on EU Revealed in Secret Docs Leaked by Greenpeace


5/1/16


Democracy-NOW: “The Incomplete, True, Authentic and Wonderful History of May Day” - Happy May Day! Go outside and dance around the Maypole! “Hooray, Hooray, the 1st of May! Outdoor Loving Begins Today” May Day of the modern era began in Massachusetts in 1627 with Thomas Morton, and then was reprised by the Haymarket Affair, and led to the establishment of International Workers Day. The Puritans hated May Day. Odd that they came over on the Mayflower.


4/28/16


Salon: Robert Reich: Wealth Inequality Is Even More Devastating Than Income Inequality


On-Point: Interview with James M. Stone - A very interesting 45 minute interview with a former lecturer in Economics at Harvard, founder of the Plymouth Rock group of insurance companies, former chairman of the CFTC, former insurance commissioner of Massachusetts, and author. America is in danger of becoming an aristocracy of wealth. His “5 Easy Theses” are: 1. Fiscal Balance, 2. Inequality in wealth and income, 3. Education, 4. Health Care, 5. Wall Street out of control. The 10 largest banks in America now hold open positions on $300 Trillion of derivatives - more than just prior to the 2008 collapse. None of them are on the official TBTF list. The ‘notional value’ of worldwide derivative trading is $700 Trillion, over 10 X the total amount of world economy. Banks today are bigger and more opaque than ever. Just one of his ‘5 Theses.’


Democracy-NOW: Former Greek Finance Minister: Massive IMF Bailouts are “Ponzi Austerity” Scheme - The current message being peddled to the public is that negotiations have broken down because Greece is resisting structural reforms. In reality, the IMF and Germany/France are grappling over whether the approach should be to bail out the French/German banks or create a realistic path that would allow Greece to emerge as a stable country. Greece is just a bystander in this fight. Greece would never have been in this situation in the first place without the intervention of Goldman-Sachs.


4/27/16


Other Words: The GOP’s 2-Pronged Assault on Women -  This article does a good job of pointing out the GOP’s positions, but we should also keep in mind that the Clinton’s 1996 ‘welfare reform’ program - PRWORA - changed welfare from a federal program to state block grant program. Since that time, the percentage of eligible homes - mostly single mother’s - receiving cash assistance has dropped from 68% to 26%.


4/24/16


Aljazeera: American Democracy is Rigged - Interesting article comparing our ‘democracy’ to that of N. Korea and Iran.


4/23/16


Yahoo: 35,000 Germans Rally Against TPP On Eve of Obama Visit


4/21/16


Reuters: Support for TPP Plunges in US (18%) and Germany (17%)


Frontline: Senator Warren Slams Wall Street’s Top Cop - When Obama appointed M. J. White to head the SEC, his smooth delivery had all of the stenographic MSM press repeating his message that Wall Street should be quaking in their boots in fear of her tough enforcement that was just around the corner. “Don’t mess with Mary Jo.” In reality she worked for the biggest law firm on Wall Street specializing in getting Wall St. bankers off the hook - and back to that law firm is exactly where she’s going when her stint at the SEC is over - exactly the same career path as ex-AG Holder. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon called Mary Jo ‘the perfect choice.’ It’s a revolving door. The real purpose of her appointment was to play out the clock on the statute of limitations for big bank fraud before the crash - and protect them from meaningful regulation in the meantime, and Here, Here. Credit to Sen. Warren for pointing this particular issue out, but really she’s just grandstanding in an effort to put herself in position to do the same thing later. Here’s a lady with the right answer, but oddly when she came to testify before Congress, Sen. Warren was repeatedly not available. That’s just what dems and rethugs do.


4/18/16


USA Today: More than 900 ‘Democracy Awakening’ Protestors Arrested In DC


Democracy-NOW: Mass Civil Disobedience Planned on Capitol Hill to Cap Week of 900+ Arrests


The Nation: Today is Tax Day - Corporations Are Avoiding Enough Money in Taxes to Pay For Health Care for 2 Billion People


4/17/16


Intercept: We Could Shut Down Tax Havens If We Wanted To - From article: Corporations and their execs save at least $330 Billion per year.


4/15/16


Telesur: Greek PM Blames IMF for Bailout Delay - See entry of 4/2.


4/13/16


NYTimes: Regulators Warn Top 5 Banks They Are Still Too Big To Fail - So it seems the regulators agree with Bernie. No other candidate has dared suggest that these banks need to be broken up.


4/11/16


NYTimes: Sweetheart Deal for Goldman - The announcement was for a $5.1 Billion settlement. But when tax incentives and outright credits are counted...“They appear to have grossly inflated the settlement amount for P.R. purposes to mislead the public, while in the fine print, enabling Goldman Sachs to pay 50 to 75 percent less,” said Dennis Kelleher, the founder of the advocacy organization Better Markets, referring to the government announcement. “The problem all along, with all of these settlements — and this one highlights it even more — is that they are carefully crafted more to conceal than reveal to the American public what really happened here — and what the so-called penalty is.”


4/8/16


Matt Taibbi: Why the Banks Should Be Broken Up - Short, simple summarization.


4/6/16


Bernie Sanders Press Release: This Is How We Break Up TBTF Banks - In the first 100 days.


CBS News: New Ford Plant Will Create 2800 New Jobs -- In Mexico


4/5/16


Democracy-NOW: Panama Papers: World Leaders Exposed in Massive Tax Evasion Scheme - A 2015 study found that the top 500 US companies keep $2.1 Trillion in tax havens, avoiding hundreds of billions in taxes.


4/4/16


Think Progress: Massive ‘Panama Papers’ Leak Begins to Unravel the Secret Networks Global Elites Use to Stash Their Money


BBC: Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca Leak Reveals Elite’s Tax Havens and Telesur and Here


4/2/16


HuffPo: Greece Demands IMF Explain ‘Disaster’ Remarks In Explosive Leak


4/1/16


NYTimes: Jobs and Wages Notch Gains As the Economy Tries to Heal - Better than losing jobs but not all that rosy.

From the article: “Even with improvement of the past six months, the proportion of Americans in the labor force remains significantly below where it was when the recession began at the end of 2007...while some of the highest-paid employees on Wall Street and at many leading companies have enjoyed big jumps in compensation, most workers have experienced only very modest wage gains, heightening worries about income inequality. The American economy still faces fundamental headwinds that are not likely to abate soon — like a persistent trade gap, low productivity and the long-term erosion of factory jobs that provide an economic lifeline to workers without a college degree.

In fact, the manufacturing sector was one of the few weak spots in the economy last month, losing 29,000 jobs.

But companies in the business of providing health care, leisure and hospitality and retailing each gained more than 40,000 jobs in March...

The overall unemployment rate rose to 5 percent last month, compared with 4.9 percent in February.”

So if you’re working in the service sector for tips or on commission, things are looking up. But manufacturing jobs are still headed overseas.

And if you’re working on Wall Street...let the good times roll and everyone else can just eat cake.


3/29/16


The Nation: Distinguished Professor of Economics and Co-Director of Political Economy Research Institute Univ. Mass: The Sanders Economic Plan Will Make the US Economy Great Again - A detailed breakdown of the Sanders plan and why his critics (most of whom supported each of his proposals until he began to threaten Hillary) are dead wrong.


3/25/16


NYTimes: In Yahoo, Another Example of the Buyback Mirage - Over the past 40 years, corporate profits have risen from 6% to 12% of GDP, an extra $1 Trillion per year. During this time, jobs and salaries have been flat. Instead of using these extra profits to pay employee overtime or health care, or develop corporate infrastructure in order to increase domestic manufacturing and thus more jobs, most of these profits have been used for corporate buy backs. Why? To artificially increase profit per share, and thus share price - which is what C-level and Board of Director salary/bonuses are based on. So by manipulating an accounting trick, people with no real concern for the health of their companies and much less for their employees, have converted profits, part of which should go to employee wages, into their own casino slush funds. Now, as this article points out, studies are showing there is no business justification for this practice - no matter how hard corporate spokesmen try to spin it.


3/22/16


Seattle Weekly: Kshama Sawant Lays Out Why We Are So Over Capitalism


Black Agenda Report: Good News, Bad News As Post-Obama Fight For Public Education Goes Local


3/18/16


MoJo: Humanitarian Raid: The World Bank is Supposed to Help the Poor. So Why Do So Many of It’s Investments Underwrite the Oligarchs?


MoJo: The Disturbing Reason Why Charter Schools May Have Higher Test Scores - They don’t serve special needs kids and find reasons to kick out those who perform poorly on test scores - which in-turn complements the for profit prison industrial complex and leads to re-segregation of schools, rendering Brown v Board of Education moot.


3/9/16


Political Economy Research Institute: The Revenue Potential of a Financial Transaction Tax - Research shows that this key Sanders proposal would bring in at least $300 Billion per year from the very people who need to be contributing to the country that has made them so rich.


3/7/16


ProPublica: How David Rubenstein Helped Save the Carried Interest Tax Loophole - Corporate welfare.


3/5/16


Crop Protection News: Farmers Union Head Skeptical of TPP


3/3/16


Economic Policy Institute: US Trade Deficit with TPP Countries Cost 2 Million Jobs in 2015, With Job Losses in Every State


3/1/16


HuffPo: Democratic Party Chairwoman Joins Ranks with Rethugs to Gut CFPB’s Regulations on Payday Loan Sharks - The same person who structured Democratic debates so they would reach the fewest number of people possible, and one of the many New Democrats, Here, Here, and Here, who have schemed in numerous ways to cripple Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Notice that Elizabeth Warren, who started the CFPB, has had nothing to say. No Difference!


New Yorker: Why is the Spanish Government Afraid of a Puppet Show?


2/27/16


Salon: The FDA Now Officially Belongs to Big Pharma


2/26/16


ProPublica: Who’s Regulating For-Profit Schools? Execs From For-Profit Colleges


2/22/16


On Message: Democratic Party Primary Survey: Two Thirds of Democratic Voters Prefer Socialism Over Capitalism - Most respondents favored Single Payer health care, free tuition at public colleges and universities, and more government regulation of private corporations.


2/17/16


Democracy-NOW: Michigans Water Wars: Nestle Pumps Millions of Gallons for Free While Flynt Pays for Poisoned Water - An incredible story.


2/16/16


Salon: Thomas Piketty Says Bernie Sanders Can “Change the Face of The Country” - Author of “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the seminal study of our current economic system, which  shows how wealth and capital tend to flow to the top 1%, just as Karl Marx predicted. Piketty has an optimistic view of what Bernie has already accomplished.


2/13/16


Truthout: How the United States’ Two Major Parties Helped Destroy Democracy - “Democracy describes today's America by only the most facile standards. It has never really described America anyway. Plutocracy is the accurate word. And our plutocratic overlords keep us in a hamster-wheel choosing which lieutenant we will take orders from next for practical reasons.” This scientific study shows that what the majority of Americans want is never made into law, but what the 1% and corporations want is passed every time. We live in an plutocracy, not a democracy.


2/12/16


ProPublica: The Executive Pay Cap That Backfired


2/11/16


CBS News: Speaker Ryan: Not Enough Votes for TPP Trade Deal - If true, this is a major bit of news, and all due to grass-roots actions. When people tell you ‘it doesn’t matter’ and ‘there’s nothing you can do to change anything’ think of this. Whether or not TPP is defeated, a movement is building.


2/9/16


Forbes: Unless It Changes, Capitalism Will Starve Humanity by 2050


Truthout: Without Paper Ballots, Fear of Vote Rigging Clouds 2016 Primaries


2/5/16


Matt Taibbi: The Vampire Squid Tells Us How to Vote


Act.TV: Water is a Human Right? Not Everyone Agrees


2/4/16


Bill Moyers: Elizabeth Warren Recalls A Time When Big Donors May Have Changed Hillary’s Vote


William K Black: Hillary, The Banksters Committed ‘Fraud,’ Not ‘Shenanigans’


Popular Resistance: Mass Protests Shut Down Auckland As TPP is Signed - As well at throughout the US and the rest of the world.


2/3/16


UPI: US, 11 Nations Sign TPP, Sanders Vows to Kill It If Elected


International Business Times: Elizabeth Warren Defends Bernie Sanders From Goldman Sachs Criticism - “You’re telling me that something changed between the 1980s, when more than a thousand people got prosecuted in the Savings and Loan crisis, but by 2008, a far bigger financial crisis involving far bigger and bolder frauds, that no one was legally responsible for that? That’s just not possible.” Something this web site has been pointing out since October, 2011 - a must-read entry. I’m glad E. Warren is pointing this out, but it seems a little late to be getting headlines for it.


2/2/16


The Intercept: Pharma Execs Worry About Presidential Candidates Demanding Reform - Only one of them actually means it. Hillary uses the Goldilocks approach - not too hot and not too cold, but just the right amount of faux-populism. But not to worry BigPharma and Wall Street ‘get it’ and Here.


NYTimes: Martin Shkreli All But Gloated Over Huge Drug Price Increases, Memos Show - The weasel has hired the criminal defense attorney to the stars and will probably plead the 5th on Thursday’s Congressional hearings.


1/29/16


LATimes: Too Poor to Retire, Too Young to Die - And 1/3 of American children live in poverty, while the ultra-rich can afford to hire teams of lawyers, accountants and financial wizards to their corporate welfare rolling...and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and on and on. But no politician, except one, will talk about it. Voting is of minimal importance, Organize or Die.


1/28/16


Tufts University: Trading Down: Unemployment, Inequality and Other Risks of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement - Study indicates TPP will result in the loss of 448,000 American jobs, a decline in labor’s share of income, and a decline in the GDP.


1/21/16


MSNBC: TPP Provisions Would Undermine Environmental Efforts


Democracy-NOW: The 1% Economy; The World’s Richest 62 People Now Have as Much as Poorest 3.6 Billion and Here


1/20/16


Democracy-NOW: Dark Money: Jane Mayer on How the Koch Bros. & Billionaire Allies Funded the Rise of the Far Right and DeSmogBlog and Fresh Air - Their father started the John Birch Society and built oil refineries for Hitler and Stalin.


1/19/16


BBC: Davos: DiCaprio Attacks ‘Corporate Greed’of Oil, Gas and Coal Companies


1/18/16


Common Dreams: New Extremes In Wealth Inequality Demand Action - The global 1% now own more than everyone else combined. 62 people own as much as the bottom 50%.  Oxfam report: “"Women make up the majority of the world’s low-paid workers and are concentrated in the most precarious jobs," the report states. And compounding global inequality is the fact that such low wage workers in almost all developed and most developing companies are receiving a falling share of national income, while profits are increasingly concentrated in the hands of those at the top.”


1/17/16


UK Guardian: An Oligarchy Has Broken Our Democracy. It Must Be Dislodged.


Common Dreams: Davos and Its Threat to Democracy - The 0.01% meeting to decide how they’re going to divvy up the spoils from their ‘free trade’ agreements. The output will be similar to this 2010 document “Global Redesign Initiative.” How the global elite intend to turn the world into their own corporatocracy  “The sovereign state is obsolete.”


1/12/16


Medium: Organize or Die - A great 10 minute read on the limitations of voting. Howard Zinn: “Voting is marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.”


The Hill: Obama Expected to Push Congress to Pass TPP


1/10/16


Salon: The Defining American Crisis Our Corporate Media Still Can’t Be Bothered to Cover


1/7/16


Common Dreams: Bernie Sanders’ Plan to Tame Wall Street Riles Team Clinton


Democracy-NOW: Mystery Meat: After WHO Ruling, US Tosses Meat Origin Labeling


1/6/16


CBC: Keystone XL Rejection Triggers TransCanada Suit Under Provisions of NAFTA - An example of the type of suit that will be made even more powerful under TPP if it is allowed to pass.


1/2/16


Intercept: I Was Wrong: Big Banks Actually Are Exactly Like Counterfeiters - Frauds: 1. Make millions of liars loans to people with no ability to repay; 2. Bundle these loans and sell them as legitimate bonds; 3. Rate this trash as AAA+; 4. Resell these trash bundles to unsuspecting investors and then bet against them; 5 Robo-Forge foreclosure documents by the tens of thousands in order to illegally throw American families out on the street. There was no shortage of fraud, no matter what Wall Street servant and sycophant Obama may have said.





Corporate Domination 2015

Forget about income and wealth inequality, corporate tax welfare, defunding public education, crumbling American infrastructure, the lack of difference between the only 2 major neo-liberal parties that we’ll ever get a chance to vote for, the dysfunctional health care delivery system, drone murders, perpetual war. Just focus on what’s  

               REALLY SCARY RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Whether the concern is climate, labor, finance, war, food/water shortage, environmental destruction, lack of adequate/equal health care, the root cause is the same: unregulated, out of control corporate capitalism. It’s not working and it keeps getting worse by the day.