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Three billionaires are wealthier than half the US population
« on: November 11, 2017, 03:13:17 AM »
http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/11/10/three-billionaires-are-wealthier-than-half-the-us-population/

Three billionaires are wealthier than half the US population
November 10, 2017 shorty

HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.

                                                                      By Eric London, wsws.org
And they want us to believe we live in a democracy.

According to a report published Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies, the three richest Americans—Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett—now own more wealth than the poorest half of the US population, some 160 million people.


Click here to read this important document.

America’s “60 families,” whose massive wealth was documented in journalist Ferdinand Lundberg’s 1937 exposure, have been replaced by just three billionaires whose combined wealth is over $264 billion.

The Institute for Policy Studies report, “Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the rest of us,” reveals that the richest 25 Americans are wealthier than the bottom 56 percent of the US. The net worth of the 400 richest is roughly equal to that of the bottom two thirds of the country, a total of 200 million people. According to the report’s authors, the US has become “a hereditary aristocracy of wealth and power.”

The unprecedented concentration of wealth is an international phenomenon. Oxfam reported in June 2017 that the world’s 5 richest people own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population, down from 80 people in 2015. Today, each of the top 5 billionaires owns as much as 750 million people, more than the total population of Latin America and double the population of the US.


Wealth share by wealth decile. Credit: People’s Policy Project

The IPS report explains that the US data “underestimate our current levels of wealth concentration” because “the growing use of offshore tax havens and legal trusts has made the concealing of assets more widespread than ever before.” A 2017 report published by Alstadsaeter, Johannesen, and Zucman titled “Who owns the wealth in tax havens?” estimates that the world’s superrich have between $5.7 and $32 trillion hidden from taxation or statistical analysis.

While the superrich dominate the commanding heights, the bottom 90 percent face hardship and crisis that vary only in terms of immediacy. The IPS report measures the net worth of working class families by subtracting the value of durable goods like automobiles, household appliances and furniture. According to its estimate, over 19 percent of US households—roughly 60 million people—have “zero or negative net worth” when durable goods are subtracted.

Beyond the poorest 20 percent, the report explains, “even those low- and middle-income families who do have some wealth often don’t have any liquid assets—cash or savings—at their disposal. Over 60 percent of Americans report not having enough savings to cover a $500 emergency.”


Even above the roughly 200 million people with nothing saved, conditions for the 60th to 90th percentile are similarly difficult. The bulk of this section of the working class’s net worth derives from housing equity, and when this is subtracted, most lack enough to survive through a few years of retirement. According to a recent study of Census data by the Economic Policy Institute, retirement account savings have plummeted in recent years among all age groups.

The IPS report is based on data from the US Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, which the World Socialist Web Site analyzed in detail last month. While the extremely wealthy have accumulated vast sums of wealth, a broader layer, comprising the top 10 percent, has also greatly enriched itself in recent years at the expense of the working masses. The richest 10 percent of the US—the social and political base for gender and identity politics—owns 77.1 percent of total wealth, while the bottom three quarters owns just 10 percent.

The explosion of social inequality is not an accidental process. It is the product of a decades-long campaign by both the Democratic and Republican parties to transfer trillions of dollars from the working class into the pockets of the rich. The “accomplishments” of both parties over the course of the last forty years are a litany of tax cuts for the wealthy, cuts to social programs, the deindustrialization of broad swaths of the Midwest, gutting corporate regulations and spending trillions on imperialist war, state surveillance and mass deportation and incarceration.
Even above the roughly 200 million people with nothing saved, conditions for the 60th to 90th percentile are similarly difficult. The bulk of this section of the working class’s net worth derives from housing equity, and when this is subtracted, most lack enough to survive through a few years of retirement. According to a recent study of Census data by the Economic Policy Institute, retirement account savings have plummeted in recent years among all age groups.

It’s clear now (it was clear all along but liberal Democrats refused to accept it) that Obama was a demagog of the most cynical sort. His entire tenure was one of lying to progressives and rank and file who fell for his promise of better government when compared to the criminal and disastrous Bush. With the atrocious Trump in the White House, the idiots in the Democratic party fold seem to have multiplied.

The Obama administration marked a milestone in this protracted social counterrevolution defined by the Wall Street bailout of 2008-2009, the restructuring of the auto industry in 2009 and the bankruptcy of Detroit in 2013-14. With the help of the Democratic administration, the ruling elite cashed in on the financial crisis.

As a result, the United States is now an oligarchy. Through its immense wealth and control of the major corporations, the superrich have established total domination over all of the official institutions of political, cultural and intellectual power.

The courts, the congress, and the president not only operate on behalf of competing interests within the aristocracy, they are increasingly personally staffed by millionaires and billionaires, as expressed most directly in the figure of Donald Trump. The military wages permanent war across the globe to protect corporate profits. The mainstream media is nothing more than the official propaganda wing of the American oligarchy. The trade unions, in their typically brutish and corrupt form, are paid off by the corporations to police the workers and suppress opposition.

The obsessions and preoccupations of this privileged layer of the population are entirely alien to the concerns of the bottom 90 percent. The cost of health care is skyrocketing; thousands of immigrant families are torn apart each week by deportation; nearly 100 people die each day from opioid abuse; student debt crushes a whole generation; millions remain devastated by floods, fires and hurricanes; entire states have been stripped of women’s health clinics; one veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes; and on and on.

Congress holds no hearings on these subjects. Its calendar is booked full with hearings on alleged Russian interference in US politics and the need to bring social media and tech companies to heel by censoring antiestablishment media. The Democrats and Republicans are working around the clock to reach a deal on a tax bill that will hand over trillions to the wealthy and corporations, with Senate Republicans announcing their version just yesterday.

The astronomical growth of inequality and the absence of any institutional mechanisms by which the population can address its social grievances presages an historic explosion of the class struggle. Strikes and protests involving tens of millions of workers and youth are inevitable, but they must be guided by a socialist program.

The billionaires’ wealth must be expropriated and redistributed to those in need. The corporations through which they derive their riches must be seized, placed under democratic control and reorganized by the workers themselves to serve public need and not private profit.

Companies like Bezos’ Amazon can be used to deliver medicine, food, water and construction equipment to disaster zones and impoverished areas. Gates’ Microsoft software and programming development can be harnessed to introduce an unprecedented degree of social planning into the world economy, allowing for production to be controlled so as to eliminate scarcity of basic resources and reverse environmental degradations. All industries can be made to serve the interests of the human race.

Under socialism, across all industries and in all countries, workers will come together in their workshops, plants and offices to plot a course for wielding the world’s productive forces in pursuit of equality and progress. But the ruling class will not give up its wealth voluntarily.
[That will require genuine revolutionary leadership.]

—Eric London

     CODA
    Those who, like sheeple, continue to pin their hopes on the Duopoly’s ping pong scam, forever running to vote for the lesser evil instead of working to make a breakthrough with a different approach, are simply perpetuating this despicable status quo. Are you one of them?

About the Author
Eric London is a political commentator with wsws.org. a socialist orgaisation.
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One in five American households have ‘zero or negative’ wealth
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2017, 03:43:48 AM »
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/one-in-five-american-households-have-zero-or-negative-wealth-2017-11-11?mod=genpf_twitter_new2&link=sfmw_tw

One in five American households have ‘zero or negative’ wealth

Published: Nov 11, 2017 12:02 a.m. ET


U.S. homes have regained value since the Great Recession, but many households have not


MarketWatch photo illustration/Everett Collection

‘Millions of American families struggle with zero or negative wealth, meaning they owe more than they own,’ a new report finds.

By
Quentin
Fottrell
Personal Finance Editor

Millions of Americans are living on the edge.

One in five households has zero or negative wealth, according to a report released this week by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank based in Washington, D.C. What’s more, an even greater share of African-American (30%) and Latino (27%) households are “underwater” financially. The combined impact of $1 trillion in credit-card debt, $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, and stagnant wages are taking a toll.

U.S. homes have regained value since the Great Recession, but many households have not. “Millions of American families struggle with zero or negative wealth, meaning they owe more than they own,” the report found. “This means that they have nothing to fall back on if an unexpected expense comes up like a broken down car or illness.” And inequality could get worse through new tax cuts for the wealthy.


Don’t miss: This six-figure tech job had the biggest bump in salary

President Trump’s tax proposals won’t give America’s middle class the reprieve they need to grow their wealth and recover from the financial crash, said Josh Hoxie, who heads up the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the Institute for Policy Studies. A recent analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation concluded that taxes would decline for all income groups, with the biggest percentage-point decline for millionaires.

After-tax income would rise by nearly 7% for households earning over $1 million per year, compared to less than 2% for those earning between $50,001 and $1 million, as MarketWatch recently reported. And less than 1% for those earning less than $50,000, according to Ernie Tedeschi, an economist at Evercore IS investment banking advisory firm who worked in the Treasury Department under President Obama.


Also see: Trump’s tax plan for children benefits wealthier families

Looking at private income, such as earnings and dividends, and government benefits like Social Security, the income of families near the top increased roughly 90% from 1963 to 2016, while the income of families at the bottom rose less than 10%, according to a separate report released last month by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit policy group based in Washington, D.C., while most other groups have been left behind.

And that gap between rich and poor is only going to get worse, Hoxie said. The wealthiest 25 individuals in the U.S., including Microsoft MSFT, -0.26%  co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon AMZN, -0.33%  CEO Jeff Bezos and Facebook FB, -0.47% CEO Mark Zuckerberg, own $1 trillion in combined assets. These 25 — a group equivalent to the active roster of a major league baseball team — hold more wealth than the bottom 56% of the U.S. population.
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The Staggering Scale Of Global Financial Inequality [Infographic]
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 01:47:29 AM »
https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/11/15/the-global-pyramid-of-wealth-infographic/?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=social&utm_content=1158430409&utm_campaign=sprinklrForbesMainTwitter#4a409547558b

Nov 15, 2017 @ 07:58 AM 909
The Little Black Book of Billionaire Secrets
The Staggering Scale Of Global Financial Inequality [Infographic]


Niall McCarthy , Contributor
Data journalist covering technological, societal and media topics
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

The scale of financial inequality across the world is simply mind boggling. Some 45.9 percent of global household wealth is currently controlled by just 0.7 percent of the planet's population. Those 36 million individuals own $128.7 trillion according to a new report released by Credit Suisse. The shocking extent of the wealth gap can be seen on the following infographic which is based on the report's global wealth pyramid.

Below that top 0.7 percent, another 391 million people own $111.4 trillion (39.7 percent of global wealth), despite accounting for only 7.9 percent of the planet's population. The base of the pyramid is most poignant and it illustrates how 3.47 billion adults (70 percent of the total) share a wealth of $7.6 trillion or just 2.6 percent of total wealth. Credit Suisse is expecting a 22 percent increase in dollar millionaires by 2022. The number of adults stuck in the base of the pyramid with $10,000 or less is expected to fall by only 4 percent during the same timeframe.

 
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‘Like Bond villains’: Mnuchin poses in front of fresh printed money
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 02:28:20 AM »
One thing about those Conservatard-Repugnants, they LOVE    that Printing Press!  More $Free Money$ for the 0.7%!  Vote Repugnant and you too can be RICH!

RE

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/11/15/like-bond-villains-what-happened-when-steven-mnuchin-and-his-wife-posed-with-a-sheet-of-money/?utm_term=.6fc19b27fa87

Wonkblog
‘Like Bond villains’: What happened when Steven Mnuchin and his wife posed with a sheet of money
By Eli Rosenberg November 15 at 8:14 PM


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, hold up a sheet of new $1 bills, the first currency notes bearing his and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza's signatures. Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin did what just about anyone would do when presented with a newly minted sheet of American currency bearing their name and signature on Wednesday: He posed for a photo.

Coming in the midst of tax-overhaul plans by President Trump and congressional Republicans that nonpartisan analysts say would disproportionately benefit corporations and wealthy individuals, among others, the photo of Mnuchin and wife Louise Linton holding up the sheet of new $1 bills became an instant meme and drew wide mockery around the Internet.

The photo was snapped Wednesday by Jacquelyn Martin, a photographer for the Associated Press, as Mnuchin and Linton, along with U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza, toured the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington. The new $1 bills, with Mnuchin and Carranza's signatures, are expected to go into circulation in December. The signatures of Treasury secretaries have appeared on U.S. currency for more than a century, and Mnuchin’s signature is more legible than that of his predecessor Jack Lew, the AP noted.

[Mnuchin flew on government jet to Washington following appearance at Trump Tower]

For many, there was something comical about the picture of the couple, no strangers to accusations of flaunting their wealth and privilege. Mnuchin holds the sheet on both sides, a smile on his face. His wife stands behind him, her hand on the sheet’s corner.

“Only way this could be worse would be if Linton and Mnuchin were lighting cigars with flaming dollar bills,” wrote the writer James Surowiecki.

“Just a friendly reminder that the GOP wants to raise taxes on the middle class & take health insurance away from millions of Americans so people like Louise Linton and Steven Mnuchin can get a tax cut,” wrote another.

Many said the optics of the photograph lent the two the aura of a pair of Hollywood villains. Perhaps it was Linton’s sharp stare and long black gloves. Clad in all black, Linton clasped the sheet of money the way a royal might hold her hand to be kissed.

“Why do Treasury Sec Mnuchin and his wife insist on posing for photos that make them look like Bond villains?” wrote CNBC reporter Christina Wilkie.

The Fox News website described the images as a “big money photo op.”

It is not the first photo of Mnuchin, a former banker and Hollywood producer, and Linton, an actress, to raise eyebrows. A post Linton made on Instagram over the summer, in which she tagged many of the luxury fashion brands she wore on the trip alongside a photo of her and Mnuchin descending the steps of a government plane, drew harsh criticism. Linton then criticized a commenter who questioned why she had promoted the brands, by boasting about her wealth.

[Treasury secretary’s wife boasts of travel on government plane, touts Hermes and Valentino fashion]

“Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband?” she wrote on a now-deleted Instagram post.
Play Video 1:53
Louise Linton's reaction to Instagram criticism had #nofilter
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[/center]
Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, caused controversy on Aug. 21 when she boasted of traveling on a government plane and tagged high-end fashion designers. (Video: Elyse Samuels/Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

A memoir that Linton self-published about a six-month stint in living in Zambia in 1999 was widely denounced for being littered with inaccuracies, and being “falsified,” according to the Zambian High Commission in London.

Mnuchin has also drawn scrutiny for his use of government aircraft to travel.
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