AuthorTopic: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution  (Read 10074 times)

Offline azozeo

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Wealth Maldistribution - These 3 OWN IT ALL !
« Reply #75 on: October 01, 2019, 11:26:31 AM »


A fundamental change is underway in stock market investing, and the spin-off effects are poised to dramatically impact corporate America.

In the past, individuals and large institutions mostly invested in actively managed mutual funds, such as Fidelity, in which fund managers pick stocks with the aim of beating the market. But since the financial crisis of 2008, investors have shifted to index funds, which replicate established stock indices, such as the S&P 500.

The magnitude of the change is astounding: from 2007 to 2016, actively managed funds have recorded outflows of roughly US$1,200 billion, while index funds had inflows of over US$1,400 billion.

In the first quarter of 2017, index funds brought in more than US$200 billion – the highest quarterly value on record.
Democratising the market?


https://theconversation.com/these-three-firms-own-corporate-america-77072
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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🤑 Wealth Maldistribution: How American CEOs got so rich
« Reply #76 on: October 12, 2019, 05:47:10 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ylLTMYt24lA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ylLTMYt24lA</a>
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Offline azozeo

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Wealth Maldistribution - Vlad strikes $20b debt w/African Nations hmmmm
« Reply #77 on: October 24, 2019, 11:22:01 AM »

Russia writes off African debt worth over $20 BILLION – Putin


https://www.rt.com/business/471608-russia-writes-off-african-debt/
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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EZ come, EZ go.  ::)

RE

https://www.forbes.com/sites/angelauyeung/2019/10/24/jeff-bezos-is-no-longer-the-richest-person-in-the-world/#7bcbc65367ae

100,878 viewsOct 24, 2019, 08:00pm
Jeff Bezos Is No Longer The Richest Person In The World After Amazon Stock Plunges

Angel Au-Yeung
Forbes Staff
Billionaires


Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) AFP/Getty Images


Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos lost his title as the richest man in the world during after-hours trading on Thursday, after his ecommerce behemoth reported lackluster third-quarter earnings.

Amazon shares fell 7% in after-hours trading, knocking Bezos’ fortune down to $103.9 billion. That puts him at number two among the world’s richest. The new number one: Microsoft cofounder and fellow Washington state resident Bill Gates, who is worth $105.7 billion.

Bezos became the richest man in the world in 2018 and the first centibillionaire to ever appear on the The Forbes 400 that year with a net worth of $160 billion, ending Gates’ 24-year run as number one.
Today In: Billionaires

But the Amazon chief executive's net worth drop isn’t entirely due to the decline in Amazon shares. Bezos transferred a quarter of his Amazon stake to his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos as part of their divorce settlement, which was finalized earlier this year. MacKenzie Bezos is worth $32.7 billion, and among the top twenty wealthiest people in the world.

On Thursday afternoon, Amazon reported a 26% drop in net income in its third quarter, its first profit decline since 2017.  In after-hours trading, Amazon dropped nearly 9% to $1,624 per share in the 20 minutes after the market closed. It has since rebounded slightly, hovering at $1,657 per share at 7:30 p.m. ET
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The company said it is investing heavily in logistics and delivery infrastructure, with the goal of making one-day shipping the norm for Amazon Prime members. The company disclosed during its second quarter earnings call in July that it had spent “a little bit” more than the estimated $800 million that it has previously said it would invest in one-day shipping infrastructure. The company declined to disclose how much it had spent on one-day shipping in the third quarter. But chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky did disclose Thursday that the company plans to spend $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter, presumably to finance the one-day shipping initiative.

Gates, meanwhile, has been out of Microsoft since 2014 when he stepped down as chairman of the storied company, though he remains a board member. He has sold or given away the majority of his Microsoft stake and diversified his wealth over time. He is now the co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private charitable foundation in the world.

Bill Gates debuted on Forbes’ first ever billionaire list in 1987 with a net worth of $1.25 billion. Bezos first joined The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans in 1998, one year after Amazon went public, with a net worth of $1.6 billion.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 02:33:02 AM by RE »
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Offline Surly1

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The world is sitting on a $400 trillion financial time bomb
« Reply #79 on: October 29, 2019, 07:01:59 AM »
The world is sitting on a $400 trillion financial time bomb


Up in smoke.

Financial disaster is looming, and not because of the stock market or subprime loans. The coming crisis is more insidious, structural, and almost certain to blow up eventually.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that by 2050 the world will face a $400 trillion shortfall (pdf) in retirement savings. (Yes, that’s trillion, with a “T”.) The WEF defines a shortfall as anything less than what’s required to provide 70% of a person’s pre-retirement income via public pensions and private savings.

The US will find itself in the biggest hole, falling $137 trillion short of what’s necessary to fund adequate retirements in 2050. It is followed by China’s $119 trillion shortfall.

Asset returns have been lower than they were in the past and people are living longer, so some of this shortfall is to be expected. The WEF assumes many people born recently will live beyond 100, which may be a bit much (the Social Security Administration expects most Americans born today to live into their mid-80s). But much of the massive shortfall is baked into retirement systems; setups in which nobody, neither individuals nor the government, saves enough. About three-quarters of the projected comes from underfunded promises from governments, with the rest mostly accounted for by under-saving on the part of individuals.

Michael Drexler, head of financial and infrastructure systems at the WEF, who edited of the report, likens the problem to climate change. “Like climate change, you don’t see the consequences today, but if you do nothing the problem builds up and then there is nothing you can do,” he says. “Today you can still change things, but if you do nothing you’ll wind up with a problem that is three to four times the global economy.”

Forecasting anything accurately in 2050 is tricky. We could get lucky, in a sense, and people might start dying younger. More happily, asset returns might pick up. Some argue that worries are unfounded, because we can still pay pensions today and sort out any future problems if they become acute. Others cite uncertainty around the estimates as reason to delay action today. But uncertainty goes both ways—things could be better or worse, and the worst-case scenario poses much bigger costs than we can bear.

Acting sooner ensures lower costs in the future. Putting money aside for retirement now confers the benefit of compound interest and provides certainty to financial markets that fear ballooning government debts. For example the US Social Security Administration estimates that its shortfall could be fixed with an immediate 2.58-percentage-point tax increase, or a 16% cut in benefits. If the government waits until 2034 (the year it can no longer pay full benefits given its current trajectory) it would need a 3.58-percentage-point tax increase, or a 21% benefit cut. If the shortfall proves bigger than expected, the costs of waiting will be larger, too.

The report offers several suggestions to address the shortfall. Most include ways to boost individual saving by offering retirement accounts to a wider population and expanding financial literacy. The authors advocate diversifying investments beyond traditional stocks and bonds. Drexler says that investing in a diversified portfolio of infrastructure projects can increase returns and enhance economic growth.

Financing a long and comfortable retirement requires contributions from multiple sources, as well as shared risk. “If in 2050 people reach 85 and run out of money they’ll need to rely on Social Security,” Drexler explains. “But if there’s a shortfall the government will be overwhelmed by demand or pensioners living in poverty. We must start educating people now, so we have a good [defined-contribution pension] plans so people have something.”

Still, an overwhelming majority of the short-fall comes from government programs. In order to address this problem, governments must adequately and proactively fund their entitlements too, either by increasing taxes or by cutting benefits. Individuals alone cannot save enough to compensate for the unrealistic promises their governments have made.

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline RE

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🤑 Wealth Maldistribution - The Long Shadow of the 'Welfare Queen'
« Reply #80 on: November 02, 2019, 01:32:27 AM »
Jimbo and the TBP Shit-Throwing Monkeys would love this one.  lol.

Gotta love those 70's Afro Hairdoes.  ::)

RE

https://pictorial.jezebel.com/the-long-shadow-of-the-welfare-queen-1838856900?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Books
The Long Shadow of the 'Welfare Queen'


Image: AP

 Kelly Faircloth
Tuesday 3:30PM

Filed to:josh levin


When Ronald Reagan and his advisors wanted to undermine the very institution of social programs, he turned to a news story out of Chicago—the tale of one Linda Taylor, who’d bilked the government benefits system out of so much money she was dubbed the “welfare queen.”

The trope of the “welfare queen” is powerful, toxic, and stubbornly persistent. Cemented by Reagan in his campaign for the presidency, the idea helped to both racialize and poison the very idea of financial assistance for the poor, a rhetorical trick that rendered everyone who applied for Aid to Families With Dependent Children benefits suspect by association. Even Joe Biden came to deal in the imagery, advocating for reform legislation in 1988 in the Newark paper: “We are all too familiar with the stories of welfare mothers driving luxury cars and leading lifestyles that mirror the rich and famous,” he wrote. “Whether they are exaggerated or not, these stories underlie a broad social concern that the welfare system has broken down—that it only parcels out welfare checks and does nothing to help the poor find productive jobs.” The words still have enough juice in the American consciousness that there’s a GLOW character who performs in the ring as “Welfare Queen.”

The term came to suggest an entire category of person. But originally, it was applied to a very specific person who did plenty of shit besides scamming checks out of the government, as Slate national editor Josh Levin makes clear in The Queen, his book about Taylor released earlier this year.
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And yet, the concept of the welfare queen continues to reverberate down through the years, despite the fact that the program to which the term typically referred was essentially reformed out of existence under the Clinton administration. The very concept of welfare has been poisoned; you’ll notice universal basic income advocates opted for a technocratic term that carefully walks on the other side of the street. As we head into the 2020 election with primary candidates advancing arguments for attempts to create progressive programs that decrease the gap between the haves and the have-nots will have to reckon with her long, long shadow. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is sawing away at the food stamps program and, as The Guardian explored recently, the Treasury Department is still hounding women in their 70s and 80s who were allegedly “overpaid” government benefits decades ago. Our entire system of public assistance is punitive.

I talked to Levin for more on the history of the person and how she became the concept.
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JEZEBEL: Who’s the queen of the title, and how does she get her crown, so to speak?
Image: Times Machine

JOSH LEVIN: Linda Taylor was a woman who came to prominence and became a public figure in 1974, when the Chicago Tribune reported that she had been found by the Chicago police to be getting welfare under multiple different names. Within a couple weeks of that original story, the Tribune started referring to her as the “welfare queen,” because, according to the Tribune, she had stolen this huge amount of public aid money and was also driving a Cadillac. In the first article about her, they said she was planning a Hawaiian vacation and that she claimed to own a bunch of buildings on the South Side of Chicago. So the idea behind the name was that she was getting rich off of welfare, and that that was an outrage.

She becomes this symbol of anti-welfare sentiment. Did an existing narrative glom onto her, or was this built on this specific person of Linda Taylor?

I think it was definitely both. The prejudice against welfare recipients predated her, and if you look back, ever since the Aid to Dependent Children program (later Aid to Families with Dependent Children) was created in the 1930s, you can find stories about people getting money that they don’t deserve. But it was really around the time of the civil rights movement and the welfare rights movement in the ’60s and then into the ’70s that the popular perception of welfare became really racialized. The figure of the “welfare queen”—that term had been used a tiny bit before Linda Taylor, but it really came into prominence because of its association with Taylor. That was a term that came at a time when welfare was perceived by a large number of people in the US as a program that black people, particularly black women, were using to their benefit and these were the “undeserving” poor. It was an image that was adapted and transformed to fit with the times, but it wasn’t created from whole cloth to describe Linda Taylor. it was just that she was the right person at the right time—or the wrong person at the wrong time, depending on your sentiment. Just because, superficially at least, she so neatly fit all of the most pernicious and racist stereotypes about welfare recipients, about how they were getting rich while the ordinary taxpayer American was working hard and their tax dollars were going to somebody who didn’t work and was a cheater and all that stuff.

It is almost like if Ronald Reagan could have cooked her up in a lab, he would have.
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I think that’s what you see in the way that Reagan told the story. Reagan did not invent her in a lab. Reagan was taking information that was publicly reported in news outlets that had good journalistic reputations. He was kind of cherry-picking facts and planting them in a particular way, but he found this anecdote, this one-off incident, and used it to extrapolate really wildly about welfare programs generally, about welfare recipients generally. Then he also just didn’t mention the parts of her story that were inconvenient. I think if her whole story had been told, it would have been a lot more clear to Reagan’s audience and everybody really that she wasn’t representative of the average welfare recipient at all. That she was this unique character that didn’t represent anyone or anything other than herself.

You make this point in the book, that the crime that becomes the national outrage is scamming welfare checks. You make a very convincing case she was a kidnapper, she was involved in multiple questionable deaths—but those were largely crimes against people of color. 

Some of this stuff I excavated and it wasn’t publicly reported, but the fact that she was linked to kidnappings and the fact that she was accused of one homicide, that was all publicity reported, before Reagan ever started talking about her. So it was strange to me, as I started reporting, that Reagan could tell this version of her story that didn’t mention that, and that when the fact the fact-checkers of the 1970s wrote about Reagan’s claims, they didn’t even make note of it. They noted that Reagan was maybe exaggerating the extent of her fraud, because he would just quote numbers from state officials that said, oh, we think she’s stolen $150,000, or stuff that wasn’t actually proven, but people just suggested—Reagan would just quote it as if it was verified. But it just showed for me how overwhelmingly powerful the welfare queen image was, that it was able to drown out and overwhelm even accusations of kidnapping and homicide.

It was a different news environment, too. I feel like her story would play out a lot differently in 2019 for a huge number of reasons, but if some of this stuff was reported now, news spreads and proliferates instantly on social media or the internet more generally. It was easier for pieces of a story just to trail off or get eliminated along the way as it went from local to national news or it went from national news to political rhetoric. I think that’s what happened here. It’s really crazy that it did happen, but I think that’s what happened.


Linda Taylor on her way to sentencing in 1977.  Image: AP

You look at so many archival stories or things where people are revisiting things from the past, it’s interesting to me how often it’s a question of frame—I think of many MeToo stories and how many of them the information was out there, but we see it differently with a certain perspective. It’s interesting how it’s all there, but people don’t put it together in the same way. 

I think that’s right, and the fact that Reagan took up her story and that it got into this political factchecking machine, which we do really still have today, I think that really made it so that the truth of what she had done or hadn’t done became of lesser importance to the media, as opposed to the story of is Reagan telling the truth or is Reagan lying. And because her story is very complicated and not particularly congenial ideologically to anyone. If you want to prove that Reagan is a liar, it doesn’t really help your cause to say yeah, this woman is actually accused of murder! That’s why Reagan is a liar. That wasn’t anyone’s impulse, for understandable reasons. And then on the other side, when Reagan supporters believe he’s telling the truth or believe he’s being attacked unfairly, they’ll just try to firm up everything that he said and not go beyond it. That’s one thing I found in looking back at the reporting that was done about her case: Nobody seemed particularly motivated or interested in figuring out what this woman had done and where she’d come from and where she went after she was put on trial for welfare fraud. That’s what I hoped to do.

I thought it was really incredible the way that, without excusing her for the horrible things that she did, you explore her early life in a way that makes it very clear that she was treated in this deeply unjust way as a child and a young adult, she was a victim of the way America worked in the Jim Crow south. And I thought that was really compelling. But then she goes on to genuinely horrible stuff. It was very messy and interesting and very sad.

Yeah, thank you. I thought it was important to explain the context of what her life was like growing up and what life was like for people of color in the south in the first half of the 20th century. And it’s not to excuse her actions or even really to try to try to explain them, because it was important to me not to suggest causation and say because she was treated this way, this is how she treated other people. I think there is an impulse to play psychologist and to try to get inside her head. But in our conversation I’ve been critiquing the press and the way her story was handled, and because of that, I wanted to be really careful not to make claims that I felt like I couldn’t support. I wanted the book to be a factual account of what she did—what was done to her—rather than being a bunch of guesses about why she might have done things, when even the people who knew her really well told me, we didn’t really understand what she was doing or what she was doing it.
For somebody who was so chameleonic, “welfare queen” was the label that she couldn’t escape. That erased all of the complexity of her life.

So in that part of the book, I hope people got the sense and understanding that she was a human being. She was a person who had a family and her family did certain things to her and that surely must have affected her in some way. This is a person who had a history and a path through her life and charted this course through America. Without saying X happened and so then necessarily Y happened, my goal was just to lay out to the best of my understanding, these are the things she experienced and these are the things she perpetrated upon other people and let readers make their own connections and inferences about how the things may or may not have been connected.

She has this incredible complicated background and, as you’ve emphasized over and over again, she’s this incredibly specific person and had this incredibly specific journey, but then the way that she’s deployed is transparently a dog whistle and it collapses a specific person who’d done a specific set of things into this entire category of the welfare user.
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Yeah, that’s right. And it’s interesting to think about that, given that she’s somebody who would adopt different identities herself. Like she would present herself as a heart surgeon or somebody who was a spiritual advisor or any of the various guises she put on to scam people or to worm her way into people’s lives, and for somebody who was so chameleonic, “welfare queen” was the label and that she couldn’t escape and that erased all of the complexity of her life. She was written about like she was a shapeshifter, right? Some of the first stories about her were about how she used race as a weapon. She would be Asian sometimes, or white sometimes, or black sometimes. And the welfare queen thing, it was so strong that it even erased her existence from earth. So many people thought that she just never even existed, that the welfare queen trope was just not based on a specific person, that Reagan had just made the whole thing up. But she did have this whole long precise and convoluted history that just kind of disappeared from the record.

She spins all these wild stories about herself to scam people and then she becomes locked into this incredibly specific racist narrative and then, once she’s done being useful, she’s phased out of the narrative. It implies there’s this entire universe of welfare queens.

Yeah, and there are stories written about, you know, “welfare queen has a successor,” whether it’s in Chicago or California. I don’t remember the headlines off the top of my head, but there are like plays on words around “welfare queen gives up her throne,” because this person has scammed $250,000. Once the trope has been established, she’s outlived her usefulness and other people come in and fill that role, and it just shows again that nobody was ever really interested in her particular story except to the extent that it was useful to establish this trope and political idea.

The damage that does is both huge in terms of how everyone who’s in any kind of social services program, especially women of color, it categorizes them as suspect just by virtue of being part of this program. People are seen suspiciously. But then, more narrowly focused on her and the damage that it does, after she’s put on trial, she’s sent to prison, and she gets out, it’s like nobody cares about her anymore and she goes off and there are two people that die suspiciously after that happens. Neither of those deaths are really investigated or connected to in any way. She was able to move through the world, sowing all this destruction, and whether it’s the press or law enforcement or politicians, nobody cares about at all. Just because it’s not politically useful or politically interesting.

I was wondering if you could talk a little bit abut how the narrative continues to influence politics. You mention this idea of the welfare rights movement earlier—it’s hard to even imagine, if you are going to advance an argument for a social program, say Medicare for All, anybody advocating for a right to something referred to as “welfare.” It’s like the whole term was poisoned. I was wondering if you could talk a bit about the long legacy of the trope?
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Welfare becomes a pejorative term, and it doesn’t necessarily refer to anything specific. I think most commonly it referred to ADC or AFDC, just in common parlance. But really, practically, what welfare is is a social service program that benefits somebody else. It doesn’t benefit you. That’s again this category of the deserving poor vs the undeserving poor, and the people who are perceived to be welfare recipients are before, during, and, after the Linda Taylor story broadly seen as undeserving. So by the ’90s, when the Clinton welfare reform happens that ends AFDC, that “ends welfare as we know it,” welfare was unpopular in polling across every demographic group. It was unpopular with Democrats and Republicans, Clinton talked about it differently than Reagan did. He did not stereotype recipients in the same way. He was more talking about how the program didn’t work for the people who were on it, which in some ways was true, but the solution was to destroy the program. That’s what it ended up being, in practice.

It’s not like that ended the conversation. When NFDC became TANIF and it became this temporary program where there was a limited pool of money, it’s not like that was like all right, problem solved. The animus migrates, whether it’s food stamps or medical programs. It’s always a very powerful message, politically, to tell people that whatever problems that they’re having in their lives that there’s a specific category of people that’s to blame for it, and the people that often get the blame are the ones who are most vulnerable and don’t have as much of a voice in the political process, undocumented immigrants being the most relevant example in some ways today. You have people in parts of the country where there are very few immigrants being susceptible to the idea that their lives are worse because of immigration. It’s not really logical, but it’s powerful, and I think that’s why it’s going to persist forever.
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🤑 Trump administration proposal could cause millions to lose food stamps
« Reply #81 on: November 30, 2019, 07:38:47 AM »
This will not end well.

RE

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-administration-proposal-could-cause-millions-lose-food-stamps-n1092866

Trump administration proposal could cause millions to lose food stamps
“SNAP is related to hunger and getting people the nutrition they need,” one food bank representative said. “Food shouldn’t be a luxury.”


Food banks should help those who fall outside the safety net of food security, not replace the safety net, one advocate said.John Moore / Getty Images file

Nov. 30, 2019, 12:27 AM AKST
By Phil McCausland

Three proposed rule changes by the Trump administration could cause millions of poor people to lose access to food stamps and decrease the size of the benefit for millions more.

Over the past year, the Department of Agriculture proposed three changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP or food stamps. The new rules create stricter work requirements for program eligibility, cap deductions for utility allowances and “reform” the way 40 states automatically enroll families into SNAP when they receive other forms of federal aid.

A study by the Urban Institute released this week examined the three rules in combination for the first time and found that 3.7 million fewer people would receive SNAP in an average month, 2.2 million households would see their average monthly benefits drop by $127, more than 3 million others would see an average drop of $37 per month, and 982,000 students would lose access to free or reduced lunches.

“What we found is that overall the three proposed changes would reduce the number of households participating in SNAP by about 11 percent if this was implemented in 2018," said Laura Wheaton, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who conducted the study. "It’s about a 9.4 percent reduction in the number of people participating and about an 8 percent reduction in overall benefits.”

Critics and experts say that would be antithetical to the program's goals to address food insecurity in the United States.

Craig Gundersen, an agricultural and consumer economics professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who has studied the program for more than two decades, said that about a million people could become food insecure because of the change. He added that 50 percent of those 3.7 million SNAP beneficiaries were already food insecure despite the assistance.

The changes, he said, would put many Americans in a worse position, increasing hunger and health issues. Each additional adult who becomes food insecure sees an additional $2,000 in healthcare costs, Gundersen explained.

"The essential goal of the program is to mitigate hunger and its consequences in the United States,” he said. "Anything that impedes SNAP of doing that is very problematic as it leads to food insecurity in our country."

The USDA, meanwhile, estimates that the changes would reduce the SNAP budget by about $4.2 billion.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue defended the work requirements in a USA Today column, emphasizing that it would save taxpayer dollars.

“At USDA, our informal motto is ‘Do Right and Feed Everyone,’” Perdue wrote. “With these proposed improvements, we will ‘do right’ by the taxpayers and restore the dignity of work to the able-bodied who receive SNAP benefits. And, we will ‘feed everyone’ by ensuring the health and stability of SNAP for those who truly need it.”

All of the new rules have gone through a comment period with the changes to utilities currently taking feedback until Monday. Tens of thousands of people have already responded, with most providing negative responses.

The latest rule change proposed by the Trump administration would cause millions of people to take smaller deductions for shelter and utility costs, which are considered when a person applies for SNAP benefits. Critics say that would force people to choose between buying food and paying for housing.
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Gundersen said this change will prove to be a major cost for those living in metropolitan areas with high living costs.

It could also create a steeper financial cliff for some beneficiaries. Those in danger of losing access to SNAP might be discouraged from working because the new calculation would put them in a higher income bracket, causing them to lose access, Gundersen explained

“On the one hand they want to encourage people to work, but on the other they would be taking away that incentive,” Gundersen said.

But the main issue is that SNAP is not intended to be a work program in the first place, Gundersen said, but instead aimed to address food insecurity within the United States.

As it operates now, SNAP does not discourage people from participating in the labor market, he said.

"There are some assistance programs that do discourage people to work, but this is not one of them," Gundersen said, adding that what lawmakers should be asking is: "What makes this program work so well and why does it work well as compared to other programs?"

These new rules also have advocates in states like Nevada worried. Nevada could see up to 22 percent of recipients lose access to food stamps, which could be devastating in a place where 12.3 percent of households face food insecurity, according to the USDA.
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“SNAP is related to hunger and getting people the nutrition they need,” said Jocelyn Lantrip, the communications director at Food Bank of Northern Nevada. “Food shouldn’t be a luxury.”

With a tech boom raising income levels but not enough to cover rising housing costs, Lantrip said that these changes could create further food insecurity issues, which remain close to the levels that the Food Bank of Northern Nevada saw during the recession.

At the height of the recession, Lantrip said her food bank helped 103,000 people per month. Now, during a period of perceived economic stability, she said they are helping 91,000.

Food banks like hers wouldn’t be able to accommodate for the needs of an additional 196,000 people, which is the number in Nevada who would likely need help accessing food if these rules were to go into effect, Lantrip said.

“That’s really hard for food banks to keep up with if you have that kind of decline in benefits,” she said. “We support people if they fall outside of the safety net, but we can’t replace the safety net as a food bank. We’re spinning our wheels already, because when unemployment is low people assume hunger is low, but we’re just helping more working poor than before.”
Image: Phil McCauslandPhil McCausland

Phil McCausland is an NBC News reporter focused on the rural-urban divide.
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🤑 How poor people survive in the USA | DW Documentary
« Reply #82 on: November 30, 2019, 07:54:56 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/JHDkALRz5Rk" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/JHDkALRz5Rk</a>
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Offline azozeo

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Harvesting the Blood of America’s Poor
« Reply #83 on: December 04, 2019, 12:24:10 PM »





December 03rd, 2019

By Alan Macleod @AlanRMacLeod
 5 Comments

For much of the world, donating blood is purely an act of solidarity; a civic duty that the healthy perform to aid others in need. The idea of being paid for such an action would be considered bizarre. But in the United States, it is big business. Indeed, in today’s wretched economy, where around 130 million Americans admit an inability to pay for basic needs like food, housing or healthcare, buying and selling blood is of the few booming industries America has left.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/harvesting-blood-americas-poor-late-stage-capitalism/263175/



I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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🤑 American Cities Are Becoming Shell Companies for the Rich
« Reply #84 on: December 29, 2019, 02:24:47 AM »
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-cities-are-becoming-shell-companies-for-the-rich/

Dec 26, 2019
American Cities Are Becoming Shell Companies for the Rich


New York City. (Sharon Mollerus / Flickr)

America’s cities are being bought up, bit by bit, by anonymous shell companies using piles of cash. Modest single-family homes, owned for generations by families, now are held by corporate vehicles with names that appear to be little more than jumbles of letters and punctuation – such as SC-TUSCA LLC, CNS1975 LLC – registered to law offices and post office boxes miles away. New glittering towers filled with owned but empty condos look down over our cities, as residents below struggle to find any available housing.

All-cash transactions have come to account for a quarter of all residential real estate purchases, “totaling hundreds of billions of dollars nationwide,” the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network – the financial crimes unit of the federal Treasury Department, also known as FinCEN – noted in a 2017 news release. Thanks to the Bank Secrecy Act, a 1970 anti-money-laundering law, the agency is able to learn who owns many of these properties. In high-cost cities such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami, it’s flagged over 30% of cash purchases as suspicious transactions. But FinCEN also cites this bill to hide this information from the public, leaving the American people increasingly in the dark about who owns their cities.

For journalists, it requires undertaking a tremendous investigative effort to find the real owner of even one property, let alone millions.

“It reminds me of Moldova after the fall of the Soviet Union: oligarchs running wild, stashing their gains in buildings,” James Wright, an attorney and former Treasury Department bank examiner, told me. He now helps foreign governments combat money laundering. “Back then, you’d walk down the street, and people would say, ‘That building is a washing machine.’ Everyone knew it. Today, America is not that different.”

The Census Bureau reports that nearly 3 million U.S. homes and 13 million apartment units are owned by LLC, LLP, LP or shell companies – levels of anonymous ownership not seen in American history. The proportion of residential rental properties owned by individuals and families has fallen from 92% in 1991 to 74% in 2015.

The lack of transparency not only represents an opportunity for money laundering, but it also has more prosaic implications. First-time homebuyers are denied the opportunity to buy affordable homes with bank loans because those properties already have been scooped up by shell companies. Tenants can’t figure out to whom to complain when something goes wrong. Local officials don’t know whom to hold responsible for code violations and neighborhood blight.

With anonymity comes impunity, and, for vulnerable tenants, skyrocketing numbers of evictions. It wasn’t until reporters from The Guardian and The Washington Post began to investigate, for example, that residents living in hundreds of properties across the South learned that they shared a secret landlord, hiding behind names such as SPMK X GA LLC: Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

“Among the tenants Hannity’s property managers sought to evict,” The Post reported, were “a double amputee who had lived in an apartment with her daughter for five years but did not pay on time after being hospitalized; and a single mother of three whose $980 rent check was rejected because she could not come up with a $1,050 cleaning fee for a bedbug infestation.”

But while the public remains in the dark, one part of the government knows the people behind these shell companies. Since 2016, FinCEN has issued geographic targeting orders requiring that the “beneficial owners” of residential real estate bought with cash be disclosed. The Treasury police started with six metro areas, then expanded to nine – running from Los Angeles to New York, Miami to Seattle.

Yet FinCEN insists on keeping that information secret.

In July, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking information on the “beneficial owners” of LLCs. We asked for the addresses of all residential real estate purchased with cash, where FinCEN was aware; the amount of money transferred; the name and address of the true, human owners behind each residential real estate purchase; the name of the person responsible for purchasing the property; and the individuals responsible for representing the purchasers – all information currently held by FinCEN but not collected under the Bank Secrecy Act.

In response, the government initially refused to even acknowledge that it has this information, saying it could “neither confirm nor deny the existence of the materials,” citing the Bank Secrecy Act. But when Congress passed that law in 1970, it never intended that it be used to keep the owners of residential real estate from the public. Without a doubt, financial institutions and the government have to keep some information secret – individual consumers’ Social Security numbers, for example. But the name of somebody who owns a building – that’s completely different.

Reveal appealed and lost. Then we requested the documents again. Our latest request has fallen into a bureaucratic black hole. In October, a top FinCEN official designated our appeal for “further processing.” Since then, months have passed with no response. Now, Reveal is going to court. In a complaint filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California by our general counsel, D. Victoria Baranetsky, Reveal argues that the government has “no lawful basis for declining to release the records” under FOIA.

“The public and the press have a clear and abiding interest in knowing who owns property in their communities,” the complaint states, “and keeping public officials accountable in their handling of this matter.”

There is no compelling reason to keep this information secret. Historically, in the United States, the true owners of residential real estate properties have been publicly available through county recorders offices. However, for more than a decade, the proliferation of all-cash buys by shell companies has begun to obliterate that transparency.

Countries around the world have addressed this problem head on. In Argentina, Australia, Israel, Jamaica and the Netherlands, any member of the public may request this information. In Russia and Ukraine, it is already online. Public disclosure is coming even to some notorious tax shelters, including the Cayman Islands, officials in the United Kingdom say, in 2021.

In the United States, we’re on no such path to disclosure. A bipartisan anti-money-laundering bill, which passed the House in October, would require banks to systematically disclose the true owners of shell companies to FinCEN but would keep the public in the dark, stripping out all “personally identifiable information,” including anything “that would allow for the identification of a particular corporation or limited liability company.”
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Offline RE

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🤑 Taco Bell to start offering $100,000 salary jobs
« Reply #85 on: January 10, 2020, 05:50:55 AM »
There's a Catch.  Even at $100K, you can't afford a 1 bedroom apartment in these cities.   ::)

RE

https://fox8.com/2020/01/09/taco-bell-to-start-offering-100000-salary-jobs-tmw/

Taco Bell to start offering $100,000 salary jobs
Posted 7:54 pm, January 9, 2020, by Tribune Media Wire


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Run, not walk to Taco Bell if you’re looking for a job!

The fast-food chain announced it will soon be offering store managers at some stores a competitive salary of $100,000 to help attract and retain workers, Bloomberg reports.

The owner of Taco Bell, Yum! Brands, said it will also begin offering new roles for workers who want more leadership experience but don’t want to be managers.

The higher salary will reportedly be tested in select U.S. restaurants in the Midwest and Northeast.

According to Taco Bell, current salaries for general managers at company-owned Taco Bell stores are between $50,000 and $80,000.
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