The Beginning Of The End
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The One Percent: Gigantic Government + Gigantic Corporations = Massive Wealth Inequality In America

Today, there are protests all over America that are targeting "the one percent" and all of the wealth and power that they have accumulated.  Unfortunately, many of the solutions that these protesters are advocating simply will not work and will not lead to less wealth inequality.  To understand this, you have to understand how we got to this point.  Over the past several decades, our federal government has exploded in size and our large corporations have exploded in size.  In fact, we have seen this pattern happen pretty much all over the world.  Governments and corporations all over the globe are getting much bigger.  Whenever you have very, very large concentrations of money and power like that, it is going to lead to massive wealth inequality.  The Occupy Wall Street protesters would like to frame this debate as "socialism vs. capitalism", but the truth is that wherever you find big government you will almost always find big corporations, and wherever you find big corporations you will almost always find big government.  Sure, they spar once in a while, but the reality is that big government and big corporations work in tandem most of the time.  Sometimes big government has the upper hand and sometimes big corporations have the upper hand, but they are both collectivist institutions.  Wherever you find collectivism in the world, you will find an elite that receives most of the benefits while the rest of the population suffers.  In the United States today, our gigantic government is thriving and our gigantic corporations are thriving and the middle class is rapidly shrinking.  The solution to this is not to replace one form of collectivism with another form of collectivism.  Rather, what we need is to go back to what our founding fathers intended.  They were extremely suspicious of large concentrations of wealth and power, and they intended for us to live in a capitalist system where individuals and small businesses had the freedom to compete and thrive.

Today, Democrats tell us that we need an even bigger government and that we need to redistribute even more wealth to the poor.  But the bigger the government gets, the more poor people we seem to have.  As you will see below, the only people that seem to be thriving from big government are the bureaucrats.

Republicans tell us that we need to make life better for the big corporations.  But the reality is that the bigger our giant corporations get, the faster the middle class shrinks.  The big corporations are shipping millions of our jobs out of the country, and they are magnets for wealth and power.  If you are not aware of how overwhelmingly dominant corporations have become in our society, just read this article.

Democrats should not be defending big government, and Republicans should not be defending the abuses of the big corporations.

Whenever big government and big corporations work together there is going to be massive income inequality, and massive income inequality is not a good thing.

Yes, there are always going to be some people that do much better than others (and there is nothing wrong with that), but we should not have a system which is designed to funnel almost all of the wealth and almost all of the power to a very small minority.

In essence, this article is arguing the following....

Gigantic government = bad.

Gigantic corporations = bad.

This was the view of our founding fathers, and this is what we need to get back to.

Let's take a look at some of the results of our current system.  Let's start with income inequality caused by big government.

Today, the Washington D.C. region has the highest median household income in the entire nation.  According to the most recent numbers, median household income in the D.C. area is $84,523.

So what is the cause of this?

Well, it is not because Washington D.C. is a great center of industry or finance.  Rather, it is because the federal government is spending over 3 trillion dollars a year and is showering huge piles of cash on hordes of bureaucrats.

In a recent article, I noted some of the mind blowing statistics that show how bureaucrats in Washington D.C. are living the high life at our expense....

*When you total up all compensation (including health care and benefits), the average income for a federal worker in the Washington D.C. area last year was $126,369.

*In 2005, 7420 federal workers were making $150,000 or more per year.  In 2010, a whopping 82,034 federal workers were making $150,000 or more per year.  That is more than a tenfold increase in just five years.

*In 2005, the U.S. Department of Defense had just nine civilians earning $170,000 or more.  When Barack Obama took office, the U.S. Department of Defense had 214 civilians earning $170,000 or more.  In June 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense had 994 civilians earning $170,000 or more.

*Last year, federal employees "earned" approximately 447 billion dollars in total compensation.

As I have written about previously, our gigantic federal government also empowers the big corporations to continue to accumulate staggering amounts of wealth and power.  This is one reason why the big corporations contribute so much money to political campaigns.  The big corporations (and the elite that own and run them) have much more influence over the political process than we do.  They have spent decades buying politicians and getting laws passed that tilt the rules of the game radically in their favor.

This is something that our founding fathers did not want to happen.  In a 2010 article, Rick Ungar noted that there were very significant restrictions on corporations in the early days of America....

After the nation’s founding, corporations were, as they are today, the result of charters granted by the state. However, unlike today, they were limited in how long they were permitted to exist (typically 20 or 30 years), only permitted to deal in one commodity, they could not own shares in other corporations, and their property holdings were expressly limited to what they needed to accomplish their corporate business goals.

There was a lot of wisdom to that approach.  Our founding fathers knew that corporations would become giant magnets for wealth and power if they were allowed to grow unchecked.

Today, multinational corporations completely and totally dominate the global economy.  The following comes from a recent article I posted on The American Dream....

Corporations not only completely dominate the U.S. economy, they also completely dominate the global economy as well.  A newly released University of Zurich study examined more than 43,000 major multinational corporations.  The study discovered a vast web of interlocking ownerships that is controlled by a "core" of 1,318 giant corporations. But that "core" itself is controlled by a "super-entity" of 147 monolithic corporations that are very, very tightly knit.  As a recent article in NewScientist noted, these 147 corporations control approximately 40 percent of all the wealth in the entire network

These giant corporations are so dominant that it is nearly impossible to compete with them.  The number of small businesses in America is shrinking fast.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006.  Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.

This is exactly what we would expect to see under "corporatism", but under true capitalism we would expect to see the exact opposite.

As the federal government and the big corporations continue to grow, the middle class is being wiped out.  If you doubt that the middle class is shrinking, just read this article.

Yes, there is a limited role for the federal government to play and there is a limited role for corporations to play.  But right now things are radically, radically out of balance.

This is creating a tremendous amount of income inequality in the United States.  The middle class is being systematically destroyed, and the growth of the gap between the one percent and the rest of us just continues to accelerate.

This was certainly illustrated by numbers that were recently released by the Congressional Budget Office.  The very wealthy have done extremely well over the last 30 years.  For the rest of us, things have not been so great.  The following figures come from a recent blog post by the director of the Congressional Budget Office....

CBO finds that between 1979 and 2007:

  • For the 1 percent of the population with the highest income, average real after-tax household income grew by 275 percent (see figure below).
  • For others in the 20 percent of the population with the highest income, average real after-tax household income grew by 65 percent.
  • For the 60 percent of the population in the middle of the income scale, the growth in average real after-tax household income was just under 40 percent.
  • For the 20 percent of the population with the lowest income, the growth in average real after-tax household income was about 18 percent.

Meanwhile, as a recent USA Today article noted, the middle class continues to falter in the majority of the communities around the United States....

A USA TODAY analysis of Census data found the Reno area was among 150 nationwide where the share of income going to the middle class — generally made up of households that make $20,700 to $99,900 a year — shrank from 2006 to 2010. Metro areas where the middle class' share of income dropped outnumbered those where it grew by more than 2-to-1.

So just how well is the top one percent doing compared to the rest of us?

The following statistics should be a wake up call for all of us....

*According to the Congressional Budget Office, the top one percent is the only group that saw its share of our national income increase between 1979 and 2007.

*According to a joint House and Senate report entitled "Income Inequality and the Great Recession", the top one percent of all income earners in the United States brought in a total of 10.0 percent of all income income in 1980, but by the time 2008 had rolled around that figure had skyrocketed to 21.0 percent.

*Between 1979 and and 2007, the average household income of the top one percent of all Americans soared from $346,600 to $1.3 million.

*In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

*As the "one percent" thrives, the share of the pie being enjoyed by the middle class is shrinking.  According to Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, about 53 percent of all income went to the middle class back in the 1970s, but today only about 46 percent of all income does.

*According to Harvard Magazine, 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top one percent of all Americans.

*The wealthiest one percent of all Americans now own more than a third of all the wealth in the United States while the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

*The wealthiest one percent of all Americans own over 50% of all the stocks and bonds.

*The top 0.01% of Americans make an average of $27,342,212.  The bottom 90% make an average of $31,244.

*This is all happening at a time when the United States as a whole is slipping.  Ten years ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult.  In 2010, the United States fell to seventh.

*Income inequality is not just growing in the United States.  Today, the wealthiest one percent of the earth's population controls 39% of the wealth.

There is certainly nothing wrong with being wealthy.  If you and your family work really hard and provide great value to the community around you then you should greatly benefit.

But a system that is designed to systematically drain wealth from the general population and transfer it into the hands of an ultra-wealthy elite is not what our founding fathers ever hand in mind.  At the time of our founding, England was dominated by big government (the monarchy) and by big business (the East India Company, for example).  Our founders warned us over and over about the potential abuses that can happen when very large concentrations of wealth and power are allowed to dominate a society.

Unfortunately, the Occupy Wall Street movement has it all wrong.  They recognize the overwhelming wealth and power accumulated by the one percent, but most of them are advocating even more collectivism as the answer.

Some of them even say that they want to "end capitalism" altogether.  Michael Moore says that he is not part of the one percent and that he wants to "end capitalism", even though he has made millions upon millions of dollars from his various projects.

But socialism and communism never bring equality.  Like other forms of collectivism, socialism and communism almost always bring more tyranny and they almost always funnel most of the financial rewards to a very small elite.

Others simply wish to see the U.S. government transfer more wealth from the hands of the rich to the hands of the poor.

Helping the poor is certainly a noble goal, and handouts can certainly ease suffering at least temporarily.  But handouts are never a permanent solution and they can cause large numbers of people to end up becoming completely and totally dependent on the government.

Back in 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for 18.4% of all income.

So has the plight of the poor gotten better?

No, we now have more than 45 million Americans on food stamps, last year we had the largest increase in the number of Americans living in poverty in U.S. history and the middle class continues to shrink rapidly.

The truth is that what poor and middle class Americans really need are opportunities.  Handouts will keep people alive, but they will not give people hope and a future.

What Americans really need is an environment where they can find jobs or start small businesses.  Unfortunately, the environment for small businesses in this country is incredibly toxic and millions of our good jobs have been shipped overseas.  The big corporations have discovered that they can make even bigger profits by sending jobs to countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.  To say that we need big corporations because they are the ones that "create jobs" is simply not true anymore.

So now we have tens of millions of Americans that we have to take care of every single month.  There is nothing wrong with helping them survive, but giving them even more handouts is not going to permanently solve anything.

We need to have a population that is empowered to work hard, produce wealth and create a bright future for their families.

Instead, what we have is a system that greatly rewards the top one percent and that is pushing all of the rest of us toward poverty.

Gigantic government plus gigantic corporations is always going to equal massive wealth inequality.

The bigger we allow government to grow and the bigger we allow corporations to grow, the worse it is going to get.

So is any of this going to change any time soon?

Well, considering the fact that the vast majority of our politicians are in the pockets of the big corporations, I would not be getting your hopes up.

 

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  • wise guy

    There they are The Three Stooges. Billy, Silly and Ho-moe. We need to go against the status quo this time. We need to turn this country upside down and all around. Do not listen or vote for the RNC candidate. Be a real rebel.

    • Prepping for the Future

      Be a real rebel and Don’t vote for any Dummy crooks or Replu crooks. Fire them all and go 3rd party.

    • knightowl77

      WHO do You propose WE Vote for? DNC/RNC two sides of the same coin….If you want more of a change vote 3rd party….Do not let the establishment take your votes for granted any longer…

    • Tim

      I’d love to repost this article, but the advertisement for some book about a little boy ruins the appeal and detracts from the point of the article’s title….friends tell me they scan over and see the picture next to it, and move on without reading….you should rethink how your articles are shared….I tried with my facebook and this is the result….not very effective

      • Michael

        Tim:

        When you go to share an article on Facebook, you don’t have to select the default picture that comes up. There are little arrows under the picture that will allow you to pick a different one.

        Michael

    • bobbobbobbob

      when will you admit that the rebupulicanterrorists have consistently outsourced the good union jobs while using your money i.e tax credits to pay for this. the stock market is up up today and im invested mostly in europe and emerging markets
      i just cant see investing in amerikkka.
      the people are just to illerate. when will it separate into 4 sections(states)

  • Colin

    A major issue of changing systems is that sometimes what you get after a revolution is far worse than what you had before. After the French revolted against the monarchy, they ended up being ruled by another dictator who had to be ousted from his position by a grand alliance of nations. My concern is therefore that any revolution we may see may not be beneficial to the people, and may bring in someone or something that is much, much worse.

    I am not sure that the people in Occupy Wall Street have the stamina of the Syrian people. These people have been attacked for months, and many have died. Yet, every day, they come out to protest against the Syrian government.

    If change does come, I believe it will occur later in the century, not sooner. This system will be placed under tremendous stress as the environment deteriorates further. For now,. the best thing to do is survive and pray that things don’t get worse.

    • Scott

      The people “protesting” the government in Syria are armed and supplied by the CIA, which is exactly how it went down in Libya. The US is actively fomenting insurrection against governments that won’t get down on their knees before Washington and worship the almighty Dollar. Gaddafi threatened to opt out of the Petrodollar and sell oil priced in gold and Euros, so the US/NATO took him out and replaced him with weak-minded puppets on their payroll.

      The goal in Syria is the same, poorly disguised with the fig leaf of yet another CIA-funded “color revolution.” The “protests” are a fraud and a sham, only ignorant Americans buy their corporate media’s slickly-packaged BS about “fighting for freedom.” It’s all lies, just as in Libya, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Serbia. Government propaganda spread far and wide by the corporate media.

      Pull your head out, people.

    • James C Vaughan

      We have several modern examples of just this thing happening: Communist Russia, China and Cambodia (seems a pattern of Communist dictators, doesn’t it?), and on the fundamentalist side, Islamist Iran (actually far more psychopathic than Islamic) and Islamist Afghanistan (soccer match half-time entertainment: killing women and gays by stoning of various forms! After which all the Taliban leaders go home and have sex – with their Boy-Toy sex-slaves!!)

      • vokoyo

        International Recognition Of China’s Sovereignty over the Nansha Islands

        1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Northern Island

        (a) China Sea Pilot compiled and printed by the Hydrography Department of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom in 1912 has accounts of the activities of the Chinese people on the Nansha Islands in a number of places.

        (b) The Far Eastern Economic Review (Hong Kong) carried an article on Dec. 31 of 1973 which quotes the British High Commissioner to Singapore as having said in 1970: “Spratly Island (Nanwei Island in Chinese) was a Chinese dependency, part of Kwangtung Province… and was returned to China after the war. We can not find any indication of its having been acquired by any other country and so can only conclude it is still held by communist China.”

        2. France

        (a) Le Monde Colonial Illustre mentioned the Nansha Islands in its September 1933 issue. According to that issue, when a French gunboat named Malicieuse surveyed the Nanwei Island of the Nansha Islands in 1930, they saw three Chinese on the island and when France invaded nine of the Nansha Islands by force in April 1933, they found all the people on the islands were Chinese, with 7 Chinese on the Nanzi Reef, 5 on the Zhongye Island, 4 on the Nanwei Island, thatched houses, water wells and holy statues left by Chinese on the Nanyue Island and a signboard with Chinese characters marking a grain storage on the Taiping Island.

        (b) Atlas International Larousse published in 1965 in France marks the Xisha, Nansha and Dongsha Islands by their Chinese names and gives clear indication of their ownership as China in brackets.

        3. Japan

        (a) Yearbook of New China published in Japan in 1966 describes the coastline of China as 11 thousand kilometers long from Liaodong Peninsula in the north to the Nansha Islands in the south, or 20 thousand kilometers if including the coastlines of all the islands along its coast;

        (b) Yearbook of the World published in Japan in 1972 says that Chinese territory includes not only the mainland, but also Hainan Island, Taiwan, Penghu Islands as well as the Dongsha, Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha Islands on the South China Sea.

        4. The United States

        (a) Columbia Lippincott World Toponymic Dictionary published in the United States in 1961 states that the Nansha Islands on the South China Sea are part of Guangdong Province and belong to China.

        (b) The Worldmark Encyclopaedia of the Nations published in the United States in 1963 says that the islands of the People’s Republic extend southward to include those isles and coral reefs on the South China Sea at the north latitude 4°.

        (c) World Administrative Divisions Encyclopaedia published in 1971 says that the People’s Republic has a number of archipelagoes, including Hainan Island near the South China Sea, which is the largest, and a few others on the South China Sea extending to as far as the north latitude 4°, such as the Dongsha, Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha Islands.

        5. Viet Nam

        (a) Vice Foreign Minister Dung Van Khiem of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam received Mr. Li Zhimin, charge d’affaires ad interim of the Chinese Embassy in Viet Nam and told him that “according to Vietnamese data, the Xisha and Nansha Islands are historically part of Chinese territory.” Mr. Le Doc, Acting Director of the Asian Department of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry, who was present then, added that “judging from history, these islands were already part of China at the time of the Song Dynasty.”

        (b) Nhan Dan of Viet Nam reported in great detail on September 6, 1958 the Chinese Government’s Declaration of September 4, 1958 that the breadth of the territorial sea of the People’s Republic of China should be 12 nautical miles and that this provision should apply to all territories of the People’s Republic of China, including all islands on the South China Sea. On September 14 the same year, Premier Pham Van Dong of the Vietnamese Government solemnly stated in his note to Premier Zhou Enlai that Viet Nam “recognizes and supports the Declaration of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on China’s territorial sea.”

        (c) It is stated in the lesson The People’s Republic of China of a standard Vietnamese school textbook on geography published in 1974 that the islands from the Nansha and Xisha Islands to Hainan Island and Taiwan constitute a great wall for the defense of the mainland of China.

  • A Citizen

    Michael, this is my first time commenting but I have been reading this and your american dream blog for 2 years now. Thank you for publishing these facts. I think the economic collapse will happen soon before 2011 is over. That is what economist Reggie Middleton and trend forecaster Gerald Celente have predicted. I think the college bubble will burst then Bank of America, and finally the market. Some of these institutions need to go bankrupt in particular colleges because they shell out unskilled students with useless degrees, even Bill Maher the liberal comedian said on his show this past Friday that he thinks a college bubble is about to burst. Obama’s scheme to forgive student loan debt will only make the banking sector worse, and even less likely to loan. I think our society will become even more immoral as our economy tumbles. Although I am a secular person even I recognize morals matter and that this country has very little left. Family is what is most important but the selfishness of individuals and the greed of banks foreclosing has caused families to break apart.

    • Michael

      A Citizen:

      It is great to meet another long-time reader! I always appreciate it so much when people take a few moments to participate in these conversations. I certainly do not know everything and I make mistakes, and I find that I learn a lot from the comments that people leave.

      I think that we have more time than you are suggesting, but we will certainly find out soon enough, eh? :)

      Michael

    • REED RICHARDS

      A Citizen,

      Reggie Middleton and Gerald Celente are both wrong. What they miss is the fundamental fact that the Amerikan economy collapsed years ago, has never recovered, and will never recover. The Amerikan economy, as Max Keiser so elegantly put it, supports about seven cheeseburgers and an order of fries. Helicopter Ben Bernanke, like Alan Greenspan before him, is merely keeping the wall street casino and its public face the stock market alive with endless money printing and bank bailouts. This gives the masses the misguided illusion that somehow there is an “economy” left in Amerika. I can assure you, in the aslyum states of amerika there is no economy as you would think and know it. What exists now from here on out till the empire finally collapses from the weight of its own greed and corruption is a bankconomy operated by oligarchs alongside iron fisted government run by kleptocrats headed by executive branch Caesars posing as presidents……………

      Without the continued money printing and endless bailouts, there would be no Amerikan economy.

    • REED RICHARDS

      A Citizen,

      Reggie Middleton and Gerald Celente are both wrong. What they miss is the fundamental fact that the Amerikan economy collapsed years ago, has never recovered, and will never recover. The Amerikan economy, as Max Keiser so elegantly put it, supports about seven cheeseburgers and an order of fries. Helicopter Ben Bernanke, like Alan Greenspan before him, is merely keeping the wall street casino and its public face the stock market alive with endless money printing and bank bailouts. This gives the masses the misguided illusion that somehow there is an “economy” left in Amerika. I can assure you, in the aslyum states of amerika there is no economy as you would think and know it. What exists now from here on out till the empire finally collapses from the weight of its own greed and corruption is a bankconomy operated by oligarchs alongside iron fisted government run by kleptocrats headed by executive branch Caesars posing as presidents……………

  • Big Dave

    The only problem with your analysis is that government regulation kills small business while large corps find all the loopholes or are “too big to fail.” You can close the loop holes and “tax” cooperations more but they will either continue to go over seas or past the cost on to us the consumer.

    • Michael

      I think your point is consistent with what I was saying.

      We need the balance of power to shift back in the direction of small businesses. The giant corporations have way too much power right now.

      Michael

      • REED RICHARDS

        And………do you want to name one institution or organization that believes in small business and has any inclination of putting the brakes on large corporations and iron-fisted government? From what one sees of both wings of the war party (Dems and Reps) there is no one outside of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul who has any desire to bring the large corporations and big government to heel respectively.

        • Michael

          Reed:

          You are correct. That is why we need to educate America. Most people have come to assume that what we have today is “normal”.

          Michael

          • REED RICHARDS

            Michael,

            I am with you there in educating people on what is truly transpiring here. If you would allow me the privilege of being taken off the censor list and allow my posts to appear when made instead of delaying them subject to moderator approval I would feel better about doing it.

          • Michael

            Reed:

            I hope that nobody feels offended, but there are no posts that go through automatically. There have been cases where bloggers have been held responsible for comments posted on their sites, so I feel as though it is necessary to moderate all the comments.

            Plus, you wouldn’t believe the mountains of spam that people try to post.

            So there is not a “censor list”. All comments go into a moderation folder and that way I get to read every single thing that all of you guys write. :)

            Michael

    • knightowl77

      I think the point is, that big corporations write most of the regulations (that the politicians do NOT read) in such a way that they can comply with, but most of their competitors can not without significant burdens….
      Hence all the new rules on Ag, that benefit giant corporations but disadvantage the family farms….Rules on who can drive a tractor or the EPA ruling that “hay is a pollutant” advantages the giant concerns over the small family farm that cannot deal with all these BS regs…

    • josh

      buy local. get everyone you know to buy local. loss of funds has the ability to bring on real change.

      • bobbobbobbob

        good idea its called CSA (community sustainable agriculture)

  • mondobeyondo

    Anyone who’s read “The Great Gatsby” remembers the line in the second chapter… “The rich are different from you and me”. Yes, they are. They have money, and you and I don’t. The worst part of the whole deal is it’s OUR money they have! Not every single person in the 1% is a crook or a robber baron, but by and large it’s true. There’s lots of Bernie Madoffs out there. Bernie just got unfortunate enough to get caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

    Invite someone from the top one percent over for lunch. He or she can be the main course. I’ll have Lady Gaga as an appetizer. Ha!!

    • mondobeyondo

      p.s. Start with Dick Cheney and Al Gore, and work your way down. Halliburton, political action committees… there’s so many rats in government, we’ll all have rat stew for dinner tonight!

    • http://Calif2 lloyd carder

      First off the 1% do not have your money that sounds like the redistribution coolaid that the current administration is handing out. What they are doing is hording money and not spending it or hiring. The fact that our government is in collusion with big banks and companies is the problem. There is no one who is to large to fail, it is however the bigger they are the harder they fall. We all know they will fall on us the tax payer.

      • mondobeyondo

        I think it’s fair to assume the 1 percent have unfairly taken the money of the vast majority of people. Those 1% (most, if not all) work for the government, or are in support of the government.

        Yup, our gov’t is totally in collusion with the big banksters and corp’s. Fixing that would solve a lot of our problems today. (But not all of them. The debt is unfixable.)

    • REED RICHARDS

      mondobeyondo,

      Lady Gaga for an appetizer? I didn’t know you such bad taste in cuisine………..(LOL)

      • mondobeyondo

        Start with hamburger first, then move up to caviar. Hee!

  • Gay Veteran

    Capitalism naturally results in monopolies and cartels. It must be heavily regulated (which does not require a big government, merely a government that does its job).

    • r.bitting

      Capitalism is’nt the cause of monopolies and cartels, the people are. How can any system work when the components within it don’t.. If you don’t believe that, then Try starting your car sometime with a dead battery, and when it does’nt start, blame the car.

    • http://www.urbandumpsterdiver.wordpress.com UrbanFreegan

      Gay Veteran – very well said. A government that does it’s job, indeed. We see how well the airlines went down when Reagan deregulated the airlines. (sarcasm off).

      Most of these corporations are ran by sociopaths who have no soul. They see NO problem decimating an entire town and sending the entire factory to China and putting thousands of Americans out of work.

      And the repubs bitch and moan that they have to pay unemployment insurance. What are we to do? Let these people starve to death? Live in tent cities (which BTW many times the police shred them or burn them down).

      The demons will have their comeuppance soon I hope.

  • Rob

    Great article!

    The OWS movement just proves all over again that we in the developed world are stuck on stupid.

    We need to be educated before we can truly act.

    Check out John Taylor Gatto on the web for more…

  • http://theelevationgroup.net/presentation/register.php?a_aid=a6affed9&a_bid=290b868b John Jackson

    Wake up people!! The game is rigged. It is an agenda by the elite to bankrupt nations, cities and people. Fewer than one in a hundred people understand what’s happening and even fewer know what to do about it. You owe it to yourself to be one of those who do. Get a clear and comprehensive picture for making informed decisions about your financial future in a format anyone can understand and gain access to it immediately. To learn how to not only survive the economic collapse but thrive from it and how to become a part of our movement to restore personal wealth and freedom please visit:

    http://theelevationgroup.net/presentation/register.php?a_aid=a6affed9&a_bid=290b868b

    • knightowl77

      I watched the presentation…basically he provides a lot of facts on why we are screwed. But for $1200.00 a year he will tell how to profit & make money like the 1%……

  • nowwthen

    New York City, Washington, Atlanta, Denver, London or wherever, the Occupiers have one thing in common. They are diverse. Some are totally clueless and are a favored target of media interviewers who present them as Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” types. They aren’t hard to find. There are those who hate anyone they judge to be wealthy and therefore greedy and undeserving of their assets. There are those who think anarchy might be our best shot. But along with the radicals and loonies there is a core group that, although not be able to express themselves too clearly, have a basic understanding of the problems that Michael Snyder has laid out so well in this article. Just like back in the sixties, when some of the protesters only signed on for the sex and drugs, some of the occupiers couldn’t care less about the issues. Most, however, are there because they realize that huge problems exist and need to be addressed.

    • DownWithLibs

      Except for the fact that they are paid for by ACORN! And let’s not forget the ones that QUIT THEIR JOBS to show up at these debacles. Talk about “Astro-turf” movement.

  • Dave in Scenic City

    No doubt, “transfer payments” is defined by economists to include welfare, overages in soc sec and medicare, etc. In reality, though, transfer payments should also include taxpayer-funded freebies to the real welfare queens in our society such as bailed out banks and insurance companies, and corporate entities (e.g., oil companies, defense contractors) that directly benefit (maybe even foment) our imperial wars of conquest.

  • Anonymous

    Best article I’ve read in a long time – I wish everyone would read it.

    Thank you.

  • Ken

    The United States has become like a sub-Saharan dictatorship, with the Idi Amins of the US (the banksters and corporatists) wearing thousand-dollar suits instead of medal-covered military uniforms.

  • James

    I can’t fathom the idea that the police and military would blindly follow the dictates of the Elite against the regular people. I am sure that the police/military have family and friends, who they wouldn’t want to see being injured or forced to do things that are contrary to the way we live in the U.S. So, why are the police/military personnel vigorously enforcing the dictates of the Elites when they know it would hurt their family, friends, and neighbors? I am sure they don’t make enough money to go against their conscious, and become hated by the citizenry to the point where they will become the enemy.

  • DownWithLibs

    Looks like the only solution is to let it all tumble. Just wait and see how much worse it will get when the Obama Admin. adds 400,000 more teaching jobs next year. I wonder what he plans to pay them with, fairy dust?

  • http://georgesblogforum.wordpress.com George Forfa

    It is a fascinating study of history in the details of the methods used to persuade people to demand the very chains of their bondage. The government “reforms” have always produced more wealth inequality, not less.

    http://georgesblogforum.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/wage-slave-2012-update-10262011/

    • r.bitting

      AMEN!

  • http://nickhowdy.com nick howdy

    I think OWS understands that Capitalism or any other ideology taken to an extreme can be very destructive. Some OWS are communists, some Capitalist, Some are Socialist..Maybe they will get together to form a new type of direct democracy outside the old system..It may continue to grow until hopefully it gets big enough to swallow the old system…

    I hope something like this occurs, because if we keep going the way we are it’s going to be Fascist Police State for all.

    Let’s forget about all the “isms” except for this one: Humanism

  • Game Over

    We outnumber the top 1%.
    We outnumber the police.
    We outnumber the military.

    Had enough yet?

  • jed

    ‘Unfortunately, the Occupy Wall Street movement has it all wrong….Some of them even say that they want to “end capitalism” altogether.’

    Maybe they need to read your blog to clarify their thinking. If you listen to full interviews by the protesters, most seem to want to end the excesses of corporatism/free-trade. I haven’t heard any of them complain about small/medium-sized businesses. They need to think a bit more clearly befor they open their mouths and then clarify their stance.

    ‘Back in 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income. Today, government transfer payments account for 18.4% of all income. So has the plight of the poor gotten better?’

    Good point, but maybe you have it backwards. Perhaps the reason government transfer payments have gone up is precisely because the plight of the poor has gotten so much worse. Because corporations have gamed the system, as well as off-shoring so many jobs, it has become more difficult for people to make a living; therefore more of them turn to the government to help with more of their needs. Change the rules of corporate-run America, and transfer payments will most likely go down. (Example – how many people receive transfer payments because they work for companies like Walmart that refuse to pay workers enough to live on? The problem is not the workers – the problem is the coorporations that are indirectly subsidized by the transfer payments.)

    Basically, I agree with your points in this article, but I think that the media and most politicians are approaching the OWS protests in the wrong way. Fox News in particular should stop using all their energy to ridicule the protesters – most of the protesters would like to work but cannot find jobs and do not have the money to start their own businesses. But instead of sitting at home playing video games and drinking beer all day, they are trying to challenge the corruption and greed of politicians and corporations. They should be congratulated – then they should be engaged with by the media to help focus their discontent and develop their ideas.

    I agree that we do not need more transfer payments -we need a new paradigm. But most of these people who are protesting have no power and no voice unless they take to the streets – as they themselves have said, they cannot afford to buy themselves a politician. The media, politicians and coporations need to wake up – these kids are the canary in the coalmine. If they are not heard and if their complaints (which are shared by most Americans) are not shown respect, we will see much bigger protests. And they will not be marked by the relative civility we have seen so far.

  • r.bitting

    Question .. Why are union bosses sponsoring the occupy movement, are’nt they in the 1 percent, are’nt they opposing the same system that enabled them to become rich?.. Question…. Why is Michael Moore rallying the occupy protesters, is”nt he in the one percent, and is’nt he ( in trashing capitalism ) trashing the very system that enabled him to be successful in the first place in the film industry?… Question.. Has there ever been a socialist or fascist or communist system in the history of mankind that has’nt ended with the government oppressing it’s people?… Question… When these occupy protests eventually turn violent, won’t the most obvious course of action be government intervention with martial law, which will result in an exponentially greater loss of freedom for all americans? … Question… Has the government ever successfully run any business ( think post office here people )?…. Question … After you sheep voluntarily forfeit your freedom to the government, do you really think you will see it ever again? Is the system broken? No. The people running the system are broken. Think of the hipocracy of all this. Rich hollywood film makers and union bosses, trashing the system that enabled their success in the first place, and they know that if they say what the people want to hear, they can exploit them to their own gain. Why, I ask you, WHY, would someone like Michael Moore cut his own throat, is he that stupid, or are you being duped? Why, I ask you, WHY, if he hates the rich so much, does’nt he give his wealth away? The same with these union bosses, Why.. My problem is’nt with the Occupy movement per se, many of these folks are hard working Americans who just want to make an honest living and be left alone. They want the corruption in Washington and Wall Street to end, and they just want to live their lives in peace. In that respect I stand with them. My problem with all this is twofold. Just like the Arab Spring saw the muslim brotherhood hijack it, this movement will be exploited by those in power, to funnel the people into another system ( a socialist/ communist system ). My second hang up is simply, does a nation that has become morally bankrupt have the right to expect a higher standard than the one they exemplify from their leadership, are they ( the leaders ) even capable? Is’nt it closer to the truth that as the people become more and more corrupt, so will the leadership, because afterall, were’nt they cut from the same cloth.

  • Gary2

    It sure looks like more people agree with me than those of you who do not think we need to tax the rich and spread the wealth.

    Face it capitalism is a failure. It only works for the 1%. Capitalism will always devolve into corporatism.

    Poll: 2/3 of Americans Want Wealth Shared More Equally, 70% think GOP Policies Favor the Rich

    Two-thirds of Americans feel wealth should be shared more equally, and 70% think Republican policies favor the rich.

    So, here’s the deal. The people aren’t buying anything the Republicans are selling. They aren’t interested in repealing ObamaCare. They want higher taxes on the rich, not lower. They oppose cutting corporate taxes.

    I am betting our country takes a hard left. Thank God!

    Tax the greedy to help the needy!

    http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/685599/poll%3A_2_3_of_americans_want_wealth_shared_more_equally%2C_70_think_gop_policies_favor_the_rich/

    • Mal R.

      “Face it capitalism is a failure. It only works for the 1%. Capitalism will always devolve into corporatism.”

      And communism always devolves into mass murder. Only a twit like you could read this and still mindlessly drone on about redistributing the wealth – which has NEVER worked whereas Capitalism works every time its tried. Sure it allows corruption to flourish, but Communism does as well. It doesn’t help much that your kind preach amoralism that strips away man’s link to doing the right thing.

      Hey Cookie Monster (how apropos that your avatar is a monster) can you explain to all us good folks why you side with Nazis and Communists ala OWS, when we all know those systems are abysmal failures?

      • Gary2

        Turn off fox news-your comments are so off base they do not deserve a response.

    • knightowl77

      Right after it takes that “Hard Left” you advocate, it will plunge off the cliff into the ravine…You are not interested in raising people up, you are jealous of those more wealthy than you and want to tear them down to your level….
      It sticks in your craw that someone is more successful than you. Nowhere is life supposed to be “fair”…Some people are born wealthier, some are better educated and some just have more God given talent. Outcomes will never be FAIR, because of the different talents, energies and abilities used to produce wealth.

      Your artificial solution to steal from those wealthier than you and redistribute that wealth to those who have not earned it is an abomination…

      • Gary2

        Sorry but when over 80% say tax the rich its not just me thinking like I do but finally the masses have woken up to the fact that the rich have been stealing and waging class war on us for decades.

        Pay back will be a bitch!

      • bobbobbobbob

        walmart considers u a pessant mr conservative
        google walmart pesant insurance

    • Jake

      Gary, CSX railroad is hiring. These are good middle class jobs, 70K per year. Get an application and start making some $. Seriously.

      • Michael

        Jake:

        Thanks for the good tip on some job openings.

        Michael

    • bobbobbobbob

      U R so right U R LEFT
      GNP = C+I+G+EX-IMPORTS

  • http://YAHOO RICHARD

    IF THAT’S THE CASE AND IT IS WOULDN’T YOU SAY THE WORLD IS TURNING INTO A FASIST STATE?

  • J.J.

    This is an EXCELLENT article! Conservatives love to claim corporate America can do no wrong. Liberals love to claim that big government can do no wrong. This article proves both groups wrong and exposes the unholy alliance between big govt. and corporate America. All you have to do to see this is look at the revolving door of personnel that move from Goldman Sachs to Washington DC and vice-versa.

    • Michael

      Thank you for the compliment. :) Hopefully people will spread this one around to a lot of people. Even if people take just a moment to vote for the article by pressing the “+1 button” that helps out a ton.

      Michael

    • knightowl77

      I don’t know about that…I’m a conservative (my wife says I am to the right of Genghis Khan) I have never thought that corporations were always right…I do not support the mega corps or the mega banks. I was against bailouts and believed then and now that they should’ve been left to fail….I think it BS that GE should make Billions in profit and pay no taxes…I find it odd that Wall St & the Big Banks have given more to the Dems (don’t get me wrong they give a lot to the RNC as well) but the Repubs are always the “party of big business”…Follow the money and ask “Cui Bono?” with every new piece of legislation….

      • bobbobbobbob

        GOT MED INS?? U DONT WANT OB-CARE U WANT 0000CARE. WAIT TILL U SO CALLED CONSERVATIVE GOES TO THE HOSP AND CANNOT PAY THE BILL. THEY WILL ATTACH YOUR HOUSE —- ONLY IN AMERIKKA

  • McKinley Morganfield

    Democrat Party versus Republican Party is a phony dichotomy. Both are in bed with the large corporations & banks and both favor big, intrusive government. Forget the ‘hot button’ social issues. When it come down to what really matters they are 2 sides of the same old corrupt coin.

    “But handouts are never a permanent solution and they can cause large numbers of people to end up becoming completely and totally dependent on the government.”

    Amen. That is the goal of those who favor bigger, more intrusive government. Foster dependency, squelch initiative, and keep as many voters as possible on the government plantation.

  • ninaorket

    We as a World Wide Generation of Peoples NEED to Fight the NWO Bilderboybugger Banker Illuminati NOW…

    So our children may be Statesmen

    And their Children may be Artist!

  • WHITEY WILSON

    GREAT article. repubs and dems are the two sides of the same coin, which is why heads, they win, and tails, we lose. I worked for a company that was run by a Jack Welch (GE) understudy. he said basically what welch said: “don’t concern yourself with the well-dressed strangers walking thru the plant and whether they are here to buy this plant. just do your job.” In typical welch fashion, the plant closed six months later, after the welch clone had taken his mentors advice and sold the plant to the group that put the manufacturing on a large boat and went to port only to replace the workers with a new crew who would work for less money. why am I telling this story? my heart broke tonite as I watched the video of the oakland police first gunning down a fellow disabled veteran, then throwing two flash-bang grenades (bombs) at him. this is what Hitler’s troops did, take out the sick and disabled (Cull the herd.) I guess that I am next even though I am one who reported for duty when drafted. when will americans wake up?

    • Michael

      Very good comment. It is so sad to see what is happening to America.

      Michael

  • http://www.planorperish.com/ Gutter Economist

    “Rather, what we need is to go back to what our founding fathers intended.”

    “They intended for us to live in a capitalist system where individuals and small businesses had the freedom to compete and thrive.”

    There is no way that the USA or the rest of the world can go back to family farms or Mom and Pop businesses. Our population and standard of living would have to decrease.

    Without large businesses, the industrial revolution and population growth would never of taken place.

    TRUE CAPITALISM: Trading capital or labor for a product or service at a price that both the provider and recipient find acceptable.

    True Capitalism does not require that the provider or recipient be an individual or small business.

    If large businesses / corporations were creating jobs in the USA and paying acceptable wages, there would be less discussion about wealth inequality. There would also be less wealth inequality.

    Nothing is going to change, however, unless OWS takes up arms against our current government or an economic collapse takes place.

    Armed OWS protesters would probably be taken to FEMA camps so speeding up the economic collapse would be a better option.

  • Maria

    The world economic system isn’t broken. It is DEAD!

    All of the past opportunities to correct the abuses were blocked by self serving lobbyists, politicians, corporations and banks. They benefitted too much from the corruption. It wasn’t in their best interest to make changes that helped the common man. It wasn’t in their best interest to manage resources to benefit all human beings. Artificial scarcity and dependancy generated too great a profit.

    It is too late to fix this system, and even if we could, it wouldn’t work. Unless we change the motivation for profit, nothing in the world will change.

    Big corporations or small companies, liberal or conservative, adequate regulation or deregulation, taxes or no taxes….none of it matters if corruption continues to dominate. If wealth is the reward for greed, and poverty is the reward for morality….then NOTHING will change.

    The world’s advancement in technology expedited the world’s economic destruction, because it could not overcome or outpace the corruption. In many ways, technology enhanced the corruption.

    A debt jubilee is the only way to clear the system and start over. That is the only way to preserve the assets we need to keep in place to help the world begin anew. Forget austerity measures. It is going to be hard enough to rebuild the world’s economies with no debt….let alone with the noose of austerity around everyone’s necks.

    Debt jubilee allows us to begin anew from where we are now with assets still in place. Continued bailouts and austerity only prolong the pain and deepen the decline of every country into the chaos of complete collapse.

    Where are the leaders who can extricate us from the corrupt central banking system and lead us as a nation into a better world?

    Where are these moral, self sacrificing leaders?

    I pray that we may find them soon.

    • r.bitting

      ” Where are the leaders who can extricate us from the corrupt central banking system and lead us as a nation into a better world”…. They died some years later after they founded the nation…

  • Sackerson

    Of course there’s going to be widening inequality if the working class is undercut by foreign labour. This would happen even if the 1% didn’t get richer.

    But the dirty secret, I suspect, is not the economic destruction of the US (and UK, and just watch Europe), but the way that most of the international wealth transfer from globalisation has ended up where the money started. James Kynge’s book on China says that only 15% of the end price goes to the Chinese manufacturers, the rest is captured by the middlemen – the importers, dealerships and supermarket owners. America is cannibalising itself and throwing the bones abroad.

  • http://goldenladyfun.blogspot.com Pat

    I can hardly believe the comments from so called Americans. You do not live in Europe and see the poverty that we endure with no chance of a better life. One guy said the game is rigged. Let me tell you. In Europe there is no game. If you own a restaurant and want to play music while people eat you have to have a permit. I know one British fellow who tried to bake bread and deliver it to restaurants. He had all the licenses required by law. But his competition objected and he was arrested and put out of business.

    I know a wealthy American who wanted to retire here in a big house. He and his wife put all there savings into their dream home. They had all the permits and the government allowed them to build the house overlooking the sea. The day the house was finished the government broke ground on a new highway right through their property. They lost everything.

    I could go on. The point is you had better think about what you are saying because these people will get rid of all your rights and all your dreams and all your property. And they will say the people asked for it.

    My wife grew up in Soviet Russia. They literally lived in a one room apartment, sometimes two families to a flat. That’s what you want? She cried when she read some of your comments. She did not know Americans could be that dumb.

    • Michael

      Yes, people just need to look to Europe to see where all of this is headed.

      Michael

  • Robert

    Michael
    I liked your sequel to “Alice in Wonderland”, but there are somethings that I disagree with you.
    First of all, I believe that the US Constituition was written by one or two people (individualism) and not by our 76 (or +) founding fathers (collectivism), it would have made more sense if Karl Marx (an individual) wrote the US Constituition and our founding fathers (a collective) wrote Das Kapital.
    Secondly, once something is written and the ink hasn’t even dried until other people try to morphine the ideas into something else, which brings me the subject of how many sociopaths are in power (please read “The Sociopath Next Door” by Dr. Martha Stout Ph.D, just like the TSA is an equal opprotunity employer for preverts, the US Military (Special Operations) is an equal opprotunity employer for sociopaths. These people, who make up 1 in 25 of the population, have no conscience, are backstabbers, liers and will use means to acomplish their objectives and the number of sociopaths that are high up in the coporate world and government far exceeds the ratio of 1 in 25.

  • http://www.youtube.com/safearmsreview SafearmsReview

    Thanks Michael for all the good info.

    BTW did you see that to fix the world financial problems the vatican wants to set up a one world central bank!!!!

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/10/24/vatican-economy-idUKL5E7LO1LS20111024

    ;)

    • Michael

      I did see that article.

      Interesting stuff!

      Michael

  • Jeff

    Michael,

    This is one of your finest articles. You are seemingly non-partisan, while making your case with enormous clarity. Articles like this are why I read your latest posting as soon as I get to the office every morning. Thank you.

    • Michael

      Jeff:

      I am honored that you come and visit the site so regularly.

      And though I hammer both the Republicans and the Democrats, that doesn’t mean that I am “in the middle”. :)

      Michael

  • Winston Smith

    Actually, Big Corporation have always = capitalism…..you are buying into the Orwellian change of terms…Capitalism for centuries meant a partnership of Banks/Big Buiz with Govt……the lending of money and reaping huge profits for doing no or little work. Today, with a Orwell twist, capitalism=Ike Godsey or Pa Ingalls……when for centuries the oppressors of said small farmers/buisnessman were the capitalists….you are buying into a false system…..also, how do we know what the Founders intended for us in the way of economics? Jefferson vs Hamilton,etc…always at odds, though Hamilton won out in the end….Capitalism was never about small business, everything about control, via money/manipulation….really, talk to John Medaille or Tom Storck…….

  • Larry

    Famous quotes from Thomas Jefferson:

    “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.
    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property – until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

  • S. Wiseman

    “…and they intended for us to live in a capitalist system where individuals and small businesses had the freedom to compete and thrive.”
    It is Liberty that will bring individual success. “Give me liberty or…” One must always guard and protect individual Liberty. It is the nature of man to rob you of liberty and enslave you to that which will cause you to be dependant on him. Fear enslaves. The people are afraid to be free.

  • Barn Cat

    The real problem is the vanishing middle class. Rich corporations don’t translate into rich people because most corporations don’t pay dividends. The only ways to get the money out are stock options (good luck on that one) and selling your stock.

  • Winston Smith

    re-read the article, as always, yo uare good at digging up facts, putting them together and presenting a clear problems….your solutions or lack of, suffer.
    1. Founderology-the near worship of the founders so prevelant in the USA. Freemasons and deists gave us exactly the nation we have now, one devoid of Christ (yes, I know, some wentto church, big deal, Bush, Clinton,Obama do too.so?)
    2. A lot of “lets hop”, etc at the end, but no real solutions.
    3. Because you think the system should be “capitalist”, meaning under the thumb of big Buiz….again, check Orwell double speak and the Papal documents Rerum Novarum, Quad. Anno to see the situation of the times and the real face of Capitalism.
    4. A lazy-fare system, that has no regulations will get us right back to the point we are at…Libertarianism fails for many reasons. Get us back to 1802, without any mechanisms for protection and we will slide right back to where we are now, likely worse and quicker, thanks to the technology…..

    • Michael

      I thought I was quite clear that I want to get us out from under the thumb of big business.

      Michael

  • http://selfsip.org Kitty Antonik Wakfer

    Michael has well stated the situation of governments/corporations, including the fact that governments create the legal entity, “corporation”. But there is a point missing – that all of the regulations/laws/edicts/directives/rulings/etc regarding corporations (and everything else) of all legislators, executives (including President), judges and bureaucrats are merely words whether uttered in some official government chamber or written in one of the millions of documents issued by any of 3 arms of the federal government, and all the levels in the 50 states. These words only become reality because there are government enforcers, those willing to threaten and actually initiate physical force to compel individuals to do something they would not do of their uncoerced choice. And there are plenty of instances, more each year and well documented, of enforcers initiating physical force – even to the point of death – as they enforce various “orders” from above.

    The concluding statements from Michael:
    “So is any of this going to change any time soon?

    “Well, considering the fact that the vast majority of our politicians are in the pockets of the big corporations, I would not be getting your hopes up.”

    The far greater number of non-enforcers in the population of the US (and anywhere) have a non-violent option by which to change the situation. Turn government enforcement – both domestic agencies and the military – into an undesirable role to play and there will be far far less harm possible by government at all levels. An undesirable job is one in which the holder is shunned by all others if s/he will not be persuaded by reasoned logic – negative Social Preferencing! http://selfsip.org/solutions/Social_Preferencing.html

  • Bob Marshall

    I noticed where only Ron Paul said he was willing to take the Average American’s salary as his own if he becomes president. Just under $40,000.

  • r.bitting

    For all of you who endorse a revolution by violent means, caught up in the ” moment ” with these protests… When it begins to morph into something other than what you thought it would be, and the government you wind up with is even more oppressive that the one before, and they come and confiscate your possessions, and maybe your life or that of a family member. Just remember, YOU threw your freedom away, they did’nt take it. They simply used you like a carpenter uses a tool, you were no more than a means to an end to them.

  • GoneWithTheWind

    Do not be fooled by Obama’s class war. You may covet other people’s money but the question is should you “take it”? Is it honest and honorable to take anyone’s wealth? Every dictator and repressive communist/socialist government has done that and after they eat the rich what then? Were the people better off? The result was always that a few elite were incredibly rich and everyone else is incredibly poor. It does not and should not matter to you how much some rich person has. The only thing you should concern yourself with is what you have.

  • jerry O

    Government is going to
    continue to get bigger.

    There is no stopping it.

    The more they get, the
    more they want and they
    will do what they have to
    in order to get it.

    Taxes are going to continue
    to rise and we will see
    fewer and fewer in the
    middle class.

    The end result is that
    there will have to be some
    type of collapse in the
    system as we know it today.

    One millionaire has gotten
    the right prospective and
    puts it in a video that is easy to understand.

    http://theelevationgroup.net/presentation/register.php?a_aid=160667&a_bid=290b868b&chan=y

    His video cuts to the chase and
    tells it like it is.

    I know you will learn from
    what you see on his video.

  • http://www.mortgageresistanceofamerica.com FrankyFreelance

    The reality is that corruption (aka : manipulating the actions/decisions of government via the fiat printing press) is simply part of the marketing budgets of the “International Franken-Corporations”. Let;s face it – money is power – money runs business and money runs governments (which are merely giant businesses whose income is sucked from the citizens (via taxes, fees, etc.). Aside from the main problem being that government has grown so big, we also have the additional problem that Big Gov’t Inc has also grown too efficient as a business institution. Of course, the difference between Big Business and Big Government is that the government does not operate according to the laws of free market economics. In fact, government are by their nature collectives and in “democratic governments” the temporary leaders have every incentive to exploit the system as much as possible while looking out for the needs of individual citizens the least. Back in the good ole days of absolute monarchy the society at least operated according to the laws of free market economics (with the royalty being the owners of the private prooperty that was the society). In the age of democracy noone (well, actually : “the public” (but who is that really anyway???)) really owns anything and so the leaders take what they can get for the temporary period of time that they hold the reins of power. Plus, this process seems to be getting more virulent, with each successive administration pushing the envelop a little more. The end result is basically what we have now, all top branches of the government ruling autocratically without the effective systen of checks and balances which the founders of the republic originally set up.

    An excellent book which deals with this issue in much further detail is :

    “Democracy : The God That Failed” by hand Herman Hoppe (free market political economist of the Austrian School (www.mises.org).

    You can download a the full ebook here:

    http://www.ebook3000.com/Democracy–The-God-that-Failed–The-Economics-and-Politics-of-Monarchy–Democracy–and-Natural-Order_47221.html

    This is by far one of the best books I have ever read on political economy (and I read a LOT ;->.

    The decline of the American republican system of government (as it way designed by the founders – who were in essence exploited citizens of the English monarchy (the Leviathan of the time) who were attempting to break free from the tyranny of autocratic rule of the throne. Nearly the same exact issue is what the republic is faced with today. Instead of the autocratic throne we are now in the grips of the power of the “International Franken-Corporations” who are operating autocratically as a result of using their unlimited fiat monopoly money to subvert the government and make thus operate above the law (as the law is now controlled by them).

    The only realistic solution to the current dilemma is to STOP FEEDING THE BEAST. Any government is only as strong as the amount of subjects which are willing to follow its rules. Thus, the main defense the subjects of any government have is to discontinue playing the game. By feeding the “International Franken-Corporations” and the emerging World Socialist Government that it is giving birth to we only give it power and help it grow. The problem is that the masses are so controlled that it is extremely difficult to come together WITH strong, focused common political demands in an effort to act collectively and cut the source of nourishment to the beast. The beast WANTS its subjects to be divided and unfocused. This is the main weakness of the mass. Only when this problem is surmounted will we be able to outleverage and starve the beast.

    The focus at this point of the revolution again “Franken-Corporate Tyranny” should be to utilize the internet to bring all activists together into a coherent list of demands which are realistic and attainable. For instance, pull your money out of the banks, stop paying your mortgage and student loans, etc. However, do ONLY those things which the government cannot crack down on. First, implement as many forms of passive resistance as you can (within the confines of the law) to hit the beast at the monetary core. Then, while maintaining a consistent Occupy movement out on the streets (with the most organized elements of the movement visible to the public) send the rest of the people home to get on the internet and fight more anonymously through the digital medium. Let’s face it, the longer (and larger group of) people stay in the streets the more likely law enforcement is to take increasingly drastic measures. By “taking to the internet” much of this can be avoided and allow the movement to stay more focused.

    It’s basic guerilla warfare. Stay out of sight of the enemy and use the enemy’s energy against them. In the meantime, cut the supply line which feeds the beast (ex. the $$$).

    I think the real revolution can be successful with a strong internet strategy in complement to the civil disobedience media coverage of organized troops on the streets via the Occupy movement.

    It is possible to win this current war against tyranny. This problem has existed since Homo Sapiens climbed out of the trees and started organizing into groups to increase their chances of survival. Revolution is a natural process of life. Without revolution there would be not change and the only constant in the universe is the inconstant (aka : change).

    The situation is becoming dire fast, and so it is time to wise up, get informed, get connected and get serious. In dire situations humans have an uncanny ablity to tap into their deep, often-hidden intellectual and spiritual resources. This is a time to help awaken others and help cultivate their talents in an attempt to enable them to contribute to the resistance against modern day tyranny.

    Peace

    JOIN THE RESISTANCE!
    http://www.mortgageresistanceofamerica.com
    http://www.studentloanresistanceofamerica.com

  • http://www.prepareforeconomiccollapse.org/free-report James

    This system is designed to drain the wealth of the people. The whole system runs on a continuous expansion of debt. We see what is going on in Europe, BofA, Credit Default swaps, trillions in bailouts, war etc.

    The 50% haircut on Greece’s debt yesterday is infect a default yet the markets are rallying like crazy because the haircut was only 50% so everything must be just fine in Bizarro world.

    The race to debase currencies and especially the dollar is on and the only thing average people can do to protect themselves financially is to buy gold and silver as there is no counter party risk involved.

    Nobody knows when The S will hit the fan for real but it can happen at any time. Pls prepare while you still have time. It doesn’t take much to do.

    Cheers,

    James

    Free report shows how to prepare for economic collapse

    http://www.prepareforeconomiccollapse.org/free-report

  • JackieR

    In my state(Co), last quarter there were 5,000 layoffs in the private sector and 1,100 govt hires.
    Govt overgrowth is still happening.

  • Joe

    Did you know they also call the worst of the worst motorcycle gangs the 1% ers?? Meaning, 99% of all motorcycle riders are not in outlaw gangs and are overall regular folk, its simply 1% of all riders are the bad guys.

    Coincidence??

  • Austin_Patriot

    When idiots like Gary2 can read this article and still think the answer is bigger government, we are beyond the point of no return.

    Guns, grub, and gold. Buy ‘em, and store ‘em. You are going to need ‘em.

  • Kathy Smith

    Where is the +1 button? Great article Micheal every time someone points out about our bought & paid for politicians I stand up a cheer.

    • Michael

      The “+1 button” is at the top of the inner right hand column. Each vote only counts for that particular article, so feel free to vote for as many of the articles as you would like. :)

      Michael

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Picture a violent, unstable Third World banana republic in which a tiny minority of fatcats get richer and richer while the rest of the population barely survives. What banana republic am I referring to? Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras? Well, those countries fit that description. But the country I’m referring to is The Banana Republic of America (formerly the USA). From a dying middle class to record inequalities to a decaying infrastructure to enormous debt to an anemic currency, there is no getting around the fact that the former USA is now a banana republic. And Americans can look forward to all the poverty, instability, violent crime and corruption that banana republics are known for.

    For the vast majority of Americans, life is going to be truly hellish going forward. The future looks unbelievably grim in The Banana Republic of America (formerly the USA). God help us.

    • bobbobbobbob

      amerikkka = not ok

  • http://survivalrealestate.com TJ Jackson

    I really appreciate your articles and the feedback. I hope this problem can be resolved without there being a violent correction or revolution. I do not see how that will happen. Anyone with any PRACTICAL solutions?

    • http://www.planorperish.com/ Gutter Economist

      (1) Employee Owned Businesses.

      (2) No state / government involvement.

      (3) Democratic business charter where the majority of employees can control wages, profit sharing, and outsourcing.

    • http://www.urbandumpsterdiver.wordpress.com UrbanFreegan

      TJ – first thing we have to end the Federal Reserve now and bring our nation to sound money.

      All congressman and senators should receive a pink slip. They are not allowed to run for re-election and someone else will take their place. I’d rather have a dog catcher, school teacher or housewife run the country than these clowns.

      Deport all illegal aliens from our nation. We have a surplus of cheap labor that is diluting the labor pool and hurting all Americans. We can do this, we did it before. Halt all immigration from all countries for at least 10 years until we get our own on their feet.

      Bring back manufacturing. If a company deliberately closes it’s plant and places it’s plant overseas then I want a huge tariff on their goods coming to America.

      Pull out all military bases overseas. We do not need to be the police state of the world. All that money saved could build our roads, bridges and other basic infrastructure.

      Instead of groceries and stores throwing perfectly good items away or compacting them, donate them to a local charity where it could do some good or sell them back to the employees at a discount rate.

  • Morpheus

    I have to disagree. Apologizing for the failure of capitalism is why we’re in this mess. It is flawed system that has never worked. Capitalism wasn’t designed or invented. It was discovered. It was discovered and named by Karl Marx, the authority on capitalism. Capitalism is just a run over from mercantilism. It’s not a system at all. The only way for it survive is if the so called system wasn’t dependant on unlimited growth. Impossible! How stupid can we be. Nothing goes for ever. Especially when we live on a finite planet with finite resources. And then you have to ignore the countless break downs of the so called system. The rich perpetuate it for the poor suckers who have very little chance of becoming rich, like winning the lottery. It’s a suckers game for poor suckers. The casinos or a suckers game for poor suckers. Very few winners, mostly losers. Are getting the parallel – 1% winners (the rich) and 99% losers. The poor suckers in this country are about to learn just what American exceptionalism really means. It’s pure Kool-Aid.

    I do agree that protesting is pointless. Much too little much too late. Our problems are huge. They come multiples and they are very complex. Even a global protest, movement or revolution is about as relevant as a fly landing on an elephants butt. We have to shift whole paradigms or we’ve had it!

    It’s going to take a lot of smart people to fix our problems. But there’s only one group out there with a real transition plan and strategy to move us forward. Everyone else are just talking. Just like the president – All Talk!!!

    Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )

    FIGHT THE CAUSE – NOT THE SYMPTOM

    • Sugapea

      Absolutely agree, Morpheus!
      Capitalism has taken us to the zenith! Yes, our problems are huge…but at least The 99% is searching for answers.
      Our first step, making the Bankster-bigwheels realize…The American people are not going to take this abuse any longer!
      Steve Jobs said, “I just wanted to ‘ding’ the Universe”.
      That is exactly what Occupy America is doing now…and we all need to get behind them and help ‘ding’ the horrendous Bankster Corruption of the last 30-Years!

    • Gary2

      In reference to capitalism-did not some right wing economist say that if something can not go on forever it won’t? (Milton Freidman?)

      This is how I describe capitalism. You have a good analysis, thanks.

    • GoneWithTheWind

      Capitalism just “is” like laws of physics and the universe. It wasn’t invented and it is not a political system. People with freedom use more capitalism to improve their lives and people without freedom are not free to use it. Dictatorial/Socialist governments use capitalism to fund their government and reward their elite. Free and democratic governments generally do not use capitalism (at least not as much) and the people under that system use it freely. Capitalism is NOT the cause of our problems government is, or more accurately regulations put in place by governments is responsible for the collapse. Capitalism will/can save us but only if government gets out of the way.

  • Xianator

    The reason this can happen is lack of sound money, I recommend you read: http://www.goldmoney.com/gold-research/alasdair-macleods-cmre-speech.html for a start. Your analysis about the East India co at the time of US founding is quite wrong… Just don’t let the politicians control money and everything else follows.

  • Monk

    The bad news is that the “founding fathers” and subsequent members of the elite were able to take control of the U.S. through combinations of big government, robber barons, corporations against Native American tribes.

    The military itself, supported by an industrial-military complex, is employed to prop up the petrodollar, which in turn allowed U.S. households to maintain a middle class lifestyle and receive what are probably some of the best government services in the world.

    This is probably why the whole scheme lasted for so long: not just government and corporations but even households were playing the game by increasing borrowing and spending to support what each group wanted. And this was inevitable given an economy where 70 pct of activity is based on consumer spending, where 70 pct work in the service industry, esp. finance, where profits are higher, where corporations began to move to Wall Street, and where the government allowed all of these in exchange for propping up the petrodollar amidst four decades of trade deficits.

  • Georgiaboy61

    Re: “…the truth is that wherever you find big government you will almost always find big corporations, and wherever you find big corporations you will almost always find big government. Sure, they spar once in a while, but the reality is that big government and big corporations work in tandem most of the time.”

    You have just defined fascism, or as Mussolini preferred to call it, corporatism – the complete merger of the corporation and the state.

    A well-done article, which gets right to the heart of the matter – that large concentrations of power, whether in corporate or government hands, lead to the same place – totalitarianism. Why? The reason is simple.

    Most small businesses start off favoring freedom and competitition, but as they grow, they always pull the ladder up behind them, to prevent rivals from following them. The big multinational corporations encourage the growth of government as a means of protecting market share and knocking out competitors. In return for these considerations, corporations do things to foster the growth of government. So, a circle of influence-buying/selling is formed, and to compete, companies must opt into the system or risk being left behind. A feed-back loop ensues, leading us to where we are now.

    We need “trust busting” for the 21st century, only this time both too-large corporations and too-large government are both targets for downsizing. We also need a firewall between politics and corporate money.

    • GoneWithTheWind

      You are 100% wrong. Fascism is simply a variation of socialism (as is communism). In a fascist state the government controls companies but does not own them. Just because there are “big” companies does not make the system a fascist one. If we revert to a socialist form of government THEN we will be flirting with Fascism.

      • The HarrisburgEffect

        probably the best description off the top of someones head i have heard of fascism i like your views.

  • Jean

    It is my opinion that the fault lies with the judicial system. The laws were on the books to prevent Corporations from becoming so big. Anti Trust laws should have been inforced. They broke up Standard Oil but the crooked Lawyers found a way around that. Those lawyers should have been arrested and jailed at the time and that would have given pause to those that would skirt the laws.But big money talks and they sold out. It is the nature of man toward greed.
    When we get the opportunity to vote a man of concience into office the general public is influenced by the Main stream media who are themselves Big Corporation spokesmen and we get
    the same compromised politicians into office.
    The media ignoring Ron Paul is a perfect example of this. He stands for every thing that
    would correct the present situation. Not immediately which is impossible but a gradual return to honest money, a smaller government, the end of supporting an empire which is there
    simply to create debt which keeps the criminal
    federal reserve system going.A side by side competing currency would eventually faze out the Federal reserve and we could return to smaller state banks.It would help if these criminal bankers were stripped of their wealth, jailed and that ill gotten gain could be funneled to the states to repair infrastructure
    which would create jobs for the people.

    • Jean

      Hey Michael, I would have thought the site wouldn’t let 2 people use the same name, but is there any way to change this?

      Which came first – the Jean or the Jean?

      • Michael

        LOL – I am afraid that I don’t know of a way to change this.

        But one way you can truly set yourself apart is by getting a gravatar. This will enable you to pick your own picture which will show up with every comment…..

        http://en.gravatar.com/

        Michael

        • Orange Jean

          Thanks for the response Michael… I’m going to experiment with this. When I’ve posted here before I always got the same picture (an orange face, kind of grumpy but with glasses, which I wear). I’m going to change the name to Orange Jean and see if the picture follows me.

          I appreciate the suggestion of an avatar, but lean against that because I am kind of paranoid about just who (or which agency) tracks comments on a site like this. Not worried about you, but you may have someone looking over your shoulder you don’t know about.

          so… here goes!

        • Orange Jean

          YEAH it worked! So folks, I’m officially changing my name from Jean to Orange Jean… just so people won’t get annoyed trying to converse and it’s not clear which Jean it is.

          ~formerly Jean, now Orange Jean with the same picure

  • Opiated Dreams

    I am glad that someone understands that the OWS protestors are walking right into the trap laid by the likes of George Soros, pro-Communists, anti-Americans, and Union mobsters. Not all of them are wealthy, but the people fomenting and financing this riot are obscenely wealthy and call themselves Marxist despite the fact that they would rather die than part with a penny given to their peasants. How better to install a Fascist Globalist Corporation run State than to have its very enemies force Martial Law into play, which interrupts and nullifies regular rules such that the government can literally get away with anything during this window of time. That includes incarcerating the protestors, criminalizing them, and ensuring they never rise again from their ashes all the while they have restored civil society from the violent mob. These people are not stupid, and so the revolutionaries must be as clever as they are and not walk into their trap. The old paradigm is to pitch a tent on a street, hold up pickets and signs that nobody is looking at, yell at Police, and commiserate without a plan. The rioters do not realize that they are helping to install a Stalinist type system headed by George Soros and wealthy America haters in their country by fomenting Martial Law.

  • http://obbop.wordpress.com/ Obbop

    “There’s class warfare, all right, Mr. (Warren) Buffett said, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

    “There has been class warfare going on,” Buffett, 81, said in a Sept. 30 interview with Charlie Rose on PBS. It’s just that my class is winning. And my class isn’t just winning, I mean we’re killing them.”

  • getreal

    Michael,
    I spent 2 decades as an elected state politician…Democrat. This is by far the best and truest article you have published. It is much appreciated. I wish we could run it in every newspaper in this country. You nailed it!

    • Michael

      Getreal:

      Thank you for that great compliment. I am honored that so many people from across the political spectrum come to read these articles and participate in the discussions in the comments. We definitely need places like this that are outside of the control of the mainstream media where we can discuss what is really going on out there.

      Michael

  • JMorcan

    Love the photo – it’s the three men most responsible for the destruction of our country.

  • Linda Lyons-Bailey
  • Linda Lyons-Bailey

    How collectivist does that link sound to you???

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  • http://cygielski.com/blog/ scyg

    This is what the “one percent” would look like if you could see them all at once:
    http://cygielski.com/projects/onepercent/the_one_percent.html
    Not exactly a tight little clique that the protesters portray, is it?

    • Brian Howard

      Now display the 99%

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  • Mr. x

    I am in my late 30′s. I’ve never held a job an an employee. I’m a self employed kind of guy. I have always been in business for myself. Iunderstand that a large corporation is not necessarily a bad thing. Case in point: early 20th century Ford Motors. They were large because the company was brillant. Limiting the size of a corporation sounds good in theory but in practice, I’m not sure it will expand the middle class. Limiting big government will most certainly not hurt the middle class. Either way, your ENTIRE article lacks a nexus between how big corps result in big govt or vice versa and how this relationship hurts the middle class. You might be right but where is the nexus? Citing stats w/o analysis is useless. The founders argument is fun and historical, but totally useless. Please elaborate on your analysis that shows a specific nexus between big G, big subchapter C, and the decline of the middle class. I could form the same argument using figures concerning the polarity if the earth’s electromagnetic field to establish causation. You need more causation.

  • 95percent

    A correct analysis of the 99 percent is 95 percent, and I am one along with those who may be commenting because we aren’t busy traveling abroad, collecting campaign contributions, or meeting with another foreign entity on strategic profit interests. So..

    A comment was posted here by Mr.X. He was looking for “causation”.

    Let’s look at this in a different spin.
    I am a farmer and I have hired 20 workers (slaves). I pay them. (feed, cloth, and shelter the slaves) I’d like to increase my profits. I’d like to have a bigger mansion. I want some more land to expand my crop. What do I do? I think of a brilliant plan.
    I will charge the workers a tax. I will then hire more workers at less pay. This will increase my profits. As I gain more profits, I will purchase the land, and hire more workers for less pay.

    Unions are being destroyed, not because the workers made too much money, but because the corporations want more PROFIT. The corporations say, well in order for us to survive and to HIRE and EMPLOY more people, we cannot have a union. The bust the union, and decrease worker pay. This decreases the opportunity of wealth for the worker, and increases wealth for the SLAVE HOLDER.

    My point is this, freedom is only found when communities collectively become independent and self-sustaining. The causation of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is in the 95 percent of us who ‘feel’ they have no choice. Ask a corporate CEO if he cares about the millions disparity he is making versus the low income individual who is packing a box in sweaty warehouse. He has no care about that person, instead he feels as though he is doing him a favor. The U.S. is not a democracy, it is a polyarchy.

    I could go on and on like the 95 percent, the drum will continue to beat until someone says, enough. Campaign contributions and corporate connections will decide the next president, the 95 percent of us are at the mercy of corporate control mechanics. Our rights are being extinguished and we dig our head in the sand as if nothing is happening. If you don’t believe this just look at the Patriot Act. Read the laws that are taking away our freedoms.

    Okay, I am done….I’m going to get a cup of coffee and dig my head in the sand. You probably will too….

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