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The American March to Inequality: Why the UN Alston Report Alarms the Trump Plutocrats


#1

The American March to Inequality: Why the UN Alston Report Alarms the Trump Plutocrats

Juan Cole

It is no surprise that flacks for the plutocrats in charge of the US like Nikki Haley are squawking about the report on American poverty just issued by UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston. It throws loads of light on how unequal a society America is, how it is marching rapidly toward even greater, Third World levels of inequality, and how peculiar the US is, as a land of rapacious robber barons and 40 million completely marginalized poor.


#2

Juan Cole has a good view of the ‘real’ America that the 90% live in. When talking about the lower 50% things become clear, there is increasing wage gaps and despair leading to increased mortality for all races especially those of color. The poor peoples movement needs to become a major disrupter of commerce. Get their attention. Don’t take working for scraps any longer. Become cohesive. Don’t let race get in the way, it’s about class, the lower class populated by folks of all races. Remember, it’s about class, poor working class. Folks without any benefits working for peanuts while the corporate masters hustle their money onto offshore accounts tax free.


#3

It will take a social revolution AND a political revolution for this country to close the gap in income equality and health care with the the rest of the developed world. The rich and powerful in this country own the political system. It’s the very tool of their dominance. Voting in a rigged system, no matter how well intentioned, will only result in a rigged result and and continuation of such a system. Mere shuffling of the plutocracy’s pre-approved players is no longer a means of change.


#4

The corporate structures of essential goods - household, clothing, etc.- manufactured abroad impoverishing other societies by the low wages, then sold to the impoverished here in the tool known as Wallmart etc…makes those buying these products complicit in global schemes of impoverishing extraction from mining and agribusiness/GMO/chemical poisoning, to breakdown of the publicly understood, CLEAN market dynamics of Adam Smith, taught in schools.

It is a globally manipulated pyramid scheme which is why you have a daughter of the penultimate pyramid scheme appointed by NYC fraudster to the Department of Education. Should we change the name of the latter to the Ministry of Indoctrination?


#5

Things are getting better in the US, but only for the top 10%. The 10% is an important statistic because most of the top 10% is the upper middle class. These include many professionals and successful small business owners. White probably most of these people are strong believers of more economic equality it is largely their lifestyle which is making it difficult for people in the 90% to move up. The top 10% has moved into suburban areas with the best schools because of the high property taxes. The school systems are focused on getting the children into the top private schools and the flagship state universities. Tutors are plentiful for helping in the cause and private music lessons, dance lessons, and organized sports are part of growing up. There is no way most children of poorer people in the cities and in rural areas can compete with the children of the upper middle class. When the upper middle class children graduate from college or graduate school their parents have often have connections to get them good jobs or they have made good connections themselves while in school. This is why the US is at the bottom of social mobility. The upper middle class has in effect locked the door to people in the bottom 90% rising. In essence the upper middle class has rigged the system their favor. And they really have it made because most people who are concerned about economic inequality are focused on billionaires and others with great wealth and are ignoring large numbers of people who are also responsible for the tremendous economic inequality in the US today.


#6

Putting Trump’s name in the headline is an absolute distraction and counter-productive. Even if he fell dead tomorrow, things would not get better – and possibly worse. Imagine the truly dumb Christo-Fascist Pence at the helm of Duopoly (mis)governance.

It is more useful to note that the post-WW2 divergence began in 1977 (according to the chart) with the election of neo-con Jimmy Carter shoran against “big guvment,” setting the stage for the hard-right Reagan.


#7

There a number of factors that all have to be considered when one looks at the nature of that graph in he period from 1937 to around 1977 when it the workers share started to decline relative to that of the 1 percent.

1>The implementation of the New Deal which no matter how it described is a SOCIALIST program.

2>The lack of competition the USA had for its industrial output post WW2 where the shattered economies of Europe had to rebuild.

3>The accumulated debt of the US Government due to its various wars and in particular the Vietnam war which led to Nixon in effect defaulting and converting the US dollar to a petrodollar.

4>The agreement signed in the 1970’s wherein the bulk of the power to create new currency was surrendered to the private banks. It was claimed that the high inflation of that period was due to Governments ability to print money at will. It was claimed if Governments had to BORROW from private investors with interest , this would act as a check on inflation.

5>The payoff on investment of all of those so called “non Partisan” think tanks funded by the right wing to promote neoliberalism and privatization schemes. This lead to Reaganism and Thatcherism and "Government is bad " (unless it helping the rich) memes. Social program spending was then attacked and gutted.


#8

Excellent analysis, Suspira! And so our wealth was squandered and the threat of Socialism was neutralized.


#9

Many writers tend to compare infant mortality rate with “developed countries” meaning mostly those from Western Europe and US allies. This makes the reader think that it’s not so bad - after all it’s a comparison between “developed countries.” However, most poorer countries from the former Soviet Union such as Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia, etc., also have lower infant mortality rates than the US. Each of those states might be small, but combine their populations and they could be bigger than some individual “developed nations” in Western Europe. Then there’s economically troubled Greece, the unassuming Cyprus, etc, all having lower infant mortality rates than the US. In fact, the “richest country in the world” has about the same rate as poor Cuba when it comes to infant survivability. Apparently, Trump and other presidents in the recent past find that nothing to be ashamed about.


#10

“…if he fell dead tomorrow…”

Thanks for these words Tom. It gives me hope.


#11

I was being nice so I don’t end up in Guantanamo or somewhere like that.


#12

Trumps crowd doesn’t deserve “nice” Tom.

Speak it as you see it.

We have but one life, so live it truthfully.

They are the ones who live a lie.


#13

You gonna vist me in the can?


#14

Sure. I’ll be there.


#15

It’s said that by Roosevelt creating the New Deal that he saved capitalism. People wanted the banks nationalized and some other things, but the PTB couldn’t go that far so they allowed him to do it, but since then they have been whittling away at it. The republicans have almost succeeded doing it during Trump’s tenure.

This isn’t to say that the previous presidents didn’t do their parts because they certainly did. Wealth inequality went way up during Obama’s tenure, but people gave him a pass on it just like they gave him a pass on continuing PNAC’s goals in the Middle East. Crazy enough today I read someone’s tweet asking what wars did Obama start? SMDH!


#16

Oops, sorry wrong post.


#17

Yes, it is class- remember “America” was stolen from Turtle Island which was the indigenous people’s name for the USA. The elites never intended it to be for anyone else but them.


#18

In the old days, oligarchs had literal armies to defend their wealth. Today, the oligarchs hire a bevy of highly paid enablers – lobbiests, lawyers, accountants, pundits, think-tank pseudo-intellectuals, and politicians – to promote and perpetuate their control. Bertram Gross wrote about this in his book, Friendly Fascism, along with the wedding of corporation and state. Fascism is definitely the way we’re headed.

This article makes it seem that these other capitalist countries like France and Germany are in some sense different from the US, rather than following in its degenerate footsteps.

I recently read an interesting book, Oligarchy, by Jeffrey Winters. It’s an academic view – hardly a call to revolution – but it pointed out that Norway has as many oligarchs per capita as the US. I couldn’t believe it, so I checked out Forbes list of billionaires. I painfully downloaded all 2000+ of the world’s filthy rich. Indeed, the US had the most, 546, but it’s valuable to remember that the US is the world’s 3rd most populous country. We have about 1.5 billionaires per million USA-ans. Noraway had 14 billionaires, or 2.8 per million. Sweden had 31, or 3.2 per million, and Switzerland had 36, or 4.3 per million. (Russia had only a pitiful 0.7 billionaires per million.) This book made it clear that these oligarchs are able to dominate the politics and laws in their countries to the extent of protecting and enhancing their wealth. It didn’t raise the alarm that there appears to be no limit to how much these assholes want.


#19

Yea, MIchael Bloomberg is one such billionaire. Isn’t it terrible that he donated 50 million to the Sierra Club to stop coal burning. How greedy can Bloomberg get? Ironically, it is the upper middle class that is both fighting for economic equality and causing it at the same time. While they want all types of children to grow up and do well they are making sure their own children have all the advantages. An interesting study showed that children from the upper middle class who graduate college earn at least twice as much as children who don’t go to college but children from poor families who graduate college don’t earn any more then children who don’t go to college. This implies that graduating college isn’t enough, you also need the right connections after you graduate. While I agree that the extremely wealthy are engaged in perpetuating their high economic status so is the upper middle class.


#20

What! Is it possible that the upper middle class and the elites might have some vulnerability to “divide and conquor”?
hehe.