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To Address Inequality, Let’s Take on Monopolies


#1

To Address Inequality, Let’s Take on Monopolies

Barry Lynn, Kevin Carty

Most Americans know that our country has become extremely unequal. They may not know that the richest 0.1% of Americans own as much wealth as the bottom 90%, or that the richest one percent took more than half of all income growth since 1979. But they know that the rich benefit more and more nowadays, while middle and working class families take home less and less.


#2

The monopolies and the oligopolies own government, at every level and in every branch. They are the government. The door to reform is shut, nailed and bolted by American corruption and Neoliberalism. You can nail 95 theses on the door, but nobody will open it, and nobody will read the complaint. Reform is impossible. What was that other “r” word??


#3

Monopolies ( the 1% ) by definition see the public as both consumers and as workers. Capitalism seeks to pay people as workers less and to charge the same people this time as consumers more. When jobs are scarce and wages low, the bottom sinks ever lower. That is when workers end up needing food stamps and when special enterprise zones are created where wages can be even lower than the official minimum wage. Through these monopolies tax cuts that bleed communities dry, the workers pay even more or rather they earn even less.

What would economic stability begin to look like in the future?

A wealthy noble class who own everything whether monopolies or landlords and workers who own very little. In an overpopulated catastrophic climate world where AI replaces human workers making jobs increasingly scarcer as AI evolves, keeping any job will be the priority for workers. For mere survival’s sake, workers will enter into lowest wage contracts just to secure food and shelter as provided by the company.

Once such lowest wage workers were called serfs. The monopoly owners elite class were called the nobility. The heirs of the nobility married into each other’s families further concentrating wealth into fewer hands.

Ancient society became mainly composed of the wealthy, the military and the peasants. Looks very similar to ours except that we will have cable!

Good luck kiddies!


#4

. . . cable that carries only football, wrestling and gubmint-approved “news” (aka propaganda).  Oh yeah, and reruns of The Apprentice.

Where is Teddy Roosevelt now that we REALLY need him??


#5

Back in the 1890s’, the robber baron age, monopolies were common and strangling the people. They controlled the people’s lives, not only did the people work for them, but there was the company store and houses which cost so much the worker stayed in debt owing the company too much to be able to leave the job.
Those monopolies were broken apart and the labor movement helped break the back of the wage slaves existence. But now we are heading back to those days. Many people can’t afford to look for another job, esp. when most jobs won’t pay anymore than their existing job.
Who though is going to be Teddy Roosevelt today and break up these monopolies when congress is bought by the rich who control the monopolies?


#6

Thank you and best of luck as it will be a brutal fight and they will not give an inch without a brutal fight.


#7

Thomas Jefferson also feared the development of monopolies as corporations were set free. In many respects, one could say that the American Revolution was as much a revolution against the British East India Company as against the King, although the King and his fellow nobles held stock in the BEIC.


#8

“Take on monopolies” ???

How do we take on monopolies when the few regulations that survived the previous five POTUS regimes are barely being enforced and more industries keep getting monopolized at an alarming rate ?

The too-big-to-fail banks that controlled 25% of US bank assets when they crashed the economy in 2008 now control 50% with no end in sight of their march to monopoly.

Most Murkins love Wal-Mart, Amazon and other monopolies. The discussion of Amazon building a second headquarters in a city other than Seattle has been saturated with fake news about Amazon abandoning Seattle because Seattle is not business friendly enough. Not one pundit has even suggested that the question that really needs to be asked is why Amazon is allowed to continue to monopolize.

SCOTUS Justice Louis Brandeis words are more applicable today than they were when he uttered them a century ago: “You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or you can have democracy. You cannot have both”.


#9

Your mention of cable is ironic, since that is also very much monopolized!


#10

It was just my being sarcastic using a humorous punch line as an illustrative counterpoint.


#11

Actually, I suspected you were being sarcastic. Thanks for the humor. We definitely need all the humor we can find these days. Always enjoy reading your posts, and the honest thoughts contained therein.


#12

The concentration of extreme wealth in the 1% is way beyond even that in the Robber Baron era and the gilded age. Using computers and world wide commerce to create centralized mega wealth into only a few elite families and then letting them retain this immense amount of wealth by passing it on to their heirs is almost complete. These uber moneyed families are fast becoming the owners of the world in that they literally own and control whole sectors of the economy.

The return of the High Elite class and further. There are individuals and families who are richer than many countries. My guess is that they will eventually create corporate countries which they will rule like pharaohs and kings because they own everything in it except the human beings.

If humanity is lucky, we will figure out a way to go to other planets and escape!


#13

U.S. corporations should have to pay what they owe on their current offshore holdings and not be allowed to defer these payments indefinitely. By continuing to allow offshore tax sheltering, policy makers are shifting the tax burden onto ordinary Americans and creating a disincentive for job creation in the United States.


#14

Thanks to a “performance pay” tax loophole, large corporations in the United States today are routinely deducting enormous executive payouts from their income taxes. In effect, these companies are exploiting the U.S. tax code to send taxpayers the bill for the huge rewards they’re doling out to their top executives


#15

Tax all income the same as labor is taxed.


#16

To address inequality, how about we take on the core monopoly…

…money creation

By adopting a rather simple rule to establish global economic enfranchisement, the authority to loan money into existence is distributed to each through Shares of global fiat credit that may be claimed by each adult human on the planet, for deposit in trust with their bank as part of an actual social contract

So each may go to their bank, sign an agreement to cooperate with society, claim a limited right to loan a million dollars or so into existence to finance secure sovereign debt (Capital) and collect an equal share of the interest paid on global sovereign debt

The interest paid on global sovereign debt is by far and away the largest flow of money on the planet, and this economic security provided by governments is monopolized by those who already have money, where it can simply, and rightly, be distributed to each, while also creating a sufficient supply of sustainably priced credit for secure sovereign investment, globally, proportional to population

Please note that this structure can be established, and return about $20 USD (equivalent) to each adult human on the planet, with current taxation, and the only costs are the preparation of social contracts, establishing the accounts, and loaning/borrowing money, which is a part of normal banking and administration

Please examine the notion, the benefits of global inclusion in the foundation of our global economic system cascade

Thanks for your kind indulgence


#17

All good points, how about tax the money?


#18

U.S. corporations should have to pay what they owe on their current offshore holdings and not be allowed to defer these payments indefinitely. By continuing to allow offshore tax sheltering, policy makers are shifting the tax burden onto ordinary Americans and creating a disincentive for job creation in the United States.
Sixty-five years ago, both corporate profits and corporate taxes equaled about 6% of the economy. Now, corporate profits represent 8.5% of the economy, corporate taxes only 1.9%. Big corporations don’t need a tax cut—what they need is to start paying their fair share of taxes again


#19

I want to start by saying that your total post is as (sadly) accurate as it is excellent.

I want to expand, if I may, on the bold text. This exploitation of the common worker is exacerbated by the production of low-quality[*] products and planned obsolescence. Both of these issues prevent the common worker from ever “getting ahead” as he/she is always having to repair or place items already purchased.

It becomes a “designed economy” – for the ruling elites – with no foreseeable exit. The wages come from the ruling elites and nearly all (or all, in many cases) of those wages going back to the ruling elites via the consumption of inferior products and services by the working class[**].

Can this be changed under our current form of unbridled capitalism? I don’t think so. I think we need to be looking and working toward an economic and social system that serves all of humanity AND our protects our limited natural resources that are being stolen from future generations. This is the goal of The Next System Project / Pluralistic Commonwealth.

When one looks at the bottom-line results, is there any real degree of difference than it was under feudalism? I wander and grieve at the future prospects.

[*] Is this the result of capitalism’s ever-present need for ever-increasing profits and growth, or is that the majority of the working class don’t have the money to afford quality-made products, or is it a combination of the two?

[**] While this practice assures continued revenues and profits to the ruling elites, it is a major contributing factor – via the pollution-producing aspects of manufacturing – that is dramatically contributing to global warming that leads to life-altering (or life-ending) climate change.