Monthly Archives: August 2011

Kucinich to Immelt: Resign

by Dan Freed, TheStreet, 08/26/11

General Electric (NYSE:GE) chief Jeffrey Immelt should resign from his position as head of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness because many of his company’s goals conflict with the council’s goal of boosting U.S. employment and economic output, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) argued Wednesday in a little-noticed press release.

“If he does not resign, the White House should remove him,” Kucinich said in the statement.

Kucinich’s statements came in response to a story in the Washington Post describing General Electric’s transfer of sophisticated aviation technologies it has developed to a Chinese joint venture.

“American taxpayers subsidized the development of this advanced technology, but U.S. taxpayers’ investment will end up creating jobs in China. In the short term, GE is selling products to the Chinese, which will help GE’s bottom line. In the long term, the Chinese will end up manufacturing and selling products using the same technologies that were made in America,” read the statement from Kucinich, a seven-term congressman who has run for President in the past, and who is known for taking positions that are well outside the politicial mainstream.

Responding to the Washington Post story on its website, GE argued, “GE started doing business in China in 1906; it’s not a new direction for the company. China’s civil aviation market is one of the fastest growing in the world and has enormous potential for continuing growth. It is a key imperative for GE and the U.S. to participate in this growth.”

Kucinich also cited General Electric’s low tax bill, which, when pointed out by The New York Times in March, ignited a furor that dominated the news cycle for several days.

Another statistic Kucinich plucked from that article is that GE has cut a fifth of its U.S. workforce since 2002–Immelt’s first full year as CEO–while expanding overseas….

keep reading in TheStreet

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Financial Terrorism In America: How The Economic Elite Made Off With $46 Trillion

By David DeGraw, The Public Record, Aug 14th, 2011

…Within the United States, the technocratic suppression of the population has been extensive. Increasingly severe economic and governmental policies have systematically eroded civilian wealth, power and rights. Intensive propaganda has effectively distracted, confused, isolated, marginalized and divided the US population. Despite the success of these efforts thus far, given the severe, prolonged, unsustainable and escalating level of economic suffering, outbreaks of civil unrest are inevitable. The US population, if a critical mass is reached, represents the greatest threat to the Economic Elite. In this regard, the American people are their primary adversary….

According to most recent Census Bureau data, from 2005 – 2009, average US household wealth declined by 28%. This represents a loss of $27,000 per household. Currently, at least 62 million Americans, 20% of US households, have zero or negative net worth….

The most current Census data revealed that 43.6 million Americans, 14.3% of the population, lived in poverty in 2009. While that is a staggering number that represents the highest number of American people to ever live in poverty, and a dramatic increase of four million people since 2008, it significantly under-counted the total. Last year, in my analysis, extrapolating data from 2008 National Academy of Science findings, I estimated that the number of Americans living in poverty in 2009 was at least 52 million. Recently, the National Academy of Science released their latest findings, backing up my claim by revealing that 52,765,000 Americans, 17.3% of the population, lived in poverty in 2009….

While the “official” unemployment rate hovers around 9%, 14 million people, the government’s numbers are deceptively low once again. The only reason unemployment has stayed below 10% for the past few months is because millions of long-term unemployed, and part-time workers who are looking for full-time work, are not included in the baseline government unemployment rate. John Williams, from ShadowStats.com, has a consistently proven method of tracking unemployment that provides a much more accurate view of the overall situation. As shocking as it may sound, when you apply his SGS method, counting the total number people in need of employment, you get a current unemployment rate of 22.5%, which is an all-time record total of 34 million people currently in need of work….

Currently, an all-time record 6.3 million people have been unemployed for over six months. As the chart to the right shows, the average time it takes for a person to find a job has also just hit an all-time high of 40.4 weeks.

As companies continue to downsize and shift jobs overseas, unemployment is once again accelerating. Private-sector job cuts in July surged 60% to a 16-month high. When accounting for population growth within the total labor force, from December 2007 to present, we have lost 10.6 million jobs.

With the implementation of state and federal budget cuts, public-sector unemployment is accelerating as well. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, since August 2008, state and local governments have cut 577,000 jobs. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that cuts in the new deficit deal will lead to an additional 1.8 million job losses.

Of the new jobs that have been added in 2010, 60% of them are in low-wage fields. Since December 2007, the official unemployment rate has masked the fact that 2.8 million of the news jobs created have been part-time jobs….

While the cost of living from 1990 – 2010 increased by 67%, worker income has declined. According to the most recent available IRS data, covering the year of 2009, average income fell 6.1%, a loss of $3,516 per worker, that year alone. Average income has declined 13.7% from 2007 – 2009, representing a $8,588 loss per worker.

The decline in worker income is due to the dramatic increase in CEO pay. CEO pay has consistently increased year-over-year since the mid-1970s. From 1975 – 2010, worker productivity increased 80%. Over this time frame, CEO pay and the income of the economic top 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) of the population quadrupled. The income of the top 0.01% (one-hundredth of one percent) quintupled….

read the full article at The Public Record

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Americans Don’t Realize Just How Badly We’re Getting Screwed by the Top 0.1 Percent Hoarding the Country’s Wealth

By David DeGraw, Alternet, 8/14/11, from Amped Status /

With an unprecedented sum of wealth, tens of trillions of dollars, held within the top one-tenth of one percent of the US population, we now have the most severe inequality of wealth in US history. Not even the robber barons of the Gilded Age were as greedy as the modern-day economic elite.

As American philosopher John Dewey said, “There is no such thing as the liberty or effective power of an individual, group, or class, except in relation to the liberties, the effective powers, of other individuals, groups or classes.”

In my report, The Economic Elite vs. the People, I reported on the strategic withholding of wealth from 99 percent of the US population over the past generation. Since the mid-1970s, worker production and wealth creation has exploded. As the statistics throughout this report prove, the dramatic increase in wealth has been almost entirely absorbed by the economic top one-tenth of one percent of the population, with most of it going to the top one-hundredth of one percent.

If you are wondering why a critical mass of people desperately struggling to make ends meet are still not fighting back with overwhelming force and running the mega-wealthy aristocrats out of town, let’s consider two significant factors:

1) People are so busy trying to maintain their current standard of living that their energies are consumed by holding onto the little they have left.

2) People have very little understanding of how much wealth has been consolidated within the top economic one-tenth of one percent….

continue reading at Alternet

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The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States of America – Part I

By David DeGraw, The Public Record, 2/16/10

…It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99% of the US population no longer has political representation. The US economy, government and tax system is now blatantly rigged against us.

Current statistical societal indicators clearly demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched and an analysis of current governmental policies prove that conditions for 99% of Americans will continue to deteriorate. The Economic Elite have engineered a financial coup and have brought war to our doorstep. . . and make no mistake, they have launched a war to eliminate the US middle class….

America is the richest nation in history, yet we now have the highest poverty rate in the industrialized world with an unprecedented number of Americans living in dire straits and over 50 million citizens already living in poverty.

The government has come up with clever ways to downplay all of these numbers, but we have over 50 million people who need to use food stamps to eat, and a stunning 50% of US children will use a food stamp to eat at some point in their childhood. Approximately 20,000 people are added to this total every day. In 2009, one out of five US households didn’t have enough money to buy food. In households with children, this number rose to 24%, as the hunger rate among US citizens has now reached an all time high.

We also currently have over 50 million US citizens without healthcare. 1.4 million Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2009, a 32% increase from 2008. As bankruptcies continue to skyrocket, medical bankruptcies are responsible for over 60% of them, and over 75% of the medical bankruptcies filed are from people who have healthcare insurance. We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world, we are forced to pay twice as much as other countries and the overall care we get in return ranks 37th in the world.

In total, Americans have lost $5 trillion from their pensions and savings since the economic crisis began and $13 trillion in the value of their homes. During the first full year of the crisis, workers between the age of 55 – 60, who have worked for 20 – 29 years, have lost an average of 25% off their 401k. “Personal debt has risen from 65% of income in 1980 to 125% today.” Over five million US families have already lost their homes, in total 13 million US families are expected to lose their home by 2014, with 25% of current mortgages underwater. Deutsche Bank has an even grimmer prediction: “The percentage of ‘underwater’ loans may rise to 48 percent, or 25 million homes.” Every day 10,000 US homes enter foreclosure. Statistics show that an increasing number of these people are not finding shelter elsewhere, there are now over 3 million homeless Americans, the fastest growing segment of the homeless population is single parents with children.

One place more and more Americans are finding a home is in prison….

continue reading at The Public Record, including link to part II

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