If the United States Was a Democracy…

[T]he minimum wage would be higher, there would be no cuts to entitlement programs, and Americans would have a single payer health care system. There would be no NAFTA or TPP free trade agreements which force a race to the bottom for workers, destroy entire eco-systems and violate national and popular sovereignty. If this country were truly democratic, the city of Detroit would not have filed for bankruptcy for the simple reason that voters in Detroit and in the state of Michigan voted to repeal the emergency manager law which brought bankruptcy into being.

Americans don’t want the increasingly frequent interventions abroad forced upon by them by president after president yet that is what they get. We want to address the problems created by human made climate change. We don’t want hydraulic fracturing, or the pollution or earthquakes that come with it, but that is what we have. We don’t want rich people to control the political process but the Supreme Court has said time and again that money equals speech and those decisions prove the point of the study. Simply put, money talks and those without money have no voice.

If the average person had any say in the matter, the big time banksters would now be behind bars.”

If that were not the case, American workers would not be poorer than their counterparts in the rest of the world. The so-called middle class workers in this country had the distinction of being better off than their peers around the world. That is no longer the case with stagnating wages and job loss and a country that does not practice income distribution that would keep people out of poverty. In a democratic country, Walmart and its low wages would not be the largest employer. The manufacturing that once dominated the economic landscape would still employ the bulk of the work force with its higher wages and other benefits that provide economic security.

In a democracy, the financial services industry that created the worldwide economic meltdown would not have been bailed out. Workers would be bailed out. Corporations wouldn’t get tax breaks and other government subsidies. Workers would get them. And if the average person had any say in the matter, the big time banksters would now be behind bars.

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/freedom-rider-democracy-dead

Interesting. In ruling that “money equals speech” speech has become the property of those who can afford it and is inevitably controlled by the rich. Such an interpretation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court is in effect an official ruling that the nation is governed by the rich. The Supreme Court has thus ruled the US an oligarchy.

They Test It Out on the Black Community First

Before They Do It to the Rest of the Nation

Behold your benevolent dictated future (oh those hip California trend setters):

In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sent a civilian aircraft* over Compton, California, capturing high-resolution video of everything that happened inside that 10-square-mile municipality.

Compton residents weren’t told about the spying, which happened in 2012. “We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people,” Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting, which unearthed and did the first reporting on this important story. The technology he’s trying to sell to police departments all over America can stay aloft for up to six hours.

And I’m sure there’s a profit to be made in undercutting a civil right. Sorry, soon there will be profit to be made in the essential governmental function of insuring no one has an expectation of privacy, which is no longer one of those important rights.

 

QOTD: Money is god; power is king; violence is the way

The election of the first black president (actually, a half-white president) has done little to alter this state of affairs — except, as Glenn Ford at Black Agenda Report has pointed out, to disarm the resistance of African-American leaders to America’s still horrific, still deeply racist system. The violence in Chicago — and the nihilistic dearth of hope and opportunity and common human feeling it represents — is just more evidence of a terrible reality that no one will acknowledge. Brutalized, abandoned, bludgeoned, hated and scorned, the gangs of black America are reflecting the lessons taught by our elites, from the gilded corporate boardrooms and the heights of geopolitics: Money is god; power is king; violence is the way; there is no such thing as the common good.

http://chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2387-apt-pupils-chicago-violence-reflects-the-lessons-of-the-elite.html

Inequality in America today is the worst in world history

For Those Who Work For a Living, the Level of Inequality In The U.S. Is “Probably Higher Than In Any Other Society at Any Time In The Past, Anywhere In The World

Washington’s Blog

Inequality in the U.S. is now the highest ever recorded in the country.

Inequality in America today is twice as bad as in ancient Rome, worse than it was in Tsarist Russia,Gilded Age America, modern Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, many banana republics in Latin America, and worse than experienced by slaves in 1774 colonial America.

Economist and inequality expert Thomas Piketty notes that – according to an important measure – inequality in America today is the worst in world history:

For those who work for a living, the level of inequality in the U.S. – writes Piketty – is “… probably higher than in any other society at any time in the past, anywhere in the world …”

In other words, there might have been some squalid country in the distant past where the disparity between people without any job and the king was higher than between a jobless American and the top fatcat in the U.S.

But the spread between the minimum wage American worker and the American oligarch is the greatest in world history.

Indeed, inequality in America has become so extreme that the “99% versus the 1%” meme is grossly inaccurate … because it’s really the .01% versus the 99.99%.

Paul Krugman notes:

A lot of what we know about inequality actually comes from [Piketty], because he’s been an invisible presence behind a lot. So when you talk about the 1 percent, you’re actually to a larger extent reflecting his prior work. But what he’s really done now is he said, “Even those of you who talk about the 1 percent, you don’t really get what’s going on. You’re living in the past. You’re living in the ’80s. You think that Gordon Gekko is the future.”

And Gordon Gekko is a bad guy, he’s a predator. But he’s a self-made predator. And right now, what we’re really talking about is we’re talking about Gordon Gekko’s son or daughter. We’re talking about inherited wealth playing an ever-growing role. So he’s telling us that we are on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy. A society of inherited wealth, “patrimonial capitalism.”

***

So we are going probably, unless something gets better, we’re going to look back nostalgically on the early 21st century when you could still at least have the pretense that the wealthy actually earned their wealth. And, you know, by the year 2030, it’ll all be inherited.

In other words, we’re going from oligarchy to dynastic royalty.

Nobel prize winning economist Robert Shiller and Former Goldman Sachs managing director Nomi Prins also say that inequality may get much worse than it is now.

Postscript: Mainstream economists like Krugman – who long discounted the importance of inequality – now finally admit that runaway inequality destroys the economy.

Unfortunately (and ironically), the policies which they push are the very thing causing extreme inequality in the first place.

For Those Who Work For a Living, the Level of Inequality In The U.S. Is “Probably Higher Than In Any Other Society at Any Time In The Past, Anywhere In The World” was originally published onWashington’s Blog

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