Archive for top 1% – Page 2

Illinois Black Suburb Can't Even Afford a Library as America Is Privatized and Foreclosed


library closed via bigoteetoe(Photo: bigoteetoe)

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

If knowledge from books is power, then the predominantly white status quo doesn't have to worry about young people in Ford Heights, Illinois, empowering themselves at the library anytime soon. That is because there is no library and no books to be checked out in one of the poorest suburbs (about 95% African American of what's left of a village that once had 5000 residents) in the nation.  Ford Heights is like a mini-Detroit [...]

Nothing is likely to change.  There will be no happy ending to the library-less library district in Ford Heights.

That's because, quite simply, America has written off young economically limited blacks as expendable. They are just a stereotype -- with some exceptions for the ones that make it through due to special circumstances (think of Barack Obama attending the most prestigious private school in Hawaii).  Yes, there is still a bit of upward mobility wiggle room for poor minorities, but that maneuvering space is contracting as the middle class erodes.

What you are left with is a surfeit of pawns in the great economic shift of the nation's wealth into the hands of a few.

And blacks have long been in the position of being a commodity in a white man's game.

Young minorities in Ford Heights may never read about that; they may never learn the historical context of their plight.

They have no access to a house of public literacy: a library.

Please read the entire post here.


NYC PBS Pres. Freaks Out Over Documentary Critical of Koch Bros., Offers David Koch Unprecedented Rebuttal


koch cartoon

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

Thom Hartmann recently wrote an extremely widely read article on how the Public Broadcasting Service has evolved into a sometimes self-censored television network, in large part because major donors represent the 1% who would be the subject of discussion when it comes to economic concentration in the hands of a few.

Hartmann entitled his commentary, "The Corporate Dictatorship of PBS and NPR." The primary example Hartmann offers of how critical analysis necessary for formulating public policy is de facto censored concerns how PBS dropped the funding of a documentary called "Citizen Koch." [...]

Enter Alex Gibney, who won a 2008 Academy Award... Gibney filmed a documentary for WNET, "Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream" that focused on one of the wealthiest residential buildings in New York City: 740 Park Avenue.

According to Jane Mayer, who had written about the Kochs before in a celebrated New Yorker article in 2010, it would be difficult to do a film about 740 Park Avenue without examining the Koch empire that created their wealth, as well as their political activities. What did WNET President Neal Shapiro do when he realized that "Park Avenue" might offend David Koch? Why, he called him and offered him a rebuttal, a roundtable discussion, a written response: anything that would appease a 1% donor who was on the board of the station (Koch has since quit) and was about to give a bundle to WNET. [...]

Gibney was told that the most pressing problem was Charles Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York. Schumer’s staff had called WNET, arguing that “Park Avenue” falsely accused the Senator of supporting tax loopholes for hedge-fund managers. Gibney double-checked his research and stood by his interpretation. [...]

[T]he WNET battle over "Park Avenue" clearly intimidated, according to Meyer's New Yorker Piece, other documentary makers in terms of what appeared to be a growing PBS bias to protect wealthy donors and board members from on-air criticism.

Please read the entire post here.


Wall Street Soars with Wealth as Wages Stagnate, Jobs Remain in a Slump


hunger and rejection corporate

dow jones march 5 2013As of 12:30 PT


The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 100 points today, allowing the world's most-watched stock index to close at a record high.

It marks the highest daily close since October 2007, just before the financial crisis punished the stock market.

For the latest information go to

chart corporate profits highCorporate profits

graph workers wages as a percentage of the economy near record lows via Think ProgressWorkers’ wages as a percentage of the economy, which are hovering near record lows.

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

The March 4 NYT headline lays it out bluntly: "Recovery in U.S. Is Lifting Profits, but Not Adding Jobs." ...Even those who are employed are finding that their wages are not growing relative to the explosion in corporate profits.

The grim figures in terms of the working class speak for themselves in the NYT story:

As a percentage of national income, corporate profits stood at 14.2 percent in the third quarter of 2012, the largest share at any time since 1950, while the portion of income that went to employees was 61.7 percent, near its lowest point since 1966. [...]

Corporate earnings have risen at an annualized rate of 20.1 percent since the end of 2008, he said, but disposable income inched ahead by 1.4 percent annually over the same period, after adjusting for inflation.

As BuzzFlash at Truthout noted in "A Tale of Two Economies" last autumn:

However, what is more important than the unemployment rate is the overall degradation of work and wage stagnation and decline under the current corporate and business climate that devalues labor.  [...]

This is the primary story of economic distress in the United States at this time: the devaluation of those who are paid by the hour….

After all, we have two economies – and one of them you barely hear about as billionaires whine about the threat of higher taxes on their wealth.  The second economy, the economy of the privileged, is booming.  The other day the stock market reached near record highs. [...]

The rich are making out like bandits in the booming Wall Street economy that is based on profits squeezed out of firing workers, lowering net wages (adjusted for inflation), and outsourcing jobs to exploited labor overseas. [...]

[T]he March 2013 NYT article begins with these observations:

[...] With millions still out of work, companies face little pressure to raise salaries, while productivity gains allow them to increase sales without adding workers….

The result has been a golden age for corporate profits, especially among multinational giants that are also benefiting from faster growth in emerging economies like China and India. [...]

As the stock market soars, those who labor for a living are left further and further behind.

Please read the entire post here.

chart ed schultz income disparity middle class


VIDEO: "This is the top 1% we've been hearing so much about. The reality in this country is not at all what we think it is."


wealth gap income inequality

9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact

As @jneproductions so aptly put it (and who linked me to the video), this is an excellent, logical, and unemotional breakdown of wealth inequality in America.

Our perceptions are "shockingly skewed."

"This is the top 1% we've been hearing so much about."

"The reality in this country is not at all what we think it is."

YouTube, politizane:

Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actual numbers. The reality is often not what we think it is.



VIDEO: "The polling is with the president on this." So what does $2,000 mean to you?


Of course, Republicans are shocked– SHOCKED!– at the years-old White House proposals.

But “Can the people of this land do something to live happily ever after?”

And per the New York Times, despite what GOP talking points tell us, Americans aren't exactly "paying ever more to finance the expansion of government" considering the tax burden for most Americans is lower than it was in the 1980s:

[I]n fact, most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes — federal, state and local — than they would have paid 30 years ago. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the combination of all income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes took a smaller share of their income than it took from households with the same inflation-adjusted income in 1980. [...]

Tax rates at most income levels were lower in 2010 than at any point during the 1980s.

Who was president from January 20, 1981, to January 20, 1989 again? Oh that's right. Ronald Reagan.


Share Your Story: http://OFA.BO/AGsY8R

For more than 19 months, President Obama campaigned on the idea that if we're going to be successful, every American has to do their part and pay their fair share.

A centerpiece of his platform, and the campaign you built, was that income taxes should not go up on the middle class -- that the responsible way to pay down the deficit, while investing in education, job training, research and science, is to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more.

Right now, President Obama is asking you to think about what $2,000 a year means to you and your family.


VIDEO-- Tax the rich: An animated fairy tale. "Can the people of this land do something to live happily ever after?"


Gather 'round, kiddies...

"Question: Is there no alternative, or can the people of this land do something to live happily ever after?"

Of particular interest: The segment at about 3:00.

And doesn't the politician receiving all those donations at about 5:30 remind you just a wee bit of... Scott Walker?


Tax the rich: An animated fairy tale, is narrated by Ed Asner, with animation by Mike Konopacki. Written and directed by Fred Glass for the California Federation of Teachers. An 8 minute video about how we arrived at this moment of poorly funded public services and widening economic inequality. Things go downhill in a happy and prosperous land after the rich decide they don't want to pay taxes anymore. They tell the people that there is no alternative, but the people aren't so sure. This land bears a startling resemblance to our land. For more info,

I believe...I believe... it's silly, but I believe...

H/t: @KingsburyQc


VIDEO: Romney can "'turbocharge the impact' of tax benefits 'in a way that few but the super-rich can ever hope to do.'"



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The Washington Post has exposed Mitt Romney's use of tax loopholes.

According to the Washington Post, Mitt Romney built up millions in an IRA and got "other tax breaks in his severance package from Bain..."

..allowing him to 'turbocharge the impact' of tax benefits 'in a way that few but the country's super-rich can ever hope to do."

"[Romney] was able to take advantage of tax benefits in innovative ways open only to a narrow slice of extremely affluent people."