Will America’s Prosperity Be Completely Wiped Out By Our Growing Debt?

The federal government is now 20.4 trillion dollars in debt, and most Americans don’t seem to care that the economic prosperity that we are enjoying today could be completely destroyed by our exploding national debt. Over the past decade, the national debt has been growing at a rate of more than 100 million dollars an hour, and this is a debt that all of us owe. When you break it down, each American citizen’s share of the debt is more than $60,000, and so if you have a family of five your share is more than $300,000. And when you throw in more than 6 trillion dollars of corporate debt and nearly 13 trillion dollars of consumer debt, it is not inaccurate to say that we are facing a crisis of unprecedented magnitude.
Debt cannot grow much faster than GDP indefinitely. At some point the bubble bursts, and when it does the pain that the middle class is going to experience is going to be off the charts. Back in 2015, the middle class in the U. S. became a minority of the population for the first time ever. Never before in our history has the middle class accounted for less than 50 percent of the population, and all over the country formerly middle class families are under a great deal of stress as they attempt to make ends meet. The following comes from an absolutely outstanding piece that was just put out by Charles Hugh Smith…
If you talk to young people struggling to make ends meet and raise children, or read articles about retirees who can’t afford to retire, you can’t help but detect the fading scent of prosperity.
It has steadily been lost to stagnation, under-reported inflation and soaring inequality, a substitution of illusion for reality bolstered by the systemic corruption of authentic measures of prosperity and well-being.
In other words, the American-Dream idea that life should get easier and more prosperous as the natural course of progress is still embedded in our collective memory, even though the collective reality has changed.
The reality that most of us are facing today is a reality where many are working two or three jobs just to make it from month to month.
The reality that most of us are facing today is a reality where debts never seem to get repaid and credit card balances just continue to grow.
The reality that most of us are facing today is a reality where we work day after day just to pay the bills, and yet we never seem to get anywhere financially.
The truth is that most people out there are deeply struggling. The Washington Post says that the ‘middle class’ encompasses anyone that makes between $35,000 and $122,500 a year, but very few of us are near the top end of that scale…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on October 29th, 2017.

Which Rotten Fruit Falls First?

I predict the current investigations will widen and take a variety of twists and turns that surprise all those anticipating a tidy, narrowly focused denouement.
The theme this week is The Rot Within.
To those of us who understand the entire status quo is rotten and corrupt to its core, the confidence of each ideological camp that their side will emerge unscathed by investigation is a source of amusement. The fake-progressives (fake because these so-called “progressives” support Imperial over-reach and a status quo whose only possible output is soaring wealth and income inequality) are confident that a “smoking gun” of corruption will deliver their most fervent dream, the impeachment of President Trump, while Trump supporters are equally confident there is no “smoking gun.” One camp is confident that the wily Clintons and their army of enablers, from former FBI Director Comey on down, will finally be brought to long-evaded justice for their various perfections of corruption and collusion: pay to play, and so on. Clinton supporters are equally confident that there is no “smoking gun” that will bring down the House of Clinton, and by proxy, the organs of the Democratic Party.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2017.

Dear Jamie Dimon: Predict the Crash that Takes Down Your Produces-Nothing, Parasitic Bank and We’ll Listen to your Bitcoin “Prediction”

This is the begging-for-the-overthrow-of-a-corrupt-status-quo economy we have thanks to the Federal Reserve giving the J. P. Morgans and Jamie Dimons of the world the means to skim and scam the bottom 95%. Dear Jamie Dimon: quick quiz: which words/phrases are associated with you and your employer, J. P. Morgan? Looting, pillage, rapacious, exploitive, only saved from collapse by massive intervention by the Federal Reserve, the source of rising wealth inequality, crony capitalism, privatized profits-socialized losses, low interest rates = gift from savers to banks, bloviating overpaid C. E. O., propaganda favoring the financial elite, tool of the top .01%, destroyer of democracy, financial fraud goes unpunished, free money for financiers, debt-serfdom, produces nothing of value to society or the bottom 99.5%. Jamie, if you answered “all of them,” you’re correct. The only reason you have a soapbox from which you can bloviate is the central bank (Federal Reserve) saved you and your neofeudal looting machine (bank) from well-deserved oblivion in 2008-09, and the unprecedented, co-ordinated campaign by global central banks to buy trillions of dollars of bonds and stocks.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2017.

If We Don’t Change the Way Money Is Created, Rising Inequality and Social Disorder Are Inevitable

Centrally issued money optimizes inequality, monopoly, cronyism, stagnation and systemic instability. Everyone who wants to reduce wealth and income inequality with more regulations and taxes is missing the key dynamic: central banks’ monopoly on creating and issuing money widens wealth inequality, as those with access to newly issued money can always outbid the rest of us to buy the engines of wealth creation. History informs us that rising wealth and income inequality generate social disorder. Access to low-cost credit issued by central banks creates financial and political power. Those with access to low-cost credit have a monopoly as valuable as the one to create money. I explain why in my book A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All. Compare the limited power of an individual with cash and the enormous power of unlimited cheap credit. Let’s say an individual has saved $100,000 in cash. He keeps the money in the bank, which pays him less than 1% interest. Rather than earn this low rate, he decides to loan the cash to an individual who wants to buy a rental home at 4% interest.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on MONDAY, JUNE 26, 2017.

Wages, Productivity, and Inequality

“Inequality is a euphemism, a kind of shorthand, for all of the things that have gone to make the lives of the rich so much more delicious, year on year, for the last three decades. And also for the things that have made the lives of working people so wretched and so precarious in that same time.
This word inequality. It’s visible in the ever rising costs of healthcare and college, in the coronation of Wall Street, and the slow blighting of wherever it is that you happen to live. And you catch a glimpse of inequality every time you hear about someone that had to declare bankruptcy because a child got sick, or you read about the lobbying industry that drives Washington DC, or the new political requirement, the new constitutional requirement that every presidential candidate has to be a billionaire’s favorite, or a billionaire themselves.
Inequality is about the way in which speculators, and even criminals, get a helping hand from Uncle Sam, while the Vietnam Vet down the street from you loses his house. Inequality is the reason that some people find such incredible significance in the ceiling height of an entrance foyer, or the hop content of a beer, while other people will never believe in anything again.”
Thomas Frank
“People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich.”
John Kenneth Galbraith

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 24 APRIL 2017.

It’s What’s Happening Beneath the Surface That Matters: Moral Decay and Rising Inequality

These disintegrative forces are easy to see but elusive to pin down. Nobody defines themselves as self-serving, greedy and lacking in virtue. Everyone feels trapped in the system.
With the media’s hyperactive three-ring circus blasting 24/7, it’s easy to forget that everything consequential is happening beneath the surface, out of sight and largely out of mind. What’s going on beneath the surface is structural and systemic–for example, the 4th Industrial Revolution that is transforming the global economy and social order, regardless of political ideologies or our wishes. Centralization–the “solution” to every problem since 1940–is now the problem. Centralization generates corruption, privilege, rentier skims, institutionalized rackets and pushes one-size-fits all failure down the chain of command.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on SUNDAY, MARCH 05, 2017.

Nassim Taleb Explains “How To Go Bankrupt & Be Loved By The Many”

Inequality vs Inequality
There is inequality and inequality.
The first is the inequality people tolerate, such as one’s understanding compared to that of people deemed heroes, say Einstein, Michelangelo, or the recluse mathematician Grisha Perelman, in comparison to whom one has no difficulty acknowledging a large surplus. This applies to entrepreneurs, artists, soldiers, heroes, the singer Bob Dylan, Socrates, the current local celebrity chef, some Roman Emperor of good repute, say Marcus Aurelius; in short those for whom one can naturally be a ‘fan’. You may like to imitate them, you may aspire to be like them; but you don’t resent them.
The second is the inequality people find intolerable because the subject appears to be just a person like you, except that he has been playing the system, and getting himself into rent seeking, acquiring privileges that are not warranted -and although he has something you would not mind having (which may include his Russian girlfriend), he is exactly the type of whom you cannot possibly become a fan. The latter category includes bankers, bureaucrats who get rich, former senators shilling for the evil firm Monsanto, clean-shaven chief executives who wear ties, and talking heads on television making outsized bonuses. You don’t just envy them; you take umbrage at their fame, and the sight of their expensive or even semi-expensive car trigger some feeling of bitterness. They make you feel smaller.
There may be something dissonant in the spectacle of a rich slave.
The author Joan Williams, in an insightful article, explains that the working class is impressed by the rich, as role models. Michle Lamont, the author of The Dignity of Working Men, whom she cites, did a systematic interview of blue collar Americans and found present a resentment of professionals but, unexpectedly, not of the rich.
It is safe to accept that the American public -actually all public -despise people who make a lot of money on a salary, or, rather, salarymen who make a lot of money. This is indeed generalized to other countries: a few years ago the Swiss, of all people almost voted a law capping salaries of managers . But the same Swiss hold rich entrepreneurs, and people who have derived their celebrity by other means, in some respect.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 28, 2016.

TO REALLY ‘MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,’ END THE FED!

Former Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher recently gave a speech identifying the Federal Reserve’s easy money/low interest rate policies as a source of the public anger that propelled Donald Trump into the White House. Mr. Fisher is certainly correct that the Fed’s policies have ‘skewered’ the middle class. However, the problem is not specific Fed policies, but the very system of fiat currency managed by a secretive central bank.
Federal Reserve-generated increases in money supply cause economic inequality. This is because, when the Fed acts to increase the money supply, well-to-do investors and other crony capitalists are the first recipients of the new money. These economic elites enjoy an increase in purchasing power before the Fed’s inflationary policies lead to mass price increases. This gives them a boost in their standard of living.
By the time the increased money supply trickles down to middle- and working-class Americans, the economy is already beset by inflation. So most average Americans see their standard of living decline as a result of Fed-engendered money supply increases.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 2, 2016.

Nothing fake about the top 0.1% holding the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90%.

While people argue about what is real and fake news the widening gulf of inequality in the real world only continues to expand. This is actually happening and for the ultra wealthy that hold most of the wealth, all of this distraction is a good thing. The latest wealth report from Deutsche Bank Research shows that wealth inequality is at levels last seen during the Roaring 20s. The problem with this kind of inequality is that it has come from largely hollowing out the middle class and also creating a large crony financial system that is designed to suck out productivity in the real economy and shuffle it over to folks in suits sitting behind Bloomberg terminals. In other words, those that work and build the economy get shafted from the financial hubs of the world. This global financial drain does not adhere to national borders but is driven by the worldwide financial elite that collect trophy apartments in major metro areas. All this happens while your typical American family struggles to buy a home. There is nothing fake about the current level of wealth inequality.
The wealth spectrum
One of the most startling figures in the latest report is that the top 0.1% hold as much wealth as the bottom 90%. And this is happening in the United States, the wealthiest nation in the world.

This post was published at MyBudget360 on November 26, 2016.

Doug Noland: The Upshot of Inflationism

This election cycle has been a national disgrace. It finally comes to an end Tuesday, when a deeply divided nation heads to the polls. I recall having a tinge of hope eight years ago that there was a commitment to more inter-party cooperation and less partisan vitriol. There’s not even lip service this time around. As an optimist, I would like to believe that a period of healing commences Wednesday. The analyst inside knows things will continue to worsen before they get better.
Our nation and the world are paying a very heavy price for a failed experiment in Inflationism. At this point, economic stagnation, wealth redistribution and inequality, financial insecurity and corruption are rather obvious consequences. ‘Money’ and Credit have inflated, right along with government, securities markets, financial institutions, corporate influence and greed.
Along the way, there have been many subtle effects. To this day the majority still cling to the view that central bankers are essential to the solution – rather than the problem. But they are at the very root of disturbing national and international, economic, financial, societal and geopolitical degeneration.
For close to 30 years now, central bank policies have nurtured serial inflationary booms and busts. It’s a backdrop that has repeatedly forced investors, homebuyers and others into serious harm’s way. Buy or you’ll be left behind. Get aboard before it’s too late. It’s a system that systematically targets the unsophisticated and less affluent to take on a tenuous debt position to buy homes, cars and things in the name of promoting economic growth. It’s a system that devalues the wealth of savers. Somehow it’s regressed to a system with a policy objective to coerce savers and the risk averse, to ensure their buying power instead inflates the value of risky securities market assets

This post was published at Credit Bubble Bulletin

Globalization Faces Challenges

For much of the second half of the 20th Century, and even into the new millennium, ‘Globalization’ was the dominant theme used to describe the drift of the world economy. It was widely considered both natural and inevitable that the world economy would continue to integrate and that national boundaries would become less constraining to commerce and culture. And with the exception of the eternal ‘anti-globalization’ protesters, who robotically appeared at large gatherings of world leaders, the benefits of globalization were widely lauded by politicians, corporate leaders and rank and file citizens alike. But a casual glance at the world headlines of 2016 suggests that the belief in globalization has crested, and is now in retreat. What are the consequences of this change?
International trade has existed for millennia. But few modern historians would characterize the trade caravans that crossed the Himalayas and the Sahara as sources of international conflict. Rather, they are widely seen as a useful means to bring goods that were plentiful from one region to other regions where they were scarce. Along the way, routes like the Silk Road in Asia created a great number of positive secondary benefits in culture and politics. But relatively modern developments such as ocean-going sailing ships, modern navigation, and steam and diesel power, have greatly increased the size and scope of trade. Globalism was also boosted rapidly by technological advances in communications, including intercontinental jet travel, fax machines, satellite telephones, the Internet, real time money transfers and massive investment flows to international and emerging markets.
Since the end of WWII, the establishment of international reserve currencies and the rise of supranational organizations, such as the United Nations, The World Bank, and International Monetary Fund, has saddled trade with more political baggage. The rise of bi-lateral and multi-lateral trade negotiations, which are often shadowy and bureaucratic affairs conducted behind closed doors, have further eroded support for trade. Oftentimes these efforts have resulted in deals that clearly favor politically connected players and have given rise to justified accusations of cronyism. By opening larger markets and reducing costs, certain corporations have amassed shocking wealth. The benefits to workers are far more diffuse and difficult to quantify.
The Harvard Business Review of May 13, 2016 published an article by Branko Milanovic about the unequal distribution of wealth generated by globalism. Milanovic comments that, since the mid-1980s, globalism has resulted in the ‘greatest reshuffle of personal incomes since the Industrial Revolution. It’s also the first time that global inequality has declined in the past two hundred years.’ Milanovic points to two main conclusions. First, he highlights the massive percentage gain in wages in Asia, particularly among the middle classes. In some cases, percentage wage gains in the Asian middle class have eclipsed the percentage gains experienced by the top one percent in the richer Western economies.
In stark contrast, the U. S. and Western lower and middle classes have enjoyed almost no percentage wage increases, while their top one percent was the only group to experience significant income gains, based on available household surveys from 1988 to 2008. A recent unpublished paper by John E. Roemer, a political scientist at Yale, suggests that the diminishing of global inequality made possible by trade is far less potent politically than the relative increases in national inequality. In other words, the benefits of globalism are obscured while the costs are highly visible.

This post was published at Euro Pac on October 26, 2016.

Monetary Pollution

Some climate scientists, concerned with the warming impact of rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, have proposed that to keep temperatures cool what is needed is more pollution. More specifically, they suggest that more particulate pollution in the upper reaches of the atmosphere would reflect the sun’s radiation back into space and thereby have a cooling effect, as has been demonstrated in the past when large volcanic eruptions have led to years without summers. In a similar way, policymakers across much of the developed world, concerned about rising inequality, are recommending the introduction of a guaranteed minimum income. However, just as it appears senseless to send soot into the air to correct the atmospheric damage wrought by over a hundred years of fossil fuel burning, so too is it senseless to expect easy money for the poor to correct the damage caused by over 30 years of easy money for the banking system and the rich. The creation of money by central banks and the banking system has predictable consequences. As the economic thinker Henry Hazlitt wrote in his 1965 book, ‘What You Should Know about Inflation’ (keeping in mind that for Hazlitt, inflation refers not to an increase in prices but rather to an increase in the quantity of money): ‘Inflation makes it possible for some people to get rich by speculation and windfall instead of by hard work. It rewards gambling and penalizes thrift. It conceals and encourages waste and inefficiency in production. It finally tends to demoralize the whole community. It promotes speculation, gambling, squandering, luxury, envy, resentment, discontent, corruption, crime, and increasing drift toward more intervention which may end in dictatorship.’ From the early 1970s onwards, the ability of central banks and the banking system to create money from nothing has distorted the incentives upon which healthy market economies depend. While the reasons for expanding the quantity of money in circulation always seem benign, be they ‘to avoid a financial crisis’ or ‘to reduce unemployment’ the truth is that every dollar so created increases inequality while simultaneously sapping productivity.

This post was published at Mises Canada on OCTOBER 19, 2016.

Apple Tax-Travesty Is a reminder why Britain must leave the lawless EU

Europe’s Competition Directorate commands the shock troops of the EU power structure. Ensconced in its fortress at Place Madou, it can dispatch swat teams on corporate dawn raids across Europe without a search warrant.
It operates outside the normal judicial control that we take for granted in a developed democracy. The US Justice Department could never dream of acting in such a fashion.
Known as ‘DG Comp’, it acts as judge, jury, and executioner, and can in effect impose fines large enough to constitute criminal sanctions, but without the due process protection of criminal law. It misused evidence so badly in pursuit of the US chipmaker Intel that the company alleged a violation of human rights.
Apple is just the latest of the great US digital companies to face this Star Chamber. It has vowed to appeal the monster 13bn fine handed down from Brussels this week for violation of EU state aid rules, but the only recourse is the European Court of Justice. This is usually a forlorn ritual. The ECJ is a political body, the enforcer of the EU’s teleological doctrines. It ratifies executive power.
We can mostly agree that Apple, Google, Starbucks, and others have gamed the international system, finding legal loopholes to whittle down their tax liabilities and enrich shareholders at the expense of society. It is such moral conduct that has driven wealth inequality to alarming levels, and provoked a potent backlash against globalisation.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By AMBROSE EVANS-PRITCHARD, The Telegraph ‘ September 1, 2016.

The Inequality of Logic Behind The Increasingly Emphasized Magic Numbers

It is a basic element of logic that if A = B and B = C, then A must also equal C. In terms of action, if I do a thing and that thing always leads to a predictable outcome, not seeing that outcome causes one to question whether or not one actually did that thing. In other words, A must not have equaled B.
Central bankers all over the world are stumped. Nothing they have done has led to what was expected when one does such things. In very basic terms, we all know, as history has shown, that money printing leads to inflation. In most cases, it leads to the most extreme forms of inflation, which is why human history in financial and economic terms is really a study in how to keep official efforts from ever going in that direction (gold worked the best, which is why it survived for so long).

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Jeffrey P. Snider ‘ August 22, 2016.

Exposing Hillbama’s Big Lie: The Central Issue In The U.S. Presidential Campaign

The central issue in the U. S. Presidential campaign can’t even be discussed in U. S. newsmedia, because America’s media have been almost uniformly complicit all along in hiding from the American public the crucial factual information that’s necessary in order for the public to vote in an intelligent and truthfully informed way about it. No news medium wants to report its own having been complicit in anything; so, the cover-up here just continues; it has a life of its own, even though it’s a life that brings the world closer and closer to a situation which would kill billions of people, as things get increasingly out-of-control the longer this coverup continues. The cycle of virtually uniform lying thus persists, despite the growing danger it produces. This article will need to be lengthy, because the American public have been almost consistently lied-to about so many very important things – things associated with the nation’s central issue – an issue even bigger than terrorism, and than global warming, and than rising economic inequality and corruption, but which is still virtually ignored. This article is thus intended to be ‘Drano’ for a political system that has become clogged by lies just jammed down into it, now backing up and pouring out onto America’s political floor. The overflowing sludge has got to be cleaned up, and discarded. Or else – and very suddenly – it will kill us all.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 29, 2016.

Presenting Ground Zero Of Global Wealth Inequality

Washington’s “sinkhole of leeches,” where money ‘corrupts’ and House members are “puppets” to lobbyists who bankroll their campaigns is officially the region with the greatest wealth inequality in the world. According to OECD data via Goldman Sachs, the average household disapoable income in Washington D. C. is 165% of the national average, higher than any other region in the world…
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Of course, none of this should come as a great surprise to Zero Hedge readers. To be sure, we had previously shown that when it comes to the rate of return on lobbying, the rates were simply staggering, and ranged anywhere between 5,900% for oil subsidies, to 22,000% for multinational tax breaks and even higher for America’s legal drug dealers.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 14, 2016.

Jamie Dimon Explains Why He Is Raising The Wage For Some JPM Workers From $10.15 To $12 Or More

In an op-ed originally posted by Jamie Dimon in the NYT, the JPM CEO explains that what is plaguing the US is not anger at bailed out banks, some of which like HSBC were confirmed to have been “too big to prosecute” and hatred of crony capitalism which has bailed out banks like, oops, JPMorgan, and is instead mostly due to “wage stagnation and income inequality”, which according to Dimon is due to minimum wage pressures. We kept looking for some additional comments about how the average Wall Street CEOs on average made 124 times the average worker at the banks, but couldn’t find it. Instead we read many words why raising the wage for a tiny subset of JPM workers who still make $10.15 to $12 or even, gasp, $16.50, should fix the US.
* * *
Jamie Dimon: Why We’re Giving Our Employees a Raise
WAGE stagnation. Income inequality. A lack of quality education. Insufficient training and skills development.
Issues like these have led approximately two-thirds of Americans to believe that the next generation will be worse off than the last. And it is true that too many people are not getting a fair opportunity to get ahead. We must find ways to help them move up the economic ladder, and everyone – business, government and nonprofits – needs to play a role.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 12, 2016.

The End Of The American Dream – – Half Of US Households Are ‘Financially Fragile’

What’s it like to be a middle-class American?
Increasingly precarious, it seems. In an article entitled ‘The Secret Shame of Middle Class Americans’ in this month’s issue of The Atlantic, the writer Neal Gabler – an author, film critic and academic – came out as one of the many millions of apparently middle-class Americans who are in fact living in a ‘more or less continual state of financial peril’ – scrabbling around to make ends meet, and mostly failing.
Gabler draws attention to a regular survey by the Federal Reserve, which asks consumers a set of questions, including how they would pay for a $400 emergency. ‘The answer: 47% of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all’, writes Gabler. ‘Four hundred dollars! Who knew? Well, I knew. I knew because I am in that 47%.’
Does the data support this?
Yes. Research into this niche area of microeconomics – day-to-day ‘financial fragility’ – has boomed since the Great Recession, according to David Johnson, an economist at the University of Michigan who specialises in income and wealth inequality. A 2014 survey study found that only 38% of Americans would cover a $1,000 emergency medical bill or a $500 car repair bill with money they had saved.
Another academic study found that a quarter of households would definitely fail to get their hands on $2,000 within 30 days in an emergency, and a further 19% would be able to do so only by pawning possessions or taking out a payday loan.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on June 1, 2016.

Thomas Frank: What Happened To the ‘Party of the People’

“Inequality is a euphemism, a kind of shorthand, for all of the things that have gone to make the lives of the rich so much more delicious, year on year, for the last three decades. And also for the things that have made the lives of working people so wretched and so precarious in that same time.
This word inequality. It’s visible in the ever rising costs of healthcare and college, in the coronation of Wall Street, and the slow blighting of wherever it is that you happen to live. And you catch a glimpse of inequality every time you hear about someone that had to declare bankruptcy because a child got sick, or you read about the lobbying industry that drives Washington DC, or the new political requirement, the new constitutional requirement that every presidential candidate has to be a billionaire’s favorite, or a billionaire themselves.
Inequality is about the way in which speculators, and even criminals, get a helping hand from Uncle Sam, while the Vietnam Vet down the street from you loses his house. Inequality is the reason that some people find such incredible significance in the ceiling height of an entrance foyer, or the hop content of a beer, while other people will never believe in anything again.”
Thomas Frank

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 17 MAY 2016.

The Panama Papers: This Is the Consequence of Centralized Money and Power

Technologies such as the blockchain are enabling alternative ways of creating and distributing money outside central banks and states. If we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, we will never change anything. This is the core message of my book A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All. The Panama Papers offer damning proof of this: increasing concentrations of wealth and power that are free of any constraint (such as taxes) is not just the consequence of centralized money and state power–this inequality is the only possible output of centralized money and state power. Here is a graphic portrayal of just how concentrated global wealth really is: the top .7% (less than 1%) own 45% of all global wealth, and the top 8% own 85%.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on TUESDAY, APRIL 05, 2016.