The American Dream Is Alive And Well – In China

Home ownership has been called “the quintessential American dream.” Yet today less than 65% of American homes are owner occupied, and more than 50% of the equity in those homes is owned by the banks. Compare China, where, despite facing one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world, a whopping 90% of families can afford to own their homes.

Over the last decade, American wages have stagnated and U.S. productivity has consistently been outpaced by China’s. The U.S. government has responded by engaging in a trade war and imposing stiff tariffs in order to penalize China for what the White House deems unfair trade practices. China’s industries are said to be propped up by the state and to have significantly lower labor costs, allowing them to dump cheap products on the U.S. market, causing prices to fall and forcing U.S. companies out of business.

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Richest 1% Captured 82% of Wealth, Poorest Half Got Nothing

Eighty two percent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest one percent of the global population, while the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world saw no increase in their wealth, according to a new Oxfam report released today. The report is being released as political and business elites, including President Trump, are heading to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.
 
Oxfam’s report, ‘Reward Work, Not Wealth,’ reveals how the global economy enables the wealthy elite to capture vast wealth while hundreds of millions of people struggle to survive on poverty pay. This includes the stunning new finding that the economy created a new billionaire every other day over a period of one year.

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Why Tax Cuts for the Rich Solve Nothing

By Joseph E. Stiglitz for Project Syndicate. A politically astute president who understood deeply the economics and politics of corporate tax reform could conceivably muscle Congress toward a reform package that made sense. Trump is not that leader. If corporate tax reform happens at all, it will be a hodge-podge brokered behind closed doors. More likely is a token across-the-board tax cut: the losers will be future generations, out-lobbied by today’s avaricious moguls, the greediest of whom include those who owe their fortunes to scummy activities, like gambling.

The sordidness of all of this will be sugarcoated with the hoary claim that lower tax rates will spur growth. There is simply no theoretical or empirical basis for this, especially in countries like the US, where most investment (at the margin) is financed by debt and interest is tax deductible. The marginal return and marginal cost are reduced proportionately, leaving investment largely unchanged. In fact, a closer look, taking into account accelerated depreciation and the effects on risk sharing, shows that lowering the tax rate likely reduces investment.

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How Americans Became Poor

By Chris Kanthan for Nation of Change. If we want to create a vibrant middle class, we have to abandon slogans and simplistic solutions and understand the bigger picture. There is no doubt that majority of Americans have gotten poorer over the last few decades even while the top 10% or so have done extremely well. In a world of slogans and minuscule attention span, the media and the pundits either completely deny this fact or justify it by focusing on advancements in technology or turn it into a partisan blame game. The reality is that multiple developments contributed to this decline of prosperity, much of it due to deliberate but gradual social and financial engineering. Without assigning ranking or weight, here is a look at twelve major reasons why Americans became poor.

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Newsletter – The Consent Of The Governed

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Governments function because of the consent of the governed. When a government does not serve the needs or interests of the people, it loses its legitimacy and no longer deserves the consent of the people.Plutocracy defined

We have argued for a long time that current governments at all levels – local, state and federal -function primarily to benefit the wealthy. Academics have proven that the United States is a plutocracy – rule of, by and for the wealthy. It is time for us to withdraw our consent. Let’s consider how to do that and what protections will be needed. When a government loses the consent of the people, all it has left to wield to keep its power is repression and force. Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Organizing Movement, is calling for “a program of noncompliance and noncooperation on both the federal and state levels.” We have entered a new era, a presidency of protest and an increasing illegitimate government. We have the power to withdraw our consent from hate and exploitation and build love and prosperity.

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Newsletter: The Movement Matters Most

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. While some people are calling 2016 the worst year ever, we are optimistic that we are on track for transformational change. Of course there are significant challenges ahead, but there are also important opportunities. We knew all along that no matter who won the elections this year, they would be plutocrats, and we, the people, would have to organize and resist.

If we look at the big picture, 2016 was a time of progress in political education, movement building and reaching national consensus. These are all elements that are necessary in successful social movements. If we continue to make progress in the years ahead, then our work collectively will have a greater long-term impact than the incoming administration and Congress.

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Newsletter: The Times Are A-Changing

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Sometimes, when in the midst of transformational change, it is difficult to recognize that it is happening.

We are in a transformational moment now. The new political culture that erupted with the occupy movement in 2011, but which has roots going back decades, and its evolution into activism on key fronts of struggle such as wages, racism, trade, militarism, capitalism and other issues, has grown to be so impactful that it is fracturing the two corporate political parties.

A lot of change is occurring on many fronts. That should encourage all of us to keep building the movement of movements so we can create the transformation we need.

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Newsletter – Celebrate Black Power

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. This month is Black History Month, first celebrated as Black History Week in 1926 as a result of the efforts of African-American historian, Carter Godwin Woodson. Goodwin picked a week in February because both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas were born on February 12 and 14, even though he believed that people needed to be educated about the multitude of African Americans who have contributed to history, as change comes from the bottom up.

In recent years black history is being made by multitudes of people. Under the umbrella of Black Lives Matter multiple organizations have been created across the country and tens of thousands of people have taken action. Black history is alive as history is being created in our times. Let’s celebrate it together.

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Newsletter – Democracy, Not Corporatocracy

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese forPopular Resistance. What does a corporatocracy look like? Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, says, “the sovereign state is obsolete.” Instead, WEF’s goal is to give a greater role for corporations in global governance through “40 Global Agenda Councils and industry-sector bodies.” In essence, the Global Redesign Initiative of the World Economic Forum seeks to privatize government. The next battle to stop corporate government on a global scale will be the TPP. Stopping the TPP will be a tremendous victory of popular power over corporate power. We can stop the World Economic Forum’s vision of a global governance redesigned into a corporatocracy and create a world of popular democracy for a livable future for everyone.

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Newsletter: Why Protests Will Continue To Grow

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. This week the reason that there are a growing protest movement and growing disenchantment with government was put on display. The divergence between government and reality was thrust in our faces.

The entire government came together, Members of Congress, the Cabinet, military leaders, the Supreme Court, Vice President and President (minus the ‘selected survivor’ in case the Capitol was attacked, the head of Homeland Security) to hear the State of the Union. The choreographed self-praise of people who will spend $5 billion this year of mostly big business money to get re-elected was evident from the moment the door was opened. Hugs and kisses, backslapping all around, required applause as the President approached the podium, more staged applause when he was introduced and then, as if they were trained, dozens of standing ovations on cue – 89 times in a 58-minute speech the President was applauded.

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The Richest 20 Own More Than Half The People

By Dariel Garner for Common Dreams – America’s richest 20 people own more than the bottom half of America – 152 million people combined. That is just one of the startling revelations in a new report,Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us, just released by the Institute for Policy Studies. Wealth inequality has reached new heights. The wealthiest 100 people now own about as much wealth as the entire African American population in the United States. Among the Forbes 400, but not in the top 100, just two individuals are African American—Oprah Winfrey and Robert Smith.

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Newsletter: Past And Present Myths Are Indivisible

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. This week two remarkable reports came out about US militarism. The first by James Lucas, documented that the US has killed 20 to 30 million people in 37 nations in wars since World War II. The second by Nicholas Davies showed the impacts of US militarism since 9/11 finding 120,000 air strikes in seven countries, occupation of Afghanistan for 14 years, Iraq for over 8 years, and destruction of Libya, Syria and Yemen, 1.6 million people killed, mostly civilians, and 59.5 million people driven from their homes.US military why did you kill my family

This is quite a remarkable record.

These reports coincided with the celebration of Thanksgiving. Popular Resistance published eight articles debunking the founding myths and highlighting reality of genocide against the Indigenous to take their land and slavery of Africans brought to the United States for free labor. There are deep problems in the US culture. They are built on myths that cover-up genocide, slavery, racism and poverty wages. All transformations begin with a revolution of the mind. We need to change the American consciousness.

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Project Censored 2015: Top Ten News Stories The Media Ignored

By Tim Redmond for Cascadia Weekly. As Project Censored staffers Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth note, 90 percent of U.S. news media—the traditional outlets that employ full-time reporters—are controlled by six corporations. “The corporate media hardly represent the mainstream,” the staffers wrote in the current edition’s introduction.

“By contrast, the independent journalists that Project Censored has celebrated since its inception are now understood as vital components of what experts have identified as the newly developing ‘networked fourth estate.’”

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Newsletter: 10 Shocking Realities of the TPP; Join The Revolt

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Finally, the text of the TPP has been released. It is not as bad as we expected – it is worse.

Now we see why the US Trade Representative and President Obama wanted to keep the TPP secret for four years after it was ratified. It if had not been for a very aggressive fight against fast track trade authority in which hundreds of thousands of people participated, we would not be seeing the text. One of the compromises they had to make in order to get just enough votes to pass fast track was to agree to release the text publicly for 60 days before Congress officially began to consider ratification.

Why did they want to keep it secret? Because they knew that if the people saw the text it had much less chance of becoming law.

Here are 10 examples of things they wanted you not to know.

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Meet The 1 Percenters Finding Solace In Wealth Redistribution

By Kate Aronoff for Waging Nonviolence – In a political and economic system seemingly tailor-made for the 1 percent, backlash against “wealth therapy” — the trend of moneyed Americans seeking counsel through their Occupy-induced feeling of shame and isolation — is well-placed. While the top 0.1 percent of families in the United States possess as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, money psychologist Jamie Traege-Muney moaned to The Guardian that the movement wrongly “singled out the 1 percent and painted them globally as something negative.” But a growing cadre of this statistical owning class are now crafting a healthier relationship to the rabble at their doorstep.

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