Don't be fooled by the wealthy's economic research deception

With respect to the current state of economic inequality in the USA, if you can relate to any of these synonyms for the word OUTRAGE , either as a noun or as a verb, then you are in the correct forum:

Indignation, Fury, Anger, Rage, Disapproval, Wrath, Resentment, Scandal, Offense, Insult, Injustice, Disgrace, Atrocity, Crime, Wrong, Barbarism, Enrage, Infuriate, Incense, Anger, Scandalize, Offend, Affront, Shock, Horrify, Disgust, Appall, Evil, Violation, and the list goes on...

Before you begin, CLICK HERE to learn about the Counter-Intuitive Impact Of Economic Inequality upon the problems of health and society. This speaks to the very core of the matter; Economic Inequality Is Harmful.

Posted on: » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:19 pm #1

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Don't be fooled by the wealthy's economic research deception

Post by Jessica » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:19 pm

MarketWatch needs to be watched closely.

From:MarketWatch
Most of what you think about inequality is wrong
Published: Aug 8, 2017
By Steve Goldstein D.C. bureau chief

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-th ... 2017-08-07

Here is the premise of the article,
Consumption inequality hasn’t grown as much as income inequality.
We are led to believe by the author that this is the reason most of what we think about inequality is wrong regardless of the vast trove of research pointing in the opposite direction.

Let me put a dead mouse into this punch bowl by making two points so no one drinks from it again.

First, consider the source.

MarketWatch is part of Dow Jones Media Group which is part of Dow Jones and Company which is owned by Rupert Murdoch who is extremely conservative. See the article below. He and his man-servants will do anything to take the focus off the real issues of income and economic inequality. Obviously rot starts at the top with the deception and spin of this article already raising quite a stink.

The Newsroom At Rupert Murdoch's WSJ Is Fed Up With Its "Galling" Pro-Trump Coverage
October 14, 2016 10:34 AM EDT ››› TYLER CHERRY
A cloud of “gloom” and “dismay” hangs over The Wall Street Journal’s newsroom, where journalists are reportedly disappointed with the paper’s superficial election coverage and “‘flattering’” treatment of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Reporters at the Journal, whose parent company News Corp. is chaired by Rupert Murdoch, told Politico’s Joe Pompeo that the paper’s Trump coverage has been “‘galling’” and “‘absurd.’”
Pompeo wrote in Politico’s October 14 Morning Media newsletter that there is “seasonally appropriate gloom in the air” at the Journal’s newsroom over the paper’s “‘galling,’” “‘flattering’” pro-Trump “stories on the front [page]” and the “‘false balance in treating him just like another nominee.’” Pompeo’s Journal sources decried the paper’s superficial “‘process stories about the race, who’s up and down,’” and lamented the Journal’s Trump coverage as “‘neutral to the point of being absurd.’”

“Of course,” Pompeo wrote, the staff “probably saw it coming,” given both that the Journal’s editor-in-chief demanded that his reporters be “‘fair’” to Trump back in May and that the Journal is owned by Murdoch’s News Corp. Murdoch -- who also has played a hands-on role in leading his unabashedly pro-Trump Fox News Channel -- signaled months ago that “he plans to fully back Trump in the general election,” according to New York magazine.
Second, the author's argument is a false equivalency and should be rejected.

He states,
The short version is — there’s a much less stark gap between haves and have-nots measured this way. The researchers show that consumption inequality rose considerably less than income inequality over the past five decades. Between the early 1960s and 2014 income inequality grew by nearly 30% while inequality in consumption rose just 7%.
Here they are measuring the consumption of "goods" which is not the same as measuring the psychological and social impact this consumption has upon people. The effect of inequality is a bio-psycho-social phenomenon much of which takes place at a subconscious level. It needs to be interpreted in these terms and not by comparing apples to oranges.

For example, let's say you live in a beautiful house in AnyTown, USA, with a nice car in the driveway. Your neighbor, who lives next to you, has a very similar house with a similar car. In other words, you both posses a similar quantity and quality of goods. But one night you happen to attend a party at your neighbor's house and by mistake he or she happens to leave their check book lying out. By chance you can clearly see they have $10 million in their account. You also know you only have $30 thousand in your account. Now, how would this make you feel psychologically? And even if you could shake this fact from your conscious mind rationally, it would be gnawing away at your subconscious mind and emotions for a very long time. I will grant this is not the best example but I think it makes the point.

Better yet, the following reply to this article from its comment section puts the inaccurate deceptive spin clearly into perspective,

Adam Greene 7 hours ago
"Consumption inequality hasn't grown as much as income inequality."
No kidding. A guy who makes 1000 times more income than me doesn't eat 1000 times more food than me. Does he live in 1000 times more homes than me? Does he drive 1000 times more cars than me?
Surely Murdoch's yes-man of an employee is grabbing at straws and is well aware of this. Furthermore, his poor piece of reporting does not justify the use of such strong words in the article's title such as, "Most, think, and wrong." Perhaps he should apply these words to himself.

I rate this article a Trump "Sad."
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Posted on: » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:00 pm #2

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Re: Don't be fooled by the wealthy's economic research deception

Post by Jessica » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:00 pm

Don't listen to the rich---Inequality is bad for everyone

Yes, from the title of this article it looks like others agree with me.

In Phys.org
Don't listen to the rich---inequality is bad for everyone
August 7, 2017 by Chris Doucouliagos, The Conversation

https://phys.org/news/2017-08-dont-rich ... y-bad.html
Having only a few people with most of the wealth, motivates others. This theory is actually wrong according to research.

A world where a few people have most of the wealth motivates others who are poor to strive to earn more. And when they do, they ll invest in businesses and other areas of the economy. That s the argument for inequality. But it s wrong.

Our study of 21 OECD countries over more than a 100 years shows income inequality actually restricts people from earning more, educating themselves and becoming entrepreneurs. That flows on to businesses who in turn invest less in things like plant and equipment.
See, I told you so.
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Posted on: » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:24 am #3

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Re: Don't be fooled by the wealthy's economic research deception

Post by Doctor A » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:24 am

People will always try to justify their world view even if it is wrong. One has only to look at the abundance of conspiracy theories about us. Worse yet, most of this is old conspiracy theory has been debunked years ago but people still cling onto it. The conservative brain structure of those individuals working for Rupert Murdock will want to justify their world view even if if means using deceptive results of the data they obtain to rationalize their position. And of course, there are those like Murdock himself, who will gladly use this deception and the ignorance of those reading his publications to maintain his wealth and position.

Jessica is correct when stating we must be vigilant and wary when reading research and articles trying to minimize the extent of income and economic inequality. Every war has their Joseph Goebbels, their ministers of propaganda, who will defend their position regardless of how immoral it is (not withstand their own religious heritage). What is worse are those who will present this disinformation knowing full well and being cognizant their reporting does not match reality to justify their own position as is the case with Steve Goldstein, the author of the original article. No doubt, as D.C. bureau chief for MarketWatch, he will receive accolades from his superiors for his good work. But to those of us, like Jessica with a keen eye and wit to match, he is seen as a bumbling fool and a mere lackey for the rich.

What follows is from the FRC's website home page, "CLICK HERE to learn about the Counter-Intuitive Impact Of Economic Inequality." It is a mountain of evidence revealing the real extent of economic inequality upon economic growth.
Two economic-publication excerpts below—one from Forbes and one from The Economist—bear out this relationship between wealth in the hands of the few at the top and consequent overall economic and biopsychosocial decline versus the relationship between an income share that benefits the masses as a whole and consequently prompts growth that benefits all of society.

Income Inequality Hurts Economic Growth
From: Forbes, By Erik Sherman, Dec 9, 2014

"There is and has been a reduction of economic growth because of the growing concentration of income among a smaller portion of the global population."

"The new OECD analysis found a ‘negative and statistically significant’ correlation between income inequality and economic growth. Specifically, the 3 Gini point rise in inequality that was the average for OECD states over the last 20 years meant 0.35 percent less economic growth per year for the same time, or a total 8.5 percent GDP loss in that period."

How inequality affects growth
From: The Economist
Jun 15th 2015, 14:23 by R.A.

"And on June 15th economists at the IMF released a study assessing the causes and consequences of rising inequality. The authors reckon that while inequality could cause all sorts of problems, governments should be especially concerned about its effects on growth. They estimate that a one percentage point increase in the income share of the top 20% will drag down growth by 0.08 percentage points over five years, while a rise in the income share of the bottom 20% actually boosts growth."
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Posted on: » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:32 am #4

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Re: Don't be fooled by the wealthy's economic research deception

Post by Doctor A » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:32 am

3 Myths About Globalization; Anyone Still Embracing These Three Myths Is Most Likely In The Pocket Of The Rich, Has A Screw Loose, Or Both.

From Jessica's post #1 on 08-08-17 I quote her as saying,
We are led to believe by the author that this is the reason most of what we think about inequality is wrong regardless of the vast trove of research pointing in the opposite direction.

Let me put a dead mouse into this punch bowl by making two points so no one drinks from it again.
I have just the correct the dead mouse for Jessica to put into people's punch bowl so they do not drink from it again. It comes in the form the Harvard Business Review, 40 Years of Data Suggests 3 Myths About Globalization, by Lucas Chancel, March 02, 2018
https://hbr.org/2018/03/40-years-of-dat ... balization

In summary,
Three beliefs about globalization have propagated since the early 1980s. First, that globalization leads to a reduction in global inequality. Second, that high income growth among the richest will lift the incomes of the poorest. Third, that there is no alternative to rising inequality without turning our backs on trade and technology. The recently released World Inequality Report, the first research study to comprehensively examine wealth and income inequality trends across rich and emerging countries over approximately 40 years, dispels these notions.
The first myth,
Globalization has led to a rise in global income inequality, not a reduction

Inequality between individuals across the world is the result of two competing forces: inequality between countries and inequality within countries. For example, strong growth in China and India contributed to significant global income growth, and therefore, decreased inequality between countries. However, inequality within these countries rose sharply. The top 1% income share rose from 7% to 22% in India, and 6% to 14% in China between 1980 and 2016.
The second myth,
Income doesn’t trickle down

The second belief contests that high growth at the top is necessary to achieve some growth at the bottom of the distribution, in other words that rising inequality is necessary to elevate standards of living among the poorest. However, this idea is at odds with the data.
The trickle-down myth may have been debunked, but its ideas are still rooted in a number of current policies. For example, the idea that high income growth for rich individuals is a precondition to create jobs and growth at the bottom continues to be used to justify tax reductions for the richest, as seen in recent tax reform in the U.S. and France. A closer look at the data demands we rethink the rationale and legitimacy of such policies.
The third myth,
Policy – not trade or technology – is most responsible for inequality

It is often said that rising inequality is inevitable — that it is a natural consequence of trade openness and digitalization that governments are powerless to counter. But the numbers presented above clearly demonstrate the diversity of inequality trajectories experienced by broadly comparable regions over the past decades.
Rather than openness to trade or digitalization, it is policy choices and institutional changes that explain divergences in inequality.
Anyone still promoting these 3 myths in their research or opinions needs to be scrupulously observed for either financial ties to the rich or flaws in logic and research. Not that there cannot be new research to the contrary, but as I have learned, "when you hear hoof beats in this country, it is best to look for horses and not zebras." The latter is most likely a Tijuana donkey painted with stripes to look like a zebra. Buyer beware!
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Posted on: » Sat May 05, 2018 1:45 pm #5

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REFERENCING: Doctor A, Post #3, Posted Aug 12, 2017
People will always try to justify their world view even if it is wrong. One has only to look at the abundance of conspiracy theories about us. Worse yet, most of this is old conspiracy theory has been debunked years ago but people still cli...
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Re: Don't be fooled by the wealthy's economic research deception

Post by Jessica » Sat May 05, 2018 1:45 pm

More Distortion Of The Truth

A suppressive totalitarian fortress, with thick walls built of lies and misrepresentations, is difficult to dismantle with pitchforks and torches. These conservative news people will stop at nothing to distort the truth especially by using selective ignorance. By this I mean they will selectively cherry pick what they want to be read to make their point; they want to keep the public ignorant by torpedoing known facts.

Here is an example about the Wall Street Journal's information suppression from Vanity Fair, This Is Censorship: W.S.J. Editor Tamps Down on This Income Inequality Nonsense The Wall Street Journal reporters in revolt say it isn't the first time. by Bess Levin, March 29, 2018. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/03 ... y-nonsense
The Wall Street Journal put together a feature about how the world has (and hasn't) changed since the crisis. It's an informative piece! Some of the things it reveals are that: Wall Street pay has bounced back from it's post-crisis lows; Happy days are here again for bank stocks; Virtually all of Donald Trump's regulators are now enforcing the industries that made them rich; The financial sector has once again become a larger segment of the economy, which could translate to future risks for borrowers and consumers in another crisis; and, Income inequality has increased sharply, with the top 1 percent controlling 38.7 percent of the nations wealth in 2016, up from 33.7 percent in 2007. On the other end, the bottom 90 percent share just 22.8 percent of the country''s wealth, down from 28.6 percent in 2007. None of which, apparently, a top editor at The Wall Street Journal wanted people to know, according to an e-mail that was circulated among staffers and the media earlier today, which read: This week a senior editor at the Wall Street Journal attempted to take a graphic offline because the facts it contained were not politically palatable. When that failed, it was de-surfaced, or, in other terms, taken off the front page and links were removed to it from as many places as possible. After an early flurry of traffic, views plummeted. This is censorship and it is beneath the standards of The Wall Street Journal.
It isn't the first time, either. This suppression is an example of what Sterling just wrote about totalitarianism in his post #16 written not long ago under the topic, "Pitchforks And Torches Will No Longer Be Able To Stop The 1%." It all fits together. Here I present five signs of totalitarianism. The presence of any one of these offenses alone casts doubt about a leader's commitments to democratic political leadership. When they occur together, however, they raise the alarm that we may be witnessing a derailment of a political experiment that has taken two and half centuries to refine. Sign 3: Regime Suppresses Knowledge Producers. Purges of universities, media organizations, think tanks, nonpartisan government administrations, and research institutes are de rigeur under totalitarian regimes. Throughout his campaign, Trump continued to deny the role of human action in climate change, which was resonant with an earlier astounding claim that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China. One must think carefully about what it takes to offer such a conclusion. Essentially, a leader must have distrust bordering on disdain for scientists to act from the belief that a great many highly educated people in prestigious organizations simply do not know what they are talking about.

This hijacking of the narrative from a position of research based truth to one that that is diminished and soiled is a constant theme in the Trump administration. All of this is in the name of giving individuals and corporations economic advantages to become wealthier and stronger while they maintain their grip upon our collective necks.
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Posted on: » Sun May 27, 2018 8:13 pm #6

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REFERENCING: Jessica, Post #5, Posted May 5, 2018
More Distortion Of The Truth

A suppressive totalitarian fortress, with thick walls built of lies and misrepresentations, is difficult to dismantle with pitchforks and torches. These conservative news people will stop at nothing to...
none

Re: Don't be fooled by the wealthy's economic research deception

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Sun May 27, 2018 8:13 pm

Do not be tricked into thinking the Trump economy is doing well.

The Trump spin machine continues to tout the glorious economic growth made by their administration.

From Gallup
March 30, 2018
Americans Continue to Rate Trump Highest on Economy
by Justin McCarthy http://news.gallup.com/poll/232046/amer ... onomy.aspx
Story Highlights

46% say Trump is doing a good job of making the country prosperous
35% say he is doing a good job on energy; 31% on protecting environment
Trump's ratings on issues fall behind those of Bush and Obama

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans are about as likely to say President Donald Trump is doing a good job as they are to believe he is doing a poor job of making the U.S. prosperous, 46% vs. 47%. However, Trump performs better on this measure than on two other issues on which he was rated in Gallup's annual Environment poll: energy and the environment.
And...

From Whitehouse.gov
Fact Sheets
President Donald J. Trump’s Leadership on the Economy is Making A Difference For All Americans
Economy & Jobs
Issued on: April 5, 2018 https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-st ... americans/
This is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.

President Donald J. Trump

THE ECONOMY IS BOOMING: The economy is expanding rapidly under President Donald J. Trump’s leadership.

American optimism and excitement about the economy is growing under President Trump’s leadership.
According to Pew Research, Americans rating the economy good to excellent surged to 53 percent, the highest point in 18 years.

However, this short video by The Young Turks paints a very different story regarding the rosy economic outlook believed by their base.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkgSZ5d-gVk

For another perspective, that deflates the notion of a "booming" economy, Catherine Rampell on 05-01-18 in the SJR (The State Journal-Register) presents the six following points in the article titled, Six questions about Trump’s economy you were too embarrassed to ask.
http://www.sj-r.com/news/20180501/cathe ... sed-to-ask
Over the past few months, President Donald Trump has painted a portrait of a resurgence: After tanking under President Barack Obama, the economy has finally been Made Great Again.

Based on recent polls and my own reader email, much of the public believes this narrative. The word “booming” gets thrown around a lot.

But how has the economy actually performed under Trump? There is plenty of data to help us answer this question. So I bring you: Six questions about Trump and the economy you may have been too embarrassed to ask.
In truth, I think she uses the word "embarrassed" because all six points she makes are embarrassing compared to the rhetoric the Republicans are feeding their base.

The bottom line is to be extremely wary of the the misrepresentation presented by conservatives, and doubly wary of those who believe this soiled dribble.

~SV~
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Posted on: » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:09 am #7

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REFERENCING: Doctor A, Post #3, Posted Aug 12, 2017
People will always try to justify their world view even if it is wrong. One has only to look at the abundance of conspiracy theories about us. Worse yet, most of this is old conspiracy theory has been debunked years ago but people still cli...
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Re: Don't be fooled by the wealthy's economic research deception

Post by MaureenCarter » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:09 am

Growing economic inequality is a significant factor killing the Social Security program. Because the rich are exempt from paying into the system after an income cap of $132,900 (in 2019), the burden to maintain the system falls onto the shoulders of those who are poorer.

As noted in the previous post:
Jessica is correct when stating we must be vigilant and wary when reading research and articles trying to minimize the extent of income and economic inequality. Every war has their Joseph Goebbels, their ministers of propaganda, who will defend their position regardless of how immoral it is (not withstand their own religious heritage). What is worse are those who will present this disinformation knowing full well and being cognizant their reporting does not match reality to justify their own position
The Motley Fool
Are the Rich Killing Social Security?
An estimated $1.2 trillion in earnings was exempted from the payroll tax in 2016.
Sean Williams, Jan 10, 2019 https://www.fool.com/retirement/2019/01 ... urity.aspx
Social Security might appear perfectly fine with close to $2.9 trillion in asset reserves in its coffers right now, but the existing path the program is on would completely exhaust this excess cash by 2034. Should this happen, then-current and future beneficiaries would be subject to an across-the-board reduction in their monthly payouts of up to 21%. Note that Social Security won't go bankrupt, but those people who are heavily reliant on the program would certainly feel this benefit cut.
Are the wealthy responsible for Social Security's woes?

Another factor that generally flies under the radar, but that is nevertheless very much responsible for Social Security's issues, is growing income inequality. In 2016, the Social Security Administration found that $1.2 trillion in earned income was exempt from the 12.4% payroll tax, which, in 2019, is capped at $132,900. In plainer terms, it means that more than 90% of working Americans (i.e., those making less than $132,900 a year) are paying into Social Security with every dollar they earn. Meanwhile, the remaining percentage of well-to-do workers are being exempted on every dollar earned above $132,900.
Yet the author, Sean Williams, wants to have his analysis both ways stating,
As you can imagine, that's a lot of money escaping the Social Security program, and it's raised the idea that the rich are actually what's killing Social Security. But is this the case? The answer is both yes and no.
I certainly agree with the "yes" part but the "no" part is sorely lacking in substance when he states,
... or not to blame the rich

Then again, the well-to-do don't shoulder the blame for this country's fiscal policy and congressional inaction. The payroll tax cap could be raised with bipartisan support in Congress, but getting to the needed 60 votes of support to pass Social Security amendments in the Senate hasn't come to fruition.
and further clarifies this by stating,
In other words, the wealthy aren't purposefully out to weaken Social Security. They're simply able to take advantage of faster earnings growth, the lack of universal healthcare in the U.S., and relatively slow increases in the payroll tax cap, which is tied to the National Average Wage Index. Put this way, it's not the fault of the rich.
Really? "it's not the fault of the rich"? He best rethink this supposition based upon the facts.

Under the website listing, FirstRateCrowd's EIRA, post #13, Jessica wrote,
Political policy undergoes continuous erosion when it comes to correcting economic inequality. Money in politics and regulatory capture (including corporate capture) ensures the wealthy will always comeback into power. The Economic Inequality Rating App is a means to stop this insane never ending process.

Like Sisyphus of Greek mythology who was forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down when it nears the top, repeating this action for eternity, it is the same with our political battle against the wealthy. For those of us who have lived many decades and have experienced this process first hand, we know the political process is a frustrating and demoralizing cyclic endeavor to control the power of the rich. It is said colloquially that power begets power, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the rich get richer. So it has been forever.

There are levers of power that sustain this ongoing insane process. Here are just two such levers:

1) Money in politics

© 2018 Scholars Strategy Network
How Money Corrupts American Politics
Benjamin I. Page, Northwestern University
https://scholars.org/how-money-corrupts ... -politics

the perfectly legal flood of money that pervades American politics has fundamentally corrupting effects.

The effects of money are manifold, subtle, and hard to pin down, but a number of pathways of influence can be laid out. Most are based on judgments about the best available evidence, short of irrefutable proof. But on certain key points the quantitative evidence is fairly conclusive. Political scientist Gary Jacobson and other scholars have pinned down how monetary advantages affect chances of winning congressional elections Large amounts of money are virtually essential if a candidate is to have any serious chance of winning. Inability to raise big money leads to losing general elections, losing party nominations, or giving up even before getting started. Thus the need to raise money acts as a filter, tending to eliminate public officials who hold certain points of view – even points of view that are popular with most Americans.

The need for money tends to filter out centrist candidates. Most congressional districts are gerrymandered to ensure a big advantage for one party or the other, so that election outcomes are actually decided in low-salience, low-turnout, one-party primary elections. Primaries are usually dominated by ideological party activists and money givers, who tend to hold extreme views and to reject all but the purest partisan candidates. This contributes to party polarization and legislative gridlock in Congress.

The need for money filters out candidates on the economic left. Democratic as well as Republican candidates have to raise big money, most of which comes from economically successful entrepreneurs and professionals who tend to hold rather conservative views on taxes, social welfare spending, and economic regulation. As a result, few candidates whose views are not broadly acceptable to the affluent are nominated or elected.

The quest for money tilts candidates' priorities and policy stands. Countless hours spent grubbing for money from affluent contributors changes candidates' priorities and sense of constituent needs. As they speak with potential donors, candidates hear repeatedly about resentment of progressive taxes and "wasteful" social spending. Special tax breaks for corporations and hedge fund managers start to sound reasonable.

Affluent citizens get extra influence by turning out to vote, working in campaigns, and contacting officials. Campaign contributions are not the only way in which affluent people get involved in politics; these same people tend to be active in other ways too, underscoring their importance to candidates.

Money can tip the outcome of close elections. Money spent on media, organizing, and turnout tends to increase vote totals, giving a significant advantage to candidates favored by money givers.

Money buys access to officials. When big contributors contact officials they tend to get attention. Their economic resources enable them to get a hearing, to offer help with information and expertise – even to draft bills. Research shows that these processes boost the influence of the affluent on the policy topics and ideas officeholders consider, biasing the public agenda toward the concerns of the affluent.

The quest for re-election money affects officials' priorities and policy stands. From the moment they win office, candidates look ahead to the money they must raise for reelection, and this is bound to steal time from official duties and slant their attention toward constituents who are substantial donors.


2) Regulatory capture (and corporate capture)

Wikipedia

"Regulatory capture is a form of government failure which occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating.[1] When regulatory capture occurs, the interests of firms or political groups are prioritized over the interests of the public, leading to a net loss for society. Government agencies suffering regulatory capture are called "captured agencies"

"Likelihood of regulatory capture is a risk to which an agency is exposed by its very nature.[6] This suggests that a regulatory agency should be protected from outside influence as much as possible. Alternatively, it may be better to not create a given agency at all lest the agency become victim, in which case it may serve its regulated subjects rather than those whom the agency was designed to protect. A captured regulatory agency is often worse than no regulation, because it wields the authority of government. However, increased transparency of the agency may mitigate the effects of capture. Recent evidence suggests that, even in mature democracies with high levels of transparency and media freedom, more extensive and complex regulatory environments are associated with higher levels of corruption (including regulatory capture).[7]"

Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation
The Corporate Capture of the United States
Posted by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance & Financial Regulation, on
Thursday, January 5, 2012 Editor
https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2012/01 ... ed-states/

American corporations today are like the great European monarchies of yore: They have the power to control the rules under which they function and to direct the allocation of public resources. This is not a prediction of what’s to come; this is a simple statement of the present state of affairs. Corporations have effectively captured the United States: its judiciary, its political system, and its national wealth, without assuming any of the responsibilities of dominion. Evidence is everywhere.

The “smoking gun” is CEO pay. Compensation is an expression of concentrated power — of enterprise power concentrated in the chief executive officer and of national power concentrated in corporations.

This is the essence of “capture” – CEOs are enriched, while all other corporate constituencies, including government, are left with liabilities. A relatively few autocrats have taken control over the policies and wealth allocation of the United States.

The financial power of American corporations now controls every stage of politics — legislative, executive, and ultimately judicial. With its January 2010 decision in the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court removed all legal restraints on the extent of corporate financial involvement in politics, a grotesque decision that can have only one effect: maximizing corporate – not national — value. Today’s CEOs have been granted the power to direct political payments and organize PAC programs to achieve objectives entirely in their own self-interest, and they have been quick to use it.

Capture has been further implemented through the extensive lobbying power of corporations. Abraham Lincoln’s warning about “corporations enthroned” and Dwight Eisenhower’s about the “unwarranted influence by the military/industrial complex” have been fully realized in our own time. Reported lobbying expenditures have risen annually, to $3.5 billion in 2010. Half of the Senators and 42 percent of House members who left Congress between 1998 and 2004 became lobbyists, as did 310 former appointees of George W. Bush and 283 of Bill Clinton.

Capture has placed the most powerful CEOs above the reach of the law and beyond its effective enforcement. Extensive evidence of Wall Street’s critical involvement in the financial crisis notwithstanding, not a single senior Wall Street executive has lost his job, and pay levels have been rigorously maintained even when, as noted earlier, TARP payments had to be refinanced in order to remove any possible restrictions.

Finally, capture has been perpetuated through the removal of property “off shore,” where it is neither regulated nor taxed. The social contract between Americans and their corporations was supposed to go roughly as follows: In exchange for limited liability and other privileges, corporations were to be held to a set of obligations that legitimatized the powers they were given. But modern corporations have assumed the right to relocate to different jurisdictions, almost at will, irrespective of where they really do business, and thus avoid the constraints of those obligations.
Additionally, Sterling wrote post #22 under, Pitchforks And Torches Will No Longer Be Able To Stop The 1%, regarding legalized bribery in our political process,
Regulatory capture, money in politics, and a subcategory of legalized bribery, are just some of the mechanisms whereby the wealthy maintain laws favorable to themselves. The political process is ineffective in stopping the wealthy from continually coming back into power. This is why the Economic Inequality Rating App is so important. It circumvents the elite's wealth and political clout to change the laws creating high economic inequality.

Answer this rhetorical question for yourself, if you were a politician and two lobbyists were sitting in your waiting room, one with ten thousand dollars and the other with one million dollars, who would you want to speak to first?

Jessica just wrote an interesting post, (#13 under FirstRateCrowd's EIRA), that is relevant as to how the financial power of the wealthy can change the laws to suppress the will of the people and continue to reemerge at the top of the financial pyramid. (see her post to learn more about these mechanisms)

Political policy undergoes continuous erosion when it comes to correcting economic inequality. Money in politics and regulatory capture (including corporate capture) ensures the wealthy will always comeback into power. The Economic Inequality Rating App is a means to stop this insane never ending process.

Like Sisyphus of Greek mythology who was forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down when it nears the top, repeating this action for eternity, it is the same with our political battle against the wealthy. For those of us who have lived many decades and have experienced this process first hand, we know the political process is a frustrating and demoralizing cyclic endeavor to control the power of the rich. It is said colloquially that power begets power, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the rich get richer. So it has been forever.

There are levers of power that sustain this ongoing insane process. Here are just two such levers:

Money in Politics and Regulatory capture (and corporate capture)

Another lever of power to benefit the wealthy in creating laws favorable to themselves is a subcategory of money in politics; it is legalized bribery.

Vox
I was a lobbyist for more than 6 years. I quit. My conscience couldn’t take it anymore.
“The hypocrisy from both sides is staggering.”
By Jimmy Williams Updated Jan 5, 2018
https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/6 ... y-politics

Today, most lobbyists are engaged in a system of bribery but it’s the legal kind, the kind that runs rampant in the corridors of Washington. It’s a system of sycophantic elected leaders expecting a campaign cash flow, and in return, industry, interest groups, and big labor are rewarded with what they want: legislation and rules that favor their constituencies.

Everyone in this country, from the left to the right, deserves a voice, and they should be heard loud and clear. If that means hiring a lobbyist to represent your point of view before Congress, awesomesauce. If that means you take to the streets, demand meetings and town halls with cowardly members of the House and Senate, or, better yet, run against them, I’m your biggest advocate.

But what I don’t support are Supreme Court rulings that have repeatedly told us money is an absolutely protected form of speech. A string of cases like Citizens United and others has opened the barn door to unlimited “dark money” campaign spending. Cases like Citizens gross me and most everyone else out because the result is the money in your politics becomes the voice in your politics. Americans’ right “to redress” comes at a cost, and if you don’t have the cash, chances are you’ll be ignored.

Bottom line: Those with the most money have the largest voices. Those with the least are rarely part of the process. That makes the legality of the practice of lobbying less relevant because it’s an uneven playing field.

The following videos help to clarify this concept.

Video: When Does Lobbying Become Bribery?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33gHhunzOlE

Video: Ryan Bribe, Income Inequality, Restaurant CEO, and Minimum Wage
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maDx_XMvj7w
So, are we really to believe the rich are just merely watching a bad play they have been caught up in with no culpability when the author of the article under question states,
the wealthy aren't purposefully out to weaken Social Security.
and then follows with
Put this way, it's not the fault of the rich.


I sharply disagree. Instead, I suggest the author, Sean Williams, who by the way has a degree in economics from UC San Diego, change his wording and punctuation for the title of his article from, Are The Rich Killing Social Security?, to The Rich Are Killing Social Security! The blame obviously lies with the Rich and anyone with a background in economics should under this concept unless the emphasis is upon the word Fool in the publication The Motley Fool.
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