The Robber Barons of the 19th and 20th century had nothing over the elites of today’s globalist transnational financial conglomerates. The Richest Americans, listed in Forbes conceals the real power that controls the economy. Net worth is deficient in gauging dominance in financial commercialism and monetary preeminence. The Top 50 Highest-Paid CEOs as reported by ABC News ties into Michael Hiltzik’s account that CEO-to-worker pay gap is obscene, “The average CEO-to-worker pay ratio in 2012 was about 350 to 1.” Yet the divide in pay does not exemplify the exact lose in a livable standard of living for the ordinary staffer.
The top five military contractors by sales are Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumann, General Dynamics and Raytheon. In addition to the Department of Defense allocations, the top five intelligence agencies that often provide military use applications are the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Program and the General Defense Intelligence Program. The actual amount of monies that go into funding off the books secret projects, estimated by Bill Sweetman as cited in the Economic Crisis and the Pentagon`s Black Budget, exceeds rational comprehension. “The Pentagon’s ‘black’ operations, including the intelligence budgets nested inside it, are roughly equal in magnitude to the entire defense budgets of the UK, France or Japan, and ten percent of the total.”
With the FCC policy to allow a two-speed internet, the die is cast that corporate favoritism is the focus of government, as Internet 2 accelerates to replace the network that has served the public so well for decades. Internet 2 turns 15, asks. Has it delivered on its promise?
“Internet 2 was created by 34 university research institutions in 1996, when the commercial and non-commercial branches of the Internet’s evolutionary tree split off and went their separate ways. The mission of Internet 2 was to provide reliable, dedicated bandwidth to support the ever-growing demands of the research and educational communities, and in doing so, to develop technologies that would advance the state of the ‘commodity’ Internet.”
What does the United States have in common with Japan’s economy? Demographics of an aging population have consequences for both countries. As Japan News reports, National debt hits record high.
“Japan’s national debt totaled a record-high ¥1.02 quadrillion as of the end of March, up ¥33.36 trillion from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said.
The central government debt, which increased ¥7.01 trillion from the end of December last year, kept rising mainly due to ballooning social security costs in line with the aging of the population.”
Leave it to the corporatist tax attorneys, re-incorporating a company overseas in order to reduce the tax burden on income earned abroad, by having a foreign company buy its current operations. The foreign company then owns assets, and the old incorporation dissolves, so goes the strategy of corporate inversion relocation. This Corporate Tax Shell Game, practiced with keen enthusiasm by world-class tax evaders and administered through their legions of CPA accountants, all rely upon a tax code designed to drive business overseas. Professor Kenneth P. Thomas cites the latest trend.
Quite a stir occurred with the academic presentation, How Technology Is Destroying Jobs, by Brynjolfsson, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and his collaborator and coauthor Andrew McAfee. Both “have been arguing for the last year and a half that impressive advances in computer technology—from improved industrial robotics to automated translation services—are largely behind the sluggish employment growth of the last 10 to 15 years. Even more ominous for workers, the MIT academics foresee dismal prospects for many types of jobs as these powerful new technologies are increasingly adopted not only in manufacturing, clerical, and retail work but in professions such as law, financial services, education, and medicine.”
During the 1990’s the conventional economic wisdom supported the repeal of Glass-Steagall. However, “10 years later, the end of Glass-Steagall has been blamed by some for many of the problems that led to last fall’s (2008) financial crisis. While the majority of problems that occurred centered mostly on the pure-play investment banks like Lehman Brothers, the huge banks born out of the revocation of Glass-Steagall, especially Citigroup, and the insurance companies that were allowed to deal in securities, like the American International Group, would not have run into trouble had the law still been in place.”
No one has ever claimed that the financial markets are a level playing field. Equities, bonds, currencies, options and futures are not arenas that operate by equivalent standards for all parties. Great fortunes were built not by chance, but on superior information, known to the few. Professional traders are not risk gamblers, but operate on the premise of special advantage. Through advance and proprietary techniques that reduce exposure hazards and provide exclusive head start triggers, which virtually guarantee profits, the elite firms dominate Wall Street.
Record US corporate profits are the beneficiary of easy money, near zero interest rates and monopolist aided government tax policies. The upward surge in earnings since the depths of the financial collapse proves one incontrovertible fact; namely, tax regulations, implemented to aid favorite companies, is the operational model of the corporatist economy. Americans for tax fairness for 2013 report on 10 Companies and Their Tax Loopholes. Included in this examination on Bank of America, Citigroup, ExxonMobil, FedEx, General Electric, Honeywell, Merck, Microsoft, Pfizer and Verizon, indicated “corporations have stepped into the fray with some of the most aggressive lobbying we’ve seen in years – calling for cuts to corporate tax rates, a widening of offshore tax loopholes.”
As the deadline for filing yearly income taxes is rapidly approaching, businesses especially hard pressed to make a profit in a depressed economy struggle with their tax compliance. Reporting legitimate deductions and costs is the easy part. When you are losing money, disclosing a diminished income stream based upon lower margins, is not a difficult decision. Nevertheless, small enterprises burdened with government regulation costs and tax obligations, often are unable to conduct business and retain a net return. Self-proprietorships frequently are so scared that many look to the cash underground economy to hide income earnings.
It should be obvious that the recent putsch and regime change in the Ukraine inspired and backed by the U.S. shadow government, benefits the international banksters. For the average EU resident, only further economic displacement and diminished prospects can be expected from any inclusion of Ukraine into the EU dictatorial structure. Not so, for the corporatists who expects expanded opportunities as Consortium News analyzes agricultural and energy companies recent involvement within the Ukraine.
The vast gulf between corporate economic interests and political gamesmanship is vividly made clear with the calls for sanctions against Russia. Now that the Crimea referendum has resulted in a ninety-six plus desire to join the Russian Federation, the politico chess players in the West are eager to make Putin suffer. Former Soviet chess master Garry Kasparov, anti-Putin critic and activist said, “even if the West doesn’t want to be in a fight with Russia, Putin has already decided to start one.”