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Two Americas: Corporate Profits All Time High, Wages All Time Low

8:48 am in Uncategorized by DSWright

We already know that America has the highest level of inequality in the developed world and that the recent crisis wiped out 40% of wealth for most Americans, hurting everyone but the rich. But here are some new records in inequality within the system itself, from Business Insider:

1) Corporate profit margins just hit an all-time high. Companies are making more per dollar of sales than they ever have before. (And some people are still saying that companies are suffering from “too much regulation” and “too many taxes.” Maybe little companies are, but big ones certainly aren’t).

 

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2) Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low. This is both cause and effect. One reason companies are so profitable is that they’re paying employees less than they ever have as a share of GDP. And that, in turn, is one reason the economy is so weak: Those “wages” are other companies’ revenue.

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Generation X Lost Most From Wall Street’s Crisis

3:07 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

The recent Federal Reserve Report On Wealth has generated considerable controversy and discussion throughout America and beyond. But one aspect that is not getting enough attention is the generational differences highlighted in the report.

Generation X – people roughly born from the early 60s to early 80s – is by far the biggest loser in terms of wealth. The crisis created by Wall Street shredded their wealth and the bank bailouts only benefited the rich. Gen Xers were in the position of having some modest wealth – mostly in their homes – but not enough to buy political influence.

So while it is arguable to say Gen Xers are the biggest losers generally, given the many others suffering who did not have much wealth in the first place (millennials for instance) it is true to say that as an age group they lost the most wealth proportionally.

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Gen X had a 54% Drop! Imagine losing over half your wealth in 3 years, many don’t have to imagine they lived it. Seniors lost the least, which is not surprising given their reliance on government services and that many liquidated their homes for retirement. Younger people did not have much wealth accumulated in order to lose it. The people that really got screwed were middle aged, middle income Americans.

Though it is important to remember everyone but the 1% lost wealth in the crisis – the 1% were able to engineer themselves a bailout from the government they control so their wealth actually increased in those 3 years.

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As the late great George Carlin said “They call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.” Occupy.

(h/t Zero Hedge)

Occupy May Day Is Tomorrow

1:47 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

[Editor's Note: Be Here or Be Square. Check out FDL's May Day 2012 coverage page.  Brian Sonenstein has more on May Day 2012 at Firedoglake.]

PhotobucketMay Day, a holiday created in part to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, Illinois, has become a global celebration in almost every country except, ironically, the United States. That Ends Tomorrow.

A General Strike has been called and not just in America but throughout the world.

Bloomberg:

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, whose anti-greed message spread worldwide during an eight-week encampment in Lower Manhattan last year, plan marches across the globe tomorrow calling attention to what they say are abuses of power and wealth. In New York, Occupy Wall Street will join scores of labor organizations observing May 1, traditionally recognized as International Workers’ Day. They plan marches from Union Square to Lower Manhattan and a “pop-up occupation” of Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue, across the street from Bank of America’s Corp.’s 55-story tower. “We call upon people to refrain from shopping, walk out of class, take the day off of work and other creative forms of resistance disrupting the status quo,” organizers said in an April 26 e-mail.

OccupyMay1st.org:

May Day is an international workers’ day celebrated in more than eighty countries to honor labor and left-wing movements. Originally organized to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre, the day has broadened to include workers’ rights, immigrant rights, and anti-war efforts. The occupy movement is calling on the ninety-nine percent to no longer stand idly by and remain complacent. May Day is an opportunity to flex our collective power to show the plutocracy that their time is over, that profits over people will no longer be the modus operandi… So will you call out of work for the sons and daughters fighting an illegitimate war, endangering themselves to enrich CEOs? Will you buy nothing in support of the ten million foreclosed homes expected in 2012? Will you march out of classes for the millions of uninsured children in this country? Will you general strike with me?

Facebook:

BEGINNING MAY 1, 2012 NO WORK – NO SCHOOL – NO SHOPPING – NO BANKING – NO TRADING THE PEOPLE OF THE PLANET WILL TAKE TO THE STREETS #OLA & #OLB are calling on all people of the world to start planning NOW for a Global Strike. The goal is to shut down commerce worldwide and show the 1% we will not be taken for granted, we will not be silenced, WE WILL NOT MOVE until our grievances are redressed.

Occupy Together:

May Day is an international day of celebration to honor the labor movement. This year the Occupy movement has made a call for mass action—the May First General Strike (#M1GS): a day without the 99%. Over 115 US cities have organized in solidarity with this call to action… If you are inspired by the day of action but don’t live near any organized events you can still take part. If you can’t strike, take the first step. We can work to shift the balance of power back into the hands of the people little by little in our everyday lives. Here are some examples to get you thinking: Move Your Money – Share a meal with others and and talk about subsidized agriculture and factory farming or make a meal with friends to serve to local homeless people a la Food Not Bombs – Start a Personal/Community Garden – Have a Free Store/Fair: Get together and share your unwanted items with others – Screen a Movie: Invite your friends or neighbors over to watch a documentary – Have a Skill Share: Give a free class to share your skills and knowledge. This could be as simple as giving a knitting demonstration or as complex as teaching someone a new language. We have the power in our hands to change the course of our day to day realities if we are willing to participate and reach out to our neighbors and communities. In the words of Steven Biko, ”the greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Big business should not be in control of us, we are the many and they are the few.

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This Week In Occupy May Day

12:37 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

Last Week.

* Labor Activist Video calling for Wildcat Strike on May Day:

(Occupy May Day 2012)

 

If you are involved in your Local Union, contact your fellow laborers about organizing May Day events or participating in them.

If you are not in a union but involved in your local Occupy, see how your Occupy is joining in local annual May Day festivities.

If you are involved in neither but want to get involved in a Local, I recommend you contact the Industrial Workers of the World at http://www.iww.org/.

Pete Seeger singing L’Internationale.

To learn more about May Day and Labor History, visit http://cwcs.ysu.edu/resources/museums to find a Labor Museum or Exhibit in your area. Labor History is important American History.

* The Occupied Social Network, Occupii:

BEGINNING MAY 1, 2012

NO WORK – NO SCHOOL – NO SHOPPING – NO BANKING – NO TRADING

THE PEOPLE OF THE PLANET WILL TAKE TO THE STREETS

#OLA & #OLB are calling on all Occupations and all Labor Unions to start planning NOW for a Global Strike. The goal is to shut down commerce worldwide and show the 1% we will not be taken for granted, we will not be silenced, WE WILL NOT MOVE until our grievances are redressed.

Every continent, every country, every state, every city will stand up.

Labor and workers are under attack by the 1%. Occupy stands Immigrants and with Labor both organized and not. Unions and union rights are what made our working class strong. Every benefit we have as working people has come from the struggles of organized labor and immigrants fighting for their rights. Now they are trying to destroy our bargaining rights, they want their greedy hands on our pensions. They don’t have enough already? ENOUGH.

A DAY FOR MIGRANT RIGHTS, LABOR RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS.

STOP FORECLOSURES!!!

We demand good jobs and good pay for everyone on the planet. Citizen of the country they work in or not. Outsourcing will no longer be tolerated by the so called “job creators” for cheap labor. All human beings deserve a living wage.

Education, Housing and Healthcare are human rights NOT “entitlements.”

ALL COUNTRIES PARTICIPATING: If you send me translation of this invite in your native language, I will create an event on this page to coincide with the English version. Please send to Tkukreja315@gmail.com

* UK “Occupy Cafe ” member Anna Harris is ready for May Day:

MAYDAY! MAYDAY!
It is obvious we are headed for disaster unless we change course drastically, and we don’t have a lot of time. A project is being discussed internationally in the Occupy movement – Global Strike May 2012. What we are proposing is a continuous strike, a permanent withdrawal from the current system, a signal for all those who feel their work to be meaningless and unsatisfying, to switch to alternative means which are beneficial to the whole community, to support themselves and their families. In order to make this feasible this alternative system needs to be up and running by May 2012. Outrageous! Impossible! I agree with you. Nevertheless it has to happen if we are serious about moving from this morally bankrupt and physically damaging path we are on, to a sustainable system that puts people before profit. Join us on Take the Squares Network https://n-1.cc/pg/groups/1010883/15m-global-strike/. and please pass around to friends and colleagues. Anna@shsh.co.uk

* Speaking of the Take The Square Network – will Occupy May Day go Global?

 

What are you doing on May 1st, 2012?

 

Jamie Dimon’s 1% Problems: People Don’t Like Rich Criminals Anymore

5:26 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

 

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Guys! You are being so mean to Jamie for realz!

Jamie Dimon, the head of JPMorgan Chase, would like to make it clear that he is not that kind of banker.

“I’ve disagreed right from the beginning of this blanket blame of all banks,” Dimon said in an interview with Charlie Gasparino of the Fox Business Network Tuesday. “I don’t like that. I think that’s just a form of discrimination that should be stopped.”

Dimon, who has been CEO of JPMorgan Chase since 2005, didn’t get specific about whom he’d rather not be lumped in with. He seemed, though, to be trying to draw a distinction between his own company — which accepted a bailout from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, but is generally seen as having weathered the financial crisis better than many other major firms — and banks that needed a greater degree of government assistance during and after the meltdown.

Whoah. I mean wow this is so tragic it’s one thing for millions of Americans to live in poverty and be thrown out of their homes, it’s quite another to guilt trip a CEO Banker – have a heart!

The interview was taped shortly before Dimon left for the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland, where Dimon said he will be speaking with other attendees about financial regulation. At last year’s Davos summit, Dimon made similar remarks pushing back against the vilification of the banking industry, calling it “a really unproductive and unfair way of treating people.”

This is getting out of hand guys, srsly.

I think it’s time for Occupy Wall Street to start making It Gets Better videos for all the poor suffering Wall Street Banksters.

Hang in there Jamie I’m sure your $1.3 million salary and $64 million worth of stock options will help you get through the day – I guess that’s how the taxpayers show they care.

Stay strong Jamie, stay strong.

The First Occupy Candidate (Won’t Be The Last)

1:58 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

Cry havoc and let slip the primaries!

The Democratic Party is going to be taken out for a walk (and not a moment too soon). One of the first candidates from the Occupy Movement has announced their campaign, from Politico:

Nathan Kleinman, a 29-year-old member of the Occupy Philadelphia movement, intends to run for congress in Pennsylvania’s 13th district against Democratic incumbent Allyson Schwartz.

“The petition gathering period starts today and lasts for three weeks, so I plan to file by then,” Kleinman told me over the phone today. “I’ll be running in the Democratic primary.”

Kleinman, who refers to himself as a human rights activist and organizer, served as an aide to Joe Sestak’s unsuccessful 2010 Senate campaign before becoming a legislative assistant to Pennsylvania State Representative Josh Shapiro.

More recently, he has been a member of the Occupy Philadelphia movement, participating in a number of associated working groups, including “Free University,” “Outreach Working Group,” “Process Working Group,” “Camp Liberty,” and “The Committee of Correspondence,” through which he became involved with InterOccupy.org, which he describes as “a central hub for communications” in the national Occupy movement.

Now, he plans to campaign for the House of Representatives, which would make him the first member of the Occupy movement to seek a seat in Congress.

More to come, watch your back Blue Dogs.

This Week In Occupy May Day

8:42 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

(photo: ari, flickr)

(photo: ari, flickr)

Occupy May Day - May 1st, 2012

Last week (no TWIOMD) was Martin Luther King Day. MLK Would Occupy

* From Ryan Rice on OccupyMay1st.org:

May Day is an international workers’ day celebrated in more than eighty countries to honor labor and left-wing movements. Originally organized to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre, the day has broadened to include workers’ rights, immigrant rights, and anti-war efforts. The occupy movement is calling on the ninety-nine percent to no longer stand idly by and remain complacent. May Day is an opportunity to flex our collective power to show the plutocracy that their time is over, that profits over people will no longer be the modus operandi…

So will you call out of work for the sons and daughters fighting an illegitimate war, endangering themselves to enrich CEOs? Will you buy nothing in support of the ten million foreclosed homes expected in 2012? Will you march out of classes for the millions of uninsured children in this country?

Will you general strike with me?

* Another Facebook Group – they need to know where to go, WALL STREET

* Reddit Occupy May Day

* Occupier Margaret Flowers calls for May Day General Strike:

Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Long Beach, Occupy Riverside and Occupy the Hood, building on the “Occupy the Ports – A Day without Goldman Sachs!” action on December 12, have all issued calls for and started building towards a General Strike on May 1, 2012.

At a meeting of the General Strike Preparation Committee of Occupy LA today, with representation from Occupy Long Beach, Pasadena and Riverside as well as Occupy the Hood, consensus was reached to call for the formation of a broad, deep and larger coalition for a General Strike, first meeting to be held on Sunday, January 22 at 2:00 PM, location to be announced, around the following provisional program: Read the rest of this entry →