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Forum Post: How are they distracted?

Posted 8 months ago on April 25, 2014, 1:55 p.m. EST by agkaiser (1329) from Fredericksburg, TX
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Why do cons like Cliven Bundy fail to notice the Giga investors and their corporations. which have the power and money and who've taken control of the despised federal government away from we, the people? Should Obama react to the rebels as Lincoln did, when South Carolina seceded and fired on Ft. Sumpter in the name of states' rights?

"The states' - rights groups, in echoes of Ruby Ridge and Waco, came armed and prepared for violence. 'I'm ready to pull the trigger if fired upon,' one of the anti-government activists told Reuters."

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/04/the-irony-of-cliven-bundys-unconstitutional-stand/360587/

As to what's really wrong with the government:

From Naked Capitalism;

Karl Fitzgerald of Renegade Economists interviews Michael Hudson about Thomas Piketty's new book

Michael: ". . . you may know in Australia that our Queen of Mean, the hotel lady Leona Helmsley said 'Only the little people pay taxes'. What she means is only the little people earn income. Rich people in America don't earn income, they make capital gains . . ."

Karl: ". . . he's had to delve into the tax records to try and find this incredible wealth that's come through privatisation, that's come through this rent-seeking. That even with all those limitations you've pointed out, he has still come up with some incredibly strong statistics that people like Paul Krugman are just floored by. And it seems like it's slapped the economics profession in the face to say look, we've got to get beyond income inequality and really focus on this wealth issue and have a look at how this wealth is created and what we can do to redirect economics, to look at the distributive side of the equation."

Michael: "You're right. He's started the discussion by showing the fact of vast inequality. What needs to be done now is to explain how did this inequality come about and what do you do about it? And as you and I have talked on this show before, the solution of simply taxing fortunes, which is very hard to do, is a very broad hammer. And you and I have spoken about particular kinds of wealth and particular kinds of making fortunes are predatory, and that's namely economic rent, whether it's land rent, natural resource rent, monopoly rent or the kind of money that the financial sector makes. So Piketty's book, large as it is, didn't discuss this except at the end to say 'Well, you need to somehow tax the wealth away'. Well, that's true, but that's for another book in the future. How do you tax it away? What's the best kind of tax to make economies grow?

"One of the things that Piketty does not discuss when it comes to making fortunes is the role of debt, that most of these fortunes that have taken off since 1980 have taken off because of the increased debt leverage. As interest rates have fallen since 1980, you've had more and more bank credit going in to just bid up real estate prices, stock prices, bond prices, every kind of price, not to mention fine arts trophies that have gone with this. So, just as you've had the rising ratio of wealth to income of the 1%, you also have a rising ratio of debt to income. And so this indebtedness and the net worth again is very unequally distributed. Most peoples' families, the major asset they have is in their home but these homes are also very heavily mortgaged and the mortgage payments they make, basically the 99% makes interest payments to the 1%.

"And what to me really has been accelerating wealth at the very top is the financial sector, is the ability of the 1% to get the other 99% in debt to them by saying 'Look, we're controlling the access point to buying a home, to buying basic needs, in America to getting an education, and you can't afford to buy a home or get an education or even a car without borrowing money. And we're going to charge you enough interest so that everything you earn in effect you're going to be paying us for interest'. And that's the same thing that is leading the corporate raiders and the activist shareholders to try to raid corporations and say 'Pay up more of your money as dividends'. . . ."

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/04/piketty-wealth-gap-wakeup.html

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[-] 2 points by agkaiser (1329) from Fredericksburg, TX 8 months ago

I don't believe Michael Hudson sees Thomas Picketty as radical enough, though there's little disagreement between them.