Shifting Baseline Disorders: Only the One Percent is Bad

But for now, let me repeat: the world’s richest 85 individuals do not have the same amount of accumulated wealth as the world’s poorest 50 percent. They have vastly more. The multitude on the lower rungs—even taken as a totality—have next to nothing.
Michael Parenti

Funny stuff seeing the MoveOn outfit go after ONLY the one percent who are tax dodgers, tax sheltering criminals:

Sign the petition: Don’t let House Republicans undermine the IRS for the benefit of the rich and powerful.

Republicans are trying to cut $80 billion in recent investments designed to strengthen the IRS and its ability to crack down on millionaire, billionaire, and corporate tax cheats through the Inflation Reduction Act.1 In other words: As per usual, Republicans want to issue handouts to their wealthy donors and leave working families in the lurch.

In 2019 alone, the richest 1% of households evaded $163 billion of the total of unpaid or underpaid taxes that year. When we allow the ultrawealthy to evade paying their fair share, we place that responsibility on regular working people. Donald Trump’s recently released tax returns are a clear example of this corruption and greed. His returns expose overseas bank accounts and manipulative real estate evaluations that effectively allowed him to dodge taxes. This is exactly why Democrats included funding for the IRS, to ensure there were people within the agency that would hold the wealthiest people in this country accountable. We cannot allow the GOP to tank our efforts to lessen the tax burden on the working class.

Fun stuff, you know, since we are getting close to USA shooting nuclear weapons, utilizing the dirty tricks of CIA and false flags and dirty bombs. You know this country’s history, yet the Democrats, the MoveOne outfit, is going for the One Percent.

You know, since these companies are as honest as a nun (not). Imagine, the amount of US taxpayer money paying for fraud, crimes, endless and meaningless and worthless reports, hearings, white papers, investigations, stalling tactics, cover-ups, PR spin, all of it, including the dirty, polluting, community-breaking externalities of these corporations. And how many of these corporations have GOVERNMENT contracts in the hundreds of millions and billions?

How many dual-income earners in the Five percent — $208,000 x 2 – $416,000 yearly income — have trouble sending their kids to Yale and Harvard, uh?

The book, Dream Hoarders tells a picture of those Five and Ten Percenters and the Twenty Percenters x two incomes ($97,000) = $195,000. But here, the irony, at the most elite-sucking, exceptionalist outfit locally, Aspen Institute:

Now, now. I have a 77-year-old fellow with all sorts of medical operations under his belt driving a bus, me as his monitor. There are older people driving school buses where I live, one aged 81. You know, high winds, in a tsunami zone, earthquake zone, king tides, ice, fallen trees, fallen power lines, rain rain rain. You know, that precious cargo — children — and we get $19 an hour, with three cameras on board, a tablet that marks our stops and time, and, well, you can imagine the lack of trust this huge corporation has in us, the lowly guys and gals. Precious cargo my ass!

Truckers in the world, got .06 (cents) a mile in the 1960s. And when you are owner-operator, you pay pay pay for expenses, upkeep, maintenance and more. In the old days, the idea was to get to New York from Portland, Oregon, as quick as possible with that load of seafood. One fellow told me he took ZipLock baggies with him to urinate on that 72-hours, one-way from Oregon to NYC. And, the pills. The uppers. Keeping awake.

This is, alas, Capitalism with a capital “c” for corruption, collusion, chaos, criminality, contraband, crassness.

But alas, MoveOne is going after the One Percent, because of course, all those Five Percenters working for the One Percenters in high level jobs, all those 10 Percenters who are hoarders and vote to not have an extra percentage of tax put upon them, all the Eichmann’s and Faustians, all of them, love the idea of becoming rich and famous too, or just rich. They think being part of the 80 Percent is a crime against their egos and sensibility.

There is only so much of the good money to go around to the One Percent and up to the 19 Percent, right? Just talked to a 51 year old who gave me a ride back home since my ride was indisposed in Newport. I had to get to the bus driving gig. I stopped someone coming from the hospital, and he gave me a lift. He grew up in Toledo, Oregon, and had a year’s worth of wages saved up for Oregon State University, but he opted to work. As a lineman for the local central utility district. His brother went to college, and even called him a loser. Just a few years ago, the brother apologized to this man, who has worked 32 years for this company, and he said he’s making $150,000 a year as he is in management. The brother never got that income with his college degree.

Yes, there have to be options for young people. Yes, everyone needs to go to a cool college, for history, for the arts, for writing, for sociology. Yes, there should be contruction courses in college. Yes, there should be a way to get those who might have a proclivity for hands-on high IQ stuff to get that hands-on education, but all junior and senior high school students should be exposed to Oceanography, Orwell and Organic farming. In addition to, Reading and Writing, but also, learning what soil is and is not. What a forest is. What the jet stream is, and what weather is and is not. Hands down, the only way humanity is going to solve the crimes of capitalism and the savagery of capitalism and the barbaric acts of the One Percent and maybe another 5 percent, is to arm ourselves with thinking, caring, community-driven people.

Out here in Rural Oregon, we have those rugged (sic) individuals looking for acres and a place to put some chickens and cool motorcycles and jungle gyms on, and a place AWAY from humanity. Imagine that.

Some of those homes I pass by in the rural landscape are 6,000 square foot lodges that would look like they fit in Aspen or Jackson Hole.

Here it is, then, the shifting baseline disorder. Up is down, and somehow, Nazi History is Okay History. Ukraine is a country with a violent and racist history, and now, worse than ever. But these kids and these linemen, well, they do not want to know about THAT.

As we drain the tax coffers for Zelensky, for all those military industrial complex big boys and little ones.

This is fact — Russia-Soviet Union beat the Nazi’s then:

The Battle That Changed the Course of WWII: 80th Anniversary of the Soviet Victory at Stalingrad

On February 2, 1943, Nazi forces trapped in the ruined city of Stalingrad (modern-day Volgograd) by the Soviet Red Army surrendered, marking the end of one of the bloodiest and most intense battles in history – the Battle of Stalingrad.

During the course of this battle, Soviet forces managed to trap a substantial force of Nazi soldiers inside the very city the latter wanted to capture. The Soviet’s also managed to repel all attempts by the rest of the Nazi war machine to relieve their trapped comrades, and to finally break the enemy’s will to resist.

This triumph allowed the USSR to seize the strategic initiative and effectively turn the tide of the entire World War II, paving the way for the eventual defeat of the Nazi Germany a little over two years later. (source)

You’d never know that istory talking to linemen or bus driver or high school teacher or city council or …. And youth in college or in high school who will never get to read this article and discuss: “How a Network of Nazi Propagandists Helped Lay the Groundwork for the War in Ukraine

A mass grave of Red Army soldiers, executed on orders from Franz Halder, at Stalag 307 near D?blin, Poland.

Don’t let MoveOn fool you — Liz Warren maybe a super capitalist, but that means she is for great wealth misdistribution, great land exploitation, the Monroe Doctrine on steroids, and of course, money, missiles and mush for Ukraine.

Michael Parenti — Peeling back those Shifting Baselines!

The world’s 85 richest individuals possess as much wealth as the 3.5 billion souls who compose the poorer half of the world’s population, or so it was announced in a report by Oxfam International. The assertion sounds implausible to me.  I think the 85 richest individuals, who together are worth many hundreds of billions of dollars, must have far more wealth than the poorest half of our global population.

How could these two cohorts, the 85 richest and 3.5 billion poorest, have the same amount of wealth? The great majority of the 3.5 billion have no net wealth at all. Hundreds of millions of them have jobs that hardly pay enough to feed their families. Millions of them rely on supplements from private charity and public assistance when they can. Hundreds of millions are undernourished, suffer food insecurity, or go hungry each month, including many among the very poorest in the United States. (source)

Most of the 3.5 billion earn an average of $2.50 a day. The poorest 40 percent of the world population accounts for just 5 percent of all global income. About 80 percent of all humanity live on less than $10 a day. And the poorest 50 percent  maintain only 7.2 percent of the world’s private consumption. How exactly could they have accumulated an amount of surplus wealth comparable to the 85 filthy richest?

Hundreds of millions live in debt even in “affluent” countries like the United States. They face health care debts, credit card debts, college tuition debts, and so on. Many, probably most who own homes—and don’t live in shacks or under bridges or in old vans—are still straddled with mortgages. This means their net family wealth is negative, minus-zero. They have no  propertied wealth; they live in debt.

Millions among the poorest 50 percent in the world may have cars but most of them also have car payments. They are driving in debt.  In countries like Indonesia, for the millions without private vehicles, there are the overloaded, battered buses, poorly maintained vehicles that specialize in breakdowns and ravine plunges. Among the lowest rungs of the 50 percent are the many who pick thru garbage dumps and send their kids off to work in grim, soul-destroying sweatshops. (source)

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.