How the Super-Rich Control the U.S. Government

By Eric Zuesse

Global Research, November 06, 2022

The U.S. Government tries to hide how obscenely top-end the nation’s wealth-distribution is; but one remarkably clear presentation of it (the U.S. private-wealth distribution)  was the web-page from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System that presented an “Overview” of “Distribution of Wealth” starting in “1989:Q3” and extending up till “2021:Q2”. (It will be presented even more clearly here, using their reported data.)

The following shows breakdowns of the wealth-quintiles — percentages of the wealth held by the nation’s households, all the way from the top fifth to the bottom fifth — in the “US$ Trillions” for each fifth — during the latter quarter (the “2021:Q2”), as is shown on that web-page:

  • Top 5th =Top 20% total $94.68T ($36.23T for top 1% + $58.45T for all of the next 19%)
  • 2nd 5th =Top 40%-Top 20%: $20.68T
  • 3rd 5th = Top 60%-Top 40%: $9.62T
  • 4th 5th = Top 80%-Top 60%: $5.41T
  • 5th 5th = Too 100%-Top 80%: $3.69T
  • 100% = $94.68T + $20.68T + $9.62T + $5.41T + $3.69T = $134.08T total.

Therefore: Top 20% = 70.6% of all wealth.

  • Top 40% = 86.0% of all wealth.
  • Top 60% = 93.2% of all wealth.
  • Top 80% = 97.2% of all wealth.
  • Top 100% = 100% of all wealth.
  • Additionally shown was the top 1%:
  • Top 1% (“99-100%”): $36.23T
  • Top 20% less that top 1%: $58.45T
  • So: the top 1% (the wealthiest 5% of the wealthiest 20%) held 38.3% of all the top fifth’s $94.68T.
  • Top 1% =  27% of all wealth.
  • (Bottom 1% wasn’t shown.)
  • Bottom 20% = 2.8% of all wealth.
  • Bottom 40% = 6.8%
  • Bottom 60% = 14.0%
  • Bottom 80% = 29.4%

Virtually all people who have the discretionary cash to be able to donate significantly to the politicians they favor are in the top fifth — the people who have 70.6% of all wealth. They dominate the nation’s political money. Almost all of the virtually bribes that fill political campaign-chests in America come from the richest 20% of Americans — and the top 1% contain all of the ‘king-makers.” And if you’re in the bottom 80% of wealth-holders in the U.S., you’re not represented, at all, in the U.S. Government.

The top 1% have vastly more, than rest of the top 20%, available to them to donate to their favored politicians, because these people — the top-one-percenters — hold the corporate board seats, and select the corporate executives who hire the congressional lobbyists to entertain and reward and hire the crucial congress-members so as to serve their corporations, and serve those top one-percenters who control all of those corporations. Included in these corporations are the ones that control all of the major, and most of the minor, news-media and that thereby shape the ‘knowledge’ and thus the views that most of the voters (in each Party) hold.

America has around a thousand billionaires, and they have control over so much discretionary cash as to be able to get Congress to not pass any bill that these super-rich oppose, and to pass many of the legislative bills that those super-rich want to become law. So, almost all of the thousand-or-so individuals who control the U.S. Government are billionaires. They especially control international corporations. Those few people dominate both Parties.

But they do it very much behind-the-scenes. In previous centuries, aristocrats were publicly known, by formal titles; but in today’s ‘democracies’, they are, instead, as hidden as they can be. They don’t want the public to know that the Government represents only them, because, otherwise, the Government’s saying that this or that foreign ‘dictatorship’ that poses no real threat to the national security of one’s own country, should be regime-changed, would have the citizens wonder, instead, “Isn’t it our nation’s regime that should be regime-changed first?” Any look at the ‘news’-media will make clear that they DON’T want THAT question to be in anybody’s mind. The message is instead always to regime-change the foreign leaders whom one’s own nation’s billionaires WANT to be regime-changed. That’s the way to get the public to be willing to fund (via their own taxes) the ‘Defense’ Department. Isn’t it un-‘patriotic’ to want to slash the spending on ‘defense’? Where did THAT idea come from?

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This article was originally published on The Duran.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s new book, AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Eric Zuesse, Global Research, 2022

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Monbiot: Make extreme wealth extinct: it’s the only way to avoid climate breakdown

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/10/extreme-wealth-polluting-climate-breakdown-rich

The richest 1% of the world’s people (those earning more than $172,000 a year) produce 15% of the world’s carbon emissions: twice the combined impact of the poorest 50%. On average, they emit over 70 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person every year, 30 times more than we can each afford to release if we’re not to exceed 1.5C of global heating. While the emissions of the world’s middle classes are expected to fall sharply over the next decade, thanks to the general decarbonisation of our economies, the amount produced by the richest will scarcely decline at all: in other words, they’ll be responsible for an even greater share of total CO2. Becoming good global citizens would mean cutting their carbon consumption by an average of 97%.

There’s an oft-quoted axiom, whose authorship is obscure: it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Part of the reason is that capitalism itself is difficult to imagine. Most people struggle to define it, and its champions have generally succeeded in disguising its true nature. So let’s begin by imagining something that’s easier to comprehend: the end of concentrated wealth. Our survival depends on it.

I’ve come to believe that the most important of all environmental measures are wealth taxes. Preventing systemic environmental collapse means driving extreme wealth to extinction. It is not humanity as a whole that the planet cannot afford. It’s the ultra-rich.

Something to watch on the eve of huge energy price increases driving the cost of living crisis in UK

Continue ReadingMonbiot: Make extreme wealth extinct: it’s the only way to avoid climate breakdown

COP26 News review day 12

The final day of the COP26 summit.

Honest Government Ad | Net Zero by 2050 (feat. Greta Thunberg)

Hundreds of global civil society representatives walk out of Cop26 in protest

Carrying blood-red ribbons to represent the crucial red lines already crossed by Cop26 negotiations, hundreds of representatives of global civil society walked out of the convention centre in Glasgow on the final morning of the summit in protest.

The audience at the People’s Plenary in the conference blue zone heard speakers condemn the legitimacy and ambition of the 12-day summit before walking out to join protesters gathered on the streets beyond the security fencing.

“Cop26 is a performance,” the Indigenous activist Ta’Kaiya Blaney of the Tla A’min Nation told the meeting before the walkout. “It is an illusion constructed to save the capitalist economy rooted in resource extraction and colonialism. I didn’t come here to fix the agenda – I came here to disrupt it.”

George Minbiot: Make extreme wealth extinct: it’s the only way to avoid climate breakdown

A recent analysis of the lifestyles of 20 billionaires found that each produced an average of over 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide: 3,500 times their fair share in a world committed to no more than 1.5C of heating. The major causes are their jets and yachts. A superyacht alone, kept on permanent standby, as some billionaires’ boats are, generates around 7,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

I’ve come to believe that the most important of all environmental measures are wealth taxes. Preventing systemic environmental collapse means driving extreme wealth to extinction. It is not humanity as a whole that the planet cannot afford. It’s the ultra-rich.

Fossil fuel industry gets subsidies of $11m a minute, IMF finds (An older article for context).

The fossil fuel industry benefits from subsidies of $11m every minute, according to analysis by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF found the production and burning of coal, oil and gas was subsidised by $5.9tn in 2020, with not a single country pricing all its fuels sufficiently to reflect their full supply and environmental costs. Experts said the subsidies were “adding fuel to the fire” of the climate crisis, at a time when rapid reductions in carbon emissions were urgently needed.

Extra video from thejuicemedia

Continue ReadingCOP26 News review day 12

Study Warns ‘Luxury’ Pollution by the Global Mega-Rich Is Imperiling the Planet

“The emissions from a single billionaire spaceflight would exceed the lifetime emissions of someone in the poorest billion people on Earth.”

JAKE JOHNSON November 5, 2021

The richest people on the planet, representing a small sliver of the total population, are emitting carbon dioxide at a rate that’s imperiling hopes of keeping global heating below 1.5°C, prompting fresh calls for government action to rein in “luxury” pollution and combat the intertwined crises of inequality and climate change.

New research by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) shows that by 2030, the carbon footprints of the wealthiest 1% of humanity are on track to be 30 times larger than the size compatible with limiting global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century, the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious temperature target.

If current trends continue, the richest 1% will account for 16% of global CO2 emissions in 2030.

The carbon emissions of the poorest half of the global population, meanwhile, “are set to remain well below the 1.5°C-compatible level,” according to the analysis, which was commissioned by Oxfam International and published Friday. The planet has already warmed by roughly 1.1°C, and scientists have said any heating beyond 1.5°C would have destructive consequences worldwide.

“The emissions from a single billionaire spaceflight would exceed the lifetime emissions of someone in the poorest billion people on Earth,” Nafkote Dabi, Oxfam’s climate policy lead, said in a statement. “A tiny elite appear to have a free pass to pollute. Their oversized emissions are fueling extreme weather around the world and jeopardizing the international goal of limiting global heating.”

“The emissions of the wealthiest 10% alone could send us beyond the agreed limit in the next nine years,” Dabi added. “This would have catastrophic results for some of the most vulnerable people on Earth who are already facing deadly storms, hunger, and destitution.”

Oxfam graphic on carbon emissions

Authored by Tim Gore, head of the Low Carbon and Circular Economy program at IEEP, the new research paper notes that “while carbon inequality is often most stark at the global level, inequalities within countries are also very significant.”

“They increasingly drive the extent of global inequality, and likely have a greater impact on the political and social acceptability of national emissions reduction efforts,” the paper reads. “It is therefore notable that in all of the major emitting countries, the richest 10% and 1% nationally are set to have per capita consumption footprints substantially above the 1.5⁰C global per capita level.”

To slash the outsized planet-warming emissions of the global rich, the study calls on policymakers to pursue restrictions on mega-yachts, private jets, and recreational space travel. In a paper published last month, French economist Lucas Chancel estimated that “an 11-minute [space] flight emits no fewer than 75 tonnes of carbon per passenger once indirect emissions are taken into account (and more likely, in the 250-1,000 tonnes range).”

“At the other end of the distribution, about one billion individuals emit less than one tonne per person per year,” Chancel observed. “Over their lifetime, this group of one billion individuals does not emit more than 75 tonnes of carbon per person. It therefore takes a few minutes in space travel to emit at least as much carbon as an individual from the bottom billion will emit in her entire lifetime.”

In addition to targeting sources of “luxury carbon consumption,” the analysis by IEEP and SEI also proposes restrictions on “climate-intensive investments like stock-holdings in fossil fuel industries.”

“The global emissions gap to keep the 1.5°C Paris goal alive is not the result of the consumption of most of the world’s people: it reflects instead the excessive emissions of just the richest citizens on the planet,” Gore said in a statement. “It is necessary for governments to target measures at their richest, highest emitters―the climate and inequality crises should be tackled together.”

Emily Ghosh, a scientist at SEI, agreed, arguing that “carbon inequality must urgently be put at the center of governments efforts to reduce emissions.”

“Our research highlights the challenge of ensuring a more equitable distribution of the remaining and rapidly diminishing global carbon budget,” said Ghosh. “If we continue on the same trajectory as today, the stark inequalities in income and emissions across the global population will remain, challenging the equity principle at the very heart of the Paris Agreement.”


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Coming soon :: Focus on Cuba

I did promise you a short series of a week [ed:month] [ed: no. a week] or so on wealth and inequality. That was a month or so ago. That’s difficult because you just have to search for it. The Occupy protesters were exactly right – it’s all for the 1%. The 1% own just about everything, governments suck up to the 1%, the 1% avoid paying tax, Giddeon Osborne goes to the 1% shindig at [ed: to] help them avoid tax, the UK government actually employed tax evader Philip Green … There is so much online about rich scum being rich scum. I apologise that I haven’t done anything about rich scum ruling the planet but it’s so obvious. It’s probably 0.01% never mind the 1%. Look just search for wealth inequality or distribution in a search enjin.

Anyway, I’m going to do a bit about Cuba.

Cuba has a fantastic health service despite being subjected to crippling sanctions by the US for decades. Cuba trains so many doctors and other medical professionals who often [ed: that might be always] go to assist in disasters, etc.

Somehow the UK Solidarity Campaign – as well I am sure as other countries – were able to bypass those sanctions. I am proud to [ed: have] played a small part in the UK Cuba Solidarity Campaign – which involved individuals and trade unions – and we were able to send ambulances and medical supplies to Cuba. I’ve heard stories of Cubans saying to tourists “Thank you. You’re from ~wherever~. Your* ambulance saved my mum”. The ambulances are not repainted, they’re ambulances.

President Obama is going to visit Cuba in a month or so as part of his visit of South American nations.

*I edited You’re to Your for grammatical correctness

7pm 21/2/16

One slight mistake there. I called Philip Green a tax evader. Tax evasion is illegal. Tax avoidance is legal tax evasion so Philip Green should properly be called a tax avoider.

One way to consider the 0.01% is that they are the 1% of the 1%.

ed: It should be recognised that rich scum’s wealth is unearned. Rather wealth grows wealth. Very little research reveals that the rich are getting richer over the past two or three decades.

Continue ReadingComing soon :: Focus on Cuba

Well why not say it like it is?

Why not say it like it is?

Rich bastards are in charge.

The Occupy protestors were exactly right.

It’s the 1%.

Its clear that the 1% are so ridiculously rich and in charge.

Basically the richest 1% own everything and are in charge and are tax evasers. That’s it. The 1% are so rich that they are in charge. That’s how it works.

Continue ReadingWell why not say it like it is?

1%

I’d say that is pretty correct. 1% have a totally luxurious life of leisure. It could be 0.2% of course but 1% is a good target.

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