God Bless Economic Fascism

Marco R cuito61 at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 8 07:13:43 MST 2002


This is the "democracy" in the name of which they bomb, brutalize, displace, 
and subjugate millions upon millions of people across the planet:


"President Bush's proposed $2.1 trillion budget embraces the word "security" 
at every turn. It provides more spending for military security and domestic 
security and more tax cuts for "economic security." But the budget 
undermines the security of the nation's social safety net and the 
government's ability to carry out some of its basic responsibilities over 
the next two decades. It jeopardizes the future of Social Security and 
Medicare, whose trust funds would be siphoned away to underwrite outmoded 
military projects and tax reductions favoring the rich. The budget embodies 
a divisive agenda for which Mr. Bush has no mandate, in spite of his 
popularity...

"One of the many pieces of this budget that the public would never accept if 
consulted is the harm it does to the future of Medicare and Social Security. 
When asked yesterday to address charges that the administration was not 
leaving enough money to keep Medicare and Social Security solvent, Mr. 
Daniels said both were heading toward insolvency anyway. His policies seemed 
intent on starving the federal government of money to save them so that they 
can be "fixed" by privatizing them in ways that favor the well-to-do...
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/05/opinion/_05TUE1.html
---

"The disappearance of the projected surpluses naturally means the end of 
suggestions that these funds could be used to ensure the continuity of 
Social Security and Medicare, the two largest federal entitlement programs, 
which provide pension income and medical care for the elderly and disabled.

"The bulk of the surplus accumulating in Social Security accounts over the 
next decade will be used to finance general government expenses, and 
therefore will not be there when the huge post-World War II generation 
begins to retire. In the current fiscal year, $262 billion in surplus Social 
Security funds is being used to finance government operations. Next year 
that figure will be $259 billion...

"The cuts in discretionary spending on a variety of social needs will be the 
largest since the onslaught of the Reagan years. While overall spending is 
projected to rise 6 percent, nearly all of the increase goes to the Pentagon 
and to domestic policing in one form or another. Domestic social spending 
will rise by only 1 percent, less than the rate of inflation, and many 
programs will suffer severe slashes. Six of the fourteen cabinet departments 
will see actual spending reductions...

"Job training programs will be gutted, with grants to 36 cities for youth 
job training cut from $225 million to only $45 million. Another $620 million 
will be cut from grants to states, a reduction that dwarfs the 
better-publicized increase of $73 million for the Job Corps...
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/feb2002/budg-f08.shtml
---

"The first report came at 6:54 a.m. yesterday: A homeless man, cold to the 
touch, had been found at a bus stop in Northwest Washington. Five more 
reports soon followed, as District officials grappled with what seems to be 
an unprecedented number of deaths in the city in a single day due to cold 
weather.

"The dead included four homeless men. In addition, a man and a woman were 
found separately in their homes, according to Jonathan L. Arden, the 
District's chief medical examiner. Autopsies have not been completed, but 
"of the six cases, three of them strongly appear to be due to hypothermia," 
he said. The other three deaths, including the two people found in their 
homes, are being investigated to determine whether hypothermia was a 
factor...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29548-2002Feb5.html
---

"A survey of public records and private advocacy groups yields the following 
financial portrait of the American recession:

Number of millionaires: 2.5 million

Number of billionaires: 298

Richest family: the Waltons

Size of their Walmart fortune: $85 billion

Second richest: Bill Gates, $63 billion

Annual take for Enron's Ken Lay: $49.8 million

Percentage of Americans without pensions: 53

Average percentage lost by a 401(k) last year: 10

Number of people without health care: 43 million

Highest-paid CEO: Michael Dell

His total annual compensation: $235.9 million

Dollar ratio of CEO pay to that of minimum-wage workers: 728:1

People filing for unemployment: 390,000

Number of people who go hungry every day:31 million (including 12 million 
children)

People spending more than half their income for housing: 5.4 million

Percentage of people who own their own homes: 68

Number of properties owned by Ken Lay: 18, valued at $30 million
http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0206/ridgeway.php
---

"The number of Americans with million-dollar incomes more than doubled from 
1995 through 1999, as their salaries and their profits from stocks soared, 
government figures to be published today show. The percentage of their 
income that went to federal income taxes, however, fell by 11 percent.

"The incomes of Americans who made less grew as well, though by far less, 
and the share of their income that went to taxes rose slightly, according to 
Internal Revenue Service income tax data for the five years through 1999, 
the latest year available...

"Congress also cut taxes for the middle class, but only one in five 
taxpayers qualified for those cuts, which involved new tax credits for 
children and education expenses. So, as a group, the portion of their income 
going to taxes rose.

"For those with million-dollar incomes, the share of their income that went 
to taxes fell to 27.9 percent in 1999, from 31.4 percent in 1995...
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/07/business/07TAX.html
---

"In recent years, corporate America has become something of a private bank 
for its senior executives, who have borrowed millions from their companies. 
The loans are yet another creative way for executives to increase their pay 
even as they satisfy demands to increase their stock holdings and align 
their financial interests with those of shareholders...

"Flour Corporation: Starting in 2000, it made four no-interest loans to 
executives for moving expenses.  The loans totaled more than $3.5 million...

"Maxtor Corporation: It gave its chief executive, Michael R. Cannon, a $5 
million loan at 4.98% in June 1999.  The loan will be forgiven if he is 
still employed there in June 2002...
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/03/business/yourmoney/03LOAN.html
---

"3 trillion dollars in speculative operations every day.  What does this 
have to do with
world trade? All of the world trade as a whole totals 6.5 trillion dollars a 
year, which
means that every two working days, speculative operations are realized on 
those stock
markets that you hear so much about amounting to approximately the total of 
world trade
operations in a year.

"Speculative operations in which money is used to make money have absolutely 
nothing to
do with the creation of material goods or services. This is a phenomenon 
that has
developed uncontrollably over the last 30 years and is growing to ever more 
absurd
heights every day. Can this frantic gambling be called economy? Can the 
genuine economy
that should meet the vital needs of humankind withstand it?  Money is no 
longer used
primarily in investments for the production of goods; it is used in 
currencies, stocks and
financial derivatives in the desperate pursuit of more money, directly, 
through the most
sophisticated computers and software and not through productive processes as 
was
historically the case. This is what the much trumpeted and infamous process 
of neoliberal
globalization has brought about...

"The developed countries control 97% of all the patents in the world, of 
course, they have
monopolized the finest minds on the planet. In the last 40 years, the 
industrialized
countries have taken a million professionals away from Latin America and the 
Caribbean.
In the United States it would have cost 200 billion dollars to train all 
these people. Thus,
the poor countries of the world supply the developed nations with the finest 
fruits of their
universities.

"In the last 10 years, out of 22 Nobel Prize Laureates in physics, the 
United States attracted
19 and the same happens with Nobel prizes in medicine and other sciences. 
While
knowledge is considered a major asset for development today, the Third World 
countries
are constantly deprived of their best talents...

"In the United States:
Thirty-six million people, 14% of the population, live below the poverty 
line, a rate twice
as high as that of other developed countries.

"Forty-three million people are not health-insured and another 30 million 
have such low
medical coverage that it is practically non-existent.

"There are 30 million illiterates and another 30 million functional 
illiterates.

"Among the black population the rate of poverty is over 29%; the rate for 
the whole
population is 14%. The poverty rate among the black population is, 
therefore, more than
twice that of the general population of the United States. Among black 
children the figure
reaches 40%. In some cities and rural areas in the United States it is over 
50%.

"Despite economic expansion, the poverty rates in America are from two to 
three times
higher than those in Western Europe, and 22% of American children live in 
poverty.

"Only 45% of all workers in the private sector have social security 
coverage. It is estimated
that 13% of the total U.S. population will not live beyond 60 years of age.

"Women still earn only 73% of what men earn in comparable jobs and make up 
70% of
part-time workers, those who have no right to any social benefits.

"Between 1981 and 1995, 85% of new workers with more than one job were 
women.

"The richest 1% of the population, who in 1975 owned 20% of the wealth, now 
owns 36%.
And the gap keeps widening.

"There is not one millionaire, not one person who belongs to the upper 
middle class, among
the 3600 people sentenced to capital punishment who are now on death row in 
U.S.
prisons. One might wonder why...
http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/discursos/2000/ing/f080900i.html
---

"Number of people in the world, (pop. 5.5 billion) that live in abject 
poverty: 1.4 billion

Number of people currently expected to die from starvation: 900 million

Percentage of those that live in the undeveloped nations: 97

Number of children in world dying each year from controllable illness: 12 
million

Number of people in world that died each of the five years of World War II: 
10 million

Number of people in world that die each year of preventable social causes: 
10 million

Cost of one new Osprey aircraft (50 planned): $84 million

Annual cost of treatment to eliminate world's malaria cases: $84 million

Money set aside annually for malaria control by organized world health: $9 
million

Money set aside for Viagra pills per annum by organized world health: $40 
million

Number of children in world blinded yearly from lack of Vitamin A: 500 
million

Number of women who died during childbirth last year in world: 650,000

U.N. estimate of yearly expenditure on war: $800 billion

U.N. estimate of yearly expenditure on health services: $25 billion

Number of children in world that die by age 5 (yearly): 12 million

Percentage of those that succumb to routine preventable health causes: 90

Ratio of African-American to white new born deaths in U.S. last year: 2:1

Number of reported pediatric measles deaths in U.S. last year: 45

Amount of money not allocated by Congress for measles vaccines: $9 million

Average amount of 1999 year-end bonus paid to Oxford HMO execs: $6 million

Time it takes the Pentagon to spend annual federal allocation for women's 
health: 15 minutes

The wealthiest 1 percent of Americans (2.6 million) received as much 
after-tax income in
1994 as the bottom 35 percent of the population combined (88 million). By 
contrast, the
bottom 35 percent had nearly twice as much after-tax income as the top 1 
percent in 1977.

If families in the bottom fifth had received the same share of income in 
1994 as they did in
1977, each family would have had $2654 in additional income. Instead, the 
income of each
family in the top 1 percent increased by $132,955.

Despite several years of economic growth, the poverty rate declined by less 
than half a
percentage point * 13.7 percent to 13.4 percent * between 1995 and 1997. But 
this is still
higher than the rate in 1989 (13.1 percent) shortly before the recession of 
the early 1990s.

In 1997, the average poor family fell another $200 further below the poverty 
line, until
their income is now $6,602 below the poverty level.

In 1996, the number of "very poor" Americans * those making less than half 
the poverty
line * increased by a half million, up to 14.4 million people.

Between 1995 and 1997, the decline in the number of people receiving food 
stamps was
five times greater than the decline in the number of people living in 
poverty.

The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans enjoy nearly six times more income 
than those in
the bottom 10 percent, a ratio double many countries and 60 percent higher 
than average.

According to a Luxembourg Income Study comparing purchasing power in 15 
countries,
low-income Americans are worse off than low-income people in every 
industrialized
country but the United Kingdom.
(This comparison does not take into account the fact that low-income 
households in the
U.S. must spend more on services such as health care and child care that are 
more heavily
subsidized in other countries.) At the other end, rich Americans have 42 
percent more
income than the rich in the other nations.

The top 1 percent of the richest Americans have wealth equal to the combined 
wealth of
95 percent of other Americans: "It used to be said a rising economic tide 
lifts all boats.
Now a rising economic tide lifts all yachts."

Twenty percent of American children live in poverty; in the Netherlands that 
figure is 3
percent.

The minimum wage today is lower, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than in 
1979.

Today's worker works 160 hours longer per year than 25 years ago.

Less than one in 10 workers belongs to a trade union in the private sector.

More than two million Americans are in prisons, almost one million more than 
in China,
which has a 1.3 billion population.

Forty-seven million people work for less than $10 an hour -- this in a 
decade of sustained
economic growth.

Of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporations; only 49 are 
countries
(based on a comparison of corporate sales and country GDPs).
http://www.dollarsandsense.org
http://www.inequality.org
http://www.marxmail.org/facts_frame.htm
---

"The welfare state is often associated with aid to the poor.  But... 
five-sixths of all social spending is for
universal programs like old-aged pensions and education that also benefit 
the middle class and the well-off; only
17 percent of government social spending is directed toward means-tested 
programs that specifically target the poor...

"Compared with other affluent industrial nations, the United States does 
indeed devote less of its resources to government
social spending.  Among the world's developed nations, only Japan spends 
less of its gross national product on social programs...

"The United States not only spends a smaller portion of its assets on social 
programs than most other developed nations, it also
lacks many of the benefits found elsewhere... the United States lacks 
government-supported universal health care, a benefit taken for
granted by the citizens of virtually every other affluent democracy...

"Media images of the poor are disproportionately black. While African 
Americans make up about 30 percent of the poor, about 60
percent of the poor people shown on network television news and depicted in 
the major newsweeklies between 1988 and 1992 were black.
Similarly, the media portray the black poor in a disproportionately negative 
light. Every single picture in newsweekly stories about
the "underclass"--the ghetto poor--between 1950 and 1992 showed African 
Americans. In more sympathetic stories about predicaments
such as hunger or medical care among the poor, only about one-fourth of the 
people pictured were black...
-Martin Gilens, _Why Americans Hate Welfare_
---

"Imagine a country where one out of four children is born into poverty, and 
wealth is being redistributed upward. Since the 1970s, the top 1 percent of 
families have doubled their share of the nation’s wealth—while the 
percentage of children living in extreme poverty has also doubled.

Highlighting growing wage inequality, the nation’s leading business 
newspaper acknowledges, "The rich really are getting richer, and the poor 
really are getting poorer."

Imagine a country where the top 1 percent of families have about the same 
amount of wealth as the bottom 95 percent. Where the poor and middle class 
are told to tighten their belts to balance a national budget bloated with 
bailouts and subsidies for the well-off.

It’s not Mexico.

Imagine a country which demands that people work for a living while denying 
many a living wage.

Imagine a country where wages have fallen for average workers, adjusting for 
inflation, despite significant growth in the economy. Real per capita GDP 
(gross domestic product) rose 33 percent from 1973 to 1994, yet real weekly 
wages fell 19 percent for non-supervisory workers, the vast majority of the 
workforce.

It’s not Chile.

Imagine a country where the stock market provides "payoffs for layoffs."

Imagine a country where workers are downsized while corporate profits and 
executive pay are upsized. The profits of the 500 leading corporations rose 
a record 23 percent in 1996 and CEO compensation (including salary, bonus, 
and long-term compensation such as stock options) shot up 54 percent, while 
workers’ wages and benefits barely kept pace with inflation. The average CEO 
of a major corporation was paid as much as 42 factory workers in 1980, 122 
factory workers in 1989, and 209 factory workers in 1996.

A leading business magazine says, "People who worked hard to make their 
companies competitive are angry at the way the profits are distributed. They 
think it is unfair, and they are right."

It’s not England.

Imagine a country where living standards are falling for younger generations 
despite the fact that many households have two wage earners, have fewer 
children, and are better educated than their parents. Since 1973, the share 
of workers without a high school degree has been cut in half. The share of 
workers with at least a four-year college degree has doubled.

The entry-level hourly wages of male high school graduates fell 27.3 percent 
between 1979 and 1995, and the entry-level wages of women high school 
graduates fell 18.9 percent.

A college degree is increasingly necessary, but not necessarily sufficient 
to earn a decent income. Between 1989 and 1995, the entry-level wages of 
male college graduates fell 9.5 percent, and the entry-level wages of women 
college graduates fell 7.7 percent.

Imagine a country where the percentage of young full-time workers (ages 
18-24) earning low wages doubled from 23 percent in 1979 to 47 percent in 
1992. Where families with household heads ages 25 to 34 had 1994 incomes 
that were $4,611 less than their 1979 counterparts.

It’s not Russia.

Imagine a country where leading economists consider it "full employment" 
when the official unemployment rate reaches 6 percent (over 7 million 
people). You’re not counted officially as unemployed just because—you’re 
unemployed. To be counted in the official unemployment rate you must have 
searched for work in the past four weeks. The government doesn’t count 
people as "unemployed" if they are so discouraged from long and fruitless 
job searches they have given up looking. It doesn’t count as "unemployed" 
those who couldn’t look for work in the past month because they had no child 
care, for example. If you need a full-time job, but you’re working 
part-time—whether 1 hour or 34 hours—because that’s all you can find, you’re 
counted as employed.

A leading business magazine observes, "Increasingly the labor market is 
filled with surplus workers who are not being counted as unemployed."

Imagine a country where there is a shortage of jobs, not a shortage of work. 
Millions of people need work and urgent work needs people—from creating 
affordable housing, to repairing bridges and building mass transit, to 
cleaning up pollution and converting to renewable energy, to staffing 
after-school programs and community centers.

Imagine a country where for more and more people a job is not a ticket out 
of poverty, but into the ranks of the working poor. Between 1979 and 1992, 
the proportion of full-time workers paid low wages jumped from 12 percent to 
18 percent—nearly one in every five full-time workers.

Imagine a country where one out of four officially poor children live in 
families in which one or more parents work full time, year round. The 
official poverty line is set well below the actual cost of minimally 
adequate housing, health care, food, and other necessities.

Imagine a country where more workers are going back to the future of 
sweatshops and day labor. Corporations are replacing full-time jobs with 
disposable "contingent workers." They include temporary employees, contract 
workers, and "leased" employees—some of them fired and then "rented" back at 
a large discount by the same company—and involuntary part-time workers, who 
want permanent full-time work.

It’s not Spain.

How do workers increasingly forced to migrate from job to job, at low and 
variable wage rates, without health insurance or paid vacation, much less a 
pension, care for themselves and their families, own a home, pay for 
college, save for retirement, plan a future, build strong communities?

Imagine a country where after mass layoffs and union-busting, less than 15 
percent of workers are unionized. One out of three workers were union 
members in 1955.

Imagine a country where the concerns of working people are dismissed as 
"special interests" and the profit-making interests of globe-trotting 
corporations substitute for the "national interest."

Imagine a country whose government negotiates "free trade" agreements that 
help corporations trade freely on cheap labor at home and abroad.

One ad financed by the country’s agency for international development showed 
a Salvadoran woman in front of a sewing machine. It told corporations, "You 
can hire her for 33 cents an hour. Rosa is more than just colorful. She and 
her co-workers are known for their industriousness, reliability and quick 
learning. They make El Salvador one of the best buys." The country that 
financed the ad intervened militarily to make sure El Salvador would stay a 
"best buy" for corporations.

It’s not Canada.

Imagine a country where more than half of all women with children under age 
6, and three-fourths of women with children ages 6-17, are in the paid 
workforce, but affordable child care and after-school programs are scarce. 
(Families with incomes below the poverty line spend nearly one-fifth of 
their incomes on child care.) Apparently, kids are expected to have three 
parents: Two parents with jobs to pay the bills, and another parent to be 
home in mid-afternoon when school lets out—as well as all summer.

Imagine a country where women working year round, full time earn 71 cents 
for every dollar men earn. Women don’t pay 71 cents on a man’s dollar for 
their college degrees or 71 percent as much to feed or house their children.

Imagine a country where instead of rooting out discrimination, many policy 
makers are busily blaming women for their disproportionate poverty. Back in 
1977, a labor department study found that if working women were paid what 
similarly qualified men earn, the number of poor families would decrease by 
half. A 1991 government study found that even "if all poor single mothers 
obtained [full-time] jobs at their potential wage rates," given their 
educational and employment background and prevailing wages, "the percentage 
not earning enough to escape from poverty would be 35 percent."

Two out of three workers who earn the miserly minimum wage are women. 
Full-time work at minimum wage pays below the official poverty line for a 
family of two...
http://www.zmag.org/zmag/articles/sklarjuly97.html


Hey, at least we could still wave flags.


<=======>
Tell no lies, claim no easy victories -Amilcar Cabral

Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless 
means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral
-Paulo Friere

I hope I never lose hope, but if that day comes and I'm sure that I have 
nothing to expect, nothing to believe in, and that the human condition is 
doomed to stupidity and crime, then I hope I will be honest enough to kill 
myself. -Eduardo Galeano

Yesterday we bowed for kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today, 
we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.
-Kahlil Gibran

The truth is always revolutionary -Antonio Gramsci

Mas vale morir de pie, que vivir de rodillas -Praxedis Guerrero

My silences have not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.
-Audre Lorde

If you're not ready to die for it, put the word "freedom" out of your 
vocabulary. -Malcolm X

The most important time in history is NOW, the present -Talib Kweli

Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a 
merger of state and corporate power. -Benito Mussolini
<=======>

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