Understanding the wealthy who are robbing the rest of us and why we have to fight back

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Sun TzuThe Art of War

I read Diane Ravitch’s Blog daily and the names of wealthy robber barons and wolves of Sesame Street appear often, because these billionaire oligarchs are behind the push to destroy the democratically run public schools in the United States and then use that tax money to fund for-profit private schools that usually aren’t better than the public schools and are often worse. And little seems to stand in their way.

Taking advice from Sun Tzu, I wanted to understand the enemy—as I see them—and decided to do a bit of research starting with The American Conservative.com that said, “The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens. … Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?”

Payscale.com says, “The psychology of the rich is different than the psychology of the poor. … some studies suggest they lack empathy. For example, a study in California showed that drivers of the most expensive cars defied the law and did not stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, while drivers of more common cars obeyed the law and waited for pedestrians to cross the street.”

And if you think most Americans can depend on members of Congress to stop this robbery, think again. ABC News.com reported, “In contrast to lawmakers’ $1,008,767 median ‘average’ net worth calculated by the Center for Responsive Politics, median household net worth in the U.S. was $68,828 in 2011, the most recent year for which the U.S. Census Bureau has estimated household net worth.”

In addition, President Obama’s net worth is listed as $12.2 million. (CelebrityNetWorth.com)

I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about welfare and how deadbeats are living off taxpayers—for instance, free school lunches for the 21 million kids who live in poverty or food stamps for Wal-Mart employees who are paid poverty wages, but I’m also sure you haven’t heard much about how the Government spends more on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs.

And the evidence suggests that the Congress takes care of its own, because the wealthy are never satisfied with what they’ve got and always want more. According to Think by Numbers.org, “About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006.”

In fact, BigThink.com says, “Recent experiments have demonstrated that people who associate greed with positive values—a view that correlates highly with having wealth—are more likely to behave unethically in a host of circumstances, including cutting off drivers in traffic and cheating while gambling. In fact, research shows that simply being in the presence of physical wealth reduces people’s propensity to share. Of course not all financial professionals are liars and cheats but the industry, by its nature, seems prone to unethical behavior.”

In conclusion, if you are familiar with what’s happening in the war to destroy the democratic public schools in the United States and the billionaire oligarchs—for instance, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdock, Michael Bloomberg, the Koch Brothers and the Walton Family, etc—who may profit off America’s middle class tax payers who pay taxes to support the public schools, you may have a better understanding of why they’re doing this.

This doesn’t excuse what these billionaires are doing. What it means is that the rest of us, the other 316+ million Americans who are not wealthy, have to fight back to hold on to what little we have left.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 2/7

Do not confuse living in poverty with not working.

For example, in April, 2012, The Huffington Post reported., “In 2010, the number of working poor Americans climbed to its highest level in the last two decades, the Department of Labor reported last week . About 10.5 million Americans, or 7.2 percent of the labor force in 2010, weren’t earning enough to stay out of poverty, according to a Department of Labor report released last week. That’s the highest rate since the Labor Department started reporting the statistic in 1987.”

“To provide broader picture of 2010, during that year, 46.2 million Americans or 15.1 percent of the population were earning below the official poverty line—an annual income of $10,830 for a single person and $22,050 for a family of four, according to the Census Bureau.”

In the CRS overview of federal welfare spending even the $55.6 Billion refundable earned income tax credit was counted as welfare.  Another $164 Million listed as welfare went to fund programs for Breast/Cervical Cancer Early Detection in addition to $5.54 Billion for Indian Health Services (Do you remember the treaties the US signed with defeated American native tribes back in the 19th century?)

Also listed as welfare was the $353 Million the federal government spent for Transitional Cash and Medical Services for Refugees in addition to $6.594 Billion in temporary cash aid for needy families.

This one may surprise you—it surprised me: Water and Water Disposal for Rural Communities was listed as welfare, and that service cost the federal government $121 million in 2011.

There is also $2 Billion in nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico and another $848 million in nutritional programs for the elderly.

In fact, there are ten food assistance programs listed as welfare that add up to $101.28 Billion (not cash but food).

Then there is education assistance that is counted as welfare. For example, paying for the education of American natives living on indian reservations (those 19th century treaties again) cost the US $753 million and that is but one of sixteen active education programs that cost $65.7 Billion but is listed as welfare.

In addition, “Those receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program numbered 46.37 million …” but “the average monthly benefit per person has declined modestly to $132.96.” Source: CNBC.com

Can you survive on $132.96 a month? Many of Wal-Mart workers can’t!

Infowars.com reported, “As many as 80% of Wal-Mart employees use food stamps.… ‘Wal-Mart’s poverty wages force employees to rely on $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store. In state after state, Wal-Mart employees are the top recipients of Medicaid.

“Wal-Mart workers’ reliance on public assistance due to substandard wages and benefits has become a form of indirect public subsidy to the company. In effect, Wal-Mart is shifting part of its labor costs onto the (tax-paying) public.'”

The Walton family is one of the richest families in the world and their wealth was inherited from Bud and Sam Walton, founders of the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart. The Walton family controls 48% of the company and are worth a combined total of $102.7 Billion (as of 2012).

And Wal-Mart is not alone. Time.com reported, “There’s a disturbing irony within the food industry: Many of its employees rely on food stamps … and 86% of workers are earning either subminimum, poverty or low wages.”

On October 15, 2012, Statistic Brain.com reported that the total number of Americans on Welfare was 4.3 million and 38.8% (1.67 million) were white; 39.8% black (1.7 million); 15.7% Hispanic (675 thousand); 2.4% Asian (103.2 thousand) and 3.3% other.

However, there are 40.34 million blacks and 47.4 million Hispanics in the US.

In addition, “A household must earn $37,105 a year to afford the national average two-bedroom fair-market rent of $928 a month. A full-time worker would have to make $17.84 an hour to afford the average 2 bedroom if no more than the recommended guideline of 30 percent of income is spent on housing.”

“A household must earn over $66,000 to afford a 2-bedroom in San Francisco or Honolulu, but only $24,800 for a 2br apt in Fargo, North Dakota.” Source: The World Time News Report

However, Wal-Mart’s average sale Associate makes $8.81 per hour, according to IBIS World, an independent market research group. This translates to annual pay of $15,576, based upon Wal-Mart’s full-time status of 34 hours per week. This is significantly below the 2010 Federal Poverty Level of $22,050 for a family of four, and the median expected salary for a typical Combined Food Preparation and Service Worker in the United States is $23,153.

The US Census Reported that 41 million working men and 60 million women earn less than $25,000 annually, and/or the income of 30 million households is less than $25,000.

If you hear a blame-everything-on-welfare critic claim that nonworking deadbeats in addition to most blacks and Hispanics are living off welfare, now you know the facts and cannot be fooled.

Note: The Inflation calculator used  for this series of posts may be found at Dave Manuel.com, and the primary source for government spending was US Government Spending.com

Continued on December 4, 2012 in The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 3 or return to Part 1

Also discover Each President’s share of the US National Debt and learn more from the National Debt Info-Graphic by President 1945 – 2012

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”