Special to The Public Record

Part II: The Rise of the Economic Elite — Economic Elite Vs. The People

Part I of David DeGraw’s six-part series can be found here.

-I: Causalities of Economic Terrorism, Surveying the Damage

——-II: The Rise of the Economic Elite

——-III: Exposing Our Enemy: Meet the Economic Elite

——-IV: The Financial Coup d’Etat

——-V: Overcoming the Divide and Conquer Strategy

——-VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won

II: The Rise of the Economic Elite

“The war against working people should be understood to be a real war…. Specifically in the U.S., which happens to have a highly class-conscious business class…. And they have long seen themselves as fighting a bitter class war, except they don’t want anybody else to know about it.” — Noam Chomsky

As a record number of US citizens are struggling to get by, many of the largest corporations are experiencing record-breaking profits, and CEOs are receiving record-breaking bonuses. How could this be happening; how did we get to this point?

The Economic Elite have escalated their attack on US workers over the past few years; however, this attack began to build intensity in the 1970s. In 1970, CEOs made $25 for every $1 the average worker made. Due to technological advancements, production and profit levels exploded from 1970 – 2000. With the lion’s share of increased profits going to the CEOs, this pay ratio dramatically rose to $90 for CEOs to $1 for the average worker.

As ridiculous as that seems, an in-depth study in 2004 on the explosion of CEO pay revealed that, including stock options and other benefits, CEO pay is more accurately $500 to $1.

Paul Buchheit, from DePaul University, revealed, “From 1980 to 2006 the richest 1 percent of America tripled their after-tax percentage of our nation’s total income, while the bottom 90 percent have seen their share drop over 20 percent.” Robert Freeman added, “Between 2002 and 2006, it was even worse: an astounding three quarters of all the economy’s growth was captured by the top 1 percent.”

Due to this, the United States already had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world prior to the financial crisis. Since the crisis, which has hit the average worker much harder than CEOs, the gap between the top one percent and the remaining 99 perecnt of the US population has grown to a record high. The economic top one percent of the population now owns over 70 percent of all financial assets, an all-time record.

As mentioned before, just look at the first full year of the crisis when workers lost an average of 25 percent off their 401k. During the same time period, the wealth of the 400 richest Americans increased by $30 billion, bringing their total combined wealth to $1.57 trillion, which is more than the combined net worth of 50 percent of the US population. Just to make this point clear, 400 people have more wealth than 155 million people combined.

Meanwhile, 2009 was a record-breaking year for Wall Street bonuses, as firms issued $150 billion to their executives. One-hundred percent of these bonuses are a direct result of our tax dollars, so if we used this money to create jobs, instead of giving it to a handful of top executives, we could have paid an annual salary of $30,000 to 5 million people.

Buy the Book: The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States of AmericaSo while US workers are now working more hours and have become dramatically more productive and profitable, our pay is actually declining and all the dramatic increases in wealth are going straight into the pockets of the Economic Elite.

If our income had kept pace with compensation distribution rates established in the early 1970s, we would all be making at least three times as much as we are currently making. How different would your life be if you were making $120,000 a year, instead of $40,000?

So it should come as no surprise to see that we now have the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world and the highest inequality of wealth in our nation’s history. The backbone of America, a hard-working middle class that has made our country a world leader, has been devastated.

Now that we have a better understanding of how our income has been suppressed over the past forty years, let’s take a look at how the economy has been designed to take the limited money we receive and put it into the hands of the Economic Elite as well.

Costs of Living

Outside of the workplace, in almost all our costs of living the system is now blatantly rigged against us. Let’s take a look at it, starting with our tax system.

In total, the average US citizen is forced to give up approximately 30 percent of our income in taxes. This tax system is now strategically designed to flow straight into the hands of the Economic Elite. A huge percentage of our tax dollars ultimately ends up in their pockets. The past decade proves that — whether it’s the Republicans or the Democrats running the government — our tax money is not going into our community; it is going into the pockets of the billionaires who have bought off both parties – it is obscene.

For an example of how this system flows to the Economic Elite, just look at the Wall Street “bailout.” The real size of the bailout is estimated to be $14 trillion – and could end up costing trillions more than that. By now you are probably also sick of hearing about the bailout, but stop and think about this for a moment… Do you comprehend how much $14 trillion is?

What could be accomplished with this money is almost beyond common comprehension.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg that has hit us. On top of the trillions given to the Wall Street elite, we already have a record $12.3 trillion in national debt – and we now have to pay $500 billion in interest to the Economic Elite on this debt every year, yet another way they are milking us dry. When you add in unfunded liabilities owed, like social security payments, we actually owe a stunning $74 trillion. That adds up to a debt of $242,000 for every man, woman and child in America.

Trillions more, 25 percent of taxpayer dollars allocated to military spending goes unaccounted for every year, not to mention the billions spent on overcharging and outright fraud. During the War on Terror, the Economic Elite have used our tax money to build a private army that has more soldiers deployed than the US military – a congressional study revealed that 69 percent of the “US” fighting forces deployed throughout the world in our name are in fact private mercenaries, 80 percent of them are foreign nationals. Private contractors regularly get paid three to five times more than our soldiers, and have been repeatedly caught overcharging and committing fraud on a massive scale. A congressional investigation revealed this and strongly recommended that we seize wasting tax dollars on these private military contractors. However, under Obama, there has actually been a drastic increase in total tax dollars spent on them.

In 2009, just over $1 trillion tax dollars were spent on the military. It’s safe to say that at least $350 billion of that was needlessly wasted.

When you research our tax system you see an unprecedented level of waste and fraud rampant throughout most expenditures. Our tax system is a national disaster of epic proportions. It is literally an organized criminal operation that continues to rob us in broad daylight, with zero accountability.

Politicians and mainstream “news” outlets will not tell you this, but most every serious economist knows that due to so much theft and debt created in the tax system, the only way to fix things, other than stopping the theft and seizing the trillions that have been stolen, will be for the government to cut important social funding and drastically raise our taxes. Other than the record national debt, many states are running record deficits and “barreling toward economic disaster, raising the likelihood of higher taxes, more government layoffs and deep cuts in services.” Our nation’s biggest state economies, like California and New York, are the ones in most trouble.

To merely say that things will not be improving economically is to be a delusional optimist. The truth that you will not hear: we have been hit by an economic deathblow and the United States lays in ruins.

It’s not just this criminal tax system; the theft is now built into all our costs of living.

Trillions more in our spending on food and fuel have been stolen due to fraudulent stock transactions and overcharging. Just ten years ago, in 2000, American families paid 7 percent of our income on food and fuel. We now pay 20 percent. This drastic increase is primarily driven by fraudulent market manipulation that drives up stock prices. Congress uncovered this in 2006, as part of the Enron investigation. They found that companies manipulated the oil market to create major spikes in stock values, but then Congress didn’t do anything about it. Nothing to see here, just move on.

As mentioned before, we have the most expensive health care system in the world and we are forced to pay twice as much as other countries, and the overall care we get in return ranks 37th in the world. On average, US citizens are now paying a record high 8 percent of their income on medical care.

One of the reasons why foreclosure rates are so high is because the percentage of income Americans pay on their housing has risen to 34 percent.

So for these basic necessities – taxes, food, fuel, shelter and medical bills – we have already lost 92 percent of our limited income. Then factor in ever-increasing interest rates on credit cards, student loans, rising prices for cable, internet, phone, bank fees, etc., etc., etc…. We are being robbed and gouged in all costs of living, in every aspect of our life. No wonder bankruptcies are skyrocketing and the number of people suffering from psychological depression has reached an epidemic level.

The American worker is screwed over every step of the way, and it all starts with the explosion in the cost of a college education. This is one of the Economic Elite’s most devastating weapons. To have any chance of succeeding in this economy, it is commonly believed that you must attend the best college possible. With the rising costs involved, today’s students are graduating with record levels of debt from student loans. At the same time, the unemployment rate among recent college graduates has risen higher than the national average, and those who do find work are making significantly less than they expected to make. This combination of extreme debt and reduced pay has crippled an entire generation right from the start and has put them in a vicious cycle of spiraling debt that they will struggle with for the rest of their lives. The most recent college graduates are now known as a “lost generation.”

The American dream has turned into a nightmare. The economic system is a sophisticated prison cell; the indentured servant is now an indebted wage slave; whips and chains have evolved into debts.

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by sword. The other is by debt.”

John Adams

Concealing National Wealth

“Liberty in the concrete signifies release from the impact of particular oppressive forces; emancipation from something once taken as a normal part of human life but now experienced as bondage…. Today, it signifies liberation from material insecurity and from the coercions and repressions that prevent multitudes from participation in the vast cultural resources that are at hand.” — John Dewey

When you take the time to research and analyze the wealth that has gone to the economic top one percent, you begin to realize just how much we have been robbed. Trillions upon trillions of dollars that could make the lives of all hard-working Americans much easier have been strategically funneled into the coffers of the Economic Elite. The denial of wealth is the key to the Economic Elite’s power. An entire generation of massive wealth creation has been strategically withheld from 99 percent of the US population.

The US public doesn’t have any understanding of how much wealth has been generated and concentrated into the hands of the Economic Elite over the past 40 years; there is no historical frame of reference. This withholding of wealth is truly the greatest crime against humanity in the history of civilization.

What could be done with all the money that has been hoarded by the Economic Elite is extraordinary!

Let’s consider what we could do with the money that has been stolen from us. On top of what should be our average six-figure yearly income, we could have:

* Free health care for every American,

* A free 4 bedroom home for every American family,

* 5 percent tax rate for 99 percent of Americans,

* Drastically improved public education and free college for all,

* Significantly improved public transportation and infrastructure,

The list goes on…

This is not some far-fetched fantasy. These are all things that Franklin D. Roosevelt talked about doing in the 1940s, long before the explosion of wealth creation in our technologically advanced global economy. The money for all this is already there, stashed into the claws of the Economic Elite. The denial of wealth to the masses is the key to the Economic Elite’s power. Outside of outdated and obsolete economic models and theories — and incredibly short-sighted greed — there is no reason why all this money should be kept in the hands of a few, at the immense suffering and expense of the many.

If Americans could just understand how much wealth is being withheld from us, we would have a massive uprising and the Economic Elite would be swept away, into the history books alongside the evil despots of the past.

“For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.” — George Orwell

Now that we have a better understanding of how the Economic Elite dominate our lives, let’s take a look at exactly who they are….

This report was originally published on Amped Status.

Part III: “Exposing Our Enemy: Meet the Economic Elite” will be posted on Friday. To be notified via email, subscribe to the Amped Status newsletter here.

David DeGraw is the founder and editor of AmpedStatus.com and director of MediaChannel.org. You can reach him at David@AmpedStatus.com.

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9 Responses for “Part II: The Rise of the Economic Elite — Economic Elite Vs. The People”

  1. Brian says:

    Totally depressing. Now here’s the question I would ask, if you (or I) were to walk up to someone who we personally would consider to be in the Economic Elite, let’s say for instance, the owner of the company I work for and ask them, are you a member of the Economic Elite? What would he reply with? Because he owns a company, does that put him in that category?

    I agree with everything said in this article, however how does one balance the ship and not get run out on a rail because they are practicing a “socialistic” agenda? You just KNOW that’s what the conservative folks are going to scream if someone tried to enact this.

  2. Will says:

    Hey Brian, I think the next part of this series will answer your question. If you click on the author byline, you can read DeGraw’s past reports. Read the first one: Economic Death Squad! He gives names.

  3. The Taxes Levied by Banks on Americans.

    The government allows the Banks to steal, then the government has passed a tax on the American people by default.

    You can’t steal billions one transaction at a time.You need a computer program.

    The primary means of generating overdraft fees, from the banking side, is to have people think that they have more money in their accounts than they do. Not everyone is overdrawing their accounts at banks intentionally.

    How some banks manipulate information.

    I learned from personal experience about the Bank of America in 2005. I only wrote checks for my rent and all other transactions were electronic, eBay PayPal etc. I would buy something on eBay and find that within 24 hours my Bank of America account would show that the purchase and been deducted. Two days later the money was back in my Bank of America account. The real account figures in my head showed that I had maybe $50 in my account while the ATM or the Internet was showing that I had several hundred dollars in my account. This is an extremely deceptive practice.

    1)In these times of instantaneous financial transactions, the float is just a black box for them to hide their deceptions.
    2)The banks know when you are paid. A simple program will detect when large deposits are made and calculate a payday period.
    3)Most people pay with paper checks and assume that a late posting is due to postal lag. If you pay electronically the transaction is usually within 1 day or less. This can be verified by checking your account status PayPal etc,
    4)The first day after you make the electronic purchase it will show up in your account information as pending with your account total showing it has been deducted.
    5)The second day and all other following days until the purchase “officially” posts the purchase will not show up and your balance will no longer show it has been deducted. Your account now says that you have more money than you do. PayPal (as an example) has received their money in less than 24 hrs. Your bank has already paid out the purchase price to them. Why do they continue to show the money in your account when they have already paid it out? Combine this with the information that they begin reporting (after the first day) that you have a balance which they know with absolute certainty is incorrect.
    6)I must be approaching a negative balance and they need a transaction to trip the overdrawn fee. This is the transaction that they will start hiding in their black box (the float). Also Bank of America could have a deal with other large companies to share the revenue (or some other arrangement) from overdrawn fees and as they (the debt receiver) can help muddy the water by supposedly not acknowledging your transaction for several days.
    7)On the first day after the PayPal transaction, the transaction will show up in your account history as pending. This gives them a legal fig leaf to hide behind because, “hey, they told you about it”. For the next three days the Bank of America account history will not show any pending transaction and your account balance will still not have the purchase deducted.
    8)They know that, as I get closer to payday, things will get tight and that fake money will look good if I happen to forget what the real balance is. In addition, since they control the display of my account information, fat chance that it will be accurate.

    These are not errors, these are intentional actions of Bank of America. Modern computer programs do not make these mistakes. Someone in the upper management of these companies control these computer programs. Upper management isn’t simply paid for a stocks performance, upper management is also paid to keep embarrassing or illegal secrets. A low-level manager would not have this information, if they were fired they would retaliate by revealing it. The people controlling programs would always have a golden parachute.

    The most damning evidence is to get a hold of the computer program. Except that most judges will fall for Bank of America’s defense that this is proprietary information and will affect their customers security and privacy. Stealing by Banks though is constitutionally protected.

    Another way to get the information is to use a Grand Jury to subpoena the managers who oversee these programs. Question them under oath about the existence of these deceptive programs. You should also use the RICO laws, the (formerly approved) CIA interrogation techniques, and if you live in the south (fire ants).

    The Banks have been clubbing working class Americans like baby fur seals for years. I sent this out (2007) to some members of congress, no response. I no longer use Bank of America and I switched to Chase. Chase seems to be doing the same thing now (probably to keep up with the Jones).

    Sent to FBI approximately June 2008 no response.

  4. Ding-a-ling, Ding-a-ling.

    Yes, my previous comment was the dinner bell for ambitious prosecutors and class-action lawyers.

    Beware, these Demons are tougher than they look. The first spell their lawyers will cast is “Stealing is not Stealing”. The Corporate Lawyers will use at least ten pages to cast this spell of four words.

    This is the first corporate defense: The lawyers said it was legal.
    The lawyers also said torture was legal.

    While the CEO of the Bank probably kept his hands clean of the computer program that was stealing from the poor, he would have known about this rather curious “Stealing is not Stealing” legal spell. Why create a legal defense for something you are not doing?

    And the reason banks do this? Stealing from the poor is VERY profitable.
    The poor can’t afford to be represented in Corporate America.
    Very little overhead except for the lawyers, Senators, and Congressman.
    No significant infrastructure or inventory to maintain.
    Your profits will allow you to buy out your ethically handicapped competition.

    None of the big businesses want any consumer protections in place. If the law recognizes that stealing is really stealing, a lot of their profits will vanish.

  5. beersnob says:

    I once knew a Bosnian girl who said “Socialists are pussies; the Communists have it right. Kill the rich. Take their money. And, reallocate it to The People who should have had it in the first place.” Interestingly, her father had the money to send her to school in the US when war broke-out in Yugoslavia. Oh, Sonia, Sonia, Sonia…. She had a point regarding expediency. But, I’m not advocating anything. Nope. Not me.

    Damn, these economic shackles are tight.

  6. The Real Cost of Banks Manipulating Information to Get Overdraft Fees

    A person who lives from paycheck to paycheck does not have any spare resources.

    Anything you take from them means they must give something up.

    To a person of means, an overdraft is a cost, quickly forgotten.

    To the poor…
    A mother sees a toy bear that her 3 year old daughter wants.

    She checks her account at an ATM and thinks it is OK.

    Days later the overdraft show up.

    The child is playing with her new toy and listens to her parents shouting.

    It makes her cry, and she is sad, and she talks to her bear.

    The father must put off doing some car repairs, can’t even replace those windshield wipers.

    The next day it rains.

    The bear falls out into the rain, when the fireman opens the car door…

    In the white collar world of the Bankers, its just numbers to put on the bottom line.

    When you prosecute these bastards do not show any mercy!

    Their golden boat of profit is carried on a river of tears, blood, and sorrow.

  7. rosalind freed says:

    Reply to Brian….it’s very unlikely that the owner of the company is a member of the 1% of the Elite. You don’t know them, you don’t see them, they don’t own anything in their names, it’s all hidden in trusts and corporations. The owner of the company you work for is more than likely a victim, just as you are. As we all are.

    I am British, lived in the US for 16 years, and now live in Costa Rica, I am here to escape “the system, but it’s almost impossible. But, there is hope, in a sad sort of way. The “people” will run out of money, the US government/Elitists will run out of money because there will be no more to steal, the system will crash and burn. The Elite will move on to more profitable areas, and hopefully the American people will be able to pick up the pieces and start again. Argentina did it, Russia did it, and I believe the US can do it too. But it will be a very painful process. I don’t see any way to avoid the crash, the golden goose is dead, it will lay no more eggs, now they are picking over the carcass. Neither political party can change things, they don’t want to, they are two sides of the same coin, driven by greed and power, and ruled by the Elite.
    It’s not new, it’s played out over and over again through history. It’s just easier for them to steal now. So sad.

  8. dobropet says:

    I agree that “it’s not some far fetched fantasy” but regardless of FDR’s intentions his administration saw the most sizable growth of government interventionism into the private sector in the name of equality. Surely a vision of the anointed, where the view that the ideals, wisdom, motivations, will, intentions, drive and determination are subjected to fault by way of ignorance plus lack of intelligence, and not the belief in systemic causation (to borrow a belief from Sowell).

  9. an archy says:

    Money equals power, power is used to opress the poor so they dont become “enlightened”, monopoly is their game we are dependent on them for everything, they decide what is right or wrong ,not the church,not the laws of common man but of economics, Monopoly is dictatorship because the few or the one chief decides the fate of all -as any dictatorship would. There is no such thing as democracy because you do not make a difference. The only power the “people ” still hold is the power of revolt and violence due to sheer numbers.The government can never be blamed for any of their mistakes or crimes whereas the common individual is- thus a double standard. If the ordinary man is subject to the law why not the State? because we give them the power to comit them therefore we are essentially to blame! Their is no global plan to make life on this planet better for anyone exept for those who already own it. If i were an american i would like to see the US government print their own dollar for a change nationalize important former American banks and companies, sue the IMF for misleading and malicious practice against the american people and be charged and tried for treason. If we want to continue slave to a capitalitic dictatorship where you have to do as your told think what they want and believe what they say as a retard would, then be a coward and don’t fight but when the winds change what will u have to say in your defence?

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