Financial parasitism and the American oligarchy


Financial parasitism and the American oligarchy

2 August 2018

The report of plans by the Trump administration to push through yet another $100 billion rip-off for the super-rich underscores the urgent reality facing the working class: American society can no longer afford the endless demands of the ruling elite for the accumulation of ever-greater personal wealth.

This is, of course, a global problem. As an Oxfam study found last year, eight billionaires control more wealth than the poorer half of humanity, some 3.6 billion people. Six of those eight are Americans, and nowhere is the conflict between the needs of working people and the insatiable appetite of the financial aristocracy so great as in the United States.

One mega-billionaire alone, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, the world’s richest man, has seen his fortune rise nearly $50 billion in 2018—enough to pay a bonus of $100,000 to each of the company’s more than half a million workers.

The proposal for another massive tax handout is the latest expression of a bipartisan agenda of wealth redistribution, which has proceeded over the course of the past several decades under both Democrats and Republicans. Indeed, the greatest transfer occurred under the Obama administration in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse, with trillions allocated to inflate the financial markets—the principal mechanism for engineering the bailout of the rich.

A recent report by the Roosevelt Institute and the National Employment Law Project reveals the staggering level of financial parasitism that characterizes the American economy. The report examined stock buybacks overall, and in detail for three major industries: restaurants, retail sales and food manufacturing.

Under the financial deregulation pushed by both Democratic and Republican…

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