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Nomi Prins: Building a Great Wall of Wealth
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Honestly, the inequality gap in America should stagger the imagination or, on second thought, maybe it shouldn’t, not with the first billionaire in the White House and at least two more threatening to join him in a run for the presidency in 2020. After all, we now live on the planet of the billionaires. In January, as the billionaire summit in Davos, Switzerland, was about to be held, Oxfam summed our world up this way:

“Billionaire fortunes increased by 12% last year — or $2.5 billion a day — while the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth decline by 11%… [T]he number of billionaires has nearly doubled since the financial crisis, yet wealthy individuals and corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades, thanks in part to the new tax law championed by President Trump.”

Yes, a billionaire strolled into the Oval Office in January 2017 and (don’t be shocked!) promptly fused with congressional Republicans not to fund America’s crumbling infrastructure of roads, dams, levies, and the like, or to offer better medical care, or to rescue the environment, or to face the climate crisis that threatens the human future, or to do anything that would help an average American. Instead, they focused on funding the creation of yet more of the super wealthy with a tax cut sent straight from billionaire heaven.

With 2020 in mind, President Trump is now warning American voters about the dangers of “radical left” Democrats, a crew of “socialists” capable of launching a reign of terror against… hmmm, billionaires. Let me quote the most dangerous among them. Bernie Sanders: “Instead of an austerity program for working families and the poor, we need austerity for billionaires and large multinational corporations.” Elizabeth Warren: “I want these billionaires to stop being freeloaders.” So watch out if they take the White House! And while you’re at it, check out what really should be the scandal of this American century. From the indispensable Nomi Prins, TomDispatch regular and author, appropriately enough, of Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World, comes an overview of the economic “great wall” that Donald Trump and crew are building to keep most Americans out.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Economics • Tags: Donald Trump 
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  1. In Illinois, multi-Billionaire Dem. Gov. “Jelly Belly” Pritzker wants us to have a so-called “Progressive Income Tax,” right after he signed off on another Democrat anti-gun bill for video surveillance of gun shop visitors. And in Chicago, the sales tax is 10.25%! Ain’t “Progressives” GREAT for your pocketbook and gun rights!

  2. What I sincerely find puzzling is how someone like Mr. Englehardt, who exhibits a considerable degree of understanding about what lies at the root of our present immiseration (which, when all is said and done, is the government acting corruptly through the Fed) could possibly believe the solution is socialism or will come from more government.

    It would seem to require an almost magical belief that if we could just get rid of the influence of the current crop of corrupting agents, the government would emerge in some pure state that would then proceed to do nothing but good.

    It would be interesting for some such person to explain him- or herself explicitly, but I doubt the relevant thought process would stand much scrutiny. I would be willing to listen, though.

  3. m___ says:

    To give a flat binary some texture. What about throwing Bernie, Warren, Trump, Davos, socialism, into a single dumbster, and you our blossomy Nomi, sitting on top, to keep them from breathing.

    A picturesque world you are painting Mevrouw, wonder who pays you for such shortsightedness. Your views are what main street is paved of. Bowing to a crowd of ignorants must make you the smarter one. Your silence on banking matters is well appreciated.

  4. @donald j tingle

    The Prins article is about the long history of Big Government and Big Money, acting in concert, with some of it resulting in productive activity with a trickle of benefit for the middle class, but with most of the gains accruing to the top. This generation of Big .Gov / Big Money players is mostly skimming since the rigged financial system makes it almost irresistible. Humans aren’t saints. Big Corporate managers even admitted to Gary Cohn that they would not spend their tax cut on creating jobs for US citizens. They were upfront about spending it on stock buybacks, which make their corporations look more profitable than they really are. They act like that is a fiduciary responsibility. Fiduciary duties apparently involve squeezing as much short-term benefit for investors as you can get, however you can get it. The small business tax cut was good, but I wonder how much of it really affects mom & pop businesses with limited net income and other small-fry, self-employed citizens. The tax cut is adding to the national debt, but is not stimulating more small business creation, likely due to all of that consumer & corporate debt that the economists keep talking about, with the MSM avoiding the subject. Many months, the MSMers celebrate the job creation, even though corporations are still hiring mostly the low-wage immigrant temp workers, continuing to arrive by the truckload, not the millions of underemployed and out-of-the-laborforce citizens. They are also still mostly hiring part-time workers. This suggests that the Big Corporate leadership could 1) give a c*** less about their own country, or 2) that they, too, are swimming in hidden debt.

  5. @donald j tingle

    Every member of the Pentagon went to college to learn how to kill people in vast quantities. Once a man has given up the moral inhibitions against killing, little things like lying to the entire nation don’t take a lot of effort. Ditto for waste, fraud and abuse. A business plan, not a guideline for behavior.

    Englehardt is a product of this socialist paradise aka the US Military: free healthcare, housing, food, education and a camaraderie unmatched in the rest of American society. It’s “socialism” for the rich, the powerful, the influential, those able to marshal cash incentives to get their cats’ paws to pass laws that favor their interests, for the doling out of public funds for private benefit. The bomb-makers and the aircraft and tank and battleship manufacturers and the makers of grenades and rifles and teargas and bullets, and all the ancillaries of the military industrial complex, the “counterterror” thinktanks and mercenary contractors and intelligence-surveillance-security firms. The American public goes through brain washing from childhood to death to love war, to salute Satan’s flag with its 50 Pentagrams and 13 Satanic stripes, and to call themselves the freest people in the world, railing against the horrors of socialism.

  6. This is the definition of late stage capitalism. Late stage capitalism is a stagnating, monopolistic racket based on a rent-seeking, outsourcing jobs, perpetual wars, and mass poverty. They’ve turned health care into a racket like everything else. This is why Anglo-American Imperial Capitalism is falling behind China in several emerging technologies, even military technology. Western capitalism is disintegrating under the weight of the parasitic predator class who now control all levers of power. Most research that made America possible was always mostly publicly funded. Capitalism is even a inhibitor of scientific progress, because capitalists only seek profit not knowledge. Also research is very costly, takes decades if not centuries without a certain outcome. Capitalists are way to risk averse to invest in such endeavors. Thats why fundamental research only can be carried out if its publicly funded (as it always has been).

    I’ve noticed the right wing talking point lately that if we tax the rich they’ll just take their money elsewhere. Fucking BYE!
    This is the same Wall St BS we heard back during the bank bailouts in 08/09, give us our multi-million $$ bonuses or we’ll go somewhere else.
    Here we are 10 years later, are we better off with them still around, or back to the same ol BS as before? Worse or better? BYE MFers!

  7. face the climate crisis that threatens the human future

    On to the next article. Hope it has some relation to reality.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  8. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Oleaginous Outrager

    Your reaction is an example of how Mr. Engelhardt exploits his “TomDispatch regulars.” The article by Ms. Prins hasn’t the first word about “climate crisis,” and explains how the inequality in Americans’ wealth was engineered and destroying the working class long before the November 2016 election. Mr. Engelhardt’s description of it as “an overview of the economic “great wall” that Donald Trump and crew are building to keep most Americans out” is false.

    And what do you imagine pops up when someone presses the blue “face” in the phrase you’ve quoted? Lo and behold, a page at TomDispatch, where he wrote a second headline for an intro quoting Bill Moyers praising “What Will Donald Trump Be Remembered For? The World According to The Don(ald).” Oh, I almost forgot: “By Tom Engelhardt.”

  9. We’ve known for decades what needs to be done … why is there still no wall?

  10. m___ says:

    On Engelhardt, his “dispatches”.

    …Are a verbal IQ test. Needed is a 100 points, nausea kicks in at a 107, that’s the market’s low end at when defined vertically, at least the part Unz cares about. Engelhardt must be brick headed to dram on into eternity. Nomi, why not try childrens’ novels?

    Our question and answer, “Why is what is who pays for it?”. Ask Greenwalt Glenn about coziness.

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