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Adam Zyglis | Big Government / editorialcartoonists.com

Adam Zyglis | Big Government / editorialcartoonists.com

Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy

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This is not a new development caused by, say, recent Supreme Court decisions allowing more money in politics, such as Citizens United or this month's ruling on McCutcheon v. FEC. As the data stretching back to the 1980s suggests, this has been a long term trend, and is therefore harder for most people to perceive, let alone reverse.

Brendan James, Talking Points Memo

AP Photo / Patrick Semanskypyki5gv7hpf2qwunerkw.jpg

April 18, 2014 | A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Brendan James is a newswriter at Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, he worked as a reporter at Yahoo! News and interned at Andrew Sullivan's blog The Dish. 

2014/07/1rev.pngFull story … 

Related:

This Revolutionary Moment, Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance

  • As we’ve covered in previous newsletters, there are now academic studies that demonstrate the lack of democracy in the US and that the government functions as a plutocracy that represents the needs and wishes of the wealthy elite. At the same time that the government is dysfunctional, we are experiencing multiple crises that demand immediate action.
  • The Fix Is In; The Revolution Is Coming
  • Thomas Paine, Our Contemporary

 

 

New Study Debunks Big Corporations' Argument About Taxes

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  • "In the international arena, U.S. multinational firms have established themselves as world leaders in global tax avoidance strategies," Edward Kleinbard, a former chief of staff for Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation, writes.
  • Inversions are just the latest evidence. The rich want us to believe their wealth is good for us all.

Ben Hallman, Huffington Post

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n-CHIQUITA-large570.jpgChiquita Brands International Inc., is just the latest American company looking to escape the U.S. tax code by merging with a smaller overseas company. | Bloomberg via Getty Images 

08/19/2014 | Not long ago, the top executive at a large American drug company said that her company would be planting its corporate flag in the Netherlands, because the U.S. tax code is just so darn unfair.

Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan, told a New York Times columnist that her bid to acquire a smaller Dutch company and move ownership abroad through a controversial tactic known as an inversion was forced by Congress, which has refused to lower corporate tax rates and make U.S. businesses "more competitive."

As a patriot, she resisted until it was clear she had no other choice, she said.

Ben Hallman: Senior financial writer at Huffington Post

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Related:

The rich want us to believe their wealth is good for us all, George Monbiot, The Guardian

  • As the justifications for gross inequality collapse, only the Green party is brave enough to take on the billionaires’ boot boys.
  • The U.S. Is Even More Unequal Than You Realized.

 

Kochonomics: Koch Goes Local

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  • The Koch Brothers Are Rigging The System At The Local Level No Matter Who It Hurts
  • The Kochs’ Fig Leaf

Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund 

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Jeff%20Danziger%20%7C%20Koch%20Brothers-%20Spewing%20Their%20Garbage%20Against%20Us.jpgAugust 19, 2014 | Much has been written about the efforts of billionaires Charles and David Koch to exert influence at the highest reaches of government through shadow groups, lobbying, political action committees, think tanks, and more.

In recent years, the Koch brothers have expanded their efforts to another area as well: local elections and local government. Through their front groups, most notably Americans For Prosperity (AFP), the Koch network has waded into county tax debates, city transportation decisions, and even school board elections. As Eli Miller, director of the Ohio chapter of AFP, put it: “There is no issue we won’t get involved in.”

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is an independent nonpartisan education and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.

Full story … 

Related:

The Kochs’ Fig Leaf, Think Progress

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  • Americans For Prosperity Fesses Up To Their Dirty Agenda
  • The Koch’s goal is to keep the economic deck stacked in their favor and that means a government that only work for the wealthiest. And they will spend whatever it takes to protect their bottom line.
  • Series | Class War for Idiots, Part 1: The Roots of Stalin in the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party Movement

 

 

This Revolutionary Moment

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  • As we’ve covered in previous newsletters, there are now academic studies that demonstrate the lack of democracy in the US and that the government functions as a plutocracy that represents the needs and wishes of the wealthy elite. At the same time that the government is dysfunctional, we are experiencing multiple crises that demand immediate action.
  • The Fix Is In; The Revolution Is Coming
  • Thomas Paine, Our Contemporary

Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance 

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1rev.pngJuly 11th, 2014 | Last week, we wrote about Independence Day and the importance of examining that revolutionary period and the state of affairs today more deeply. The Declaration of Independence states that when a government does not support the rights and needs of the people, then

“it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese are participants in Popular Resistance, an online daily news and information service for people who want to play a role in improving the country, creating economic and social justice as well as to protect the environment. They also co-direct It’s Our Economy and are co-hosts of Clearing the FOG, shown on UStream TV and heard on radio.

Full story … 

Related:

640px-Thomas_Paine_590.jpg?itok=THFOYMQaPortrait of Thomas Paine by Auguste Millière (1880). Truthdig

The Fix Is In; The Revolution Is Coming, Timothy V. Gatto, Countercurrents.org

  • Don't count on Obama to save anything except the ACA from the chopping block. He will explain how he "Had to do it" in order to get a deal from the Republican Party that doesn't even have a leg to stand on. The fix is in folks and it will be you and I that pay the heavy price, and it is you and I that will see the eventual bloodshed that will result.
  • The Shutdown, the Showdown, and the Urgent Need To Repolarize... For Revolution
  • The right’s sinister new plot against pensions
  • You Cut Social Security, You Should Leave Congress

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Thomas Paine, Our Contemporary, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

  • Thomas Paine is America’s one great revolutionary theorist. Paine’s brilliance as a writer—his essay “Common Sense” is one of the finest pieces of rhetorical writing in the English language—is matched by his clear and unsentimental understanding of British imperial power. No revolutionist can challenge power if he or she does not grasp how power works.
  • Chris Hedges | The Rules of Revolt

 

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