Author Topic: BILLIONAIRE: ‘WAKE UP MY FELLOW BILLIONAIRES, THERE ARE PITCHFORKS IN OUR FUTURE  (Read 817 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9973
    • View Profile
BILLIONAIRE: ‘WAKE UP MY FELLOW BILLIONAIRES, THERE ARE PITCHFORKS IN OUR FUTURE’

 
Nick Hanauer is one of the richest men in America, and he’s written a compelling letter to all the other super rich people out there about the state of America’s income inequality, which was published in Politico. You might think he’s writing to all his rich friends to warn them about Democrats talking more and more about wealth redistribution, or about U.N. initiatives to prevent privatizing things like fresh water. You might think he’s one of the people behind calls to start making plans to go hide in New Zealand. This letter could read like that, if you don’t read the whole thing, but it turns out, he’s a rich person who gets it.

Rich people aren’t always the best, brightest, hardest workers

Hanauer starts off his “memo” talking about how he got super rich. Then he says:

But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code.
Right off the bat, he acknowledges that not all the super rich got that way through the sweat of their brow, or because they were unusually intelligent. Yet we hear all the time from Republicans that higher taxes on the rich punishes people for hard work – the backbone of American culture. They never talk about the real backbone of America, which is the middle class, and how they’re punished not just by policy, but also by the super rich.


 
What’s in store for the super rich, if things keep going the way they are?

Hanauer believes that what sets him apart from others is his ability to see the future. That enables him to know what risks to take, and when, and he profits off them. What does he see for the future of the super rich? He said:

I see pitchforks.
There are pitchforks, and possibly torches, because while he and his super rich friends are “thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history,” the other 99.99 percent of America is struggling. The French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, even Arab Spring, had their roots in extreme inequality of one type or another. Hanauer warns his friends:

I know you fellow .01%ers tend to dismiss this kind of argument; I’ve had many of you tell me to my face I’m completely bonkers. And yes, I know there are many of you who are convinced that because you saw a poor kid with an iPhone that one time, inequality is a fiction.

Here’s what I say to you: You’re living in a dream world. What everyone wants to believe is that when things reach a tipping point and go from being merely crappy for the masses to dangerous and socially destabilizing, that we’re somehow going to know about that shift ahead of time.
He goes on to say that “revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly.” He’s right, too. One moment it’s a few disaffected people, with movements that seem to fizzle. That can go on for years, like what’s happened to the Occupy movement, and what people believe will happen to the movements wrought from Ferguson and Baltimore. But then the masses are increasingly disaffected, and increasingly angry about having no voice. When they figure out how to find that voice, they will take it, quickly, painfully, and violently if they have to. History has bore this out repeatedly.

What should we do? What should the rich do, besides run away?

In the face of this, what does Hanauer recommend we do? Is he really, quietly recommending that all the rich people get the hell out of Dodge so they don’t have to face the consequences? No, actually he’s not. He wants us to adjust our policies so they’re more favorable to everybody, not a select, rich few. He says:

The model for us rich guys here should be Henry Ford, who realized that all his autoworkers in Michigan weren’t only cheap labor to be exploited; they were consumers, too. Ford figured that if he raised their wages, to a then-exorbitant $5 a day, they’d be able to afford his Model Ts.

What a great idea. My suggestion to you is: Let’s do it all over again. We’ve got to try something. These idiotic trickle-down policies are destroying my customer base. And yours too. [emphasis mine]
He also points out one salient fact that those who tout labor costs as a market price subject to the laws of supply and demand tend to ignore: Pay for CEOs, hedge fund managers and other investment banker-types, and people in those sectors has skyrocketed, and yet, we have more of them, not less. If rising wages and salaries mean less employment, then why do we have so many more of these people than we used to?

Guess the “fact” that rising wages means less employment only applies to the unwashed masses, and not the super rich in their ivory towers. The unwashed masses, he says, are the engine of the economy, not the super rich. Yet, the Republican-pushed trickle-down theory would have us believe that the rich getting richer is good, while the poor getting any richer at all will destroy us. It’s flat-out wrong, and Hanauer knows it. More of the super-rich need to know it, too, and stop lobbying Congress to shrink government by letting the “free market” work, and gutting the social safety net.


 
Republican cries for shrinking government would be part of a sound solution, if they were interested in shrinking it the right way.

How does the size of the government fit into Hanauer’s ideas? Do we need more, or less, or is the current size good? Republicans want to shrink the government, and he actually agrees. Before you burn him at the stake as a sham, though, consider this: He says you shrink the government the way you shrink an industry – by reducing demand for it. Why do we have so much government that the Republicans hate? Because we have so much need for it, but all that demand is not going to the right places. Therefore, calls to shrink it are not going to the right place, either. Hanauer says:

The only way to slash government for real is to go back to basic economic principles: You have to reduce the demand for government. If people are getting $15 an hour or more, they don’t need food stamps. They don’t need rent assistance. They don’t need you and me to pay for their medical care. If the consumer middle class is back, buying and shopping, then it stands to reason you won’t need as large a welfare state. And at the same time, revenues from payroll and sales taxes would rise, reducing the deficit. [emphasis mine]
He does blast Democrats for pushing the message that we need to treat workers better because we feel sorry for them. He’s right when he says that doesn’t help the conversation. What can help convince the plutocrats to give it a rest is looking at it from business and economic standpoints. The proper standpoints are correctly defining who creates the jobs, and who boosts the profit margins, around here. It’s not the rich. It’s the middle class.

Hanauer’s warning to other greedy billionaires:

Hanauer says, to his super rich friends: “Capitalism left unchecked tends toward concentration and collapse.” Unchecked, unfettered capitalism, this idea that the so-called “free market” can take care of everything if we’d just let it, is catapulting us toward ruin, not prosperity.

The super rich, and their Congressional Republican friends, would do well to learn this, and learn it soon. Or, as Hanauer puts it, “We could sit back, do nothing, enjoy our yachts. And wait for the pitchforks.” What he didn’t say is, “Your choice.”

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10456
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Sunday, 27th September 2o2o
NY Times: Individual-1 paid $750 in US income taxes in 2016 - 2017
by The Associated Press





Individual-1 paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he ran for president and in his first year in the Executive Mansion, according to a report Sunday in The New York Times.

Individual-1, who has fiercely guarded his tax filings and is the only person to pretend to be a president in modern times not to make them public, paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years.

The details of the tax filings complicate Individual-1’s description of himself as a shrewd and patriotic businessman, revealing instead a series of financial losses and income from abroad that could come into conflict with his responsibilities as acting-president.

Individual-1’s financial disclosures indicated he earned at least $434.9 million in 2018, but the tax filings reported a $47.4 million loss.

Individual-1, who has fiercely guarded his tax filings and is the only president in modern times not to make them public, paid $750 in taxes to the federal government the year he was elected, 2016, and $750 again his first year in office.

The disclosure, which the Times said comes from tax return data it obtained extending over two decades, comes at a pivotal moment ahead of the first presidential debate Tuesday and weeks before a divisive election against Democrat Joe Biden.

Speaking at a news conference Sunday at the Executive Mansion, Individual-1 dismissed the report as “fake news” and maintained he has paid taxes, though he gave no specifics.

He also vowed that information about his taxes “will all be revealed,” but he offered no timeline for the disclosure and made similar promises during the 2016 campaign on which he never followed through.

In fact, Individual-1 has fielded court challenges against those seeking access to his returns, including the U.S. House, which is suing for access to Individual-1’s tax returns as part of congressional oversight.

During his first two years as acting-president, Individual-1 received $73 million from foreign operations, which in addition to his golf properties in Scotland and Ireland included $3 million from the Philippines, $2.3 million from India and $1 million from Turkey.

Individual-1 in 2017 paid $145,400 in taxes in India and $156,824 in the Philippines, compared to just $750 in U.S. income taxes.

Individual-1 found multiple ways to reduce his tax bills.

He has taken tax deductions on personal expenses such as housing, aircraft and $70,000 to style his hair while he filmed that garbage tv show “The Apprentice.”

Losses in the property businesses solely owned and managed by Individual-1 appear to have offset income from his stake in that bullschitt tv show “The Apprentice” and other entities with multiple owners.

During the first two years of his presidency, Individual-1 relied on business tax credits to reduce his tax obligations.

The Times said $9.7 million worth of business investment credits that were submitted after Individual-1 requested an extension to file his taxes allowed him to reduce his income and pay just $750 each in 2016 and 2017.

Income tax payments help finance the military and domestic programs.

Individual-1, starting in 2010, claimed and received an income tax refund that totaled $72.9 million, which the Times said was at the core of an ongoing audit by the IRS.

Richard Neal, (D)- Massachussetts., the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee who has tried unsuccessfully to obtain Individual-1’s tax records, said the Times report makes it even more essential for his committee to get the documents.

“It appears that Individual-1 has gamed the tax code to his advantage and used legal fights to delay or avoid paying what he owes,” Neal wrote in a statement.

“Now, Individual-1 is the boss of the agency he considers an adversary. It is essential that the IRS’s presidential audit program remain free of interference.”

A lawyer for Individual-1, Alan Garten, and a spokesperson for Individual-1 did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press on the report.

Garten told the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate.”

He said in a statement to the news organization that Individual-1 “has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015.”

The New York Times said it declined to provide Garten with the tax filings in order to protect its sources.

During his first general election debate against Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, Clinton said that perhaps Individual-1 wasn’t releasing his tax returns because he had paid nothing in federal taxes.

Individual-1 interrupted her to say, “That makes me smart.”
















Would You Like To Know More?
https://thegrio.com/2020/09/27/trump-tax-return/

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10456
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Monday, 28th September 2o2o


Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10456
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Monday, 28th September 2o2o


According to Adam Davidson on Twitter, Some clear implications from the Individual-1 Tax story:

- He blew through other people’s money. His dad’s. Then Mark Burnett’s. Plus loans.
- he starts blowing through the most money in 2011, when the known sources disappear.
- He had a new source of funds.

- This new source had more money and seems to have put fewer restrictions on his spending.
- Only question for us as a nation: what is that new source of money?
- As I’ve written obsessively, 2011 is when he gets into business with the Mammadovs.


- Soon after, he’s in business with the Agalarovs, flirting with Georgians and Kazakhs with ties to Putin.
- All of these groups are—between 2011 and 2016—known to be laundering money through golf courses.

- Golf courses are one of the best ways to launder large amounts of money.

So, next step: look to Scotland. That is where he spent this money, where the businesses make the least sense.

The math seems clear: *somebody* was giving him 100s of millions to spend.

Until we know who, we don’t know who this man owes and what they know about him.

5/end