This world we live in has the greatest inequalities, highest mortality rate, most regressive taxes, and largest public subsidies for bankers and billionaires of this generation.
In this piece, I will discuss the socio-economic roots of inequalities and the relation between the concentration of wealth and the downward mobility of the working and salaried classes.
Contrary to the propaganda pushed by the corporate press, a large number of corporations had zero tax liabilities after credits and exemption while their toiling workers and employees pay a huge percentage in taxes.
According to the United States (US) Internal Revenue Service, billionaire tax evasion is highest in lost public revenues every year.
Multinational corporations sheltered trillions of dollars in overseas tax havens where they paid no taxes or single digit tax rates.
Meanwhile, many corporations during financial crisis received over trillion dollars in public bailout money from Federal Reserve banks, mostly from ordinary taxpayers who are overwhelmingly workers, employees and pensioners. The recipient bankers invested their interest-free or low interest bailout funds and earned billions in profits, most resulting from mortgage foreclosures of working class households across the world.
A small number of the financial swindlers, including executives from Wall Street’s leading banks such as Goldman Sachs, J. P. Morgan etc, paid fines but no one went to prison for the gargantuan fraud that drove millions of people into misery.
Some innovative billionaires have found novel ways to avoid taxes using overseas tax havens and domestic tax write-offs. They increase their wealth and corporate profits by paying their local manual and service workers poverty level wages. Billionaires in the commercial conglomerates, like Walmart, exploit workers by paying poverty wages and providing few, if any, benefits despite huge profits they make. This glaring inequalities are a result of low wages, based on big profits, financial swindles, multi-trillion dollar public handouts and multi-billion-dollar tax evasion.
The ruling class has mastered the ‘technology’ of exploiting the State, through its pillage of the treasury, and the working class. Capitalist exploitation of low paid production workers provides additional billions for the ‘philanthropic’ billionaire family foundations to polish their public images, using another tax avoidance gimmick, self-glorifying ‘donations’.
The global working class pays disproportional taxes for education, health, social and public services and subsidies for billionaires. Billionaires in the arms industry and security/mercenary conglomerates receive billions of dollars from federal budgets, while over millions of workers lack adequate health care and their children are warehoused in dilapidated schools.
Billionaires and multi-millionaires and their families enjoy longer and healthier lives than their workers. They have no need for health insurance policies or public hospitals.
Private, exclusive clinics and top medical care include the most advanced treatment and safe and proven medication, which allow billionaires and their family members to live longer and healthier lives.
On the other hand, workers are treated and mistreated by the health system: They have inadequate and often incompetent medical treatment.
The shortened life expectancy for workers and their family members is celebrated on entities such as Wall Street and the corporate press. Billionaire families, their children and grandchildren, inherit and invest billions.
They have privileged access to the most prestigious schools and medical facilities, and conveniently fall in love to equally privileged, well-connected mates to join their fortunes and form even greater financial empires.
Billionaires hire innovators and sweat shop managers to devise more ways to slash wages, increase productivity and ensure that inequalities widen even further. Billionaires have bought out or formed joint ventures with each other, creating interlocking directorates.
Banks, IT, factories, warehouses, food and appliance, pharmaceuticals and hospitals are linked directly to political elites who slither through doors of rotating appointments within the IMF, the World Bank, Wall Street banks and prestigious law firms.
Sadly, billionaires and their political, legal and corporate associates dominate the political parties. They designate the leaders and key appointees, thus ensuring that budgets and policies will increase their profits, erode social benefits for the masses and weaken the political and bargaining power of popular organisations such as trade unions.
Then, the burden of the economic crisis is shifted on to the workers who are fired and later re-hired as part-time, contingent labour.
Public bailouts, provided by the taxpayer, are channelled to the billionaires under the doctrine that entities such Wall Street banks are too big to fail and workers are too weak to defend their wages, jobs and living standards!
Billionaires buy political elites, who appoint the World Bank and IMF officials tasked with instituting policies to freeze or reduce wages, slash corporate and public health care obligations and increase profits by privatising public enterprises and facilitating corporate relocation to low wage, low tax countries mostly in continents such as Africa and Asia.
As a result, wage and salary workers are less organised and less influential; they work longer and for less pay, suffer greater workplace insecurity and injuries, physical and mental, fall into decline and disability, drop out of the system, die earlier and poorer, and, in the process, provide unimaginable profits for the billionaire class. The billionaires and their political acolytes argue that deeper regressive taxation would increase investments and jobs. The data speaks otherwise.
The bulk of repatriated profits are directed to buy back stock to increase dividends for investors; they are not invested in the productive economy.
Corporate elites are relatively satisfied that their cherished inequalities are guaranteed and expanding under the corrupt capitalist system that dominates this world.
In other words, the capitalist class as a whole, globalist and domestic alike, pursues the same regressive policies, promoting inequalities while struggling over shares of the profits.
In this sad state of affairs, millions of wage and salaried taxpayers are excluded from the political and social decisions that directly affect their incomes, employment, rates of taxation, and political representations. Most workers know about the injustice of the fake ‘free trade’ agreements and regressive tax regime, which weighs heavy on the majority of wage and salary earners.