Note: Billions and trillions of dollars aren’t easy to comprehend, so let’s call $1 billion “a shipload of money.” A trillion dollars, then, would be 1,000 shiploads of money.
If you’re like me, when you think of crime in America and the damage it does to society, you think of shoplifting, burglary, mugging, robbery, maybe murder… misdeeds perpetrated among the general public.
The annual toll of crime in grassroots America is…
That’s a lot of damage, but small compared to the damage done by the super-rich in America… in terms of lives destroyed and wealth usurped.
Crimes by the super-rich
Two examples of crimes committed by the super-rich in America are the Middle East wars that have been raging since 2001, and the housing bubble that burst in 2008. Those two crimes alone have caused unimaginable damage.
America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far have…
- cost Americans 4,000 shiploads of money (read more), and
- caused the violent deaths of more than a million Arabs and Americans combined. (read more)
The housing crisis was caused largely by big banks selling faulty mortgages (read more). The net result:
- American households lost 16,000 shiploads of money. (read more)
So, when the richest Americans exert their savage side, boy, can they do a lot of damage!
How the Rich 1 Percent Operate
The richest 1 percent of Americans not only have more wealth than the bottom 90 percent (read more)… they also do more damage.
So who are the rich 1 percent, and what exactly have they been up to?
They include the greedy croupiers of Wall Street who…
- rigged the stock market (read more) and
- bribed regulators not to regulate and
- sold billions of dollars of worthless investments and bad mortgages to clueless investors…
… which altogether caused a meltdown of the economy in 2008 and the loss of many families’ homes and life savings. (Read more)
Most of that bad behavior still goes on today, driven now, as it was then, by an element of the 1 percent that’s motivated largely by greed.
But there’s another, more pernicious element of the 1 percent that’s not only greedy, but also devious and fiercely determined to transform America into a capitalist jungle, in which the rich rule, the poor flounder, and government lacks the resources and authority to ensure the survival and well-being of the hungry, struggling masses… who are preyed upon by credit card companies, hospitals, and other large, powerful, savage, money-driven predators.
It’s these powerful, capitalist predators who are doing the most damage in America today.
They spend billions of dollars buying up the media and bribing politicians and fixing elections and fighting legal battles and setting up super-PACs and neoconservative think-tanks in all 50 states… all in order…
- to weaken the government…
- to strip away social programs that help the less fortunate…
- to protect the right of industry to exploit nature with no regret, without regard to the damage done to people and ecosystems…
- to launch wars in far-off lands that kill hundreds of thousands of people in order to get access to their resources.
Who are they? At the center seem to be the multibillionaire oil tycoons, the Koch brothers. (read more here… and here)
These powerful elitists use their vast wealth and lobbying powers to control the Republican party with an iron fist, demanding that no one in their ranks cooperate or compromise with the more soft-hearted Democrats… ever… on anything… for whatever reason. Any Republicans who start leaning toward reason and moderation and empathy are replaced.
The money of the pernicious elite streams into the coffers of masterminds like Karl Rove, and onto paychecks of young hackers hired during elections to break into the rear doors of cheat-easy voting machines… to alter voting results… and to install candidates at various levels of government who support their cause of transforming government to better serve the rich.
They stole the 2000 Presidential election (read more)… installing George W Bush and oilman Dick Cheney into the White House, and then launched a full-out attack on the oil-rich Middle East, causing more than a million violent war deaths by some counts, and stirring up turmoil and terrorism that still rock the world 14 years later… with no end in sight.
Stealing elections is becoming an art among this slick cadre… thanks to the prevalence of cheat-easy voting machines… (read more)
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they fixed the recent Congressional election in Virginia, replacing Jewish conservative congressman Eric Cantor (read more) with Tea Party mad-hatter Dave Brat (read more).
There’s plenty of evidence to support an allegation that the Cantor defeat was the result of a rigged election.
- There was no rational argument for Dave Brat’s winning; he was regarded a long shot at best. However…
- Eric Cantor was starting to upset other conservatives in recent months (read more),
- Brat was more attractive to the rich elite, who share Brat’s wacky wonderland of Ayn Rand flapdoodle (read more).
- Early this year the Koch brothers opened an election consulting office in Virginia to wield more control over elections in that state. (read more)
- Shortly after that, Virginia began buying new voting machines from Election Systems and Software. (read more)
- Voting machines made by Election Systems and Software are notoriously vulnerable to hacking. (read more).
As the Christian Science Monitor reported:
Election Systems & Software, Inc. “installed a ‘back door’ into such hardware and software that enables persons who are not under the supervision and control of defendant Husted, and who are not under the supervision and control of Ohio’s boards of elections, to access the recording and tabulation of votes using facilities not under the control of defendant Husted or Ohio’s boards of elections,” the federal complaint maintains. (read more)
If we hope to fix America, one big step will involve taking some of the destructive power out of the hands of the super-rich, who are trampling and crushing society, the government, the poor, and the environment in their mad dash for power and more wealth.
Toward that end, I’ve become a staunch advocate of a wealth tax to cool the fury of the super-rich, along with a basic income program to keep America’s poorest from getting ground up and sinking to oblivion. (read more)
Other articles in the Fixing America series:
Northern Europe Does it Right
1 The Problems
2 Basic Income, One Solution
3 More Thoughts on Basic Income
4 Wrap-Up on Basic Income and Wealth Tax
5 Basic Income and the Fertility Rate
6 Restoring a Good Reputation
7 Contending with Savage Forces
8 Being a Noble Force
9. A Comprehensive Solution
10. Marching Toward the End Time
11. The Destructive 1 Percent
12. Overcoming America’s Oil Addiction