Iniquity, the 0.000006%, and Who Pays $300k to Hear Hillary

The United States’ 20 wealthiest people (The 0.000006 Percent) now own more wealth than the bottom half of the U.S. population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households. The Forbes 400 now own about as much wealth as the nation’s entire African-American population — plus more than a third of the Latino population — combined; more wealth combined than the bottom 61 percent of the U.S. population, an estimated 194 million people or 70 million households.

These stats are from the Middle Ages and also from the Institute for Policy Studies which acknowledges that much wealth is hidden offshore and the reality is likely even worse.

What did those 20 wealthiest, most meritorious people do to deserve such disgusting riches? The group includes four Wal-Mart heirs, three Mars candy heirs, and two Koch brother heirs. They earned their wealth by being born to wealthy parents, just like some who want to work for them, such as Donald Trump. One politician is actually one of them: Michael Bloomberg.

These individuals could fund a total shift to clean energy or end starvation on earth or eradicate diseases. That they choose not to is murderous and shameful. It’s not their sacred right. It’s not cute. And it’s not funny when one of them pretends to give his money away by giving it to himself.

The 0.000006 Percent has a tight grip on the media as well, with Jeff Bezos owning the Washington Post and Amazon, Sheldon Adelson buying newspapers, Mark Zuckerberg owning Facebook, Larry Page and Sergey Brin with Google, Warren Buffet owning whole chains of newspapers, and again Bloomberg with Bloomberg News.

In the first phase of the 2016 Presidential election cycle, according to the New York Times, 158 wealthy donors provided half of all campaign contributions, 138 of them backing Republicans, 20 backing Democrats. No candidate can easily compete without huge amounts of money. And if you get it from small donors, as Bernie Sanders has done the most of, you’ll be largely shut out of free media coverage, and belittled in the bit of coverage you’re granted. The media coverage, the debate questions, and the topics discussed are determined by the interests of the wealthy in this national oligarchy.

Then there’s the corrupt foundation money and speaking fees flowing into the Clinton family from wealthy sources in the U.S. and abroad. While most Americans are unable to sit through a full presidential debate, Wall Street, Big Pharma, and corporate technology interests have shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars supposedly just to hear Hillary or Bill Clinton speak.

According to a new report by Consortium News, Hillary Clinton took in $11.8 million in 51 speaking fees between January 2014 to May 2015. Bill Clinton delivered 53 paid speeches to bring in $13.3 million during that same period. That’s over $25 million total, largely if not entirely from wealthy parties with a strong interest in influencing U.S. government policy.

This system of rewarding former politicians is one of the great corrupting forces in Washington, DC, but the revolving door that brings such politicians back into power makes it many times worse.

According to the Washington Post, since 1974 the Clintons have raised at least $3 billion, including at least $69 million just from the employees and PACs of banks, insurance companies, and securities and investment firms.

According to the International Business Times, the Clintons’ foundation took in money from foreign nations while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, nations such as Saudi Arabia for which she then waived restrictions on U.S. weapons sales. (Also on that list: Algeria, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar.) I brought this up on a recent television program, and one of the other guests protested that I was not, at that moment, criticizing Donald Trump. But, even if we assume Trump is the worst person on earth, what has he done that is worse than taking a bribe to supply Saudi Arabia with the weapons that have since been used to slaughter children in Yemen? And what does Trump have to do with bribery? He’s self-corrupted. He’s in the race because of the financial barrier keeping decent people out. But he hasn’t been bribed to act like a fascist.

The Wall Street Journal reports that during the same period, Bill Clinton was bringing in big speaking fees from companies, groups, and a foreign government with interests in influencing the U.S. State Department. Eight-digit donors to the Clintons’ foundations include Saudi Arabia and Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk. Seven digit donors include: Kuwait, Exxon Mobil, Friends of Saudi Arabia, James Murdoch (son of Rupert), Qatar, Boeing, Dow, Goldman Sachs, Wal-Mart and the United Arab Emirates. Those chipping in at least half a million include Bank of America, Chevron, Monsanto, Citigroup, and the Soros Foundation. And they don’t even get a speech!

Sign this petition:
We urge the Clintons to clear their corrupted image by donating their $25 million in recent lecture fees to organizations legitimately working for campaign finance reform, Wall Street reform, environmental protection, and peace.

Watch this video.<--break->

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  • teri

    Dear Mr. Swanson,
    The Bush-Clinton Help Haiti Fund is the fund which was created with donations from private individuals all over the world to help Haiti recover after the earthquake. George W Bush and Bill Clinton were made directors of this fund (a really ironic assignment, given how badly both men damaged Haiti while they were each in office) and they were supposed to oversee the distributions of this publicly-donated money to the Haitian governmental agencies and the Haitian people to rebuild. Most of this money cannot be accounted for. However, it you look at the Clinton Global Initiative website donors’ list, you will see that the Help Haiti Fund has donated large sums to the Clintons. This means that some portion of this money is directly and solely under the control of the Clintons, and who knows where it goes from there? Is it really going to Haiti? The Clintons’ idea of “helping Haiti” seems to be to promote Monsanto and to offer “small loans” to “budding entrepreneurs”, which entails giving women loans to buy sewing machines so they can make Disney clothing from the comfort of their lavish – that’s sarcasm – donated tents and work for pennies a day in the hopes of paying the vig on these “loans”. But the questionable “best use” of this money aside, how does anyone know all of the donations from the Help Haiti fund to the CGI is actually going to Haiti at all? Is it co-mingled with all the other money donated to them and spent elsewhere? How much goes to pay the Clintons’ managerial salaries?

    It looks an awful lot like the Help Haiti funds are simply being used as slush for the Clintons personally, and in any case, how is it even legal for the Haiti fund to be used as donations to the Clintons’ private “charity”?

  • MrLiberty

    We should not be condemning the rich for being rich or for passing on their wealth to their children, etc. If you do not respect the rights of individuals to own and do with their property as THEY see fit, then you do not support the fundamental foundation that makes all society prosperous – because ultimately the violation of property rights will ALWAYS fall heaviest upon those with the least power (the middle class and poor). That being said, what we ALL should be condemning is the manner in which the rich get rich. For they ALL get rich in this country through the exploitation of unconstitutional and immoral government power over others. It begins with the Federal Reserve, a cartel of private banks, that is able to create money and credit out of thin air on behalf of government and government’s friends in big business. This money creation “machine” essentially transfers vast amounts of wealth from the poor and middle class into the hands of the wealthy through the hidden tax of inflation as the first recipients of the new money are able to spend the new money on goods and services before the inevitable price inflation hits the lower rungs of society. The money that flows to government then flows out from government to buy votes through direct corporate/agriculture/arms industry, etc. subsidies and contracts and so much more. Then you have the regulatory and tax apparatus of the state. Through restrictions on trade, restrictive tariffs, protectionist regulations, confiscatory taxation policies, etc. powerful business interests are able to employ the violence and guns of government on their behalf to prevent the success of their competitors (both foreign and domestic). Essentially that is REALLY what the “regulatory state” is all about. If the rest of society sees benefits with regards to safety, financial protection, etc. they are only secondary to their real purpose in protecting well-connected businesses. At the state and local levels, legislatures, city councils, etc. hand out direct subsidies, property tax exemptions, free infrastructure improvements, etc. to encourage business “investment” in their areas of control. These are generally only available to big business interests and sometimes come at the expense of existing local competitors who not only pay higher property taxes for the privilege but are often driven out of business by the beneficiaries of the government’s “gifts.” These have been a KEY factor in the growth of WalMart and the destruction of small-town America and smaller competitors. The list of government actions/policies, etc. is nearly endless, and bigger businesses are far more “equipped” to deal with them, exploit them to their advantage, etc. Then of course there is the stock market and all of its collusive relationships with the federal government. It is one thing to praise an individual who sells a product in a competitive, open, and voluntary market situation, or who invests wisely in free market companies, and quite another to praise one who has used the violence of government and its corrupt monetary, foreign, regulatory, etc. policies to their own advantage (or has even paid handsomely to direct these policies in their favor). NONE of these things are possible WITHOUT the influence of government and its force or violence. Turning to government in ANY way to correct these problems through anything OTHER than simple elimination of government power and control over the economy and our freedoms is simply playing into their hands and once again trusting the very folks who directly helped create these economic disparities in the first place.

  • In a related topic, January 07, 2016 Peter Schiff warns Americans to buy gold as China’s gold-backed yuan threatens to collapse the U.S. dollar

    Peter Schiff, the CEO of EuroPacific Capital, has maintained all along that there has been no real recovery and that the fed will not raise interest rates in the near future, contrary to common wisdom.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/052548_gold_dollar_collapse_Chinese_yuan.html#ixzz3waMiHfl1

  • January 6th, 2016 Future of Corporatism in 2016

    Submission of governments to corporate interests accelerating — particularly in Brussels, now home to almost as many lobbying groups as DC. Europe’s local level, opposition to TTIP continues to grow, some parts of some countries might benefit handsomely, others stand to lose out enormously, resulting in widening economic imbalances across Europe’s regions.

    http://www.batr.org/corporatocracy/010616.html

    • MrLiberty

      Indeed Professor. As I said, I don’t condemn the rich per se. I do condemn the riches they acquired through crony-capitalism (or corporatism) and the use of the government power for their benefit (and subsequently OUR loss).

      • November 21st, 2015 Fascists Running America Endorse Nazism by Stephen Lendman

        America didn’t eliminate the scourge of fascism in WW II. It shifted its headquarters from Berlin and Tokyo to Washington.

        http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2015/11/21/fascists-running-america-endorse-nazism#more40892

        Which Corporations Control the World?

        A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use? It’s a Small World at the Top, the largest banks hold a total of $25.1 trillion enough to fund the federal U.S. government for over 7 years or roughly $3500 per person on earth.

        http://www.internationalbusinessguide.org/corporations/

        • MrLiberty

          I always make a point of that with WW2 cheerleaders. How pathetic that all these men fought and died to rid the world of fascism while right at home, much before they even left (although most were still in high school when it happened) our government embraced its own version of fascism. But sadly when they came home, this “greatest generation” simply let all of these crimes against freedom, liberty, the economy, etc. stay in place without any real opposition. Pathetic.

  • Carl_Herman

    Thanks, David; awesome documentation. Because US “leaders” of both political parties renege constantly on official promises to end poverty since 1969, and the consequences of this intentional policy is ~30,000 human deaths daily in gruesome slow agony, and that the total of such deaths since just 1995 is ~400 million (more than all wars in all human history) for the lie-excuse of “we can’t afford .07% of our nations’ income to do what we promised,” and ongoing illegal Wars of Aggression is the policy of choice, I think we can make a safe conclusion:

    These asset-holes will continue looting, lying, and killing until “We the People” demand arrests.