TalkMarkets has been cited by Bloomberg, Seeking Alpha, Nasdaq, Thompson Reuters, CNBC, and Investopedia, brags their “about us” page. They also mention their prior awards for “Best Stock Site of the Year.” “Charles Hugh Smith is the author of the oftwominds.com blog,” which Audible says is “#7 in CNBC’s top alternative financial sites.” It is blogger Smith via TalkMarkets who said: “Corporate America continues exploiting its workforce with the usual threats: you’re powerless because we can automate your job or offshore it to Lower Slobovia.” Smith claims that “Corporate America” has siphoned off a staggering $50 trillion dollars-worth of wealth from the lower and middle classes in the U.S. How this relates to affordable housing in general, and manufactured homes more specifically, will be explored following some extended quotations from Smith’s contentions, which cites his sources.
This extended quote begins to set the stage.
…if wages stagnate so workers lose ground every year as inflation in essentials rises, that’s the way it should be. If wages rise so workers can keep up with inflation, then that will trigger an inflationary death spiral.
That this indoctrination is so widely accepted reveals the success of America’s Aristocracy in reshaping the narrative to make their plundering appear to be “inevitable.” But the siphoning of $50 trillion from workers to the Aristocracy, and the Nobility’s control of political power was anything but inevitable: it was engineered by policies that enriched billionaires, the top 0.01% Aristocracy, and the top 10% who own 90% of America’s productive capital.
This wholesale transfer of wealth and income from workers to Capital was documented by a RAND Corporation report, Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018. Time magazine summarized the findings: The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90% — And That’s Made the U.S. Less Secure.
There are some who blame the current plight of working Americans on structural changes in the underlying economy–on automation, and especially on globalization. According to this popular narrative, the lower wages of the past 40 years were the unfortunate but necessary price of keeping American businesses competitive in an increasingly cutthroat global market. But in fact, the $50 trillion transfer of wealth the RAND report documents has occurred entirely within the American economy, not between it and its trading partners. No, this upward redistribution of income, wealth, and power wasn’t inevitable; it was a choice–a direct result of the trickle-down policies we chose to implement since 1975.”
Smith cites Foreign Affairs article: Monopoly Versus Democracy: “Ten percent of Americans now control 97 percent of all capital income in the country. Nearly half of the new income generated since the global financial crisis of 2008 has gone to the wealthiest one percent of U.S. citizens. The richest three Americans collectively have more wealth than the poorest 160 million Americans.”
It is at this point that Smith’s source-cited and fascinating claims begins to drift into his belief that the working class is about the get their revenge on their corporate and billionaire masters.
Smith cites an anecdotal account of a worker that shifts jobs and gets 25 percent more pay for it. Be that as it may, that is hardly proof that “The $50 Trillion Plundered From Workers By America’s Aristocracy Is Trickling Back.” Could it happen? Sure. Is Smith correct in saying that a case can be made that American workers and the middle class have been “plundered?” Sure. But the jury is out if it is happening or will happen. But Smith says, “Now the worm has finally turned, and workers are refusing to accept the Neofeudal dominance of the Aristocracy, not by open revolts that the State can violently crush but by indirect means.”
Frankly, a stronger case could be made that “America’s Aristocracy” is at the moment seemingly winning. But Smith has a strong point when he says that: “In other words, the bottom 90% have very little stake in the status quo: they receive essentially zero income from America’s stupendous $121 trillion hoard of private wealth and have essentially zero political influence, as documented in Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.”
More on that and how it impacts “predatory” brands and their employees in just a few more minutes. But let’s pivot next to a source Smith referenced.
On the American Economic Liberties Project, citing Foreign Affairs – the same source Smith quoted – said the following about anti-monopolies enforcement and finance. The highlighting is added by MHProNews, but the text is as in the original. Note that the “white terrorists” not mentioned by name in Foreign Affairs where southern Democrats Ku Klux Klan, as black professor a former Democrat turned Republican, has frequently spoken about in addresses, classes, and videos and written about too.
“The so-called Gilded Age in the United States began with the Compromise of 1877, which settled the disputed presidential election of 1876 by awarding the White House to the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, in exchange for the withdrawal of federal troops from three Southern states. In the short term, the compromise effectively ended Reconstruction. In the longer term, it empowered white terrorists in the South and led to a major realignment in U.S. politics that weakened the federal government’s ability to govern the “Money Power,” the term used by critics at the time to describe the forces that were steadily taking over markets and political systems.
By 1900, one percent of the U.S. population owned more than half of the country’s land; nearly 50 percent of the population owned just one percent of it. Multimillionaires, who made up 0.33 percent of the population, owned 17 percent of the country’s wealth; 40 percent of Americans had no wealth at all. Black men had been violently and systematically deprived of the hard-won right to vote in the South, where authorities had thrown up every possible barrier—literacy tests, poll taxes, gerrymandering, grandfather clauses—to prevent the restoration of Black political rights and the growth of Black economic power. After a quarter century, it had become impossible to see these outcomes as aberrations: monopolization and repression had come to define the American system.
The president was William McKinley, a Republican. Both his 1896 and his 1900 campaigns were fueled by large corporate donations collected by his chief strategist, “Dollar Mark” Hanna. John D. Rockefeller of the Standard Oil Company alone kicked in a direct contribution to McKinley’s first campaign equal to more than $7 million in today’s dollars. The resulting war chest allowed McKinley to outspend his populist Democratic rival, William Jennings Bryan, by a factor of 20. Rockefeller was one of a handful of men who controlled the monopolies that had come to dominate virtually every sector of the newly industrialized economy. Men such as Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan had built up power by acquiring a foothold in various markets and then destroying or buying out their competitors. These magnates defended their dominance by claiming they merely represented new, more efficient systems and technologies. They had enormous access to capital, with a long leash from creditors on Wall Street….”
The above is a different historic take that lays a similar foundation as Minneapolis Federal Reserve researchers James A. “Jim” Schmitz Jr and David Fettig. That phrase about acquiring “a foothold in various markets and then destroying or buying out their competitors,” is a different way of describing “sabotaging monopolies.” That political clout is a different way of expressing the “Iron Triangle” and Warren Buffett’s Castle and Moat methods, which MHProNews/MHLivingNews have alone led the charge on in manufactured housing industry publishing.”
It is common for researchers and even thoughtful writers to generally or highly accurately cite the historic evidence for the rebirth of the Robber Baron Gilded Age monopolistic pattern that America has been witnessing in recent decades, and which has come to full flower today. For whatever reasons, having set forth the evidence, they may then toss in a curve ball that leads readers away from a workable solution.
In several of the reports for the week that was that follow below on MHProNews/MHLivingNews, there are ample examples of evidences for the problems described by the various authors and researchers cited above as they are manifest in manufactured housing.
But what the rank and file workers, middle, and even some in higher management in our profession need is a periodic reminder about that this vexing and arguably illegal pattern demonstrably hurts them.
That is what this Sunday’s postscript will focus on.
Reminders of how this pattern has harmed smaller independents, but also tens of thousands of employees from entry level into perhaps all but the pinnacle of senior management. See that in the postscript.
Let’s sum up a compelling point made by Scott Galloway, another pro-business professional, educator, and influencer who preaches an anti-monopoly message and has for years. When a break up of a giant occurs, the routine result, says Galloway, is a higher valuation for the individual parts of the business than it was under the corporate whole.
Despite misses, paltering or whatever in the conclusion of several researchers, they are routinely correct in asserting that this hyper concentration of wealth is minimizing wealth and opportunities rather than maximizing it.
Put differently, stopping the monopolists in our age will according to the demonstrated historic pattern result in benefits to lower and middle class employees, taxpayers, and virtually all who are not directly tied to the manipulation of our current corporate-business-media-tech “aristocracy.”
As corny as it may sound, it pays to do the morally correct thing. The case for breaking up monopolists, as PINO Joe Biden himself said is that it benefits all but the favored few. That said, if you see anything other than a yawn by those oligarch and plutocrats in response to Biden’s postured threat, please let us know. Because it seems that deal making that leads to consolidations in our industry and beyond are proceeding full speed ahead.
With no further adieu, let’s proceed to the headlines for the week that was 8.1 to 8.8.2021
What’s New and Recent on the Masthead
What’s New in Washington from MHARR
What’s New and Recent on MHLivingNews
What’s New on the Cutting Edge
What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews
MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews have periodically published reports about the ratings given by employees of various companies by their own workers. Some examples of that are linked below.
Additionally, MHLivingNews published a report on the Walmart Effect that on the surface may not seem to have much connection to affordable housing and manufactured homes, save for the fact that workers at Walmart need affordable housing.
But part of what the Walmart Effect documented is that offshoring of jobs, and bringing in/allowing in a steady stream of illegal, err, “undocumented” immigrants benefits major corporate brands and routinely harms smaller firms as well as employees. If a bigger brand so desires, they can also ‘drop a dime’ and blow the whistle on smaller firms that they learn are hiring or employing undocumented immigrants.
Millions of Americans in the country illegally costs legal immigrants and native born Americans of whatever background higher pay. It is the law of supply and demand. The greater the supply of workers, cuts the negotiating power of employees. Once upon a time, Senator Bernie Sanders said as much. At least Sanders and others did so, favoring southern border barriers with Mexico, until his fellow socialists and numbers of Democratic politicos pivoted toward the open border policies that benefits the big business that they claim to hate and want to tax. Yeah, sure. Once more follow the evidence of history. Pay more attention to what people do than what they say and then follow the money trail. See who is benefiting from the status quo.
Is it sad or even criminal that people are induced into crossing the border? Of course. They are victims, and so are the vast majority of those living in the U.S. But the Trump Administration, and the modest nation of Hungary, proved that borders can be controlled. It is pure hypocrisy, special interests, and the hope of turning illegal entrants into future voters that motivates numbers of Democrats, starting with PINO Biden, to support by behavior if not words open borders. It hurts affordable housing availability too.
Smith is correct in saying that perhaps 90 percent of the country does not benefit from the status quo. Perhaps 65 to 75 percent of those Americans and including legal immigrants, would benefit from working together to stop the problems by pressing on elected and appointed officials to enforce good existing laws.
It was Samuel “Sam” Strommen at Knudson Law, Schmitz, Fettig and others who have argued that federal laws are being violated in ways that are apparently felonies. The solution? It is routinely straightforward – at least on paper. Enforce existing laws on antitrust, RICO, the Hobbs Act, and other forms of illegal harmful market or other types of wrongful manipulation.
The problems and solutions are outlined in 500 words in the snapshot linked above. That should be a brief, go to resource for those who want to press their elected officials into action.
Our thanks to you, our sources, and sponsors for making and keeping us the runaway number one source for authentic “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.