The latest round of Labor Department statistics contains no surprise, although in countries with informed, sane populations they would incite riots and revolution: worker wages are stagnant, corporate profits have soared and CEO pay is at record levels.
Ho-hum. Whazzup with Lindsey, Brad and Jennifer?
You're paying more than $4 a gallon for fuel to drive to work (where your paycheck is the same as last year but buys less) while the company that sells you gas increased its profits 42% or more in the most recent quarter.
You pay 20 per cent or more income tax on your stagnant wages. Exxon, the most profitable company in the history of money, paid 3.6%. Chevron, whose profits rose nearly 50% last quarter, paid 5.6% income tax on its obscene profits.
But, hey, if companies make money, that creates jobs, right?
Wrong: energy company profits do not go back to communities to create more jobs, they don't get invested in improved equipment and exploration. They go into dividends and stock buy-backs; the companies have a cash on hand reserve of nearly $100 million. Their CEOs average $15 million a year in salary; two companies pay their chief honchos more than $100 million a year.
We subsidize these companies with taxpayer money to the tune of more than $4 billion a year. Divert these funds into subsidies for renewable green energy and you solve our national energy problems in jig time.
Our military is the biggest petroleum consumer in the world. If we waged peace rather than war, we wouldn't need to award no-bid contracts for Air Force fuel to BP, whose massive drilling disaster virtually killed the Gulf of Mexico and drove its hard-working fisherman into bankruptcy.
The Koch brothers alone make $13 million a day in energy profits. Thirteen million dirty dollars a day! They buy pols like Scott Walker and Rand Paul out of petty cash. They drop $30 million alone on anti-environment causes -- support for air pollution, water contamination and public land devastation. They have funded more than 300 think-tank papers seeking to destroy Social Security. They invested millions more in the current campaign to destroy workers' unions. Real philanthropists, Chuck and David. They think unemployment benefits are a sop to the lazy.
Did you ever wonder why the richest nation on earth "can't afford" to make sure that every citizen receives decent basic health care? Because the five most profitable private health insurers -- United Health Care,. WellPoint, Cigna, Aetna and Humana -- have formed secret committees that meet regularly and spend freely on lobbying, strategies, political blackmail and fake grassroots organizations called "Astroturfs" to repeal even Obama's Milquetoast efforts at health care reform. While you're sending out resumes in a vain quest for jobs at half the salary of the one USA, Inc. shipped out to Sri Lanka, the insurers are spending millions per day to see to it that Grandma loses her Medicare.
Hey, now, who's gonna be on Dancing With the Stars? The Voice? Man oh man, Has America Ever Got Talent.
See millions of people shove their heads into the sand. You know what happens when they're bent over like that.