We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chart of the day: US profit and wage shares 1970 – 2011

Click here to access source from Real-World Economics Review Blog.
This graph shows that since the early 1980s the underlying trend in the United States has been for a bigger share of national income going to corporate profits and less to employees, and now under Obama the rate of redistribution has reached an unprecedented level.

Notice after every decline in corporate profits there follows a much larger increase. The decline in worker wage share matches the entry of neoconservatives in the US government. 

It really doesn't matter who is elected to the office of President, the political operatives of the One Percent are solidly in control of government. In fact, I think that after the assassination of John Kennedy in 1963 the office has largely served the function of public relations for the political operatives. 

Kennedy was the only President after WWII who really functioned with any degree of independence from the influence of the political operatives of  the military-industrial-financial ruling class (The One Percent). The latter wanted to invade Cuba. Kennedy refused. They wanted a preemptive war on the Soviet Union which would have resulted in a nuclear holocaust. (I'm convinced that if Kennedy hadn't been President, we would have had one.) They wanted more weapons. Kennedy wanted and pursued disarmament with Khrushchev. They wanted to expand military operations in Laos and Vietnam. Kennedy wanted disengagement. The political operatives of the military-industrial-financial complex fought him on all these issues. That is precisely why he was finally assassinated. (Read JFK and the Unspeakable by James Douglass for all the details.) 

Ronald Reagan, the super-salesman for GE and Hollywood actor was the first complete version of this new type of President as public relations officer. Every president since then knows who really is in charge, and accordingly follows their orders. Hopey-changey Obama is from exactly the same mold.