Emerging in the aftermath of the financial crisis is a world order dominated by a few governments and corporations that have unprecedented control over global resources and appear to have little-to-no-regard for the welfare of the vast majority of the world’s populace, even within developed economies such as the U.S.
Monopoly capitalism is name of the game. During the height of the great financial crisis, secret Federal Reserve loans to the biggest banks totaling $7.7 trillion enabled them to reap $13 billion in profits[i]. As of 2010, six U.S. banks, held assets in excess of 63 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic.[ii]
Monopolies are not restricted to finance: energy and food industries are also very consolidated. For instance, three companies control ninety percent of the global grain trade (Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, and Cargill) and Monsanto monopolizes seventy percent of the transgenic corn market and more than eighty percent of the transgenic soybean market.[iii]
While U.S. corporate profits have reached unprecedented levels, both in absolute dollars and as a share of the economy, unemployment is at its highest level since the Great Depression.[iv] Over fourteen percent, or one in six Americans, lives below the official poverty threshold.[v] The top .1% of the U.S. population, about 315,000 individuals, receive half of all capital gains on the sale of shares or property and these gains constitute sixty percent of the total income made by the Forbes 400.[vi]...
to be continued
[i] Bob Ivry, Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz . Secret Fed Loans Helped Banks Net $13B. Bloomberg.com (2011, November 27): http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-28/secret-fed-loans-undisclosed-to-congress-gave-banks-13-billion-in-income.html.
[ii] Bill Moyers, Simon Johnson and James Kwak Bill Moyers Journal [on-line] (2010, April 16): http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04162010/profile.html
[iii] National Family Farm Coalition. “Food, Inc. and Fresh: Facts and Solutions Needed to Fix the Food System.” NFFC.Net (no date): http://www.nffc.net/Learn/Fact%20Sheets/food%20inc%20and%20fresh.pdf.
[iv] Henry Blodget. “Here Are Four Charts That Explain What The Protesters Are Angry About...”Business Insider (2011, Oct 15): http://www.businessinsider.com/here-are-the-four-charts-that-explain-what-the-protesters-are-angry-about-2011-10?utm_source=twbutton&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=bi#ixzz1b3DqeIBh.
[v] Frances Fox Piven. “The War Against the Poor.” TomDispatch.Com (2011, Nov 6): http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175463/tomgram%3A_frances_fox_piven%2C_the_war_on_the_home_front/#more).
[vi] Robert Lezner. “Capital Gains: Top .1% Earn ½ Capital Gains. Forbes (2011, Nov 20):