Political Abyss

Posts Tagged ‘plutonomy’

2008-2009: U.S. Homelessness rose 3% and Foreclosures rose 20%; According to Recently Released Report

In POLITICS TODAY on January 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm

By Maurice E. Duhon, Jr.

Thursday, 1/13/11

In a report released Wednesday morning by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a 3 percent rise is homelessness and a 20 percent increase in foreclosures from 2008 to 2009 both added to a 12 percent increase in the number of families who were forced to “double up” or move into the homes of their extended family and friends.

“We are seeing that, with a large percentage of families that enter the homeless system, their last previous address was doubled up with another family,” said Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “So this obviously can be a precursor to homelessness, and the fact that it went up 12 percent in 2009 is obviously really alarming.”

Our country’s homeless population grew by another 20,000 people from 2008 to 2009, according to the NAEH report.  31 out of 50 US states saw an increase in their homeless counts while the homeless population in Louisiana nearly doubled.  The report suggested that 4 in 10 homeless people were found to be living on the street, in a car, or in another place not intended for human habitation.

President of the NAEH Nan Roman has stated that up until 2009, the number of homeless and families forced to double up had been decreasing since 2005, due in large part to a big push to improve the U.S. homeless assistance system by moving it away from band-aid strategies, such as shelters and soup kitchens, and more toward lasting solutions. But even improvements in the system could not overcome the double whammy effect of lingering unemployment and high housing costs on the working poor.

A major problem facing these “doubled-up” families is that they are currently not eligible for federal assistance through the primary homeless housing programs.

A bill introduced to Congress by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) last week, The Homeless Children and Youth Act, would expand the definition of “homeless” and how it currently applies to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  This is being done in hopes that more children living doubled up and in hotels would be eligible for its homeless assistance programs.

“During the 2008-2009 school year, over 72 percent or approximately 956,914 children and youth who were identified as homeless by the Department of Education did not qualify for housing support under HUD’s current definition,” said Biggert’s office in a release.

“So far, federal assistance has been inadequate to meet the needs of homeless and doubled-up families”, said Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.

“It is time for our lawmakers, and the public, to treat homelessness like the human rights crisis it is,” she said. “In the new Congress, rather than cutting safety net funds, we must focus on adding more funding for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing.”

Citigroup, Inc. continues to write memos and WE don’t READ them. Take a look, unless you’re too busy being Rich.

In POLITICS TODAY on December 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm

By: Maurice E. Duhon, Jr.

Maybe the 70's weren't that bad?

Friday, 12/17/10

The following are excerpts taken from a Citigroup, Inc. memo, distributed within its ranks in 2006.  Citigroup entitled the original memo, “Revisiting Plutonomy” in 2005.  As you read the contents of the “Part 2” extension to the the 2005 memo please keep in mind, the word “plutonomy” is a newly created word.  The word “plutonomy” was created by the very author or authors of the original 2005 Citigroup memo.  As I write this entry and type the word plutonomy into my laptop’s keyboard, the word processing program refuses to recognize plutonomy as a word found in the English language.

The authors of this memo believe the word plutonomy to be defined as:

  • Economic growth that is powered and consumed by the wealthiest upper class of society. Plutonomy refers to a society where the majority of the wealth is controlled by an ever-shrinking minority; as such, the economic growth of that society becomes dependent on the fortunes of that same wealthy minority.   

Plutonomy, is being used by Citigroup, Inc. as a “gentle” word to explain the incredible growth of the U.S. economy during a period of increasing interest rates, commodity prices and an inflated national debt.  Citigroup analysts believe if an economy continues to grow in the face of hardships and economic struggle for its middle and lower class citizens, the more important the ultra-rich of our country become and thus will be expected to control all commerce and maintain such growth.  Citigroup believes the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and China are all becoming plutonomies.

The word that actually does exist and is very similar to the coined phrase “plutonomy” is the word Plutocracy.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, Plutocracy is defined as-

  • Plu`toc´ra`cy

n. 1. A form of government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of the wealthy classes; government by the rich; also, a controlling or influential class of rich men.

Our United States of America was founded by men who were attempting to create a constitution that would prevent a Plutocracy from becoming our nation’s ruling class.  Our founding fathers, some political heretics are so willing to exploit, believed the United States of America would be a land, for the people, by the people.

 It was once noted, in a European courtyard in the later years of Benjamin Franklin’s life, he approached a group of men in Europe who were involved in an argument that concerned who would claim the throne after their King’s recent death.  Benjamin Franklin was heard to say, “In America, the people govern themselves.”  Does this still ring true today? 

Citigroup’s so-called “plutonomy” is the inner-core of the wrecking ball that has been used to demolish the present- day American middle class.  The concept of a functioning and legislatively supported “Plutonomy” is the anti-thesis to our beloved and hallowed United States Constitution and, until it is addressed, will continue to exist as a dark stain that only hinders and is the enemy to any progress for the betterment of the working class American citizen, for our nation’s days to come.

Citigroup Mar 5 2006 Plutonomy Report Part 2:

Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer

“Our whole plutonomy thesis is based on the idea that the rich will keep getting richer. This thesis is not without its risks. For example, a policy error leading to asset deflation would likely damage plutonomy. Furthermore, the rising wealth gap between the rich and poor will probably at some point lead to a political backlash. Whilst the rich are getting a greater share of the wealth, and the poor a lesser share, political enfranchisement remains as was — one person, one vote (in the plutonomies). At some point it is likely that labor will fight back against the rising profit share of the rich and there will be a political backlash against the rising wealth of the rich. This could be felt through higher taxation on the rich (or indirectly through higher corporate taxes/regulation) or through trying to protect indigenous [home-grown] laborers, in a push-back on globalization — either anti-immigration, or protectionism. We don’t see this happening yet, though there are signs of rising political tensions. However we are keeping a close eye on developments”

The memo goes on to state…

“Our thesis is that the rich are the dominant drivers of demand in many economies around the world (the US, UK, Canada and Australia). These economies have seen the rich take an increasing share of income and wealth over the last 20 years, to the extent that the rich now dominate income, wealth and spending in these countries.

“Asset booms, a rising profit share and favorable treatment by market-friendly governments have allowed the rich to prosper and become a greater share of the economy in the plutonomy countries.

“Also, new media dissemination technologies like internet downloading, cable and satellite TV have disproportionately increased the audiences, and hence gains to “superstars” – think golf, soccer and baseball players, music/TV and movie icons, fashion models, designers, celebrity chefs, etc.

“These ‘content’ providers, the tech whizzes who own the pipes and distribution, the lawyers and bankers who intermediate globalization and productivity, the CEOs who lead the charge in converting globalization and technology to increase the profit share of the economy at the expense of labor, all contribute to plutonomy.

Citigroup then gives us some hope for the future…

“Despite being in great shape, we think that global capitalists are going to be getting an even greater share of the wealth pie over the next few years, as capitalists benefit disproportionately from globalization and the productivity boom, at the relative expense of labor. As we believe plutonomy explains away some of the conundrums [low consumer confidence, high consumption, low savings rates, etc.].”