The Washington Spectator reports that the Powder River Basin in Wyoming is a carbon reserve being mined for shipment to China; corporate coal-export company Peabody Energy is seeking to build a terminal in Washington and Oregon. The Spectator also states “The corporate architecture behind the deal are elaborate. Peabody Energy, the largest coal producer in the world, operates the strip mines in the Powder River Basin. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holding company owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF), which will move the coal from Wyoming to ports in the Pacific Northwest. Goldman Sachs owns 49 percent of Carrix, Inc., which owns SSA Marine, which in turn owns Pacific International Terminals, the subsidiary that will operate the coal port. Buffet wins, or looses, on both ends of the deal. As investment banks were collapsing in 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bought $5 billion in preferred Goldman Sachs shares.”
No wonder Warren Buffet said “Business has come back very well from five years ago when the panic hit.” and “The Forbes 400 List that just came out showed aggregate wealth of $2 trillion. You go back 20 years and that was $300 billion. So it’s up six or seven for one.“
Many millions of Americans have not come back as well. Sasha Abramsky reports in his book, “The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives”, “Fifty million residents of the richest country on earth live at or below poverty line; that’s roughly one in six Americans…”
According to economist Emanuel Saez, the top 10 percent took home more than 50 percent of all income in 2012, the highest share since 1917. The richest 400 hundred individuals now possess half the nation’s privately owned wealth.“
Complaining about concentration of wealth or ownership pyramids created through deregulation only elicit charges of jealousy, stupidity, communism or socialism. Neil Barofsky quotes a Kansas City Fed president who stated banks too big to fail are “still in control of our country’s economic destiny.”
Yet the free market enthusiasts insist reducing regulations will bring back economic opportunity for all. Neil Barofsky states“…the market distortions that flow from TBTF may have actually gotten worse. With megabanks’ continued access to artificially cheap credit, freedom from creditor-imposed market place discipline, and incentives that reward large and highly leveraged risks…, the presumption of bailout-remains unaddressed. By failing to alter this presumption, Dodd-Frank may have inadvertently sown the seeds for the next financial crisis.”
Where’s the concern for the future of the nation’s children, when they have to bail out banks too big to fail again? Oh that’s right, it’s only Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid threatening the future of the nation’s children not the banks or elaborate ownership schemes.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of wealth concentration and growth in poverty, the banksters and mega-corps are defended to maintain the fantasy that anyone can rise to the top in America and overcome adversity with hard work. Which is no longer reasonable to believe; the deck is rigged and if you’re on the lower deck it’s your own fault. Once again the country will be duped into blaming the economic victims in our society instead of the perpetrators, just like the country was convinced to throw eggs and dog crap at the soldiers returning from Vietnam, rather than at the political establishment in DC that caused that horror.