Under Obama, food stamp participation has increased at 10 times the rate of job creation. Many stand in two, three or even four federal soup lines simultaneously... Read more...
It looks like the big banks aren't out of the woods from past indiscretions yet.
Just this week the most powerful court in Europe has accused 13 major global financial institutions (many US based) of colluding back in the heady days that led up to the 2008 financial reckoning.
Ordinary Americans have been thrust into a nightmarish Orwellian daze.
I see tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists waiving their hands about in joyful affirmation, and it feels plain unnatural.
Yet, people are starting to ask strange questions which only the tinfoil hat-wearers were willing to entertain before.
And it turns out the answers to those questions are frightening.
Citizens are being spied on, bullied, and punished because their opinions differ from reigning political agendas.
In fact, a litany of cases recently uncovered shows that the IRS has targeted the free speech of vocal Obama opponents, including conservative non-profits, tea party activists and other individuals and businesses.
If you speak out against the president's agenda, there's a good chance the IRS will audit you. Or if you organize a grass-roots tea party group...the IRS will refuse to grant it tax-exempt status. But if you're left-wing, not only will the IRS rubber stamp your tax status, it'll leak to you the donor list of conservative groups for you to attack.
Keep quiet or else...
The reality is we live in a semi-free market where regulation stifles business and corporate money influences and distorts what would normally be a highly competitive marketplace.
And over the last two decades, the situation has only gotten worse for consumers, producers, and defenders of the so-called "free market."
From 2008 to 2010, 30 major corporations paid more money in lobbying fees than they did in taxes, according to the Public Campaign.
But while traditional lobbying once centered on altering tax rates and encouraging legislation to liberalize and deregulate the economy, it has now evolved into a competitive weapon for companies trying to box out competitors and raise barriers to entry in their markets.
It's a business phenomenon that I like to call the "Rise of the Fifth Rail."
You see, in traditional markets, companies compete on four specific principles: Price, product quality promotion, and place (market access). These principles are known as the "four P's."
The first three are self-explanatory in that customers want the highest quality product at the cheapest price. Companies use promotional techniques to instill a need for its products and do so by marketing against the offerings of a competitor.
The fourth principle centers on a company's ability to reach new markets and still provide low prices for high-quality products. A strong coordinated distribution network tends to make this possible.
Naturally, when all four work together, you end up with a company like Walmart (NYSE: WMT), which has the ability to provide low, everyday prices due to its best-in-class distribution network.
But over the last few decades, this new phenomenon of using lobbying as a competitive tool has altered the course of market economics, and driven fair competition into the ground.
And that phenomenon is rotting the American free market from the inside.
According to Shah Gilani, the usual suspects are at it again and nobody but Elizabeth Warren is willing to push back. Read more...