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Gayle in MD
11-09-2011, 10:59 AM
U.S. Economy
Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011 7:00 AM 11:52:52 EST
How the rich rig the system
From low capital gains taxes to stock buy-backs, here are the ways the elites ensure the markets benefit them
By Michael Lind


A growing number of Americans suspect that the American economic system is rigged in favor of the rich and merely affluent. That growing number of Americans is right.

Here are three of the many ways that markets for compensation are rigged to benefit not only the top 1 percent but also the top 10 percent, a group that includes many well-paid professionals:

Financial sector compensation. By now the phrase “too big to fail” has become so familiar that it is known by its acronym: TBTF. What needs to be emphasized is that TBTF is the basis for the huge bonuses paid to elite American bankers who benefit from a government that socializes their losses while allowing them to keep their profits.

Here’s their business model: “We place highly leveraged bets, sometimes as much as 35 or 40 to 1. In return, the government implicitly agrees to bail out our banks, and if we’re fired, we’ve negotiated sweetheart deals with golden parachutes. If we bet right, then our banks keep the windfall profits and we get big bonuses. If we bet wrong, not to worry — the taxpayers will bail out our banks and the government will pay for the cost of the bailouts by cutting Social Security and Medicare. Suckers!”

The rest of this article is excellent:


http://www.salon.com/2011/11/09/how_the_rich_rig_the_system/