by Madison Ruppert
October 28, 2011
The Occupy Wall Street protesters and those
marching in solidarity with them throughout the nation are attempting to
fight back against the top 1% of earners who have hijacked our nation and
turned what is claimed to be a democracy into a plutocracy rife with
corruption and corporatist policies.
While the Occupy Wall Street movement seems to be focusing mostly on the
banking interests that have run our economy into the ground while raking in
staggering profits, there remains a sub-set of the 1% that needs to be
identified and exposed.
This sub-set is the 0.01%, the executives that take in astounding sums of
money, leverage tens of millions in lobbying money to control our so-called
representatives all to the detriment of the American people, the American
economy, and the world at large.
They profit at the expense of the American taxpayer, off the lives of
American soldiers, and from death and destruction around the globe.
These are not entrepreneurs who struck it rich giving us a product or
service that we need, they are getting rich while manipulating the American
political system and the fear of the American people while perpetuating
endless, unnecessary and unethical wars.
This one hundredth of one percent includes the war profiteers, the CEOs of
military contractors that are paid even more than CEOs of financial
institutions like JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.
To put this in perspective,
When considering these numbers, one must keep in mind that the earnings can
be highly variable, with Jamie Dimon pulling in $1.32 million in 2009 and
$35.76 million in 2008.
These numbers for Dimon include salary, bonuses, stock awards, option
awards, changes in pension value and “nonqualified deferred compensation
earnings” and “all other compensation”.
Now let’s take a look at what top CEOs in the defense contracting industry
were paid last year.
These figures put military contractor executives deep in 0.01% territory,
seeing as one must make $9.14 million annually to fall in this ultra-elite
strata, according to an
article published on the liberal website AlterNet.
an anonymous investment manager’s article published on a University
of California at Santa Cruz professor’s website claims that the top 0.01%
has a net worth of $24.4 million on average. Unfortunately a source for this
statistic is not cited.
Either way, it is an irrefutable fact that the income distribution in the
United States is highly unequal and a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
report makes (Trends
in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007) it clear that it is just getting worse (more
The war profiteers that make up the 0.01% of earners in the United States
are not simply bad because they make far more money than anyone else. This
is the type of skewed logics that so-called conservatives regularly use in
order to justify claims of class warfare.
Let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with making money, and there is
nothing wrong with making lots of money.
However, if you’re buying off politicians, putting Americans in the line of
fire while destroying foreign nations,
robbing taxpayers blind and
jobs in order to get rich I take issue.
To make matters worse, the Pentagon paid
$270 billion from 2007 to 2009 to
91 military contractors that were also involved in civil fraud cases
resulting of judgments more than $1 million.
During the same period, $682 million was paid out to 30 contractors
convicted of “hard-core criminal fraud”.
Military contractors regularly defraud the Department of Defense, and thus
the American taxpayer, yet they continue to operate with impunity while
taking in nearly unfathomable profits on our dime.
The war profiteering industry trumps the financial sector when it comes to
the millions pumped into Washington in lobbying dollars as well.
In 2010 Boeing spent an astounding
$17.89 million in lobbying efforts while
Northrop Grumman spent
$15.7 million and Lockheed Martin spent
Contrast that with to some of the major players in finance:
JP Morgan Chase
spent $7.41 million in 2010 while Wells Fargo spent
$5.43 million and Bank
of America spent
None of these numbers should be acceptable but it is clear that the war
profiteering industry is putting disturbing amounts of cash into Washington
in order to influence public policy, which they do remarkably well.
If we want to really get our nation - and the world at large - back on track
we must not only set our sights on the corrupt, criminal banking industry
and the private Federal Reserve but also the equally corrupt and criminal
war profiteering industry.
WarCosts.com put out this brief yet quite informative video on this subject
which should be spread around to all Occupiers and activists alike:
Only through spreading this information can we fight back as clearly the 1%
and the 0.01% are in control of our political system.
Unfortunately the war industry is so deeply entrenched in the United States
that only through a massive popular movement can any real change be made.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is off to a great start, we just must
remember not to become myopic in focusing solely on the criminal banks and
the private Federal Reserve.
We must also focus our energy and rage on dismantling the “defense” industry
that only serves the ultra-elite while robbing average American taxpayers
and killing well-meaning American soldiers and those who are targeted by the
The war profiteering industry is tragic in its scale and destructive in
nature, but hopefully through spreading awareness of the undue influence
they hold in our nation we can start to push back against these corporations
and executives that profit off of death and destruction.