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Is America becoming a third-world country? Maybe. But blame corruption, not capitalism – by Christina Pushaw

In his new book, The Vanishing Middle Class, MIT economist Peter Temin claims that America is beginning to resemble a third-world country. He estimates that just 20% of Americans are living comfortably, with the vast majority trapped in low-wage jobs that offer little possibility of advancement. For them, the American Dream is no more than a dream.

That argument seems especially significant today, as I am attending a conference in Kiev. While Ukraine is a beautiful country, poverty and corruption are widespread. Politicians with official salaries of $300 per month are chauffeured in the latest model Mercedes, while the elderly and disabled beg for change in subway stations.

In developing countries like Ukraine, it’s easy to see the “income inequality” that preoccupies American media and academia these days. Termin, like many of his peers, claims that the United States is facing exactly the same problem, and that our government must act to stop it. (The troublesome implications of upholding economic equality as a policy goal in and of itself are overlooked: in countries like North Korea, inequality is not an issue because everyone is equally impoverished.)

But maybe Termin has a point. Since a huge gap between rich and poor is comorbid with social turmoil in many third-world countries, could income inequality in America be causing our society to fracture?

There’s no easy answer to this question.  Millions of Americans do feel that they lack economic opportunity, and the middle class has suffered while the rich get richer. Yet poverty in America looks very different from poverty in other countries.

For poor Ukrainians, McDonalds is an unthinkable luxury. In California, where obesity is epidemic, welfare recipients can use public benefits to buy fast food. Indeed, the typical poor American household has a car, air conditioning, two TVs with cable, and other amenities that are far out of reach for most of the world.

In this context, maybe Termin’s warning about America regressing to developing-nation status seems exaggerated. However, he’s right on one major point: The structure of American society often predetermines winners and losers. Even with access to material comforts, the American poor face obstacles to social mobility that should not exist in the “land of opportunity.”

The real question is: Why is that the case?

Corruption isn’t just a third-world problem. Deep-pocketed special interests, the opaque revolving door, and unaccountable federal agencies are destroying opportunities for ordinary Americans. Each new regulation creates an insidious chance for the politically connected to profit at the expense of the rest of the country—remember how taxicab cartels lobbied lawmakers to ban Uber and Lyft?

And gaining the right connections starts early, even in childhood. Well-off American families can choose to live in a good school district or pay thousands for private education, but children in poorer districts are trapped in failing public schools.

So are progressives like Termin justified in calling on the government to fight inequality by spending more on public education? In fact, funding for public schools has increased dramatically since the 1970s, but outcomes have remained stagnant. This result is unsurprising: public education is a monopoly reinforced by lobbying from teachers’ unions, which spend millions to stifle competition and innovation.

In short, progressives are right about the problem, but wrong about the solution. Bigger government cannot fix the lack of social mobility that threatens to tear apart American society.

For evidence, look no further than my home state: California. Sky-high taxes, unchecked regulatory overreach, irresponsible government spending, and the expansion of the welfare state have demolished the middle class. Indeed, deep blue cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco are the only places in America where “income inequality” is approaching the degree that I’ve seen in Ukraine.

At the heart of the American Dream is the chance for everyone to pursue fulfillment, success, and prosperity, regardless of their background. Rags-to-riches tales have inspired our country for generations. In these challenging times, how can we restore the opportunity that made America great?

Fight disinformation by arming yourself with the facts about income inequality and opportunity. By understanding the damage caused by big government, you can help others see the truth. Corruption does not always look like a Rolex-wearing Ukrainian bureaucrat—and before we can eliminate it, we must learn to recognize it in our own backyard.

3 Comments

  1. The worst corruption is not easy to see. There is one kind that I need to somehow get a movie done of, that people can watch and grasp exactly what is happening, brings understanding to them of exactly what to look for.

    I don’t know one other architect that knows the specifics of this, so insidious in their specifications. Most are unwittingly involved. Other know because I told them, but overall? Maybe 3 or 4 of us now, across the country.

    They could understand it and then stop it in their communities, and stop the left from taking us over.

    And please note – this is so important: The specific Corruption I caught onto has been used by the left since at least the 1930’s to destroy this country.

    It’s so insidious, I don’t know any other architect that knows what I know. That is reflected by the State Auditors, IG’s, FBI Agents, you name it, calling and or coming to visit and learn.

    I will explain some below.
    _________________________________________________________________________________
    I did recognize this insidious corruption scheme specifically and in not a small way in 1996-7, catching onto a massive scam as it came out in 1999 and since. It is being used to corrupt politicians and own them. This scam is in roofing, but it is also in hardware, mechanical systems, windows, etc. Even furniture and carpets.

    It is the reason California is gone now. You can thank Willie Brown and the Democrats for that while you are at it.

    There are specifics that no one knows except a handful of us across the country. I have had a lot of help from a lot of angry industry and testing agency folks that each know something. It needs to be pointed out to the professionals as well, but they do not want to listen. Many of the professional organizations are now funded in their conferences by some of these perps.

    It is amazing how clever these corrupt thieves are, and I don’t say this lightly. It’s so insidious this corruption – and it’s happening with probably some of your neighbors involved, who don’t even know how big this is. They just think they are getting a little money or a gift of some kind, when it’s far worse than that. Facilities and contracts and administrative personnel also involved beyond the Political Boards, that start the scheme in their districts/cities and get it implemented through personnel, who either play the fall guy or if high enough up, are dirtied.

    I need to teach people exactly how it is done, I am the only one unfortunately that knows all of the specifics. It is so cleverly done, with smiling in your face while playing the good guy but at the same time taking the kickbacks and selling out their votes and souls – and our country.
    We have a problem with political animals running our investigatory agencies and the DOJ. There is a horrific agenda these kickbacks have almost put in place the lefts’ agenda, that almost made it over the finish line last November.

    They were that close. We were a hair’s breadth of losing our whole country. This is no joke.

    If you don’t believe that, watch CBS’ John Dickerson’s reaction as he realized Trump was going to become President that night. He was almost if not in tears, saying, and I quote, “We were that close to bringing the New World Order in.” I was shocked at the openness, but not at all surprised as to what was going on.

    Why?

    It’s what happened during my reporting this scam, the threats from major Dem Politicians in California, that opened my and so many investigator’s eyes.

    I was able to uncover in documents and by what certain politicians did and said that the Dems/Liberals since the 1930’s used illegally sole-sourced construction products and materials in public works contracts to dirty their politicians on the lowest boards and councils. They own them through the rest of their careers, that is why you see lock stock and barrel voting from the Dems. Step out of line, all those enriching “bennies” go away.

    The way they do it is so clever, only a handful of people other than the perps know what is going on.

    In Kickbacks: We are talking debit cards in the thousands, $10,000 travel coupons, trips, guns, ladies, electronics, cash in on or around your house or desk at work or in those many golf bags and excursions, leased Mercedes for Santa Monica School Board Members from the company I caught at the University of California, construction in on or around your house or other properties, boats, leased SUV’s, trips to Europe, gambling chips at Casinos, etc. that opened up the whole shebang right in front of myself and FBi Agents.

    And that’s just some of what I have heard about. There has to be a lot more.
    How did I find it out?

    A colleague of mine, a woman architect 20 years my senior, called me up the night before she killed herself in July 1996, sobbing uncontrollably, pleading with me to please find out how UC (University of California) kept getting away with all those illegal contracts, how are they doing it?” Over and over again. They had run her out on a rail for fighting with them about the bad contracts, while I had forced them to order me to do it in writing if they wanted it done.

    I promised her I would. And I did, months later in mid December finding out from the head of the 110 building Building Managers that they were getting kickbacks. I had actually seen a Manager get a fully loaded four door Mercedes for a new Fire Alarm System (not needing replacement!) across campus, it appeared later.

    In January of 1997, I called the FBI after discussing it with angered doctors whose medical research funding was impacted by a huge overhead from such contracts.

    The FBI “Strongly Recommended Prosecutions” of my bosses at UCSF over the illegally sole-sourced construction specifications (roofing) in mid to late 1997. The incoming US Attorney General stopped everything in San Francisco.

    Guess who that was?

    Robert Mueller.

    When I got fired for going to the FBI, Feb. 1999, in the first 9 months after, it went like wildfire in the roofing industry. I was the first architect to catch onto the scam and report it to the FBI in what I later traced back in documents has been going on since the 1930’s. Essentially used by the left to control and implement their dastardly agendas since at least then, I discovered over the course of my whistleblowing case.

    I got calls from over 200 people in the industry and the press in 24 states and Canada in that first 9 months. Men and women all over were frustrated in their efforts to clean it all up.

    And then in 2001, FBI Agents who were contacted by people hopeful of finally getting it all cleaned up and out were told by the new FBI Director not to investigate School Boards and were stopped in these roofing investigations.

    Guess who the new FBI Director was in 2001, for about the next ten years?

    Robert Mueller.

    No kidding.
    Look at where he is today. STILL trying to stop investigations into the Dems’ corruption, pointing fingers with false accusations from frantic Dems afraid of being caught and Drained……

    During my whistleblowing case, botched deliberately by the first attorney and now we know my “best friend” was involved with it. That “Friend” was a former President of the San Francisco School Board and Democratic Central Committee Member, “upstanding” member of the community, lived on the prominent St. Francis Boulevard in San Francisco, whose husband owned a bank in San Francisco and whose leftist father had been an early “Environmentalist/Progressive” in the Midwest. She was on the SF School Board with Leland Yee while he was President of it, then she was as well.

    Yes, the very same State Senator Leland Yee that has been put in jail for bribery and corruption. Guess where that started for him?

    The San Francisco Unified School District’s School Board. His first foray into Politics. That’s how they find out who they can control – dirty them on the lowest boards and councils. You won’t be, you are gone.

    And it did for her, too, as she told me later. That was the day she told me in the spring of 2003 that “Everybody!!!” was involved with kickbacks and then threatened my life twice in the next two minutes.

    Who she brought me to to be threatened by, all Dem politicians, and what she directly told me, revealed the political connections in the scam and what the scam was being used for – not just profit, it was to own politicians they dirtied forever – and get in an agenda.
    Who was it she had threaten me?

    Willie Brown, in person, at Rincon Center. Spring of 2002. Right across Mission Street from his office, with an aide, at an evening event, in a back area. Came in a side door to do it, then went back out the same side door.

    Then when I wouldn’t see her again after she threatened me? Got the brother-in-law of Leland Yee to keep tabs on me from 2003-2011, forever doing a cabin on property in Brisbane, when his wife told me to “be Careful” when I was talking about her brother probably being involved in the scam. Her husband came out of another room and just about killed her in front of me, yelling, ‘Did you tell her!” I left. Then a few months later, the wife of Leland Yee wanted me to “help them” fight a neighbor putting on another story on their house. I told them I would not do it if Leland signed, as he owned the property, so one of the daughters signed the contract. I did the work. Then Leland wanted me to meet with him. I did. He talked very sweetly, but if looks could kill! And he did it twice, once inside, one outside. I think it got caught on tape……he was arrested for bribery and corruption 14 months later.

    The woman friend I had that threatened my life? She died three months before he was picked up. I knew she was “in bed with” so to speak some of the women Federal Judges in town. She had to have known an indictment was coming through, and must have been very fearful. At her funeral at the large Reformed Temple here, Leland spoke. Tells you everything……

    Her actions and those of the Dem Politicians here didn’t just clue me in.
    Investigators from all over the country called me. And so did the press and TV news. Shocked the living daylights out of me when the political connection was revealed, what was I to do with that? So I just followed and watched, and tested, and it all came out.

    The Dayton Daily News, a major Cincinnati area newspaper, printed the first link of the scam nationally, using myself and a roof consultant in New Jersey. He had gone to the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation about it in 1999, as my story went like wildfire across the US. Their report came out in September, 2000. The DDN printed the story front page, Sunday paper (and this is one of those really large newspapers, about 2″ thick on Sundays), Oct. 22, 2000. It went on the New York Times Newswire for 17 months.

    That reporter, Steve Bennish, called the San Francisco Chronicle. Willie Brown controls it. So the story never got reprinted, confounding reporters all over the east coast and midwest. In fact, they have been told not to talk to me at those outlets – TV News here too.

    But on the day after the report was printed, I got a call just after 8 am from inside the California State Attorney General’s Offices (Bill Lockyer, SAG). It was an investigator they flew in from Los Angeles. He wanted to know more, and came by about once a month to speak with me.

    I did – until I found out in early 2001 that Bill Lockyer was in the Roofer’s Union and his stepfather had a roofing company doing these roofs that Bill had worked in, in the East Bay. I told them to scram.

    Another in the press wanted help. So I had taken an NBC Dateline Hidden Camera flown out to me from New York into a national roofing convention at Muscone Center in early 2001 for WLWT in Cincinnati.

    And the first TV News Story came out May 21, 2001 by WLWT. You can see me talking to one of the three “roofing” “manufacturers” involved. All were from the Cleveland, Ohio area….one now replaced by another from middle Ohio.

    My case did not go well, as the first attorney had apparently been paid off to not do the right thing….and the main one did not also – incompetence at the least but most likely paid off or bullied by the University of California and the Dem Politicians afraid my case would expose them. It was clear my friend made sure it happened. Too long to go into here.

    In the meantime, it took the California State Auditor almost four years to come out with a scathing report on the very specifications I had turned into the FBI. It’s still online. It’s the Investigative Report of Sept. 17, 2003, Chapter 5.

    They did no more, and passed it along to an interested Federal Agency in 1997. And what timing.

    I had told the agency investigators involved that “….although I couldn’t prove it, I thought in this scam that the Democrats were taking kickbacks and spreading them all around their people on the lowest boards and councils, to own them forever and their votes. But if the republicans were doing it, they were doing it “singularly and spectacularly”.

    The agency I was talking to – their people had big smiles in their voices in reply.

    What I didn’t know was that they were investigating and in the middle of catching a prominent Republican doing just that, it came out in November of 2007.

    But what really sealed the issue?

    An FBI Agent, despite the decree not to investigate School Boards, did exactly that, and in the Roofing Scam, in New Jersey. Set up a sting in the summer of 2006. Smack dab in the middle of it when I first said it.

    On Sept. 6, 2007, on WABC TV in New York and on CNN were reports of 11 Politicians caught taking bribes all over New Jersey in one sting of one School Board member. Turned out they were all Democrats, telling the undercover agents to go here and there to get more contracts, all with kickbacks. There were 2 Mayors, 5 City Council Members and 4 School Board Members caught, indicted, convicted and jailed.

    No kidding.

    And so I was right.

    The revelations I discovered, and the extremely tricky language used to do it in specifications and contracts, everyone needs to know.

    I think a movie or interesting documentary is necessary, to get people up to speed on what to look for and find is now necessary, but I just don’t know who can do it. I know who I would like.

    All it will take now is and educated public reporting kickbacks for one person, one school board, one council – and there are people ready to take this string wherever it goes.

    It has to be done. Sad, but absolutely has to be done.

    Without it, we are not going to exist as a country anymore. It is over.

    PS – My last attorney would have won my case, if she hadn’t been detained from getting in it because she was looking with her family in the water off Sitka Alaska for the bodies of her two uncles, blown up in a light plane on a clear day, going hunting. They were two former labor leaders in California, Jim and Joe Murphy. One of them went to Bill Lockyer, the State Attorney General, with information that UC was operating illegally on Sept. 10, 2004. The two went up in this well-maintained light plane out of Sitka Alaska on a hunting trip as the second of three planes, Sept. 20, 2004, rounded a cove, a “boom” was heard. The US Coast Guard along with one of her brothers, a Navy Seal and a number of his buddies, thought they found the plane under water at one point, and black-coated men on the shores no one knew were watching. The search was then called off. You have to understand, my father, who was high IQ and was in the FAA, listened to black boxes to help determine the cause of crashes. He could listen to a jet engine and tell you what was wrong. He called me up late one night, very upset, yelling, “If you ever hear of a plan blowing up, it’s never an accident, never an accident, you hear!? Remember that!”

    I did.

    She had discovered in the summer of 2004 that the University of California – where I was working and caught onto the scam – is operating illegally. The Administrators pulled out illegally from under the governance of the Academic Senate, as put forth in the Organic Act of 1854 creating the University. The Administrators then took the freedoms of Academia into their business operations. The Legislature, not understanding the illegal governance, then passed a Constitutional Amendment forcing the University of California to competitively bid construction contracts.

    Precisely what I caught them not doing.

    My case was read into the Los Alamos Hearings. The congressmen asked if I was being taken care of for having been whistleblowing and fired. UC answered yes.

    They lied through their teeth.

    I had thugs threatening me and my life exactly one week before each of the lower court rulings, which even my attorneys did not know when they were coming out. And so much more, the details are horrific.

    After all, UC’s attorneys were the same ones for one of the real four US Roofing Manufacturers, Johns Manville….and Johns Manville is directly and openly involved in the scam, selling their products to Tremco, the company I caught at UCSF and others elsewhere, overcharging and redoing roofs every 6-8 years.

    Somehow, we have got to get the rest of the country to understand this scam, and stop it. It has ushered in the hell we are going through now. Literally.

    1. As a Ca native of more than 60 years, I’m more than aware of what you speak, and equally outraged.
      I’d like to give you a venue to help get the word out. http://conservativehardliner.com/
      You can contact me as Solar at http://conservativepoliticalforum.com, just send me a personal message with your article.

      My only critique of your post, would be to get to the point much sooner, you need to grab and keep your audience.
      We can help you with that assuming you are interested.

      Solar

  2. Spot on Christina.
    My only comment is that the Dim party knows exactly what they’re doing in creating victims, it’s how they gained power, by creating a victim class.
    Just look at the black community, a textbook case for enslavement. LBJ removed the father from a functioning family unit, gave the mother just enough to exist on, kept them in public housing, created a climate of dependence, no male role model, more govt money for every child produced by any woman willing to spread.
    Created an atmosphere for a breeding ground of angry kids growing up in poverty, expecting govt to fix the problem it created.

    This is the formula Marxists have used for decades around the globe to enslave groups of people that would normally not get along.
    This group, or coalition of victims is what constitutes the modern day leftist party.

    The Dims know exactly how to fix the problem, by reverse engineering.
    The gop Establishment is equally culpable in all of this, but I don’t need to go into detail, for most it’s a given..

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