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The Mafia State
By Chris Hedges
Posted December 7, 2016

mafia stateSystems of governance that are seized by a tiny cabal become mafia states. The early years — Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton in the United States — are marked by promises that the pillage will benefit everyone. The later years — George W. Bush and Barack Obama — are marked by declarations that things are getting better even though they are getting worse. The final years — Donald Trump — see the lunatic trolls, hedge fund parasites, con artists, conspiracy theorists and criminals drop all pretense and carry out an orgy of looting and corruption.

The rich never have enough. The more they get, the more they want. It is a disease. CEOs demand and receive pay that is 200 times what their workers earn. And even when corporate executives commit massive fraud, such as the billing of hundreds of thousands of Wells Fargo customers for accounts they never opened, they elude punishment and personally profit. Disgraced CEO John Stumpf left Wells Fargo with a pay package that averages nearly $15 million a year. Richard Fuld received nearly half a billion dollars from 1993 to 2007, a time in which he was bankrupting Lehman Brothers. More…