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Alternative Visions – $2 Trillion in Stock Buybacks-Dividends-M&A for 2018 + Supreme Court’s ‘Epic Systems’ Decision – 05.25.18

Dr. Rasmus provides the latest, 1st quarter 2018, updates on accelerating S&P 500 US corporate stock buybacks, dividend payouts, and spending on corporate mergers and acquisitions. Latest data show $178b in buybacks and $113b in dividends and $840b in M&A spending estimates for 2018—i.e. a combined $2.01 trillion for just the S&P 500 largest corporations for the coming year alone. 2nd quarter estimates of buybacks for all US corporations now running at $6.1b per day and thus even higher. How the Trump-Congress $5 trillion tax cuts are the impetus for the more than $2 trillion boost in capital incomes for 2018-19.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate this week the Trump budget deficit will be $9.5 trillion, and $2.3 trillion greater than Trump-Ryan claim. (Dr. Rasmus estimate: $12.4 trillion and higher if recession occurs within next decade). Consequences for the US and global economy of the massive deficit-debt are discussed.  The show concludes with explanation of last week’s US Supreme Court’s ‘Epic Systems Corp. vs. Lewis’ decision, denying workers the right to engage in mutual, collective action to defend their working conditions and forcing them to individually arbitrate their disputes with their company.  A threshold SCOTUS decision that will overturn the 1935 Wagner Act giving workers the right to unionize for the first time in the US. SCOTUS decision the latest in intense legal attack on workers rights now underway, driven by Koch brothers and other anti-worker, anti-union groups. Rasmus briefly reviews the history of how courts and laws were used to prevent worker-union rights. US now returning to pre-1935 period in US labor history with Epic Systems decision.