The Haves and the Have Nots

Posted: February 6, 2014 in Class Warfare, Lord of the Flies, Pres. Barack Obama, The Economy, Ugliness American Style
Tags: , , ,

Did you know that…

  • The six members of the Walton family of Walmart own more wealth than the bottom 41% of Americans (127,000,000+ people).
  • The bottom half of the world’s population (about 3.5 billion people) owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
  • Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.
  • In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95% of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90% became poorer.

But U.S. conservatives don’t want to talk about “income inequality” and are shedding big crocodile tears about so-called class warfare.  Funny how saying the rich should pay more causes conservatives to cry “class warfare” but when they hate on the poors and the browns they’ll claim that’s just how our fine capitalist system works.  The President has been hammering away at “income inequality” these past few months calling it the “defining challenge of our time”.

The problem is that alongside increased inequality, we’ve seen diminished levels of upward mobility in recent years.  A child born in the top 20 percent has about a 2-in-3 chance of staying at or near the top.  A child born into the bottom 20 percent has a less than 1-in-20 shot at making it to the top.  He’s 10 times likelier to stay where he is.  In fact, statistics show not only that our levels of income inequality rank near countries like Jamaica and Argentina, but that it is harder today for a child born here in America to improve her station in life than it is for children in most of our wealthy allies — countries like Canada or Germany or France.  They have greater mobility than we do, not less.

I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it…poverty begets poverty down the generations. The further we’re down in that hole the harder it is to climb out.  I believe we have a moral obligation to our fellow citizens to correct this problem and that the government is the ideal means of doing so.  Conservatives will tell you to wait for the benevolence of the wealthy.  Just give them tax cuts and it will trickle down.  We’ve been trying that since Reagan and it simply doesn’t work.  What the wealthy do is simply hoard it and live off the interest.  They don’t hire more people, take bigger risks, spend more…they just keep it and they keep it out of circulation.

Some of the solutions are simple:  raise the minimum wage, provide free meals to kids at school, and make healthcare affordable (the ACA is a start but a Single Payer system would be better).  Others are harder to accomplish like creating more opportunities by investing in emerging technologies and markets that will grow in future like renewable energy.  It’s not a matter of IF we should do these kinds of things, it’s a matter of WHEN we should do them.  And we should have done it years ago if we want this country to not only survive but thrive in the new global economy.

ht to Betty Cracker at Balloon-Juice

Sources:

http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp-working-for-few-political-capture-economic-inequality-200114-en.pdf

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2012/jul/31/walmart-family-wealthier-40-percent-united-states/

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/obama-income-inequality-100662.html#ixzz2sYzBTMoR

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Comments
  1. It’s gonna be such fun when the sea levels rise and all those rich people lose their waterfront property and want to move to West Virginia or the Ozarks… oh shit, them poor people have GUNS!

  2. DRangedinaz says:

    Lol, maybe AZ will become waterfront!

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