- 50% of children in the U.S. live below or near the poverty line. (Columbia University School of Public Health study here )
- 20 individuals now have as much wealth as the poorest 150 million Americans (half the country per The Nation magazine here ).
- A study by the Atlantic found that 47% of Americans were economically insecure and couldn’t come up with $400 in an emergency (Article in the Atlantic: “The Secret Shame of Middle Class America.” here )
- According to a study published recently by CBS News, 78% of workers in America are now living paycheck to paycheck. And each year that percentage is increasing. Article here .
- Per that same CBS article, 70% of Americans have $1,000 or less in savings, and 33% have no savings at all.
- Over a million good jobs have been shipped overseas so highly profitable corporations could get even richer. Click here for more info.
* More on how race plays into all this below (links after double dashed lines).
This video clip is 2 minutes & 30 seconds long and very informative. Lays out simply and clearly what is happening and why. Narrated by Robert Reich.
After you watch the video, check out this companion website also has some really compelling info. More importantly, it lists issues and corresponding solutions very clearly:
MYTHS AND SOLUTIONS
http://inequality.is/fixable (pause when the site loads and it will automatically take you to the myths and solutions page)
Princeton University did an extensive study that actually proved that Congress represents the interests of a a tiny group at the top (and does not represent the interests of the rest of us). More detail on that study here:
Those awful stats on the bullet point list above are driven mainly by ONE BAD POLICY: neoliberalism. It’s a destructive policy that has been plaguing much of the world. The corporate-friendly policy of neoliberalism has been championed by both Republicans & Democrats here in the United States for the last 20 years and it is practiced around the world. (Those political leaders in the U.S. on both sides of the aisle are following the wishes of their huge corporate donors and this has put human beings and the environment low on the priority list).
Neoliberal policy has been pushed for decades right under our noses here in the U.S., but we didn’t notice because marketing put such a happy face on it all. We were also dazzled by all the shiny things available and the notion that maybe we could be rich someday that we didn’t notice that Republicans and Democrats were actually were working together to push something that was only good for a tiny percentage of the population (the super-wealthy).
More detail on neoliberalism here.
More on how race plays into this overall post below (links after double dashed lines).
We were told (and are still being told) that if big business and the wealthy had their “burdens” (responsibilities) reduced and were allowed to run free and unfettered, the resulting prosperity for them would trickle down to us. Fewer regulations so they can pollute more (we citizens bear the cost of that). Lower taxes for the rich and huge corporations and loopholes to avoid the paying of any taxes at all. Meanwhile, taxes on the wealthiest citizens are now HALF of what they were in 1950’s. (They used to pay 70% rate. . . back when we had strong public schools, built highways and bridges etc.). And they need more of a break now when everyone else is hurting so much?
Warren Buffett, a billionaire, is chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Here’s what he said about trickle down economics:
“I think that people at the high end — people like myself — should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it…“The rich are always going to say…, you know, just give us more money and we’ll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you,…but that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.”
WE’RE CONTINUALLY TOLD THAT THE RICH NEED TO BE FAVORED SO THE ECONOMY CAN GROW. BUT THAT IS A FLAT OUT LIE. Look at this! Our growth rate averaged above 2% during the years where people of different incomes all saw their incomes increase. But it was only an average of 1% during the years when all the gains went to the rich.
In recent years, gains have not been shared equally at all. The top 1% of captured 91% of all real income.
(ALSO – PLEASE SEE KEY STATS THAT SHOW RACISM. LINKS ARE BELOW DOUBLE DASHED LINES).
Also consider corporate welfare. Americans who make $50,000 a year pay $4,000 of it in subsidies to corporations (as opposed to $6.96 per year for welfare). Are you sure you’re pissed at the right people?
It’s hard to believe, but most of us are all still believing in the lie of trickle down economics in its new shiny form: Neoliberalism.
Political and corporate leaders tell us we have to let corporations and the rich be even more free of their responsibilities. We believe them and agree. We do so because we’re told it’ll pay off later. And what’s even more astounding is that we aren’t even familiar with neoliberal ideology, that force that has blasted our lives and severely damaged the planet! It’s certainly no accident that the policy isn’t mentioned. Politicians and their corporate donors do their best to avoid bringing up the subject. And 90% of the world’s press is now owned by 7 (seven) corporations.
This video clip is only 10 seconds long and captures the absurdity of the greed that is driving so much suffering with so little upside.
A lot of democrats and republicans lament that it’s the education gap that separates the winners from losers. That turns out to be bullshit too. Look how the top 1% are doing. Has nothing to do with being a college grad or not. These people at the top are winning because they have cleverly pulled the levers of power to twist policy so most of the marbles roll into their pockets. Don’t let the guy running the shell game keep distracting you with excuses.
Look what our high inequality is doing to us. Because wealth is concentrated in the hands of such a small number of people, we have lousy upward mobility. Other developed nations are WAY ahead of us in terms of people being able to work their way up because their game is not as rigged as ours and wealth is not as concentrated in the hands of a few.
More on inequality and “The Most Destructive Policy You’ve Never Heard Of” here — What if the loss of good jobs, inequality and concentration of wealth, damage to the environment & nazis in the streets are all simply the result of one bad policy (one we can change)? Learn more here:
KEY STATS THAT SHOW RACISM
1. Black children in U.S. are nearly four times more likely to live in poverty than white children per New York Times.
2. Killings of Blacks by Whites Are Eight Times More Likely to Be Ruled ‘Justifiable’ per New York Times:
3. Black men are 20% more likely to be pulled over, 3 times more likely to have police use force on them and 3 times more likely to die at the hands of police per CNN:
(Fast forward to 1 minute in)
- NOTE 1: Our environment is clearly being damaged at a rapid pace as the interests of corporations (quarterly profits) are continually put about the interests of people and the planet. . (See images towards the bottom for more info). In addition to climate change and pollution of our air, water and land, there is also alarming news like this: THE GUARDIAN: “Natural World Faces Collapse as Wildlife Population Plummets”
- NOTE 2: In the interview at link below, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges describes how corporations feed off people. This will blow your mind.”There are forgotten corners of this country where Americans are trapped in endless cycles of poverty, powerlessness, and despair as a direct result of capitalistic greed. . . “These are areas that have been destroyed for quarterly profit. We’re talking about environmentally destroyed, communities destroyed, human beings destroyed, families destroyed,” Hedges tells Bill Moyers.“It’s the willingness on the part of people who seek personal enrichment to destroy other human beings… And because the mechanisms of governance can no longer control them, there is nothing now within the formal mechanisms of power to stop them from creating essentially a corporate oligarchic state.”See the Bill Moyers interview here
TO SEE THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF MANY OF THE CONDITIONS DESCRIBED ABOVE (and solutions to FIX the problems), PLEASE CHECK OUT THIS LINK. (There’s some good news here!):
MORE GOOD NEWS:
QUOTES THAT INSPIRE HOPE: