Welcome To The Plutocracy

Published On January 15, 2014 | By james |

 

UPDATED: 4/11/14

As corporate profits hit all-time highs, wages for the American worker remain stagnant, and while the richest 1% are raking it in hand over fist, sluggish job growth proves unequivocally that the concept of “trickle-down” economics is a myth. Pope Francis recently caused an uproar from the right when he put it succinctly;

“The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger.  Nothing ever comes out for the poor.”

But the problem is not just a lack of support for the poor. The middle class is disappearing and more and more Americans struggle to make ends meet. Inequitable tax codes and Republican-led attacks on collective bargaining have further eroded the ability for the working class to gain a foothold. The New York Times recently called this a “golden age” for corporate profits, yet greedy corporations are fighting against raising the minimum wage. But no economy can thrive without a robust middle class that has money to spend. Wealthy venture capitalist Mick Hanauer recently pointed out that;

“…our existing policies are so upside down.  When the biggest tax exemptions and the lowest tax rates benefit the richest—all in the name of job creation—all that happens is that the rich get richer.”

Last September, renowned economist and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich spoke on the topic of wealth inequality;

It is a critically important topic… the widening inequality of wealth, income and opportunity in this country. You know, we are now more unequal than any other advanced economy. We’re more unequal that we’ve ever been in a hundred years, and people aren’t paying attention to it. I’m not a class warrior. I’m a class worrier. I’m worried about what’s happening in this society and we’re not paying enough attention to it and the problem is that there’s no way for this economy to function when the vast majority of the middle class — and everybody who wants to join the middle class — doesn’t have enough money to buy all the things that the economy is capable of producing.” 

The following is a video that quickly went viral when it was released in late 2012. It shows in stark detail just how inequitable the distribution of wealth is in the United States. In fact, a recent UC Berkeley study by Emmanuel Saez confirms Reich’s claims that the wealth gap between the top 1% and the bottom 99% is the widest it’s been in almost 100 years;

“…the top 1% incomes captured just over two-thirds of the overall economic growth of real incomes per family over the period 1993-2012.”

But as that trend continues unabated, another equally troubling trend is emerging. In January, the Center for Responsive Politics released data that confirms that for the first time in our history, the majority of our members of congress are in fact, themselves, millionaires. In its analysis, the CRP opined that;

“…it’s undeniable that in our electoral system, candidates need access to wealth to run financially viable campaigns, and the most successful fundraisers are politicians who swim in those circles to begin with.”

And with the recent Supreme Court McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling that allows for unlimited campaign contributions, we are sure to have more dark money flooding into our political process than at any point in world history. So now we find ourselves effectively living in a plutocracy – where the wealthiest 1% among us clearly yield the most political influence and continue to demonstrate a blatant disregard for the struggles of 99% of our populous, regardless of political affiliation.

Let that sink in. Then ask yourself if it’s time to stand up and do something about it.

 

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james

Founder | Chief Editor at The Everlasting GOP Stoppers
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