Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mom's Day and Let's Equalize Income While We're About It

Happy Mother's Day, Mom
While you're taking a bit of time today to thank your mama for being the world's greatest (or cursing her for creating a dysfunctional family), take a few minutes to consider this chart, which tells us where we are with the nation's wealth--our wealth.

In 1976--four years before Ronald Reagan began completely re-arranging what "fair and equitable" means in our country, the wealthiest people in the U.S.--that famous top one percent--owned 24 percent of the wealth. Today, the tiny group owns 40 percent, while the bottom 80 percent of us have accumulated a massive 7 percent of the wealth. 

The wealthiest people in our corporations earn 380 times what their average workers earn. Those aren't the people in maintenance or security; they're the ones making the products and providing the services.

It doesn't take a socialist--like me--to figure out this distribution doesn't have much future, and neither does our country unless we equalize these figures a bit and start putting some of that cash into the hands of the people who create it, stripping the "inherited" class and people who make money by trading in money, among others. Those who make goods and provide important services (exempt hedge fund managers, if you would) should earn far more of the nation's wealth than they do and if that doesn't begin its turnaround soon, the "let 'em eat cake" mentality could lead to a revolution that people like Rush Limbaugh and the Koch brothers simply can't see coming.

The labor movement of the early 20th Century, the one that was so very bloody, began because of this type of income inequality. People were sweating their lives away for a pittance while those at the top were nearly drowning in money and power--as is the case now.

So, happy Mother's Day (or, in some cases, condolences) and let's get on with this revolution thingy.

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