Saturday, March 30, 2013

It Won't Be Pretty

I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record on this subject of income and wealth disparity, but I'm a historian, and I know what befalls civilizations when prosperity is not fairly broadly shared. Quite simply, it's a recipe for the downfall of that civilization. There are a couple of recent pieces that I've run across that just drum the message in again. The first can be found here, and the article that it references is here.

Just a few random facts are enough to get me worked up . . . until I realize that getting worked up is just an exercise in futility. Because nothing is going to fix this situation until millions of us are worked up by the screaming injustice of it all. To wit:
  • The Koch brothers made $3 million an hour last year. The person who served you your food at Denny's or Red Lobster last week made $2.13 an hour (They live on tips, remember.), less than a millionth of the Kochs' hoard.
  • Any one of this country's ten richest citizens could pay for a room for every single one of our estimated 633,000 homeless people for an entire year (figuring on about $560 per month). 
  • The combined wealth of the ten richest surpasses the entire U.S. federal housing budget.
  • The poorest 47 percent of Americans own ZERO percent of this country's wealth--because their debts overshadow their income.
  • America, land of the free and home of the brave, has the fourth highest level of wealth inequality in the entire world (out of 141 countries).
  • For every dollar of assets owned by a single black or Hispanic woman--the average one has about $100 net worth--a member of the Forbes 400 has over $40 million.
Had enough yet? When the American people finally wake up to this reaming they've been taking and the lies they've been told and the tax cheating that's been done by the filthiest of the filthy rich, it will not be pretty.
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