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30 Statistics That Prove The Elite Are Getting Richer, The Poor Are Getting Poorer And The Middle Class Is Being Destroyed

Not everyone has been doing badly during the economic turmoil of the last few years.  In fact, there are some Americans that are doing really, really well.  While the vast majority of us struggle, there is one small segment of society that is seemingly doing better than ever.  This was reflected in a recent article on CNBC in which it was noted that companies that cater to average Americans are doing rather poorly right now while companies that market luxury goods and services are generally performing exceptionally well.  So why aren't all American consumers jumping on the spending bandwagon?  Well, it seems that there are a large number of Americans who either can't spend a lot of money right now or who are very hesitant to.  A stunningly high number of Americans are still unemployed, and for many other Americans, there is a very real fear that hard economic times will return soon.  On the other hand, there is a significant percentage of Americans who are blowing money on luxury goods and services as if the economy has fully turned around and it is time to let the good times roll.  So exactly what in the world is going on here?

Well, in 2010 life is very, very different depending on whether you are a "have" or a "have not".  The recent article on CNBC referenced above described it this way....

Consumer spending in the U.S. has turned into a tale of two cities in 2010, with an entire segment of consumers splurging confidently on the finer things in life, while another segment, concerned about unemployment and with little or no discretionary income, spends only on bare necessities.

So why is this happening?

It is happening because the rich are getting richer and they have plenty of money to buy stuff and the poor are getting poorer and have less money to spend than ever.

In case you haven't been paying attention over the past couple of decades, what we have in America today is a system that is designed to funnel as much wealth into the hands of the elite as possible.

This isn't capitalism that we have in America in 2010.  Instead, what we have created is a system where the laws are set up so that the power elite and their big, dominant corporations always win. 

Why do you think so many of America's largest corporations pay so little in taxes? 

Why do you think so many of them are showered with government subsidies, tax breaks and bailouts?

It's not about competition anymore.

It's about rigging the game in your favor.

The power elite and the giant corporations they control spend millions and millions on lobbying and campaign contributions and they expect a big return on that investment.

Let's take a look at one example.  Many people think that Barack Obama and the Democrats are supposed to be anti-business, right?

Well then why are some of Barack Obama's biggest donors the very same corporations that are receiving giant bailouts, making record profits and paying their employees billions in bonuses?

Goldman Sachs was Barack Obama's second biggest donor.  Microsoft was number four.  Citigroup was number six.  JPMorgan Chase was number seven.  Time Warner was number eight.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Every single year, the U.S. Congress passes law after law after law that makes it easier for big corporations to dominate and makes it easier for the rich to get even richer.

America's economy is not about competition anymore.

It is about eliminating competition.

And unfortunately for middle class Americans, the giant predator corporations that now dominate our economy are realizing that they don't really need nearly as many American workers anymore.

Instead, they are slowly but surely shipping our jobs off to the other side of the world where workers are willing to work for about a tenth as much.

And yet we still run out to the "big box" stores and fill up our carts with a bunch of plastic crap made on the other side of the world by these giant corporations.

Meanwhile, those giant corporations are taking the profits they make out of our communities and they are taking our jobs and are shipping them overseas.

So in the final analysis, is it any wonder why the income inequality gap is growing?

Without small businesses having a legitimate chance to compete and without good jobs for American workers, the middle class in America is going to continue to get chewed up and spit out.

The following are 30 statistics that prove that the elite are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the middle class is being destroyed in 2010....

The Rich Are Getting Richer

1 - As of 2007, the top 1 percent of all Americans was taking home 24 percent of the national income.  This was a level that had not been seen since the days of the Great Depression.

2 - Incomes have been growing in the United States, but those at the very top of the pyramid have been gobbling up almost all of the income growth.  According to Harvard Magazine, 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.

3 - Even official government figures bear out the fact that the rich are getting richer.  An analysis of income-tax data by the Congressional Budget Office a few years ago found that the top 1% of all American households own nearly twice as much of the corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.

4- Most Americans have suffered during the last few years, but not the boys and girls down on Wall Street.  New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.

5 - Even as the number of Americans living in poverty skyrockets, the number of millionaires just keeps growing.  In fact, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million during 2009.

6 - The amount of money some of these Wall Street hotshots are making is incredible.  Back in 2005, the top 25 hedge fund managers earned a total of 9 billion dollars.  That would be bad enough, but even in these hard economic times the rich just keep getting richer.  One year after the recent financial collapse the top 25 hedge fund managers earned a total of approximately $25 billion.  That breaks down to an average of $1 billion each.  The truth is that the United States has been experiencing uneven prosperity for quite some time and things just seem to get worse with each passing year.

The Poor Are Getting Poorer

7 - Government anti-poverty programs are exploding in size in response to the recent economic difficulties.  USA Today is reporting that a record one in six Americans are now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.

8 - Over 50 million Americans are on now Medicaid.  That figure is up more than 17 percent since the beginning of the recession.

9 - The number of Americans in the food stamp program rose to a new all-time record of 40.8 million in May.  That number is up almost 50 percent since the beginning of the recession.

10 - The number of Americans who cannot afford even the basic necessities is absolutely staggering.  A whopping 50 million Americans could not afford to buy enough food in order to stay healthy at some point over the last year.

11 - Compared to other industrialized nations, the United States is doing very poorly.  The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

12 - The saddest part of this is what we are doing to our children.  According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010

13 - But the American people cannot provide for their families if they don't have jobs.  Today there are not nearly enough jobs for everyone.  In 2010, it takes the average unemployed American worker over 8 months to find a job.

14 - Approximately 10 million Americans are currently receiving unemployment insurance, which is a number that is nearly four times higher than what it was at back in 2007.

15 - The truth is that we are creating a permanent underclass of Americans that cannot get jobs.  The number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits has increased over 60 percent in just the past year.

16 - Increasingly, the wealth of the United States is being held in fewer and fewer hands.  One study found that as of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.

17 - It is not a good time to be living in "the bottom half" in America.  The size of "the pie" being divided up among those at the low end of the wage scale is becoming really, really small.  In fact, the bottom 40 percent of all income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

The Middle Class Is Being Destroyed

18 - Even those Americans that still do have decent jobs are seeing their wealth fade rapidly.  For example, U.S. families have $6 trillion less in housing wealth than they did just three years ago.

19 - Home ownership used to be a sign that one had arrived in the middle class, but in 2010 an increasing number of Americans are finding out that they simply can't afford their homes anymore.  One out of every seven mortgages were either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.

20 - The reality is that incomes have just not kept up with housing costs.  This has put an incredible amount of pressure on the middle class.  Just how much pressure?  Well, only the top 5 percent of all U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.

21 - The debt binge middle class Americans have been on over the past couple of decades has drained many of them completely dry, and now more Americans than ever have bad credit scores.  Over 25 percent of Americans now have a credit score below 599, which means that they are a very bad credit risk.

22 - A rapidly rising number of Americans are actually choosing bankruptcy as a way out of their financial problems.  Nationwide, bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12 month period ending this past June 30th.

23 - The middle class manufacturing jobs that once defined so many American cities are rapidly disappearing.  Despite the fact that the U.S. population has dramatically increased, less Americans are employed in manufacturing today than in 1950.

24 - These days it seems like almost everyone is looking for a good job, but very few people are finding them.  According to one recent survey, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.

25 - Even many of those Americans that still have decent jobs have been hit hard by this economic downturn.  A recent Pew Research survey found that 55 percent of the U.S. labor force has experienced either unemployment, a pay decrease, a reduction in hours or an involuntary move to part-time work since the recession began.

26 - The number of jobs that are evaporating is absolutely stunning.  According to one analysis, the United States has lost a total of 10.5 million jobs since 2007.

27 - So where are the jobs going?  It doesn't take a genius to figure it out.  China's trade surplus (much of it with the United States) climbed 140 percent in June compared to a year earlier.

28 - The truth is that "globalism" and "free trade" have put middle class American workers in direct competition with the cheapest labor in the world.  This is what middle class American workers must now compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.

29 - Due to these difficult economic conditions, the middle class is being squeezed as never before.  According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck.  That was up significantly from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.

30 - So what kind of future do our young people have in front of them?  Unfortunately, things don't look pretty.  Many fresh college graduates can't even get a job that will allow them to be independent.  One recent survey of last year's college graduates discovered that 80 percent moved right back home with their parents after graduation.  That was up significantly from 63 percent in 2006.

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  • dkstoney

    And don’t forget to mention that when corporations do move their operations overseas, they are given major tax reductions and other incentives on both sides. They are rewarded for stepping outside the American economy. The are rewarded for abandoning American workers. They are rewarded by the taxpayers–the very people who are destroyed by these types of actions. America no longer practices many forms of protectionism, but has essentially let all of her guards down. It’s a fire sale and everything has to go. The country and its people are being bankrupted by design for nefarious purposes. Americans need to take back government, close down the Federal Reserve, and confiscate the assets of American corporations who insist they keep their operations running overseas at the expense of our economy and livelihoods.

  • http://moneyedpoliticians.net Jack E Lohman

    Of course!!! Even the Dems are on the payroll of the Fat Cats that want to pocket even more riches. Only public funding of campaigns will fix it.

    Jack Lohman
    http://MoneyedPoliticians.net

  • emma

    I am not looking forward to food and gas going sky high. I have a high maintenance hubby i need to take care of. LOL :-)

    You need to watch that guy from oz on youtube. He actually called the market crash and the big run up on gold. What he says now is very interesting.

    Here is his latest cheeky show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMCuSLqd0Gg

  • Craig

    “Home ownership used to be a sign that one had arrived in the middle class, but in 2010 an increasing number of Americans are finding out that they simply can’t afford their homes anymore.”

    If you haven’t paid off the mortgage, you aren’t a home owner.

    My guess is that 90-95% of what people call “homeowners” aren’t homeowners at all – they are still “home-buyers” enslaved to the bankers and caught up on the usury based financial system we live in.

    Sad.

  • TripSeven

    I work for a major international company, and I’m thankful for that. I’m about to pay off my house, I’m thankful for that too.
    I fail to comprehend how anyone can be worth a billion dollars a year, but if I could get that paycheck I wouldn’t give it back.
    I don’t want to take their money, but I would like to have a shot at making my own, and it doesn’t seem like I’ll ever have that chance.
    I’ll content myself with having what I need, and enjoying sunsets with my wife. I’ll Praise God for all His gifts, starting with His Son.

    Heaven and Hell.
    For those who’s future is in Heaven, this life is as bad as it will ever be. Endure.
    For those who’s future is in Hell, this life is as good as it will ever be. Enjoy.

  • ParLay

    Welcome to a Latin American economy where there is only rich and poor, few jobs, dirty politicians and highly in debt to a foreign country. Next the country will experience high inflation, bank holidays plus start getting very dangerous as 25% or 35% of the people cannot get jobs. As Gerald Celente phrased, Welcome To Mexico City!

    About 5 or 6 years ago I remember listening to a radio program which had a prominent member from President LBJ’s staff which had just released a book. He noted at the time the U.S. was in danger of becoming a Latin American type economy and cannot remember the name of the book. Can anyone help me out?

  • TnAndy

    I love stories that start off with a conclusion, then gather up some “statistics” to make their case. Don’t get me wrong…..I’m NOT saying things are rosy in the Land of the Free….but a lot of these “statistics” are BS.

    “A whopping 50 million Americans could not afford to buy enough food in order to stay healthy at some point over the last year.”

    Huh ? What does that even mean ? I’d bet there are 100 million Americans buying food right now that won’t “keep them healthy”. And if you happen to follow a WHOLE LOT of food stamp folks thru the checkout line, you’ll find Uncle Sam is paying for their grub, and their “other” money is buying the beer, and cigs, while they yak on their cellphone. Cry me a river……

    “For example, U.S. families have $6 trillion less in housing wealth than they did just three years ago.”

    Oh crapola….they didn’t have it THEN except in their minds, their banker’s minds, OR if they could sucker someone else into paying those prices at sale. Housing got INSANE in growth of value many places ( not here, it hasn’t changed much either way ), and now we are “poorer” ??

    “The saddest part of this is what we are doing to our children. According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.”

    Yep, truly sad…..parents still having kids they can’t afford. Lydon Johnson declared the War On Poverty in the mid 60′s, and after umpteen billions throw at it, guess what…..they are not only still there, but the proceeds of the “war” have encouraged generation upon generation of useless breeders to make the problem worse. Surprise Surprise….the govt can’t solve problems….but they can SURE MAKE THEM WORSE.

  • jacobo lashak-korogodsky

    tHE ONLY SOLUTION FOR A BETTER ECONOMY IS CREATING NEW JOBS, YES ,,, AND THE ONLY JOBS THAN CAN BE CREATED ARE BY ENTREEPRENURS, PEOPLE THAT TAKE CHANCES ,RISKS, AND PLAY WITH THEIR OWN MONEY, LAWS, MOST PROTECT THESE ENTREPRENUERS, THE CREATORS OF WEALTH AND JOBS IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY,AND TO BR EXTREMLY HARD WITH THE BIG COMPANIES THAT DON¨T PAY TAXES.

  • Mr Carpenter

    The description of our country is accurate, and may well be described in one word (kudos to Gerald Celente, by the way).

    Fascism.

    PS Why did we bother fighting Hitler and have all those GI’s killed, if a mere 65 years later, we simply “let” the fascists take over without nary a whimper?

  • JR

    TnAndy is right – statistics, particularly those from the government, are worse than damn lies. Twisted and distorted to meet political and ideological goals.

    The “poverty” level keeps rising and often “poor” means that you only have one car in the family or a smallish big-screen TV. There are some true “poor” but most of them would be considered rich in most of the rest of the world.

    I lived in southeast Asia for awhile – I’ve seen real poverty. I’ve spent years working in soup kitchens and overnight shelters – many there are better off than you think.

    This “the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the middle class is being destroyed,” line smacks of the same class-war dogma that socialists love so much. I’m part of that middle class – declared bankruptcy this year, likely losing my home, but it isn’t Wall Street’s fault. It’s my fault. I took the product they offered, nobody twisted my arm or held a gun to my head. I gambled against what I hoped would happen in the future business-wise and lost. I am not going to be a “boo-hoo, poor me, bail me out government,” whiner.

    I will survive. I will succeed. I have this setback, but I’m wiser for it and will make better decisions next time.

    Americans, even in this down economy, have opportunities most of the world would give an appendage for. Think outside the box. Quit waiting for someone to hand something to you.

    You are an American. Be your own solution and quit looking for some rich guy to blame.

  • Matt

    The root problem #1 is Americans want & demand a free ride without having to work hard – we have lost our work ethic. The root problem #2 is we have lost God – we have turned into a corrupt society – almost everyone is corrupt or immoral in some way and its accepted as normal. Situation won’t improve until problems #1 and #2 are solved – period.

  • http://gardenserf.wordpress.com/ GardenSERF

    This has been happening in human societies for thousands of years, but Americans just recently began to see that the cards were stacked against them as well.

  • Not so Mad Max

    This is a brilliant article on Hyperinflation try not get to hung up on Terminology, try and look at as a Hyperinflation of Commodities and a price collapse of hard assets. This the best thing I’ve read in many a moon.

    http://gonzalolira.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-hyperinflation-will-happen.html

  • http://8Y75 El Pollo de Oro

    Last year, which I visited Lisbon, Portugal on some business, I met a well-heeled Brazilian couple who had moved to Lisbon from São Paulo because the crime epidemic was so terrible in Brazil and they didn’t want to raise their kid in such a dangerous environment. Their taxes were higher in Portugal, but if that was the price they had to pay to get away from all the violence in Brazil, so be it. I mentioned that I was from The Banana Republic of America (BRA), and the Brazilians were surprised that an American would describe the former USA as a Third World banana republic. So I broke it down as follows: “the BRA, more and more, is going the way of Brazil and other developing countries where the rich are extremely rich but most of the population is dirt poor. Portugal and other countries in Western Europe also have rich people and poor people, but there is a lot more in the way of a middle class–and Portugal doesn’t have nearly as much flat-out desperation or nearly as much violent crime as you find in Brazil. European poverty and Latin American poverty are two very different things.”

    And make no mistake: as the Third World conditions intensify in the BRA, the crime problem is going to get much, much worse. I’m not talking pickpockets in Rome or Barcelona, I’m talking violent crime: muggings, armed robbery, gang violence, carjacking, home invasions. Oh, and let’s not forget kidnapping, which is pandemic in parts of Latin America and will be pandemic in the BRA when folks who used to be middle class wind in favela shantytown slums and deeply resent becoming the neo-dirt-poor. Like that Brazilian couple, Americans who have money are going to find out what it’s like to live in constant fear of your kids being kidnapped for ransom. Think I’m exaggerating, mijos? Well, trying spending a year in Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, San Salvador or Bogotá–you’ll get a taste of how nasty things can get when the disparity between the haves and have-nots is so blatant and so extreme. Or try visiting the Tepito neighborhood in la Ciudad de México–Tepito is so dangerous that most cops won’t go there even in broad daylight, guay. But desperation has led many Tepetinos to find creative ways to put food on the table, most of them muy illegal–and that, my friends, is the future of La República Banana de América. It won’t be pleasant.

  • http://moneyedpoliticians.net Jack E Lohman

    Who really knows whether the extreme left or right is the best. But the first thing I’d ask is that the decision be made by an elected board of directors (congress) that is not taking bribes from one side or the other. Nor do I want the extreme left or right making this decision on their own. Weird? Yea, I know.

    If we are to change America, we must start by running our country like a profit-making company. And no company can survive with the level of bribery that exists in our state and national political systems. Nothing is going to happen until we get the bribes out of the system, and only public funding of campaigns will accomplish that.

    Angry? Yes, and I’m a Republican. But our congress is selling out constituents from both political parties.

    Jack Lohman
    http://moneyedpoliticians.net/2010/08/30/please-excuse-my-outrage/

  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    Statistic number 31 should be “if you don’t pay your credit card the mega bank lawyers can take all your assets including your home, even if you own it outright.” This is the sad truth in America today. Banks hand out credit cards like candy, tease people with low rates, then jack up rates and add fee’s until you can’t pay off the card. Then they sue you in court and get a judgement,(that’s step one). Then the lawyers fill out a few court forms and have the judge agree with them, send the sheriff to your home and steal all your assets. All because of and UNSECURED debt, a credit card. I never thought it was possible, but apparently it is.

  • LTLcash

    Amazing that people still think the government is the problem, not the elite hogging all the options, power, privilege, and money. That is sad, sad that the propaganda machine of the elite (Fox, Rush, Beck, etc.) is working really, really well.

  • http://www.jamesconvey.com james m. convey

    I would refer you to my site for many articles and commentaries on the economic scales within the current US dynamic. (www.jamesconvey.com.) I assure you Keynes and Hayek did not differ so much as many may believe about the rages of capitalism. It is not really now about Capitalism in any case, but more about “corporatism”. Additionally Keynes wrote a lot of exceptional texts and pieces on the subject, Please refer to “THE END OF LAISSEZ-FAIRE (1926)”.
    “……..He observes that at a certain point, corporations “socialize” themselves. The stock-holder owners no longer are a priority and personal self-interest of management kicks in. It happens to every corporation. Jack Bogle from Vanguard continuously makes this point, “management hijacks the company” because stockholders now simply share risk and receive imperfect or asymmetric information from management. ”
    There never was a social contract, it was a construct to keep workers from leaving in lieu of wage increases. Recently, management has been offered new choices, such as outsourcing or in-sourcing H workers. They will always seek solutions to satisfy their self-interest, yet there is no indication that they are the best and the brightest and more often selected because they are mediocre, at least from my observations within several corporations. Although decisions can have great impact, there is no consideration for workers, shareholders or society at large. Anyone looks good in a rising market…..

    ……I believe Greenspan’s “shock” was that management did not act in the best interest of shareholders or the company when leveraging capital and hiding off balance sheets risk.

    *….So every corporation is lead by a Socialist pod of self-interested management, enriching themselves with unlimited wages disconnected from performance, at the expense of everyone else, including the company, the economy and overall society. Unless there is direct benefit to management, there will be no hiring. Unless there is a direct benefit to the management of banks, there will be no lending. Obama miscalculated when he tampered with the Pod’s unlimited wage entitlement. Extraordinary wages are a symptom of a problem, where a small socialist pod of mediocre men wield extraordinary power by hijacking the concentrating effects of the corporate structure.

    At the end of the article Keynes praises capitalism as a powerful economic approach but reflects that it needs revision because the exclusive money motive is so highly objectionable and disconnected from the goals of a better life for a majority of society……..”
    (added with gratitude from another source.)

    For more click below:

    http://www.jamesconvey.com/uploads/3/3/8/3/3383644/poverty_vs_capitalism_an_essay.pdf

  • ted

    re: LBJ staffer book,

    John Kenneth Galbraith ?

  • OkDave

    I find the remarks by TnAndy typical for many Americans who are happily misinformed by the MSM and the propagandists of the Washington Consensus. No need facts or stats, because they only confuse the argument with hard doses of reality. It’s much preferable to hit and run like the TV and radio commentators, that way the truth gets lost in a debate about nonsense….

  • Death Spiral

    The next massive movement of wealth from the low and middle classes to the elite will be hyperinflation and rapid escalating gold prices.

    The U.S. has held interest rates artificially low for an extended period of time plus continued to borrow and print at rates never seen before. It’s doesn’t take a genius to figure out what will happen in the next year or two.

    Buying gold will help but won’t make you any richer unless you have $20 million to invest. It will just ease the pain for a couple of years as it’s slowly spent to try and maintain a reasonable lifestyle.

  • Martin

    Well, now we are really wound around the axil because we americans have not been paying attention. Yes, the rich are getting “MuchO MuchO” richer since they bought off our government. But what are we to do? Do we socialize everything (I’m sure that there are a lot of Americans that would just love that). No, I say we prosecute and inprison the people who have done this. No one has been prosecuted in the recent bank meltdown. NO ONE!

    Just like no one is being prosecuted for the massive oil spill disaster caused by BP!

    We need to prey because there is no one out there that is going to solve this problem.

  • Gary

    I have been saying over and over that we need to tax the rich and spread the wealth. I can not believe any rational person could even suggest we extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich. If tax cuts for the rich were so wonderful then we should be in hog heaven right now as there is not even an estate tax this year. Except that tax cuts for the rich do nothing but give tax cuts to the rich. This has been proven and the evidence is right before your eyes.

    And yes before someone asks if I have ever gotten a job from a poor person the answer is yes, every time a poor person buys something.

    The fact that this is even an issue is that the rich own congress and always get their way.

    I am beginning to believe there will need to be a second revolution (the first was the revolt against the king of England) to solve this issue.

  • Martin

    El Pollo de Oro

    You paint a very dismal picture of the future. Unfortunatly, I cannot argue against it. What would you suggest?

    Martin

  • Gary

    El Pollo de Oro-You have very good insight! I enjoy reading your responses. You are 100% correct in your assessments.

  • Martin

    The economic collapse occured in October, 2008. This is August 2010 and the Justice Department has not brought charges against anyone involved with the fraudulent selling of mis-rated AAA CDOs worldwide?

    I guess they are too busy chasing Arizona for trying to inforce U.S. law.

    God help us.

  • Martin

    Gary,

    >> Gary
    September 1st, 2010 at 1:50 am
    I have been saying over and over that we need to tax the rich and spread the wealth. I can not believe any rational person could even suggest we extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich. If tax cuts for the rich were so wonderful then we should be in hog heaven right now as there is not even an estate tax this year. Except that tax cuts for the rich do nothing but give tax cuts to the rich. This has been proven and the evidence is right before your eyes.

    And yes before someone asks if I have ever gotten a job from a poor person the answer is yes, every time a poor person buys something.

    The fact that this is even an issue is that the rich own congress and always get their way.

    I am beginning to believe there will need to be a second revolution (the first was the revolt against the king of England) to solve this issue.<<

    Gary,

    I understand you but you need to think about this. It is true that in the United States about 5% of the population pay about 80% of the taxes. I would call these people the "drunkin rich". Like Paris Hilton who lets her flooch show when she gets out of a limosine.

    If you confiscated all their wealth you wouldn't come close to paying off the U.S. National Debt.

    This really isn't a problem of richman/poorman. It's an issue of your choices.

    If you vote in November for politicians that are financed by banksters, unions, media then you can expect more of the same. Dah!

    Get Smart- Vote Character in November!

  • Martin

    >> Death Spiral
    September 1st, 2010 at 1:02 am
    The next massive movement of wealth from the low and middle classes to the elite will be hyperinflation and rapid escalating gold prices.

    The U.S. has held interest rates artificially low for an extended period of time plus continued to borrow and print at rates never seen before. It’s doesn’t take a genius to figure out what will happen in the next year or two.

    Buying gold will help but won’t make you any richer unless you have $20 million to invest. It will just ease the pain for a couple of years as it’s slowly spent to try and maintain a reasonable lifestyle.<<

    Death Spiral,
    Boy; Your are one depressing economic commentor.
    But, you bring up an interesting fact. That is, the Federal Reserve has been keeping discount rates for banks at an absurdly low level for over a year. What have the banks done? They redeposited the money with the Fed to get U.S. Taxpayer's interest on the money that they got almost for free! Wouldn't you like a deal like that!

    Meanwhile, americans who have savings accounts, IRAs and 401ks are getting screwed.

    The Fed stinks like a rotten fish. In fact, the head of the Fed looks like a fish.

    Martin

  • NetObserver

    RE:
    On the other hand, there is a significant percentage of Americans who are blowing money on luxury goods and services as if the economy has fully turned around and it is time to let the good times roll. So exactly what in the world is going on here?

    What is going on is called hidden redistribution of the economic wealth. The banks, the government officials and the insurance companies invented a way how to redistribute the economic wealth (in socialist style) by implicit means (interest rates, bank charges, bailouts, insurance guarantees, hedge funds – the list is infinite). This is called easy money, easy makering, early pensioning – but in its essence it is one and the same – redirecting the cash flow from the habitual circle into the pockets of the easy-makers. To mask their activities they involved (or maybe fished up) a lot of people. So the system is out of control at present and nobody knows what to do.

  • Mr Carpenter

    I don’t think hyperinflation will HELP the wealthy. The wealthy are not bright enough to actually hold physical gold. They hold “paper assets” which are more lies about gold which doesn’t exist!

    The new wealthy (and there is always going to be a few who have more than others) after hyperinflation will be the few who managed to have a bit of gold left over after the collapse and reorganization of the countries that now make up the 50 states (which I do not believe will stay together).

    Gary, truly truly you want to look at history and see how abysmally it worked out for the average person after confiscating the money from the wealthy after the French Revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union.

    In TAKING (confiscating) money from the wealthy, the average person would be doing nothing more than exactly what they hate about the wealthy, to the wealthy.

    Natural law/kizmet/economic reality/God will sort it out in hyperinflation – the great leveller.

    Put it this way; if a wealthy man works 40 years and build up a business or a bank, then hands it down to the (spoiled) next generation, who just sit back and rake in the dough, what benefit is being a millionaire or billionaire after 5 years of hyperinflation?

    The money daddy warbucks ‘earned’ by being a selfish sociopath (whether by overcharging for loans, underpaying staff, or both plus many other means of cheating and stealing “legally”) – pretty well is good for a loaf of bread.

    Honestly, people; look at Zimbabwe.

  • Mr Carpenter

    I read a story once about a busboy in Berlin, who was given approximately 1/3 of an ounce of gold (an Angel coin) by a visiting wealthy Frenchman, as a tip, in 1919 or so.

    By 1924, after 5 years of hyperinflation, this same busboy was able to BUY THE ENTIRE HOTEL with that 1/3 ounce of gold because Germany was a total economic basket case and almost nobody had anything resembling true wealth. Money is NOT necessarily wealth, necessarily (especially fiat money – just “pretent” wealth).

    Wealth: n. (2) all goods and resources having monetary value.

    Money: n. Anything which has or is assigned value and is used as a medium of exchange.

    Note the part under the description of money “anything which has OR IS ASSIGNED value…”

    The whole world has become so infantile in its thinking that it believes that little scraps of paper and electrons in particular places are “money” and this has been intentional.

    Gold and silver, on the other hand, has retained true value over 6000 years.

    Value: n. The quality of worth of something which makes it valuable; material worth.

    Gold: n. A soft, yellow, metallic element that is highly ductile and resistant to oxidation; used especially in coins and jewlry; a precious metal; money.

    The dictionary should have added one more obvious word to gold (and for that matter, silver) which describes an important attribute: “RARE”

    Hence, something of intrinsic value.

    intrinsic. adj. Belonging to the true or fundamental nature of a thing; inherent.

    Now; isn’t it Ron Paul who is currently demanding that an accounting be given of the PUBLICLY OWNED gold in Ft Knox and New York, something which hasn’t been done since the Eisenhower administration?

    Yes, it is.

  • Gary

    Martin-assuming you are correct about “If you confiscated all their wealth you wouldn’t come close to paying off the U.S. National Debt”. and I am not sure this is correct but assuming it is: We need to start somewhere-a lot of folks say these things that even if you took all their money is would be a drop in the bucket-well it is at least a drop in the bucket. Do not confuse helping a little with not doing anything.

    You have a good point about voting character but as the rich own congress this is next to impossible.

  • Lennie Pike

    One no-brainer reason for this that could be turned into a statistic, is that money is being fabricated and basically, no – actually GIVEN (as a gift) to the elite, and it is intentionally being kept away from the rest of us.

    Stimulus? Don’t bet on it. For the general population think austerity instead. If one or two trillion dollars was printed up and placed into a large arena of circulation, there would be big inflation. Big inflation will force interest rates up, which would be the spark needed to set of the total economic collapse.

    I’m hearing banks have the money to lend but people are not wanting to borrow, and that businesses don’t want to hire until they know what their future tax and regulatory obligations are going to be. Banks are broke and future business costs are already known. This is the crap you hear in the MSM. Go ahead and keep believing it.

    There is already talk of another round of stimulus while the first half of the first round remains unspent. That one fact makes me smell a a big fat fascist rat (same thing as a commie one). Why not spend the first stimulus before you even think of a second? You can’t know whether the first will work or not yet. I have not even seen any evidence of the the first half of the first round ever being spent. And even if it was, (but it wasn’t), why has it taken so long? You won’t come up with a believable explanation.

    They were fast and loose with the money over the last decade, for selfish reasons only – they profited greatly from the crisis due to a huge transfer of wealth along with a huge power grab. Now. keeping money only in their pockets is part II. How can that be if the banks are broke? Where do you think the money the banks were gambling with went? It did not just disappear into a puff of derivative smoke.

    “It’s our money, we made it and invented the system, we don’t mess things up, you low lifes do, so it is only for us to use” – so simple even someone without a conscience could do it.

    Pay close attention to the eyes – not a hint of a sparkle of life in them – lifeless like a shark’s. They have no life in them and require a limitless supply of money and power to feel anything at all. A few of them could change though, so that’s good.

  • mondobeyondo

    Ummm… yeah.

    So just who are buying all those brand new Apple Ipods? The brand new Kindles? 61 inch flat screen TV’s? And new computers? (I’m typing this on a 2006 model Gateway laptop. It’s an antique in today’s world, but hey… it’s the best I have.)
    There seems to be a great disconnect here. If so many people are poor and broke, how can they afford all these brand new toys? Do they pay for them out of their unemployment money? You can’t afford mac and cheese and a can of Spam, but you can buy a 61 inch TV screen, and a DVD player to watch the latest Hollywood feature film in your apartment??

    Someone please explain this paradox.

  • inquiringmind

    Oh, what fun my poli sci stats class will have with this!

    “A whopping 50 million Americans” (seen at least twice in this article). The current population is at or slightly above 300 million.

    Let’s do the math: the whopping 50 million turns out to be 2% of the population. Staggering indeed.

  • bachu

    The export manufacturing jobs and business process outsourcing is gift that keeps on giving. The best thing one can do is to identify jobs that can be readily exported or outsourced. This will lead to a gradual down turn in the economy which will force the surviving business to look for even more cost savings through outsourcing. I have firsthand knowledge of individuals and companies who have made millions in the bargain and have acquired property worth tens of millions right here in the US of A available through distress sales. That is the American way.

  • inquiringmind

    I failed to move the decimal point 2 places, the number is in fact 16%, a much more significant number.

  • http://soquelbythecreek.blogspot.com/ Soquel by the Creek

    I’ve seen the statistic about income disparity in 2007 being as high as before the Great Depression. In both cases, the economic downturn came immediately after huge financial bubbles. In 1929, it was a stock market bubble. In 2007/2008, it was the subprime mortgage bubble.

    At the height of the bubble, it makes sense that upper-income individuals would have more in absolute dollars. Economic bubbles inflate all income classes but especially upper-income individuals because they have a bigger multiplier effect (and perhaps are also highly leveraged).

  • http://soquelbythecreek.blogspot.com/ Soquel by the Creek

    QUESTION: Do you think that MORE federal intervention in the economy is the answer or is it the problem?

  • Bill Sardi

    Go ahead, tax the rich with the false assumption this puts more money in the hands of the poor. It doesn’t, and it creates a society that is more dependent upon government dole outs. Government must adds 15% overhead. The wealthy represent 40% of the consumer economy. Tax them more and you kill the only thing America has left — the biggest consumer economy in the world. If what is being said is that it is unAmerican to be wealthy, then why pursue the American dream? Shall wealth only be in the hands of government? Private capital can build industries that produce jobs. That jobs are going overseas says Americans need job training. We simply can’t compete with Asia in making shoes, furniture, clothing, etc. A great deal of the current unemployment is due to an under-qualified labor pool. This article is correct when it says it is about rigging the game and eliminating competition. And that my friend is the face of fascism — a conspiracy between government and industry.

  • CC

    Mondobeyondo seems like the only one making the point, which is not contradictory to the main point of the article, that the middle class and the poor are driving themselves further into dire straights with their own voluntary stupidity. It’s understandable –expectations, keeping up appearances, paralyzing fear, and not as bad as the out and out fraud that certain leaders are committing, but nonetheless some of this consumption and lack of foresight and preparation is inexcusable.

  • clarence swinney

    clarenceswinney wrote:

    stock market owners
    1% own 42%
    10% own 80%
    30% own 18%
    10% own zilch

    10%=14 million
    80%=112,000,000

    112,000,00 durn certain to count on paychecks which have had little gain in 30 years.
    Middle 20% gained 25% in that period–bottom 20% gained 18%
    1% gained 281%

    AMERICA THE ONE PERCENTER NATION
    ANTI- CHRIST NATION

    1% put junk in our eyes via TV–Junk in our mouths  via Driugs Drink-Germs in Food–put junk in our ears via evil talk shows

    Their God is smiling  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    This Nation is a Mess.

    clarence swinney
    olduglymeanhonest

  • clarence swinney

    Wealth is fine.

    When 10% own 70% and 80% own 7% it is not a true Democracy and certainly not a true Christian nation.

    Since 1980 Redistribution has been damaging our freedom.

    1980 1% owned 20% of Financial Wealth
    1989 they owned 36% an 80% increase. 60% Tax Cut helped. Plus stock market boom.

    In 2008 the 1% owned 43%
    80% owned 7%
    That is 1,400,000 workers versus
    112,000,000.

    1979 to 2007, 1% gained in Income by 281%
    Middle Class gained 25%

    In 2009, 1% got 25% of Income.

    Middle Class Raped since 1980.

    Bush created 31,000 net new jobs. Worst since Hoover.

    How?
    In past, Wall Street used Investors money to invest in new industries, new businesses, and expand current businesses to create jobs.

    Since 2001 they used that money plus bank deposits to GAMBLE. They created many types of Gambling.It was No Value Created. Just get rich schemes. Derivative Market now has more Value than entire NY Stock Exchange.
    Get rich quickly and easily. No wait.

    Clinton got 237,000 net new jobs per month.
    WSA shipped 2,300,000 of our jobs to China in Bush 8. We need them badly.

    clarence swinney olduglymeanhonst

  • clarence swinney

    Clinton left Bush 1830B Budget
    Bush took to 3600

    Clinton left Bush 5700B(9-30-01) of Debt
    Bush took to 11,900B(9-30-09)

    Clinton left Bush 237,000 net new jobs per month
    Bush cut to 31,000

    Clinton left Bush a Peace on Earth
    Bush created a Hell on Earth

    Clinton left Bush the highest poll ratings, in peacetime, in Africa,Asia, and Europe.

    Bush made it most hated presidency on Earth.

    clarence swinney olduglymeanhonest

  • Jack Hammer

    IMO the most important thing that can be done to turn things around is to get the money out of politics, i.e. public funding of elections. It won’t happen in my lifetime but maybe in a couple generations, if it’s not too late already.

  • http://www.buyerbeaware.blogspot.com David Jeremiah

    Middle Class People are nothing but Peace Loving People who like to live a life by working for a living and through knowledge and evidence. With the increasing rich-poor disparity, more and more middle class and even rich class are dropping in to poor class because there seems to be a Fiat System and Double System in place that Middle Class Society people do not know how to plug in as they mostly operate through reason Not deception, Falsehood, Cronyism and Feudalism – which is the growing modus operandi these days.

  • Mohammed Hossain

    A lot of you are missing the point of this article. Its not about how much worse the United States is compared to the rest of the world. Its about how much the United States has declined when compared with ITSELF. So the argument that we are doing better then a family in Nigeria or another third world country is irrelevent.

    Futhermore, this article touches the underlying theme of global control by corporations and the true powers behind govenments. If anyone has done any research on the growing powers of corporations and the elite familes around the globe who are trying to make a one world government, you know exactly whats going on in the United States right now.

  • NeeNee

    CRAIG SAID: “Home ownership used to be a sign that one had arrived in the middle class, but in 2010 an increasing number of Americans are finding out that they simply can’t afford their homes anymore.

    “If you haven’t paid off the mortgage, you aren’t a home owner.”

    My hubby worked as an enumerator for the census in our small midwestern town. About 150 households were surveyed by him.

    One of the questions was “Do you own or rent your home?” Majority were home owners.

    BUT, out of those 150, only.two—yes, TWO—did not have a mortgage. Totally reflective of the Fannie Mae/Freddic Mac “everyone is entitled to a home” mentality.

    Dangerous times ahead when banks start calling in mortgages.

  • Benj

    “This isn’t capitalism that we have in America in 2010.”

    I strongly disagree with this sentence.

    This IS capitalism, this is exactly what capitalism has always been about, only a bit more visible now (or say more visible in the US) than in some previous times and places.

    What we are experiencing today is extreme, globalized capitalim, but it IS capitalism, there is no denying it.

  • greg

    “They call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it”- George Carlin

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q
    Warning “adult” language

  • David Dzidzikashvili

    The worst Economic signs that will lead us to even greater economic collapse (depression):

    1. Shrinking Middle Class
    2. Massive debt surpassed $13 trillion
    3. Slowly emerging & growing fear

    Debt + fear + middle class troubles = Economic Catastrophe.

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com/ James Smith

    It isn’t as if any rational person still believes the USA is a free country. Think about it. No-warrant wire taps, indefinite detention of citizens without charges, approval of rendition of prisoners and torture, stop and frisk without probable cause, search and seizure without a warrant, no-knock entry, confiscation and destruction of cameras that might have been used to film police acting illegally, police brutality, police shootings that go without investigation, managed news, and the civil-rights destroying “Patriot” Act.

    Acts of police behaving illegally, with shootings, Tasers, and unwarranted violence now appear almost daily. Rarely are these offenses punished. Most often “an investigation” is claimed, but soon forgotten.

    

In addition, the USA, with 5% of the world population, has 25% of all of the prisoners in the world. That means the USA has the most people in prison of any nation in history. Even by percentage of residents incarcerated, not just sheer numbers. USA is # 1!

 Does any of that sound like a free country?

    As Dwight D. Eisenhower said about communism, “It’s like slicing sausage. First they out off a small slice. That isn’t worth fighting over. Then they take another small slice that isn’t worth fighting over. Then another and another. Finally, all you have left is the string and that isn’t worth fighting over, either.

  • dr_mabeuse

    Does anyone really believe that reining in the corporations (by whom? the government?) will return us to the glory days of middle class wealth and prosperity? Does anyone really believe that de-fanging the NSA will result in a golden age of freedom and liberty? Does anyone really believe that these human institutions are the cause of the problem and not just a product of it?

    The world has changed. The US no longer has the stage to itself. We’re not longer the Only Game In Town we were for the 50 years after WWII, raking in wealth and resources, and it’s time we tumbled to the fact that those days, not these, were the anomalies. This is just a return to the mean.

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