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How do we eliminate the paradox of poverty & privation amid plenty & abundance?

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Author Topic: How do we eliminate the paradox of poverty & privation amid plenty & abundance?  (Read 6486 times)
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« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2011, 10:11:43 am »

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22804

The Class War Launched by America's Wealthiest

by Larry Beinhart
Global Research, January 14, 2011
AlterNet 

Weíre in a class war.

Itís the corporations and the very wealthiest against all the rest of us. Weíre losing.

In 1962 the wealthiest 1 percent of American households had 125 times the wealth of the median household. Now itís 190 times as much. Is that a case of a rising tide lifting all boats, just a few of them a little bit higher? No.

From 1950 to 1965, median family income rose from $24,000 a year to $38,000 a year. Thatís close to 4 percent a year, close to 60 percent over 15 years. Thatís a rising tide.

In 1964 there was a big tax cut. Thatís when things started to slow down for average people. By the mid-'70s the rise of the middle class stalled. From 1975 to 2010 median family income rose $42,936 to $49,777. Thatís not quite 16 percent over 25 years, less than six-tenths of 1 percent per year.

Briefly, when taxes went up under Clinton, median income rose, peaked at $52,587 in 1999, and then, after Bush cut taxes, declined. Keep in mind that this is median family income. In the '50s and '60s, family income was usually earned by a single person. Today, family income normally comes from at least two people.

At the same time, income for the richest soared. In 1979 the richest 1 percent of Americans earned 9 percent of all U.S. income. Now they earn 24 percent of all U.S. income. One percent of Americans earn nearly one-fourth of all the income in the country.

Then came the crashes of 2001 and 2008 and the recessions that followed.

The crash hasnít changed anything. Things have become worse.

From 1990 to 2005, adjusted for inflation -- the minimum wage is down 9 percent, production workersí pay is up only over 15 years 4.3 percent.

At the same time, the rich get richer:

Corporate profits are up 106.7 percent. The S&P 500 is still up 141.4 percent since 1990. CEO compensation is up 282 percent. Call it transfer of wealth. Or call it class warfare.

Whatís wrong with the rich getting richer?

Slate's Timothy Noah, in "The United States of Inequality," wrote, ďIncome distribution in the United States [has become] more unequal than in Guyana, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and roughly on par with Uruguay, Argentina, and Ecuador.Ē

Take a look at that list.

Countries with wide income inequality donít lead the world in research, technology, industry, and innovation. Theyíre unstable. They have large underclasses. They have high rates of crime. They have little opportunity.

In such countries the rich have disproportionate power. They take control of all aspects of society, especially government, the police, and the judiciary. They become self perpetuating.

[Continued...]
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