Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Income Redistribution has been happening for decades

Yes, it has. But not how some people would like you to believe.

See, in 1979, before Ronald Reagan took office, the top 1% of Americans took in 8.9% of all the country's income. In 2008, the top 1% of Americans took in 23.5% of all income.

Now there's some income redistribution for you!

Here are some interesting facts:

  1. The top 1% of Americans owns more of America's wealth than 90% of Americans combined. That 1% owns 33.8% of America's wealth. One third.
  2. 400 people (the Forbes 400) owns as much wealth as the lower 50% of American households. 400 Americans own one and a half trillion dollars.
  3. The top 10% of Americans own 90% of all stocks and bonds. Think all the wealth is in everyone's 401(k)s? Nope.
From Campaign for America's future:

Between 1979 and 2008, the top 5% of American families saw their real incomes increase 73%, according to Census data. Over the same period, the lowest-income fifth (20% of us) saw a decrease in real income of 4.1%. The rest were just stagnant or saw very little increase. This is why people are borrowing more and more, falling further and further behind.
Very few people, including liberals, want income to be taken from those who earn it or have it to be given to those who don't. Surely readers will be able to come up with a few quotes to "prove me wrong".

But people should not fall for the BIG lie that what's good for the top 1% is good for everyone else. When the middle class is shrinking, demand for goods and services shrinks. It's simple economics. No demand, no sales, no economic growth, no American dream.

Ever since Reagan took office, the "game" has become more and more rigged for the wealthiest to succeed. And while we can aspire (if we want) to the American dream of wealth, promoting that dream is really a device to get people to think it's OK that the wealthy continue to get wealthy AT THE EXPENSE of the rest of Americans.


Blogger Edwin Drood said...

There is no "game" thats been "rigged" for the rich. Generally people are poor because of bad decisions they made and continue to make and others are not poor because of good decisions they made and continue to make.

Did it ever occur to you that generally people have more money than you because they're smarter than you; not because they took it from you.

2:41 PM, March 02, 2011  
Blogger Jim said...

If you don't think the system is rigged, I invite you to read Why Isn't Wall Street In Jail?

"Did it ever occur to you that generally people have more money than you because they're smarter than you; not because they took it from you."

Charlie Sheen is smarter than I? Paris Hilton is smarter than I?

No. It's a nonsense question and irrelevant to the subject. I don't begrudge anybody who has more money than I do. I really don't care. I'm probably in the top 10% of earners any way.

But that's not the point. The charts show a massive redistribution of wealth away from the middle class towards the very wealthiest. This spells economic disaster for America. The most powerful engine for economic growth is a flourishing and growing American middle class who can afford the goods and services that the American economy can produce. But as the middle class is diminished, that demand diminishes with it. America won't flourish based on the demand for cars, yachts, private jets, second or third or fourth homes that only the very wealthy can buy.

9:31 AM, March 04, 2011  
Blogger Eric said...

Charlie Sheen was born to a note-worthy dad, who was capable of offering his son a "leg up" in the industry. But Charlie had to make it for himself. I can't say whether he's smarter than you, but he did have the benefit of a wealthy father.

Paris Hilton? Same as above. Is she smarter than you? She makes more money than you so I guess that's saying something.

Neither Charlie Sheen, nor Paris Hilton, however, took anything from you, except perhaps however many minutes and hours you spent watching them on TV. That's time you can't get back.

But it doesn't really matter how much of a "dunder head" Charlie or Paris is. They are where they are because they work to stay where they have landed. Just like the poor and rich alike. Everyone works to stay where they are, be they rich or poor. Few people actually work to get someplace else.

At least that's one good thing you can say about Obama; he got where he is because he worked to get there....

...he worked, and lied, and cheated, and stole, and...

11:46 AM, April 22, 2011  
Blogger Jim said...

Your post makes little sense, actually.

"he worked, and lied, and cheated, and stole, and"

Please provide sources for this outrageous assertion.

12:24 PM, April 22, 2011  
Blogger Eric said...

It makes as much sense as the ones you leave at my place.

12:34 PM, April 22, 2011  
Blogger Ducky's here said...

Well gee Edwin, let's look at some of the decisions the rich made in the recent meltdown.

The start selling trillions in derivatives and CDO's leveraged at 50 or more to one, all betting that housing prices would rise.

That's right, these freaking fools put it all on the over. Now what would happen to your bookie if he did that? But not the dumbest guys in the room, we make these bozos whole and some schmuck like yourself dumps on working folks trying to cope.

My guess Edwin s that you don't have a pot to pee in but you like to talk the libertarian game. The little boys sandbox of economics.

8:11 PM, July 25, 2011  
Blogger Ducky's here said...

Paris Hilton worked? Are you for real?

8:13 PM, July 25, 2011  
Blogger Eric said...

If she keeps appointments that result in paychecks, however little exertion employed, then she has worked. But then you're making a value judgment; steel workers work hard and in harsh conditions, Paris obviously does not, therefore...

Even the spendthrifts in Hollywood don't pay for work not done. And if by chance it's discovered they have, they'll sue you to get it back. Hollywood doesn't give anything away without the expectation of receiving something in return.

6:34 AM, July 26, 2011  
Blogger Ducky's here said...

The only work she ever did was putting a video on Youtube of herself getting humped.

Now you may be into that but it ain't work.

9:06 PM, July 27, 2011  
Blogger Jim said...

For anyone who's interested, I've added a new post to my blog.

11:57 AM, July 30, 2011  

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