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.