It seems to me that during these trying times, many people are talking about shared sacrifice. What do they mean by shared sacrifice? From what it looks like, teachers, cops, firemen, women, infants and children are bearing the brunt of budget shortfalls.
Now let’s take a look at the top income percentage. What have they sacrificed? In Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio the wealthy investor classes and corporations are being inundated with tax breaks. What does that mean? It means they will be experiencing higher profits and earnings and offering less and less to society.
The wealthy have insulated themselves from reality with boatloads of cash. Others have insulated themselves in some cases from the reality that they created by their own greed, like outsourcing jobs and manipulative derivative trading on Wall Street.
You see, the top wealthy elite have not really been hit by this recession as they were in the Great Depression. This is due to 30 years of wealth distribution upwards. They had accumulated a ton of cash that would be able to sustain them through many years of economic turmoil.
Proof that they do not feel the crunching pressure of falling wages and rising commodity prices, is the sales and profitability of luxury items and companies. Luxury home sales in California in 2010 rose 21%, luxury homes are those priced over ONE MILLION dollars according to the L.A. Times.
Another indicator that the wealthy are not hurting while the rest of us feel the pain is, luxury auto sales. Cadillac has posted a gain of 43.8 percent in the first nine months of 2010, according to USA TODAY. During this time other luxury cars have made huge gains, Porsche, Benz, BMW and Audi were other manufacturers who gained big time during the depth of the recession.
Let’s put this in perspective,
There is a cash flow problem in this country. The wealthy have all the wealth and the rest of us have very very little. Rather than ensuring we live in a sustainable, wealthy nation through shared sacrifice, we are ensuring a small group of people have all the wealth through our failed public policies of Milton Freidman, Alan Greenspan, and Ronald Reagan.
Let’s look at the average salary over the last thirty nine years adjusted for inflation;
1970- $35,283 ($6,186) -actual
2009- $40,711 (N/A)
That is only an increase of $5,428 over the course of 39 YEARS!!!!
Here is the breakdown!
- $139.18 raise a year
- $2.67 raise a week
- $0.06 raise an hour
This link for average pay- http://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/AWI.html
This link for inflation calculator- http://220.127.116.11/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl
America’s corporations have given the working class only 6 cents an hour year after year for over the last generation. This is also during the era of trickle down economics. Wealth was supposed to trickle down. It did. All 6 cents of it.
So if you started working in 1970 and retired in 2011 you got a total of $2.40 in raises.
For those who believe that wealth will trickle down I hope these numbers have opened your eyes. Those of us in the working class, whether you are liberal, conservative, Democrat or Republican we have been utterly screwed.
Let’s remember it is the wealthy and powerful who outsourced our jobs and insourced poverty labor through anemic immigration standards.
Unfortunately we have politicians who do not have the intestinal fortitude to tell these very wealthy people it’s time to share in the sacrifice to build our nation back up. They have kept all the economic growth for themselves with the exception of 6 cents an hour, it’s time for them to pay up!
Image: The Rag Blog