I’m here to light just one more little candle in hopes that middle-class republicans will stop enabling the 1% who wouldn’t let them get within 10 city blocks of their 20,000 square foot homes. By enabling I mean stop voting their proxies into office.
The United States is a capitalist country and sort of a democracy as well. It’s certainly not a democracy in the “all men (and women) are created equal” sense of the term, since a precious few friends with capitalistic benefits have grotesquely diluted democracy.
Eric Alterman, in the latest issue of The Nation magazine, reports some of the more obscene numbers out there. Between 1979-2006 the top 1% of Americans saw their income rise 256%; Conversely, the lowest quintile realized an 11 percent gain. The top 1% control 40% of the wealth; 25 years ago it took the top 12% to control 33% of the wealth.
I’ve got some numbers of my own. The richest 400 Americans own more than the bottom 150 million U.S. residents and that top 1%, the Occupy movement brought into prominence, possesses more wealth than the bottom 90%. The right-wing would call Alterman’s numbers and my numbers Class Warfare. It’s not class warfare. It’s simply the opposite of responsible capitalism that was never intended to exclude virtually the entire population. There’s a name for it, Greed. And it shows no signs of abating. Corporate-owned media propagandist keep regurgitating ‘free markets’ 24/7 and yet with monopolies, deregulation and the purchase of the electorate, markets are total antithesis of ‘free’.
One thing the Tea Party crowd must know, but seems incapable of comprehending, is that most of the 1% modern day money is accumulated through doing no work at all. NONE! It comes from investments. A 1 percenter buys 1,000 or 10,000 shares of a stock for $40 a share; the stock appreciates to $75 a share. The holder sells the stock for a profit. He or she has done NO work; has created NO jobs. Nor will he or she investor EVER work for that money or create jobs. As a single entity, they buy the stock, sell the stock and deposit the money in their account and will probably pay little or no taxes.
The republican power elite is now working day and night to see to it that those capital gains and dividends where applicable are not taxed. So you have a class of people who can make enormous money and will give none of it to the U.S. Treasury. Do you get more patriotic than that? And if faced with the annoyance of paying any taxes on these ‘no work’ bank account fatteners, the 1% will Romney the money to some mysterious little country or island. And/or they’ll have their compliant CPA’s move the money around under dummy corporate names so the IRS can never track it for tax purposes.
Profits earned in the U.S. are rerouted to a low tax destination. Often to a single empty office address in an obscure Caribbean island . Ah, the beauties of globalization. And the goobers cheer at the top of their lungs while their jobs and wages disappear.
Rich people and corporations were not always thus. They used to pay their fair share of taxes, support or at least tolerate unions and keep most of their factories in the U.S. manufacturing an overwhelming percentage of the world’s goods. And you know what? They still made a shit-pot full of money; still sent their daughters to one of the Seven Sister Colleges and their sons (and occasional daughters) to the Ivy League. And that big house on the hill? Owned by someone who paid upwards of 90% in taxes (ton of deductibles, but they still paid a lot more than today). And that fleet of fancy cars? Owned by CEO’s and others who paid their fair share of taxes.
You’ve heard about that horrible “world’s high corporate tax rate” of 35%? The effective rate is about half that, around 18%, among the lowest in industrialized nations. That’s when corporations bother to pay at all. A study by the Government Accountability Office for the years of 1998-2005 found that at least 55% of corporations paid no federal income taxes during at least one of those years.
And the states are terrified to levy an income tax on corporations. These same states are also terrified to be identified as union states. Unions! Fair wages, equal pay, safe working conditions, health care, reasonable hours, vacations, pregnancy and sick leaves, decent treatment by management. WHO IN THE HELL would support something like that??? Not the goobers, that’s for sure. On cue, they yammer about the guy who slept on the job; the gal who did no work…Just like voter fraud; take something that barely exists and blow it up the size of a Sumo wrestler. And I love the canard about union dues. Aways too high according to the goobers. Average annual union dues are $400 a year! If the union negotiates a yearly pay of $40,000 a year with benefits for your job as compared to non-union pay of $26,000 and few to no benefits, you’re going to worry about $400? Even when non-union wages are fair, workers fail to realize that were it not for the ‘pattern’ aspect of being competitive with the unions, their wages would fall like a stone. Eliminate unions altogether and see where national wages settle. The 1% even has a name for the new low-wage levels…‘Market’ wages.
For the most part I’m preaching to the choir because goobers are incapable of independent thought. Oh, there are a few ‘assigned’ to websites like Politicus. They’ll try to demonize submissions like this one. Have at it, but I’m telling my readers this…if Romney gets in, it’ll be a privatizing orgy and you’ll lose most of what thoughtful democratic AND republican administrations have created to make this country the envy of the world. Give Teapublicans control of your federal and state governments and this will be an entirely different country than you grew up in. You’ve seen how far they’ve gone with at least the minimal limitations of a democratic president and senate (though the filibuster threat has frozen that body); you’ve seen the red state idiocy of destroying unions and firing public sector workers by the thousands all the while cutting services to the bone and destroying all avenues of revenue. That’s kid’s stuff if you give them full control.
Wisconsin will be an early indicator of where America is headed.
Image: Major Conflict