Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Redistribution of Wealth in the United States

I hope you will take a look at the link following this article.

I know that many of you out there don’t have a lot of time to consider just what is going on in the division of wealth in this country.  After all, if you are getting by on whatever paltry income you have, who cares?

A huge share of the nation's economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244.

Frankly, I am fed up with the continuing Republican efforts to increase the share of wealth for their big time contributors at the expense of the rest of us.  What is happening in Wisconsin, for example, is the tip of an iceberg which looms before the ship of state and like the Titanic we are just as apt to slip beneath the waters of despair.  I know it is not simply a Republican problem.  Dems have their share of poor philosophical standards.

Over the past weeks there has been so much discouraging news concerning the total lack of fiscal responsibility with our representatives that I am exhausted just thinking about how to bring them all together coherently so they could be understood by everyone. 

I give up on the big picture.  But the details in the attached link will show you a great deal about who has the money and how it is being directed away from the majority of us.  Notice the estimated net worth of your Congressperson.


Inspector Clouseau said...

I'm conflicted to some extent on this one Dan.

Kids are definitely born into different economic situations, and thus they do not all start from the same starting line. The playing field is definitely not level. I have often wondered what it would be like if parents or relatives could only leave a limited amount of their wealth, let's say 10 Million Dollars max, to their offspring, and the remainder went into a general fund for the remainder of society.

However, not everyone in society busts their butt to get ahead and achieve economic success either. The 40 hour work week and retirement have arguably killed the drive of most who live in post-modern western socities. We've gotten too comfortable.

Just last night on 60 Minutes appeared a program about all of the new homeless people and their kids. Clearly out of the middle class. Clearly hard-working people with a good work ethic. Very distressing.

But it is to be expected from our economic model. We can't maintain consistency economically with this model, and can not do much in the way of planning. Additionally, as you have often heard me rail, this is a "herding cats" governance model. We let people do whatever they want to do, and then allow them to complain when it doesn't work out well.

Is our society willing to have far more in the way of restrictions placed on them, and some freedoms removed? I don't think so.

This is very complicated stuff.

Dan Perin said...

I am conflicted as well, though not about whether there is a concerted effort by the rich to accumulate even more wealth no matter what the effect may be on society as a whole. Yes, in our society anyone with a will to work can, theoretically, succeed without limit and I accept that principle. However, somewhere in the mix there needs to be a sensitivity to what helps all ships float with the rising tide.
I was appalled at the 60 Minutes piece on homeless children, especially since my daughter and her family live in the Florida area mentioned in the program. Also, her husband, who works on the shuttle program, sees that job coming to an end with the government reduction in NASA's programs.
My problem is not that some folks make more money than others. My problem is with the political system that consciously ignores the less fortunate while promoting ways to benefit the wealthiest. The Republican philosophy of government DOES NOT WORK.