Lopsided income distribution shifted $50 trillion from the middle class to the wealthy elite since the 1980s
Hopefully, you have heard about the Rand Study on Income Inequality and are shouting the message from the rooftops — our elite masters are committing grand theft to the tune of $2.5 trillion annually right out of our pockets.
If income distribution had held steady at the pace following WWII, the median income earner today would be earning $100,000 instead of $50,000. But income distribution began to change in favor of the wealthy in the 70s, and it’s gotten more and more lopsided ever since. The wealthy have stolen half your paycheck for a total of $50 trillion.
Some of the changes that affect income inequality come immediately to mind because I’ve written about them before.
- The upper tax brackets declined starting in the Reagan years — trickle-down economics. Before 1981, the top marginal tax bracket was 70 percent.
- CEO pay averaged about 20-to-1 in 1965. Today it’s 278-to-1, a 940 percent increase since 1978, while worker pay rose 12 percent
- Milton Friedman —” There is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud,” — Economist Milton Friedman.
We cut the taxes in half for the wealthy because conservatives sold us trickle-down economics. If the wealthy do better, we all do better — what a crock of shit.
Corporate boards lavished raises on top management while they cut worker wages to the bone. Friedman’s famous statement (above)freed corporations from any social responsibilities. Workers were no longer the responsibility of the corporation as they once were. Workers were merely replaceable cogs. Jobs could be off-shored to the lowest bidder. Jobs could be replaced by automation. Anything down to lower cost and enhance profits was perfectly acceptable.
It’s bad enough that the wealthy have stolen half of Americans' rightful wages. Still, they complain bitterly about the taxes remaining after their army of accountants and tax attorneys reduce anything they owe to a mere pittance.
Economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of the University of California at Berkeley claim in their 2019 book “The Triumph of Injustice” “That the 400 richest U.S. families now pay a lower overall tax rate than the middle class, the first time that’s happened in 100 years.”
Yet, the wealthy continue to complain.
- They complain about the tax burden of Social Security, even when they automatically stop paying into the program on income over $142,800. That’s right, an automatic tax cut for the wealthy at any income over $142,800. They would prefer Americans to work until they die — forget retirement.
- They complain about safety-net programs for the less fortunate — they prefer just to let them wallow in poverty.
- They fight tooth and nail against universal health care — the wealthy already have all the health care they could ever need. Why should serfs get free health care?
- They hate the thought of government-supported free university tuition — their children already attend the finest schools, money is no object. After all, it came out of your pocket.
- Basically, they hate the thought of sharing any of their ill-gotten gains — they want it all.
Best of all they complain that all of these programs will cost them a fortune, they bemoan “FREE STUFF” paid for with other people’s money — I am so sick of hearing that
At least we know the beneficiary of all the “STOLEN STUFF.” If we had our rightful wages, Americans would be more self-sufficient like the conservatives are always touting. We’d be more successful pulling on our bootstraps if our wealthy overlords would get their heavy hands off our wallets. As it turns out, that “FREE STUFF” conservatives are always bitching about has been rightfully ours all along.