The rich are stealing America

It doesn't take an economics degree to grasp the ugliness in the following statistics: Since the Great Recession supposedly ended in 2009, the incomes of the elite 1-percenters have soared by a third, while the incomes of everyone else – the 99 percent – have barely budged, ticking up by less than one-half of one percent.

It doesn’t take an economics degree to grasp the ugliness in the following statistics: Since the Great Recession supposedly ended in 2009, the incomes of the elite 1-percenters have soared by a third, while the incomes of everyone else – the 99 percent – have barely budged, ticking up by less than one-half of one percent.

What we have here is the revenge of the robber barons. Like the old barons, today’s moneyed powers have taken such control of both the economy and government policy that practically every dime and dollar flows uphill to those at the top. With their ability to get government subsidies, jack-up stock prices, and hold down jobs and wages, the infamous 1-percent has siphoned-off 95 percent of all the income gains America has generated since 2009. In fact, the richest 1/10th of 1-percent grabbed 60 percent of that income. Not since the Roaring Twenties has the gap between the really rich and the rest of us been so extreme.

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This divide is widening, thanks to the avarice of such sorry outfits as International Paper. Early in September, IP spent $1.5 billion to buy back its own stock, plus announcing a divided hike of 17 percent. Both maneuvers will further enrich IP’s already-superrich big shareholders – a group that just happens to include its top executives. One day later – one day! – those same executives announced the dismissal of 1,100 workers and the shutdown of an Alabama paper mill.

Longtime, loyal, hardworking employees – plus their families and their local communities – were dumped in the ditch of plutocratic greed to provide more money for the 1-percent. And Washington just smiles, bizarrely calling for more tax breaks for the rich, as though nothing is amiss in our “Land of Equal Opportunity.”

You don’t need a PhD to see the R.O. B. This isn’t economics – it’s a robbery!

“Zero Interest, Zero Jobs,” Austin American Statesman, September 15, 2013.

“Rich Man’s Recovery,” The New York Times,” September 13, 2013.

“Income gap is widest since 1928,” Austin American Statesman, September 11, 2013.

“Top 10% Took Home Half of U.S. Income in 2012,” The New York Times, September 11, 2013.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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