In an attempt to reverse rampant extreme poverty and severe economic inequities, the Swiss populace is now demanding a vote to implement a Basic Income for all of its citizens. These proposed economic reforms would mandate $2500 francs monthly for every adult; regardless if they are rich or poor, all people would be treated equally.
This week House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated that the historic profits recently made by Wall Street demand that our nation increase the minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour. The California Democrat explained that these enormous corporate financial gains have not translated into higher wages for most workers, and millions of working families are facing severe hardships as they continue to struggle.
It seems like every month the number of people who are unemployed, or in need of food stamps soars to record new levels, while corporate profits continue to skyrocket. Attempting to describe the gargantuan disparity in wealth that exists in the United States is increasingly difficult. Currently 1% of our population now possess 40% of our nation’s wealth, while the bottom 80% of us own just a scant 7%.
Jon Stewart spoke with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz about how the extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a few plutocrats is destroying the very principles upon which our country was founded:
“It seems like people are not angry at wealth or success, they get frustrated by what appears to be an entirely different set of rules put in place by the wealthy, who then say: ‘Hey man, I’m just playing by the rules’, as though those rules were an arbitrary design of the free market.”
A new report has been published which compiles detailed information about the enormous amount of money that is being hidden by billionaires in offshore accounts. The research, The Price of Offshore Revisited, shows that over 21 trillion dollars, more than the total combined GDPs of both the United States and Japan, are being sequestered out of sight into the legally murky offshore economy. The super elite are using every available resource to exploit loopholes in cross-border tax rules to avoid paying their fair share.
The growing income inequality in the United States is making our economy very volatile and unstable. Executive compensation and CEO pay have helped to fuel that rapidly expanding wealth gap, as well as our country’s financial crisis. The Economic Policy Institute has just released a report detailing how the grotesque expansion of CEO pay has helped to create our nation’s huge chasm in income.
Having ready access to clean water is something that many of us take for granted. However everyone would treat water much differently if we were forced to walk for miles every day just to transport a few gallons of this precious resource. The Women’s UN Report Program & Network (WUNRN) is helping to get the word out about how the lack of access to potable water disproportionately impacts women and girls with a new cartoon calendar designed to help raise awareness about this vital issue.
This wealth distribution map graphic hit me in the gut this morning. It clearly conveys visually how much is owned by so few. The simple map really helps one to grasp just how monumentally distorted our resource inequality problem is.
I am so sick of people toying with language, calling what has been happening economically a “recession”. It is time that we all stop claiming that somehow we are not in the midst of the most massive global economic implosion in the history of our nation. It’s more than a “great” depression, it is absolutely epic.
The Bonus Army has been on my mind lately, especially in light of the growing Occupy Wall Street movement. In the spring and summer of 1932 tens of thousands of war veterans and their families set up encampments in our nation’s capital to demand their promised military benefits from the government. Their tent cities bear a striking resemblance to the scores of Occupy protest encampments that have recently sprouted up across the globe.
“If I am a spokesman for all the people who think that we should not have 24 million people in this country who can’t find a full time job, that we should not have 50 million people in this country who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick; that we shouldn’t have 47 million people in this country who need government help in order to feed themselves, and we shouldn’t have 15 million families who owe more on their mortgage than the value of their home, okay, I’ll be that spokesman.”
The distribution of wealth and resources in this nation is more extreme and inequitable than it has ever been in our country’s recorded history. In this current economic Depression the richest 5% of our populace now owns and controls 2/3 of everything. The wealth gap is so severe that it has helped to create the violently volatile and unstable economy that we currently enjoy. The Pew Research Center has just released some mind boggling income survey research which shows just how gargantuan the disparity of resources has now grown.
Stop blaming yourself if you feel exhausted and overworked, because you are. If it seems like for years you have been laboring more hours and making less money, struggling more just to get by, it is indeed true. Even though U.S. citizens on average are now working more hours with much greater productivity, our wages remain stagnant. If we are lucky enough to even have a job in this dire economy, we are told to be grateful and industrious, and not to complain about the increasingly small pittance we are now earning.
It is difficult to comprehend just how rich the plutocracy in the United States has now become. The distribution of wealth and resources in this nation is even more extreme and inequitable than what we are all earning for our wages (if you are fortunate enough to actually even have a job). According to new research released by the Economic Policy Institute,”The State of Working America’s Wealth”, the volatility and turmoil in our economy continues to increase, as the massive chasm between the grotesquely rich and everyone else grows even more immense.
The greater the disparity in wealth between the very rich and everyone else, the more unstable an economy becomes. Our nation has now created a larger gap in the distribution of wealth than the massive chasm that helped fuel the Great Depression.