Thursday, July 13, 2017

The system is run by the rich, for the rich.

In 1988, the Economist would grade the United States as the best place for a person to be born. Today, the United States is tied for sixteenth place in this category.  Annual raises are no longer part of what we are told is the “new normal.” Neither are pensions, vacation-time and sick leave, or any other traditional perks for an increasing number of workers. 

In 2014, 20 percent of American households had nobody working, 13.5 percent of Americans were living in a state of poverty. There were more Americans working in manufacturing in 1950 than there are today, even though the population has more than doubled

The middle 40 percent of Americans are in most cases a few paychecks away from joining their unfortunate brethren in the lowest 40 percent, whom collectively have less than 1 percent of the total wealth in this country. 

Put another way, the six heirs to Sam Walton’s fortune have as much wealth as these hapless 40 percent at the bottom of the economic scale.

 In fact, a 2013 survey from Bankrate determined that 76 percent of Americans are now officially living paycheck-to-paycheck.

 It was found that less than one-quarter of Americans possess enough money in savings to cover at least six months of expenses, cushion the blow from the loss of a job or unexpected illness, or deal with any other unforeseen emergency. Fifty percent had less than a three-month supply of savings, and 27 percent had no savings at all. An updated 2015 survey from GoBankingRates found that 62 percent of Americans had less than $1,000 in savings.

 90 percent of Americans were earning less than what minimum wage earners made in 1950. When factoring in the productivity rate, the minimum wage in America should really be about $28.56 per hour in 2010 dollars. 

Business Insider published a graph showing the federal minimum wage since 1960, adjusted for inflation. Based upon this, the minimum wage peaked in 1968.

The U.S. Census Bureau tells us that more than 146 million Americans are either poor or low income. The wealthiest 1 percent of Americans presently has more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. U.S. families with a head of household under the age of thirty have a 37 percent poverty rate. Half of all children in cities such as Miami, Cleveland and Detroit are now living in poverty. The poorest residents of Miami live on $11 per day. Dr. Pedro “Joe” Greer, who had spent the last 25 years treating the homeless and uninsured in the city, declared, “Miami has the same economic demographics as Latin America. Seventy percent of the families we work with bring in less than twenty-five thousand dollars a year.”

 U.S. cities such as Miami, Atlanta, and New Orleans have a higher income inequality rate now than Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro and are on a par with Mexico City. A study by the Brookings Institution added San Francisco and Boston to this list, and detailed Atlanta’s inequity further; while the richest 5 percent of households in the city earned more than $280,000 in 2012, the poorest 20 percent earned less than $15,000. More than a million students in our public schools are now homeless. During the course of the Obama administration alone, the number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 to 47 million.

Ferdinand Lundberg, author of “The Rich and the Super-Rich” explained: "It is true that all persons have their compensation for work determined by a market. The elite, however, do not have their revenues impersonally determined by a market, to the dictates of which they submit. They make market rules pretty much suit their inclinations. Members of the labor force, high and low, come up against a decree that says: So far and not further. They have not acquiesced in this decree, they have not been consulted about it, they are often opposed to it but they are powerless to push it aside. It looks very much as if this decree has been handed down from some esoteric group."

The fact is the wealthy control the marketplace, so they decide that CEOs and other high-ranking executives must be constantly rewarded, while determining that the value of the average worker is minimal at best. Why is it that “anyone” can do low-paid, menial jobs, according to the wealthy, but evidently only a special breed is qualified to be what talk-show host “The Black Eagle” Joe Madison once cogently referred to as “vice presidents in charge of looking out of the window?” The politicians passing legislation, the lobbyists who control most of these officials, the executives in charge of hiring and firing most workers, the judges who reign in every courtroom, the reporters who cover the issues, and their bosses who determine what is and isn’t important news, are all paid more than average Americans can ever dream of making. 

 Near the end of 2016, news reports indicated that the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans control 76 percent of the wealth, and the top 50 percent control 99 percent. These new alarming statistics reveal the horrific reality that half of the country has 1 percent of the collective wealth. The system is working great for them. There is a class war going on. It’s been a one-sided war, with those being relentlessly attacked apparently unaware that there is a war. They appear reluctant to identify the enemy who is waging war. This class war is being waged by the wealthy, against the rest of us.

Taken from here

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