Friday, September 28, 2012

Revolution is the only real change

Since Obama took office in January 2009, wealthy Americans have continued to pull away from the rest of society. In the aftermath of the recession, income inequality in the U.S. reached a new high in 2011, Census Bureau data show.

The fortunes of labor and capital have diverged on his watch. Quarterly corporate profits of $1.9 trillion have almost doubled since the end of 2008, while workers’ inflation- adjusted average hourly earnings have declined.

“At the very high end, people got a whole lot wealthier whereas income stagnated at other levels,”
said Anne Mathias, director of Washington research for Guggenheim Securities LLC. “Fifty years ago, people talked about the other half, how the other half lived, and now we’re talking about the other 1 percent.”

  The top 1 percent of families garnered 93 percent of the income gains in 2009 and 2010, according to an analysis of Internal Revenue Service data by Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley. On Sept. 12, the Census Bureau reported that income inequality had reached a new high, based upon a standard measure called the Gini index. For 2011, the index rose to 0.463, a 1.7 percent deterioration from the previous year. It was the widest income gap in more than 40 years.

The Census Bureau study released earlier this month found that four separate measures of income inequality showed the rich-poor gap widening. The richest 5 percent of the nation’s households accounted for 22.3 percent of income in 2011, up from 16.5 percent in 1980. The three-fifths of households in the middle of the distribution got 45.7 percent of national income last year, down from 51.7 percent in 1980. That shift represented the equivalent of $884 billion moving from those on middle income to the most affluent.

The slogan Barack Obama used during his previous election campaign was "change we can" - the  voter knows that that change did not happen. Things have in fact got worse.  This is a democracy determined and decreed by the forces of capital. It is the rule of capital and the people are periodically made to ratify the decisions and choices of wealthy political elites. Those who dream of a revolution within capitalism are utopians. Workers can only be empowered through the dispossession of those who possess their wealth today, and there are simply no two ways about it. Those used to lots of power are not likely to give it up easily.

adapted from here

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