The new normal is that in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis rather than a quick bounce back in growth (the rubber band “V” shaped recovery), economic activity would remain persistently sluggish and unemployment unusually high. The impact has been devastating, harming both current and future generations. Just witness the extent of long-term joblessness and youth unemployment, as well as the excessive increase in the inequality trio (of income, wealth and opportunities). David Cay Johnston reports in “The Great Corporate Cash-Hoarding Crisis,” “The biggest American corporations are reporting record profits, official data shows. But the companies are not investing their windfalls in business expansion, which would mean jobs. Nor are they paying profits out to shareholders as dividends.”
While the impact on the wealthy has been quite subdued. You guessed it: The rich are getting richer. Most of the world’s 0.1 percenters had a pretty good year; three-quarters said their assets had increased. Only 4 per cent said they wound up worth less. If the wealthy made a mistake en masse last year, it was holding gold, which fell about 28 per cent.
The ultra-rich, however, continue to collect jewellery, watches and wine, while the biggest jump in popularity went to art. The ultra-rich shattered many records last year, buying notable works of art, shiny baubles and sleek toys. A rare 1967 Ferrari Spider went for $27.5 million. Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucien Freud sold for $142.4 million. And 12 bottles of 1978 Domain de la Romanée-Conti, described by one expert as “as close to perfect as wine gets”, landed in someone’s collection for a cool $476,405.
The world’s club of ultra-wealthy individuals, or those with $30 million or more in net assets, added about 5,000 new members last year and now stands at around 167,000, according to the latest Wealth Report. While the United States, Japan and Germany are still home to more millionaires and billionaires than other countries, wealth is growing rapidly in the Middle East, Latin America, Australasia and Africa. By 2023, China is expected to have 322 billionaires, more than Britain, Russia, France and Switzerland combined.
Looking for some place to invest their wealth, the world’s rich still prefer property. In commercial real estate, wealthy families and individuals are buying hotels, office towers in Brussels and retail properties in Poland. Demands for vineyards, especially those in France, have also been on the rise, the report notes. Among the biggest buyers? The Chinese.
In America just what are the rich doing politically? They’re waging a war against the poor and the working class, in order to keep people down. Because when you’re unemployed, without any support, without any bargaining power, yet you have to feed your family, you’re desperate. And when you’re desperate, you’ll take anything they’re willing to pay you, even if it’s next to nothing.
The plutocracy policies are:
1. They’re against extending unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for more than six months. Even though there’s still only one job for every three unemployed.
2. They don’t want to raise the minimum wage, even though today’s minimum wage is 25 percent below what it was in 1968, adjusted for inflation.
3. They’re against extending Medicaid benefits to millions of low-wage workers.
4. They’re cutting food stamps.
5. They refuse to invest in education and job training.
6. They don’t want to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure.
7. They’re out to bust unions.
Without extended unemployment benefits, a declining real minimum wage, no Medicaid, no Food Stamps, no education, no job training, or jobs program, and no union, you’ll do exactly as they tell you. And that’s fine, with THEM.
You won’t dare make a fuss; you won’t complain about unsafe work conditions, or toxic chemicals leaking out of storage tanks or anything else. You won’t run the risk of trying to form a union. You won’t get involved in politics. You won’t raise a ruckus or rock the boat in any way. You’ll take whatever they choose to give you because you are SINKING. This war against the poor and working class is designed to make sure Americans, who’ve been losing ground for 30 years, don’t dare do anything about it.
Adapted from here
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