Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actual numbers. The reality is often not what we think it is.
Although I totally agree with what was being illustrated in the video, that the numbers are spot-on, I totally disagree with the speakers conclusion near the end that:
"we certainly don't have to go to Socialism to get something that is fair for hard working Americans"
This is simply wrong.
1) Capitalism, (no matter how well bridled though regulation) is inherently dysfunctional, as it MUST have exploitation to keep going, which means exploiting other human beings, to maximize profit. As long as a system that is dependent on exploitation is held in place over the people, the worker will ALWAYS lose, as it is meant to be that way.
2) Capitalism calls for constant growth, which is genocidal, and the main reason our environment is in such bad shape right now, this would be the same mindset that a virus or cancer -if they could speak to you- would have, constant growth, (just as in "business") until it kills it's host. Socialism on the other hand, calls for production for human needs, (which are finite) not human want's (which are infinite) and are unsustainable.
Many try to look back to the past, such as the 50s 60's and even the early 70s as "better times" for working people, and by comparison to today, that -on the very surface- may seem to be true, but it is also very important to remember, that many many people in America where STILL dirt poor at that time, and where taken advantage of by the rich every chance they got.
The main difference between then and now, is that the unbridled thievery of the rich is....well....much more unbridled (since our government is now owned and run by a corporate criminal Cabal) then in the recent past, that's all.
"Trying to reform capitalism though a sworn promise, is like getting a sworn promise from a reformed fox, that it will no longer go to the hen house."
PS. The caption should read: Hey, I stole this from you fair and square! Go fuck yourself worker!
"Capitalism has entered stage 4 of its cancerous lifetime."
I think your right Vic, soon, just as they had to do long ago in Russia and France, they will just start shooting people on the street to get them to "cooperate" and get back to work!
The U.S. "government" has raped just about all the world, now soon it will be our time to learn about "democracy" and "freedom" first hand, soon, all pretense of liberty will be gone, the Jack-Boots are getting ready.
Yes, Winston Churchill did say that... So @Paratus the question you should be asking yourself is.... " Why would Winston Churchill say that?"
Because Winston Churchill was raised and schooled in that perspective. Winston Churchill life and upbringing was from the very center of the upper class industrialists 1%. That is the Winston Churchill's perspective in his quote: The protection of the dominance and the upper class and the heart of the industrialist 1%...!
As Paul Harvey would say... "That is the rest of the story!"
It amazes me how many people continue licking the boots of the very rich... and powerful thinking all along that they might win favor.... When in actually in reality all that a "boot licker" will be in the eyes of the very rich and powerful 1% is just "A Boot-Licker " ~
Regardless of your personal hopes...and promises. Your position in life is simple... you are a BOOT LICKER... AND you will always be a boot licker! The most you will ever get ... if push ever comes to shove. ~ is a little pat on the head and a dogie bone. Google John Kerry's Speech on Agenda 21= The good news is= THAT THE BOOT LICKERS WILL BE SAVED!!!! The Bad News is: They have cut way back on the book-licking staff.... So, unless you feel very lucky?
My Advice: Start walking on two feet instead of on all fours. What you are doing is against your best interests as a human being !!! You have successfully shown everyone that you have been successfully brainwashed.
A confession... at one time I also believed in all of that rot too... So Paratus there is hope for you too! All you need to do... is chew off that leach that is around your mind... and once you do that... Then you can begin to de-program yourself and begin to re-examine everything you were taught in school!
Stop watching all "U.S. Main Stream Media"! IT IS CENSORED: by design engineered and sanitized to make viewers stupid and obedient !
Yeah, Churchill stupid. What a laugh. You sure sound like a stellar success example. Of course since you can't counter the quote with facts or reason you have no choice but to describe Churchill as not know what he was talking about. Just thought of something....do you even know who Winston Churchill was or do you hate him because he helped defeat one of your socialist heroes and warned us about the Soviets.
Oh my God!!! It took me 5 minutes to stop laughing at your post. Thank you for the comic relief. Too much. Whew! A boot licker HA, HA,HA,HA This from a leftest troll who subscribes to the statist concept of government supremacy over the person. HA, HA too much. Watching Main Stream Media----- HA,HA,HA . You have no idea of who I am or what I believe in do you. I'm still laughing. Oh gosh my side hurts. Never, and this is taking in some very wrong things said about me here, have I read so much that is so incorrect. Thank you.
Paratus, [Your brainy intellectual Quote] "HA,HA,HA . You have no idea of who I am or what I believe in do you".[ end quote]
Paratus, to be nice... The only idea I have of you is from your very own words... Words that you shared with me but, mostly with others... It seems that there is a pattern that I see here... You are very busy defending your limited viewpoint on the world...
Honestly... I am underwhelmed with your argument (s)...
Hey, go ahead and believe in whatever easy simple nonsense you want to believe in... I can see you think you have it all figured out and, you think that you are so much more intelligent than everyone else on here.
It's always wise to remember that your words say volumes about who you are...
It's always wise to remember that your words say volumes about who you are..."
This little missive will come back to haunt you. Sorry I don't see things the same as you do. YOu are evidently so enlightened and intelligent that it hurts the eyes to be in the same room with you and be exposed to your brilliance. OK, sarcasm off.
You are underwhelmed because of your limited and hateful view of reality. Please continue to keep your head in the sand. NO junior, you don't know anything about me, facts in evidence by your statements about me. Think what you wish.
Happy Friday. Reply if you wish but as praise from you means nothing so too your derision is meaningless.
"Wall Street Bonuses: Up 8% last year. Average US Personal Income: Down 3.6% last month
Everywhere you look, there's another measure of the massive inequality that's reshaped our society, leaving 90 or 95 or 98 or 99 percent of us out in the cold. It's a blend of corporations that care about nothing but short-term profit even at the expense of long-term economic stability, policymakers who write the primacy of corporations and the wealthy into law at every turn, and a too-quiescent public.
At this point you'd almost have to welcome machines trying to take over the world—at least someone would be giving the banks and bankers a run for their money."
"In effect, the Machines have decided that the only way to follow the First Law is to take control of humanity, which is one of the events that the three Laws are supposed to prevent. They discover that the Machines have generalized the First Law to mean "No machine may harm humanity; or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm."
This is a great graphic, but honestly I'm surprised anybody is surprised by this still. Look around you and think about all the things of substance (and I'm not talking ipads) you or your friends and family owns. If you aren't extremely wealthy you probably have no meaningful assets or means of accruing any wealth. Even the "upper middle" professional work at home class has next to no real assets. The problem pre housing bubble was supposedly that a large segment of our economy was built on intangible dirivatives, but now it's becoming increasingly clear that this is what our entire economy and really our society is based on. Unless it's consumer goods and gadgets people don't own anything except paper or electronic currency. Even the money we put in our retirement funds or investment portfolios (if you're lucky enough to have one) is rendered into digital currency. So while people walk around with the false confidence that they're doing better than SOMEBODY because they have a new 3d tv and enough chemically enhanced food to feed theirs, take a look at the businesses in your neighborhood, and infrastructure and civic sites too, and see whose name is on the plaque. Most likely it's the same conglomerate that owns everything in my neighborhood. It's definitely cliche but we need to open our eyes and see our surroundings for the imposed hell that they are.
When I worked in hotels as a banquet server we had them for lunch a few times.
They where talking a lot about workers productivity when I worked the lunches.
So if you see at your work place many bad workers got fired you know who started it!
Sounds as close to eden as you can get now lol you know if the chamber of commerce is upset with you (upset about a whole town? Definitely some arrogance at play there) you're doing something right. How's real estate out by you :)
Are we talking income or wealth- or both? Can someone please pen an idea, with specifics, to what they would like to see that would change this. It is easier to amass wealth, the stuff you buy, with a higher income. Generally higher incomes depend on education and what you do to produce that income. I am not speaking to inherited money in this.
Incomes depends on education, does not really work right now.
Many kids out of college go to work as a custodian!
That's from no good paying jobs & many low paying jobs being made!
The rich does not want to pay a living wage!
Education is needed! I don't like secret knowledge, the info needs
to be for everyone!
Knowledge for the few makes the poor gather as a group & burn down your
Vatican library over a door knob tax!
The only best thing is to raise the pay or have no sales!
Obama is pushing this!
Many poor go to school but end up stopping to work to pay the bills.
I knew a guy in college that figured it out! He worked & saved money
for school etc, than he killed all his bills, became homeless
stayed at a homeless center as he went to school, he had no bills to pay.
Hmm, interesting. I would disagree but in one respect. Everyone I know who has put themselves through college, myself included, earned more money after the education than before. Granted it does take money to have education but I know many docs and lawyers who come out of school with beaucoup debt or having worked two jobs to pay for school. I know an EMT with a child who works 40 hours a week just to get through nursing school to make more money. I am referring not to just an income but income commesurate with the education. Some people get stuck in a position due to life and can't get out. You are correct but I believe you and I are speaking of two different things. I'm in a hurry and may not be putting this very well. Apologies.
I;'m not sure to which what "loopholes" you would be referring. Expenses incurred in the production of taxable income are deductible. We did not create the wealth and prosperity of this country by taxing the successful at 70%. "By doing this the rich, to avoid paying these high tax rates will lower their own salaries, and invest that difference in their businesses in the form of R&D, more jobs and higher salaries for their workers. " You are trying to close "loopholes". R&D expense could be one of the loopholes to which you are referring. Anyhow, the French tried this recently and now are thinking of lowering the rate to 60-65%. I believe they are trying to keep the rest of the French wealthy from leaving the country. That number also may come down.
I don't follow the Keynesian economic model. I believe the Austrian school is more in line with success and growth. I also look at the history of this country to see that I am correct. Capitalism and allowing people to keep what they make is the recipe for growth.
The government produces nothing. when it confiscates money there is no growth, it merely changes hands. It is a question of geography. People pay more money for better educated workers, nigher degree of technology, efficiency not to avoid taxes. We will have no demand until we have growth. There is huge pent up demand now but no one is investing due, in large part, to government uncertainty. The creation of a business to pay the wages you say we need to demand to make things better is almost impossible without huge amounts of capital. I think we should let the people and the businesses keep what they make. If so they will invest it in businesses which will employ people to fuel demand and supply. The government taking it will solve nothing. If that were the case we would be out of trouble by now.
I think your reply is more about hatred, greed and envy than about equality. As such, it will solve nothing.
You want to remove "loophooles" than remove them from everyone. Eliminate the Earned Income Credit, education credits and deductions, Schedule A deductions. France wants to reduce the 75% rate to the wealthy. Not working. Maryland passed a millionaires tax, took in less money than before the tax. It is not the governments job to "screw the people" and to declare a war on people because they ahve worked all their lives and are successful is wrong any way you slice it. This is class warfare.
The thing I don 't see is why is it greed to want to keep what you work for but it is not greed to want to take from those who have worked for what they have.
"The thing I don 't see is why is it greed to want to keep what you work for but it is not greed to want to take from those who have worked for what they have".
Not a bad question but I think you miss the point of the video. You're talking about wanting to pay less in taxes v.s CEO's who are overpaid for what they do. If you were allowed to keep every dime you pay in taxes the inequity would still be as great as it is and "inequity" is the issue in the video.
If you listen to the video an average worker will "work" for 30 days to make what a wealthy CEO makes in a single hour. Given this, te obvious question becomes how can we gauge the real value of a CEO?
Not easy but this might be a good guide to go by. The President of the US is responsible for maintaining the US social and defense policies. He is responsible for the worlds largest nuclear arsenal and geopolitical events that effect us. His responsibilities are vast and potential consequences of miscalculation can be catastrophic for the country and the world. Given this how much does the president make?
The President earns a base salary of $400,000 per year. He is also given a few nice bonuses like an annual expense account, a travel account and an entertainment stipend. These fringe benefits bring the President's total salary to over $550,000 each year. That said the Obama's COMBINED income taxes showed they made 2.5 million in revenue in 2012 and have a combined net worth of 11.8 million dollars. So clearly, they're not poor.
By comparison however, the average CEO pay of companies in the S&P 500 Index rose to $12.9 million in 2011 alone. It's probably higher now. So either the president is grossly underpaid or CEO's are grossly overpaid if you measure their worth on a responsibility basis. How else would you? The president is responsible for the entire free world. A CEO is responsible for one (or more) companies and their investors. If we don't feel the president is worth more than 550K/year then clearly CEO's are worth far less then 12.9 million a year.
I didn't watch the video. I was interested in what we were talking about- wealth or income and what ideas people here had to resolve the disparity. I guess that question was bad as it resulted in down votes-don't understand that one at all but anyhow....
The president is an employee of the government. The government produces no goods, services nor is it supposed to be a profit center. If the president is incompetent he cannot be fired. He can only be removed for treason, ribery, high crimes and misdemeanors. He will, in all probability, not face jail time for these offenses. Clinton faced no jail time for perjury although a private person certainly would be concerned about that happening.
A corporation who employes a CEO is a private entity. The CEO can be prosecuted and face not only firing but certainly jail time for bribery, high crimes and misdemenaors. Treason is a lesser worry for obvious reasons. The corporation through the CEO is responsible to its sharehoulders to produce a profit in the most economical manner it can. It is up to the CEO to steer the company in the direction to make this happen. A founder and CEO of a company takes all the risk and is responsible for navigating the ship.
The salary of a CEO should be determined by the shareholders through the board of directors of a company or the company owner. They alone determine what is gross underpayment or overpayment. This is an apples and oranges concept but I don't agree that because the president makes x therefore all CEOs should make no more than x. The president is not a king, he is an elected public servant of the people and guardian of their security and freedoms. CEO and president- two different jobs, different duties.
"because like all Republicans that's what you are all about"
Hey, if you are going to accuse me of something at least be correct. I'm not a Republican.
Close all the "loopholes", a term which I have come to realize is any deduction a company could take, but let's close all the loopholes. Let's close the Earned Income Credit, a true loophole. How about the the credits for any solar or geothermal utilities anyone would install. How about the deductions for medical and charitable giving.
How about, if we want to reduce spending, we stop funding the muslim brotherhood. Let's chop welfare payments, withdraw from the United Nations and stop all foreign aid.
Declaring war on companies will not suddenly result is prosperity for the poor and middle class. If the funneling of dollars to these two groups were a solution the War of Poverty Pres. Johnson began would have been won long ago. This so-called "stimulus" would have succeeded. Everyone who has W2 income experiences a 2% tax increase on January 1. Obama said this would not occur. People, myself included, have less in their paychecks. Let me know when we will see the benefit of this. This socialism crap does not work. If it did the failed countries who practiced it would be solvent. Europe may not be in the mess it is or in a lesser mess. The U.S. is moving down the road toward Europe, why, socialist policies. Spread the wealth works but not when the government is the knife doing the spreading.
'This proves you have absolutely no idea what macro economic is all about. Supply-side economics has never worked anywhere in any country at any time in history. You call it "envy" I call your statement "stupidity."'
Your theories are fine in the classroom but not so good in reality. Your desire to take money from whoever earns it for whatever is the current popularity is greed fueled by envy. Slice it anyway you wish but that is the elephant in the room. Socialism is a failed cancer. Confiscation of income to fund ....whatever, flies in the face of freedom, common sense, the intent of the framers of this country or reality. THAT intent is stupidity.
"It's the stuff of violent insurrection if left unchecked."
Exactly so! Which is what makes the obsession with Austerity economics so strange. Billionaires complaining that the problem with modern capitalism is that it just has not been fair enough to THEM! And risking a result as you suggest, which is misery for everyone in the short term; but especially for the rich.
That is -EXACTLY- the truth of it! You summed up the word of our era there, the word is "DISTRACTION". The essence of what keeps the system in place keeps the 1%ers, and corporates enthroned in their bought power over the real people.
This video is amazing. Thanks for the post.
I've always known the wealthy got all the money in America, but I've never known that 1% owned so much. They get all the money, without working hard. They're the CEO's that wanna take all your money, hurt your wallet, and at the same time make you work harder.
Obama is having no luck in even getting the GOP to agree to remove some of the tax loopholes the rich never fail to take advantage of, but to make it worse, he is now trying to negotiate with them by putting Social Security on the table once again in an effort to raise taxes. This guy does not know how to govern.
On Thom Hartmann's show today he announced this from both the EU and Switzerland:
In the best of the rest of the news...
The Swiss said “No” to corporate fat cat greed. Voters in that nation just passed a referendum which gives shareholders veto power on executive salaries, compensation packages, and huge bonuses. The so-called “fat cat initiative” will be written into the Swiss constitution, and all companies listed on the Swiss stock exchange will be forced to comply. BBC News reports that 68% of voters supported the plan, which accounts for 1.6 million votes, and it was supported in all 26 Swiss cantons. One of the referendum's organizers, Brigitte Moser Harder, said the plan got broad support because of the growing income gap in that nation. She said, “It's also a social problem because the high wages got higher, and the small ones sometimes just got lower.” And a similar measure was just approved in the European Union, which will cap bankster's bonuses throughout the EU. We should take a cue from Switzerland and the E.U., and take on the billionaires in our country as well. We can start by making it a crime to hoard huge sums of cash. Let's outlaw billionaires. Join the movement at NoBillionaires.com."
Great Post vic, I was just about to put it up to. Everyone should get a nut bag GOP or tea partier to watch this....if they still want to vote the 1% party....have them committed please, they shouldn't be allowed in public!
I was just thinking of my dear Heroess, It could be time to start selling those guillotines....if enough sheeple would watch this and understand, maybe we can change some things. Alas, my dear sweet lady, the sheeple are too stupid and too far gone to save....I hope I am wrong, but now that the Bush-sheeple are gone we got a new flock for them to fleece, the Obama Flock is just as bad, and just as blind to what is going on. Bush or Bush Dark....who cares....they should BOTH have an appointment with the guillotine.
Power to the Independent Thinkers, Down with the 1%!
Power to the mothaf@ckin' people!
Ah my Darling, tis wonderful to commune with you again :-)!
Power to the mothaf@ckin' people! Damn straight!
I too fear the obamatons are too far gone ... I was just over on alternet and read an article saying that the obadrone has put SS and Medicare back on the chopping block -- there will be no America left when these 4 years are over!
p.s. I posted a comment on your fb page a few weeks ago :-) ...
This is why the Occupy movement was so successful. It planted seeds and woke people up, and changed the narrative and brought the issue of wealth inequality (a much better term than "income inequality") to the forefront, along with other issues like money in campains, Citizens United and of course Wall Street. Never have these issues been more important than today, as major changes are being planned and executed in our country's budgeting priorites -- changes that can and will change the very fabric of our society. Never have these issues been more important, as Dodd-Frank regulations for the financial system are being implemented or undermined, as more and more people lose their homes in a fraudulent foreclosure process with a fake task force, and as statutes of limitation expire for holding people accountable for the fraud and crimes that caused the crash of 2008 that did such damage to our economy and our people.
So one way to stand up and help would be to participate and spread the message "From Below We Rise To Support The 99%" for the accountability and opportunities that the Occupy movement is trying to bring because "WE are in this together"
Did you still want the design with "The 1% only call it class warfare when the 99% fight back" that you asked for already?
I want a sweatshirt without the hood so the picture of the guillotine is very obvious, and I want just GUILLOTINE HYPOCRISY below the pic on the back and the 'power to the peons on the front like it was on the t-shirts you made for us.
**And this is the pic I want on the back of the sweatshirt :-) ...
I live in Nebraska and the temp right now at 2:30 is 32 :-( hopefully that translates to no 80s till June! Today it wouldn't be warm enough to go out in just the sweatshirt, but this Friday it's supposed to be 52 :-) -- that's the thing about Spring, the temps change quickly.
Great post. The video should be played on every television station twice a day for a few months. Far less than the frequency of a pizza commercial, but more enlightening.
I guess that begs the question; whatever happened to PSA's on television?
Did the Reagan Admistration effectively scuttle them by deregulating any responsibility for pubic service information on behalf of "privately" owned networks supposedly given amazingly lucrative access to the airwaves for "the public good"?
Ah yes, yet another thing we can trace back to that drooling old zombie :-)! I saw this on Alternet and posted it on our blog and also put on fb and tweeted it. Maybe I'll do the fb and twitter post every day for awhile ...
As more and more people understand what's going on, the Occupy movement will morph, reignite, and/or new movements will germinate. There are many valuable forms of activism. This video is an example of one of them -- creating it, talking about it, writing about it, and spreading the information... and acting on it.