The Attack of the 1-Percenters

Discussion in 'Economy' started by sparky, Jul 25, 2009.

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i'll take economy for 500 Alex.....

Poll closed Aug 4, 2009.
  1. oligarchial collectivism

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  2. freudian fuedalism

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  3. inversely challenged socialism

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  4. American express to perdition

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  1. sparky
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    sparky VIP Member

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    Published on Friday, July 24, 2009 by TruthDig.com
    The Attack of the 1-Percenters
    by David Sirota

    Here’s a truism: The wealthiest 1 percent have never had it so good.

    According to government figures, 1-percenters’ share of America’s total income is the highest it’s been since 1929, and their tax rates are the lowest they’ve faced in two decades. Through bonuses, many 1-percenters will profit from the $23 trillion in bailout largesse the Treasury Department now says could be headed to financial firms. And, most of them benefit from IRS decisions to reduce millionaire audits and collect zero taxes from the majority of major corporations.

    But what really makes the ultrawealthy so fortunate, what truly separates this moment from a run-of-the-mill Gilded Age, is the unprecedented protection the 1-percenters have bought for themselves on the most pressing issues.

    To review: With 22,000 Americans dying each year because they lack health insurance, Congress is considering universal health care legislation financed by a surcharge on income above $280,000—that is, a levy almost exclusively on 1-percenters. This surtax would graze just 5 percent of small businesses and would recoup only part of the $700 billion the 1-percenters received from the Bush tax cuts. In fact, it is so minuscule, those making $1 million annually would pay just $9,000 more in taxes every year—or nine-tenths of 1 percent of their 12-month haul.

    Nonetheless, the 1-percenters have deployed an army to destroy the initiative before it makes progress.

    The foot soldiers are the Land Rover Liberals. These Democratic lawmakers secure their lefty labels by wearing pink-ribbon lapel pins and supporting good causes like abortion rights. However, being affluent and/or from affluent districts, they routinely drive their luxury cars over middle-class economic interests. Hence, this week’s letter from Boulder, Colo., dot-com tycoon Rep. Jared Polis, D, and other Land Rover Liberals calling for the surtax’s death.

    Echoing that demand are the Corrupt Cowboys—those like Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who come from the heartland’s culturally conservative and economically impoverished locales. These cavalrymen in both parties quietly build insurmountable campaign war chests as the biggest corporate fundraisers in Congress. At the same time, they publicly preen as jes’ folks, make twangy references to “voters back home,” and now promise to kill the health care surtax because they say that’s what their communities want. Cash payoffs made, re-elections purchased, the absurd story somehow goes that because blue-collar constituents in Flyover America like guns and love Jesus, they must also reflexively adore politicians who defend 1-percenters’ bounty.

    That fantastical fairly tale, of course, couldn’t exist without the Millionaire Media—the elite journalists and opinion-mongers who represent corporate media conglomerates and/or are themselves extremely wealthy. Ignoring all the data about inequality, they legitimize the assertions of the 1-percenters’ first two battalions, while actually claiming America’s fat cats are unfairly persecuted.

    For example, Washington Post editors deride surtax proponents for allegedly believing “the rich alone can fund government.” Likewise, Wall Street Journal correspondent Jonathan Weisman wonders why the surtax “soak(s) the rich” by unduly “lumping all of the problems of the finances of the United States on 1 percent of (its) households?” And most brazenly, NBC’s Meredith Vieira asks President Obama why the surtax is intent on “punishing the rich.”

    For his part, Obama has responded with characteristic coolness—and a powerful counterstrike. “No, it’s not punishing the rich,” he said. “If I can afford to do a little bit more so that a whole bunch of families out there have a little more security, when I already have security, that’s part of being a community.”

    If any volley can thwart this latest attack of the 1-percenters, it is that simple idea.

    © 2009 TruthDig.com
     
  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Those One-percenters have a lot of tools helping them, though, don't they?

    "I have no fear of the working class because I know I can always hire one worker to kill another."

    J.P Morgan

    [​IMG]
     
  3. sparky
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    sparky VIP Member

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    lovely altruism Editec

    do you think it could possibly be updated to something inclusive of the hungrier i get , the deader you look to befit our current economic debauchery...?
     
  4. sparky
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    sparky VIP Member

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    more fat for the aristo fire.....

    Nobody’s Talking About the Silver Bullet That Could Heal the Economy and Cure Most Social Ills

    By Jeff Ritterman, M.D.

    Fairer societies simply work better.

    Imagine a guidebook on formulating social policy, with instructions on how to extend life expectancy, decrease infant mortality, improve child well-being, reduce obesity, lower homicide rates, decrease school dropout rates, lower teen pregnancy, increase levels of civic trust, improve voter turnout, decrease drug abuse, lower incarceration rates, decrease rates of mental illness, and improve social mobility based on merit.

    There’s convincing evidence for all of this and more in The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (Allen Lane). To learn more, go to their Web site, Home | The Equality Trust.

    The core message is that the countries that distribute their incomes the most equally have the longest life expectancy and the highest quality of life.

    The same is true for states within the U.S.; the more income equality, the longer the life span. Unfortunately, the United States is now the most unequal of the wealthy countries, with the exception of Singapore.


    [​IMG]

    As income inequality increases, we trust one another less. For those concerned that I am confusing correlation with causality, I refer you to the thoughtful discussion of this in The Spirit Level. The authors review the extensive data on civic trust and make a convincing argument that causality is the best fit.


    Increasing income inequality puts us on a pathway toward a less trusting, more individualistic and less community-minded society. As community cohesion erodes, we all suffer.


    The graphic below shows just how much the U.S. is lagging behind other wealthy countries due to our highly unequal income distribution.


    [​IMG]

    The leading countries in life expectancy, Sweden and Japan, are also among the most equal of the wealthy nations. Interestingly, they have accomplished this relative equality in completely different ways: In Sweden, the tax system redistributes income; in Japan the income is given out relatively equally before any tax adjustments. Combinations of the two methods are also possible.


    We in the U.S. are becoming more and more unequal. Our poor showing in life expectancy and quality of life is a direct result. It wasn’t always this way, and it does not need to remain so. Income distribution has varied widely.


    In the Gilded Age of the robber barons, income distribution in the U.S. was very unequal (see the graphic below). This was one of the causes of the Great Depression. FDR’s New Deal can be interpreted, in large measure, as a program to reverse income inequality.


    In a stunningly short time, called the Great Compression by economic historians Claudia Goldin and Robert Margo, America underwent a significant redistribution of income. While historians offer a variety of explanations for the Great Compression, what is clear is that income was much more fairly distributed.


    This relative equality produced the middle class America that I grew up in. Of course, there were rich and poor people, but nothing like the extremes of wealth and poverty that we see today. This middle-class America lasted until the late 1970s, when the trend toward greater inequality began to accelerate.

    [​IMG]

    Today, we are faced with the same degree of income inequality as existed during the Great Depression. We can take our cue from FDR. It’s time for another great compression. It’s time to put folks back to work, to strengthen and help rebuild our labor unions, and to protect our most vulnerable community members.


    Policies that lessen income inequality lead to an improvement in life expectancy and social well-being. Such policies would include raising the minimum wage, improving worker pensions and benefits, strengthening labor unions, passing progressive tax reform, adequately funding education, passing universal health-care coverage and guaranteeing a minimum standard of living for everyone. The vast majority of society benefit from more equality, as greater social cohesion improves life for us all.


    Lessening income inequality should be our main organizing principle. If a policy leads to more equality, it is likely to lead to greater social well-being and longer life expectancy.


    As we face the challenge of climate chaos, some have argued that there is no time to worry about luxuries like equity and equality. I agree wholeheartedly with the urgency of our situation, but equality and equity are indeed highly relevant.


    The more equal the country, the greater the likelihood of recycling. People who live in more equal societies tend to care more about the earth. Addressing climate change and social equity simultaneously is likely to provide the best outcome. We need a Green New Deal.


    We can learn a valuable lesson from societies less developed than our own that have attained equivalent life expectancies. Costa Rica, for example, has a life expectancy close to ours with less than one-seventh the carbon footprint. The new Economics Foundation has declared Costa Rica to also be the happiest country on earth. Clearly, long and happy lives are possible without causing climate change.


    The issue of income inequality is largely invisible, but there is a widespread sense of unease about the direction we are headed and a feeling that life is not fair.


    The data on the deleterious effects of inequality can help us understand our unease and what we need to do about it. Greater equality results in improvement in health and life expectancy and reduces many of the social ills that currently seem intractable. Making this knowledge widespread is a prerequisite to developing the political will to move toward greater equality and a healthier society for us all.
     
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  5. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    I don't remember anything in the Constitution stating income equality was a right.

    But I do remember the fifth and fourteenth amendments both protect an individual's property.

    IMO the money a person earns is their property.

    All you class warfare fans seem to think that someone who makes more than you has committed a crime and you are the victims.

    Envy is a deadly sin is it not?
     
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  6. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    Whenever the socialists start comparing income inequality to other countries, I have to ask "Do their poor people own TVs, computers, and hundred dollar sneakers?" I know lots of people on public assistance. I wouldn't call any of them poor. In fact if I did, they might shoot me.

    Welfare was designed as a temporary hand up for people who fall on hard times. It has now become a fairly comfortable "choice".

    How about if we get rid of all the illegals and put welfare recipients to work picking lettuce and tomatoes? I'd have no problem paying more for produce, if my tax bill was lowered.
     
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  7. xsited1
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    xsited1 Agent P

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    I would like to personally thank our politicians for the bailouts. :clap2:
     
  8. sparky
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    sparky VIP Member

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    Skull Pilot;
    we are only victims of a government who has catered to the uber-rich in America. The effects of this are clearly evident, which any true capitalist can see, if not actively feel now
     
  9. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    That's because they over regulate small businesses out. Less government control and more consumer responsibility would fix the gap, in spite of what the neolibs want you to believe.
     
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  10. sparky
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    sparky VIP Member

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    chanel;
    pointing out the inequity of our system does not a socialist make chanel

    if socialism is at the gates here, it's only due to capitalism's demise at the hands of a government who didn't care to hold the riens on it adequately enough for it to serve us all

    governments and markets operate the same in respect to 'Together we stand, Divided we fall'
    the bailouts could not have offered us a better example....
     

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