Massive economic inequality is killing America and we the people. It has already killed American democracy. The rich have captured the political system so they could manipulate the economy and benefit unfairly. Economic freedom and opportunity are gone. Greed among the top 1 percent has succeeded so well that a true uprising and revolt by Americans, like that seen in Egypt, may be needed to restore America.
US society is riddled through and through with constant lies and political propaganda to keep Americans stupid and distracted. The truth is here, hidden from easy view for most citizens by an epidemic of dishonesty and irresponsibility among elected officials, corporate leaders, cowardly, corporate controlled mass media, and especially right-wing pundits, many of whom are in the top 1 percent. The truth, of course, is often revealed, but only in venues that relatively few people with sufficient intelligence and critical thinking skills access. Two recent articles should be required reading in every classroom and home.
First, some key numbers tell the true story about the decline of America in recent decades as revealed by acclaimed economist Joseph E. Stiglitz in Vanity Fair. Upper 1 percent Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s annual income and own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. The top 1 percent’s incomes rose 18 percent over the past decade as those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. As the recession still hurts most Americans, especially the unemployed, hungry and foreclosed, the top 1 percent, many of whom created the economic meltdown, keeps their tax cuts and riches.
“Most citizens are doing worse year after year,” correctly observes Stiglitz.
Also, in our delusional democracy run by a bipartisan corporate dictatorship: “Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent.” No surprise that those who poisoned the economy have not been prosecuted.
You cannot vote away this insanity by electing Republicans or Democrats, even those claiming Tea Party status, who mostly want to protect rich and corporate elites as evidenced by their disinterest in removing corporate subsidies and welfare, nor raising taxes on the rich. This behavior is brainless for non-wealthy Americans.
Stiglitz says: “The top 1 percent may complain about the kind of government we have in America, but in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re-distribute, too divided to do anything but lower taxes.” In truth, they own our government.
The second article in The Nation by Robert Scheer smartly noted: “The delusion of a classless America in which opportunity is equally distributed is the most effective deception perpetrated by the moneyed elite that controls all the key levers of power in what passes for our democracy.” Mostly ignored, “the corporate rich reward themselves in direct proportion to the amount of suffering they have caused.”
Scheer referenced this: During Clinton’s presidency the income of the top 1 percent increased by 10.1 percent per year, while that of the other 99 percent of Americans increased by only 2.4 percent a year. From 2002 to 2006, a period in which the top 1 percent increased its income 11 percent annually, the rest of Americans had a truly paltry gain of 1 percent per year.
What kind of population would endure all this? Submissive, stupid and sidetracked Americans refusing to see the economic oppression strangling the nation.
To be in the top 1 percent you need an adjusted gross income of about $400,000, most not coming from salaries or wages. And those households, which comprise fewer than 5 million people total, have a net worth of at least $8 million each. Do you make the cut? If not, then wake up to reality. You are a victim!
The top 1 percent people are the enemy. THEY have stolen your financial security and opportunity. They have sold us out to China and other nations. You have been sacrificed to satisfy their greed. You have a better chance of winning a huge lottery than becoming one of them.
Abusive inequality is no accident of history. It has occurred by design. Forget morality and fairness. The wealthiest of the wealthy have ingeniously engineered the political and economic systems to get exactly what they want and screw the rest of society. They do not fear outright revolution, peaceful or violent class war.
Pause for a moment. Think in terms of an invisible corporate dictatorship run in a bipartisan way by people who know how to use their money to retain a thoroughly corrupt political system. That is the tool used to protect themselves from the wrath of a few hundred million victims of their villainy. The economic oppression by the richest 1 percent is far greater than that of the British which spurred the American Revolution. We desperately need a second revolution against domestic tyranny.
In addition to the two excellent recent articles, you would benefit from examining the Who Rules America? website. If you appreciate data also peruse this excellent Mother Jones article, which points out most Americans perceive wealth distribution more fairly distributed than it really is, delusional thinking.
To sum up, those not brainwashed by political propaganda should support taking down the top 1 percent to take back their country. Without action, more and more Americans will suffer as the middle class merges into one huge lower class, especially when politicians to address the national debt and deficit cut major federal programs that nearly 50 percent of Americans depend on rather than increasing tax revenues by hitting the rich and corporate welfare.
We outnumber them. Have you had enough economic oppression? Remember, every ruling class can be brought down.
Joel S. Hirschhorn can be contacted through www.delusionaldemocracy.com.