America First

POSTED BY ORHAN

In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz notes that the richest 1% of the population now make 25% of America’s income and control 40% of America’s wealth, up from 12% and 33% 25 years ago, while middle class income has fallen during the same period. All the growth has gone to the top.  The countries now competing with America for the same level of income inequality are Russia and Iran – others, including the old Latin American standbys – are nowhere close. And the inequality keeps growing.

10 responses to “America First

  1. Just think how much better our economy and education system would be if those 1% who make 25% of the income paid 25% of the taxes. That’s how the US economy will start growing again. Can’t wait to see the “let’s blame the Democrats” responses.

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  2. I’m reminded of Tony Judt quote currently at the top of this page:

    . . . And grotesquely unequal societies are also unstable societies.

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  3. I’m drawn between these different scenarios for 2020 and beyond.. One is that we’ll just fix everything when it gets serious enough, do the necessary (and simple) reforms, and reverse some of the developments and transfers/theft done in the last thirty years.
    The other one is a lot darker outlook with widespread troops in the street and ethnic expulsion in larger areas/city-parts. An ugly patchwork of fascist subdominions mixed with huge thirdworldlike communities/societies in disease and starvation. Not like a 20/80 society, more like small “clean” islands in a sea of dispair.
    Can’t imagine any civil wars or cracks in the Union though.. The market-dimension of the US is just way too profitable to abandon.
    And the Dream will be as strong and romantic as ever – but attainable only for the very few and inherited. Sort of as has happened already.

    But somehow, I still persistently think that everything will be all right, quite soon..

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    • Can’t imagine civil war in the near future (say 10-20 years) either, but can certainly picture us heading towards a more authoritarian, repressive, and even more aggressively expansionist US.

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    • If we have another cliff hanger presidential election, I’m not sure the country would remain peaceful. So bizarre, when you consider that the parties talk about their differences, but they’re really not in important ways. But the focus is on the social issues and the eternal promises of things like ‘trickle down’ – no one seems bothered that it doens’t work.

      An energy shortage, higher taxes , a splintered GOP – I think any of these things could cause huge disruptions . . .

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  4. Woodstock ,

    ” Just think how much better our economy and education system would be if those 1% who make 25% of the income paid 25% of the taxes. ”

    Why are you in favor of giving the evil top 1% a further tax break . Why would you lower it to 25 % ?

    Right now they pay 38 % of the income tax .

    ” That’s how the US economy will start growing again. ”

    Yes, the last 2 + years of class warfare economics have been outstanding .

    ” Can’t wait to see the “let’s blame the Democrats” responses. ”

    Blame them for what ? No 2011 budget ? Doing nothing on the deficit ? Ignoring their own deficit Commission ?

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    • Alan, can you provide your source for the stat that the wealthiest 1% pay 38% of the taxes? That’s a tough one to pin down. Thanks.

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  5. ojmo,

    ” Alan, can you provide your source for the stat that the wealthiest 1% pay 38% of the taxes? That’s a tough one to pin down. Thanks. ”

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

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