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As Handful of Billionaire Families Grab Nation's Wealth for Themselves, New Report Details How Dynasties Rig US Economy


As Handful of Billionaire Families Grab Nation's Wealth for Themselves, New Report Details How Dynasties Rig US Economy

Jake Johnson, staff writer

Here are just a few startling facts that tell you nearly all you need to know about who the American economy has worked for—and against—over the past several decades:




People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage" - John Kenneth Galbraith


Does this think-tank really believe that regulation via tax reform is the solution when we witness how easy corporations can evade legislation via tax havens and loot an entire continent and elaborate tax dodges such as the one Fred Trump was recently exposed using.

The Nordic countries have their own dynasties such as the Swedish Wallenbergs who acquired their wealth in the 1600s and have a family motto “To be, not to be seen”


I await the report that calls for the end of capitalism rather than its amelioration


sounds like pitchforks to me


Changing tax laws seem like a reasonable answer to this massive inequity but as the Galbraith quote goes, the wealthy would bring down the whole edifice before parting with a significant portion of their wealth. Witness their violent defense of their priveleges now going on from the US to Brazil and they don’t even face the tiniest of threats. But let us just imagine that a socialist state in one major country, such as the US, UK, Brazil, Russia, or China, resolves to confiscate the wealth of their own handful of owners. Let us imagine further that 99.99% of that nation’s population supports that confiscation. How could it be done without plunging that specific nation into a massive depression as capital flees to safer havens? Would we have to imagine even further and envision a single international socialist world state, as in the ancient words of l’Internationale? impossible? Perhaps. But not unimaginable.


Bs. Gates- ask the inventors that he ripped off. Bill is a con-man. Even his supposed contributions to good causes indeed get him even more wealth.


Capitalism is the game of monopoly backed by the law.

Representative democracy is an opiate for the masses used by capitalism to manage people.

People are a cool species with a society somewhere between a pack and a herd.


Gates basically had a monopoly but your simple understanding of everything doesn’t permit you to see the complications of monopoly capitalism. Just another anti-intellectual American.

Oh, by the way, a lot of the technology developed by Gates and other capitalists comes from the public universities that our tax money finances. Seems like “we the people” don’t get a very good return on our “investment.”


Let’s just go back the the US tax rates of the 1950s and see what we can do with our country.


HI nature boy---- Wow, thanks for the TED video. Nick Hanauer sounds like a person with a working brain that understands that without a middle class-------the pitch forks are really coming. Weirdly, after WW 2, i read that the tax rate on the rich was like 90%—and they were still really rich. It sounds like sharing prosperity works if you read about people living in America after WW 2 ( well at least the white people)

i do think he’s right about 1789 coming around unless sane people are in government. Weirdly the pitch forks are what happened to the brilliant French scientist , Lavosier. Unfortunately he was also a tax collector—and in 1789 that was enough to have people in the upper reaches literally lose their heads.
People really have to stop talking and thinking about building their family dynasties----because when the pitch forks’ kids start dying like kids in Yemen---------the pitch forks will no doubt take their revenge out on the kids of the wealthy. There’s no family dynasty without kids----and as I see intolerance growing over skin color, accents , religions---- and wealth------people should take Nick Hanauer’s ideas seriously-


Now he is apparently hooked up with Monsanto in some way. Don’t see how anything good can come out of aligning with Bayer/Monsanto.


To be a billionaire should be considered - not something to be admired - but rather, a crime against humanity.


Who pays for all the infrastructure that enables Mr. Gates investments< and this includes the cost of the military to all that is involved running a government that allows all this to exist.

People need to understand that they are the owners-----don’t buy into the indoctrination of the elite. We are taught to be SLAVES.

SUPPORT INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM-----FIGHT FOR THE COMMONS-----We all have a right to be free and enjoy the bounty of the COMMONS<<<<<BEYOND THE POWER OF THE STATE.!


I might pay for his garbage removal…

His buddies in the top 10% mostly, then the next 40% pay a bit too. Everyone else is just along for the ride.


According to IRS numbers from 2016 (and it’s probably worse now) the top 1% of wage earners were paid nearly 25% of the nations wages. For a more stark contrast, the top 17% of wage earners were paid 83% of the wages, while the bottom 83% were subsequently paid the other 17%. You would think with a breakdown like that that the top 17% would then be paying 83% of the taxes, but no. They only pay about 60% of the taxes. (And none of those numbers take into account investment income, or capital gains, which are only taxed at about 13%, and are not taxed for social security or Medicare withholding)
Any way you look at it, the wealthiest among us benefit from our infrastructure, yet do not pay their fair share. Not even close.


This Gilded age is different than the last. In the last gilded age the people had nothing to stop with. Most lived in poverty or abject poverty (there is no difference, poverty is poverty) so when they went on strike, formed unions, demanded public education, ect, they had nothing to lose. This Gilded age sees a group of “haves” that, instead of rising up against their pending poverty, are working more hours to try and maintain their once comfortable life styles.
Now, the average American is working nearly 50 hours a week, most with more than one job. Despite this, they only make what their grandparents did, and when taking into account the benefits that they have lost, are actuall getting paid less.
No, I fear that things will have to get much worse before this generation of Americans rises up. The problem is that this time, it may be too late. This generation of Facists is much smarter, and a lot more patient than their great grandfathers. This time they sold fascism to the middle class first. In short, they made them love Big brother.


Interesting. However, both the plutocrats and pitchfork people are in a collapsing habitat. If the plutocrats are defeated utterly, then the habitat is still collapsing.

Both sides, all sides need to sit down and discuss this. That will mean doing the basic math of overpopulation, and then discussing what to do about that.

Ecology has a bigger pitchfork.


We allowed all of it! We did nothing to even try to stop them from rigging the economy, tax laws and stock market. In fact, we helped them become richer. Many shop at Walmart, Amazon, buy Computers from Gates. The blame is on us!


I agree that’s would be a sensible step that could restore a balance in the economy but is even that possible now that the labor movement, which once exerted pressure of the Democrats, has been nearly wiped out? When the pragmatic has been made impossible by the concentration of economic power, is only the utopian possible?


alan –

Great point – and very concerning as we’ve just seen that capitalism is an evil
which CANNOT be regulated. Depending on where you think the turning point
was – with Our Founders who set us on a path of ideals not at all supported by
the actual Constitution where they didn’t create a democracy, but actually created
an Elite Patriarchy – or whether you think the alert to Elites* in the 1970’s set them
on this current course of corporate personhood –

Thank you, natureboy – “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage” - John Kenneth Galbraith"

Also question re Act Blue –

ActBlue Charities is a registered charitable organization formed to democratize charitable giving.

Notice that they removed the Common Dreams address for checks from their website –
but the address still appears on the CD website.

In fighting capitalism, we need to fight the use of credit cards which only makes banks wealthy.
Don’t forget checks!

Every credit card company assesses a charge – last I checked it was 3.5% of the amount being
given. And American Express is 7%.

Is Act Blue any different?

  • Apologies – Can’t remember the name of the official - Judge/Member of Congress/? - who
    sent the letter … I think it was around 1976/? Have it somewhere in my computer but can’t pull
    it up - and not having any success either looking for it on internet.