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New Data Show Income of Top 0.1% Soared 345% While That of Bottom 90% Stagnated Over Past 40 Years

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/02/new-data-show-income-top-01-soared-345-while-bottom-90-stagnated-over-past-40-years

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From the close of the article:


Piketty implored the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden to embrace egalitarian economic policies espoused by progressives such as ex-presidential primary rivals Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), including a tax on billionaires, which he said is “actually pretty popular if you look at the polls.”

“I think you need to have a more ambitious policy platform of giving a better chance to more disadvantaged socioeconomic groups,” Piketty said. “We’re talking about a higher minimum wage, more investment in public universities, more progressive taxation at the top.”

“I think it will be a big mistake for the Democratic Party leadership to abandon this kind of idea,” he added.


“Implore” won’t do it, Professor Piketty. The leadership of the neoliberal corporatist Democratic Party has willingly facilitated the looting, has benefited on a personal level from the looting, and depends on funding from the looters.

You must know this. So why not say it? Why the charade of “imploring” Biden?

There’s a lot of energy and organizing going into “imploring” and “demanding” and “urging” the incoming administration. What will all the implorers and demanders and urgers do when no substantive action is taken?

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Capitalism is a false promise. Yet the majority of the American people subscribe to it. And while they agree with Bernie Sanders on many fronts, they’ve become afraid of the change he represents as change can be emotionally painful. It must be that they’ve become so accustomed to playing the role of the victim that it has become fear of fear itself. How else do you explain that they’re for health for all, for fighting against inequality, etc., yet they vote for a Biden or a drumpf. It makes no sense!

Trickle, trickle, trickle …

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Glad you evoked the name Bernie Sanders. The stalwart promoter of having the rich people and corporations not only pay their fair share, but to levy a higher tax rate as well.

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What doesn’t get noted (and would be interesting data) is how many of those people in the top 0.1% (or even top 10%) remained constant over the 40 years? For example, Jeff Bezos, the poster child here was the child of parents who definitely weren’t top 1%, while on the other hand Bill Gates (who’s dad was a large law firm partner) definitely was. This is the problem with all long-term studies, they don’t take into account people moving in, and out, of the different economic strata.

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While Sanders’ desire to tax the wealthy is well intentioned what is less admirable is the fact that this alleged independent still thinks that the Democratic Party, a/k/a the graveyard of social movements, actually advocates on behalf of the working class and the poor especially given the fact that Biden’s top cabinet picks have close ties with major corporations. And even though Sanders is well aware of this he continue to throw his support behind the Democratic Party instead of logically forming a third party which can challenge both corporate political parties.

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Some studies do. Here’s the World Economic Forum (the group that meets annually in Davos) reporting on relative social mobility. Not focused on changes in the top strata, but on overall mobility throughout society. USA ranks very low among industrialized countries, despite our national mythology of freedom:

~https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-social-mobility-index-2020-why-economies-benefit-from-fixing-inequality

~http://reports.weforum.org/social-mobility-report-2020/social-mobility-rankings/

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The motivation from this headline alone, should be enough for any rationally minded individuals to enthusiastically participate in a full-blown revolution against this Duopoly form of government.

But no, “Can I have some more Sir.” (Spoken in a Cockney accent.)

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Exactly why I have labeled Bernie a IINO and a progressive con!

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Over 40 years, four republican and three democratic administrations/regimes, both Congressional chambers flopping back and forth between these two groups. Results on the economic front? A BIG, FAT MIDDLE FINGER to the masses. The “American dream” in this area is 100%, unadulterated Grade A horse manure.

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Bernie, rightly, does not call for the end of Capitalism…the private ownership of businesses selling their goods or services in the marketplace for a profit.

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These graphs, numbers, and patterns, do not resemble disease, they d i a g n o s e it.
A human observed medically as a group of specialized cells shares the relationships of individual people as the building blocks of the body Humanity. When cells in the brain or asshole take more of the bodies nutrients and excessively grow at the expense of the whole body, they are recognized as tumors and are treated or the body dies, usually in agony. Humanity as a pattern of individual humans is a contiguous fractal expression of specialized cells congregating a human, you, me, human, together.
If you are aware of a system, any natural system, that tolerates such vast inequities and remains stable, or is even viable, please enlighten me, for I seek to my last breath remedy for the death of the singular known location of LOVE in the Universe.

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I was thinking Bull Shit, but horse manure works too.

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There are 40 million Americans with $1.7 trillion in student loans. They should have a small revolution from the comfort of home by refusing to pay those loans, organizing and announcing their intent. Politicians have indicated their intent to forgive student loans but nothing of significance has happened. Trump said he would in 2016 but hasn’t. Biden has said he would but I don’t trust him. A strike would cause tremors on Wall Street. Many of those loans have been wholly or partially privatized, bundled and sold like the subprime mortgages were. The reaction on Wall Street to a strike could cause the loans to be forgiven by executive order. No Congress needed. Trump should do it just to steal the thunder from the Dems that will reverberate down the campaign trail for decades.
Minimum wage should be $30/hr just to be even with 1965. An hours work at minimum wage in 1965 could buy 30 Hershey Bars or 10 NY subway rides or 2 LPs or 2 first run movie tickets. In 1965 tuition at any California University was free and student fees were $60 paid by 30 hours of work. Today tuition at Cal is $14,500 or more. To pay that in 40 hours minimum wage would have to be $363/hr. The young would be justified by not only going on strike but shutting down the whole system until minimum wage is at least $30/hr.
Piketty is right that the disparity is caused politically. Between 1958 and 1968 California built 4 new University campuses and 7 new college campuses. Since 1 university campus and 3 college campuses have been added to the system. In 1968 there were 7 prisons now there are 44. It costs more for the state to imprison a person than to send them to university free. That is the result of political decisions done over several decades.
Those decisions will not be reversed by the 99% remaining quiet. They must be in the streets. The sooner the better.

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it should be noted here that this economy was brought to us by the not so kind administrations of BOTH our political parties fulfilling their role as corporate stooges for the bribes --excuse me–campaign contributions they received from the corporations calling the tunes

if your politician takes a single corporate dollar–they are NOT working for you–so quit voting for them

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BEWARE of “Conventional Wisdom.”

Work is the only way to create wealth. Workers create wealth and Wall Street distributes most of it.