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April 21, 2013
Too many Americans are unaware of the extreme disparities that have
been caused by the unregulated profit incentive of capitalism. Our
winner-take-all system is flailing away at once-healthy parts of
society, leaving them like withered limbs on a trembling body, even as
the relative few who benefit promote the illusion of opportunity and
prosperity for all. Concerned citizens armed with facts are not fooled.
Instead, the more they learn the angrier they get. And as in revolutions
of the past, discontent leads to change.
Hacking Off the Poor Half of Society
wealthy and uninformed individuals have referred to the lowest-income
47% of Americans as the "takers," who enjoy government benefits at the
expense of the high-earning one percent. But their claim is meaningless.
The total amount paid out in 'welfare' (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
is less than the investment income of just three men
in a single year
The monthly TANF income
for a family of four is less than what the average member of the Forbes Top 20 made in one second
at the office.
The 47% don't own stocks. They don't own anything. The so-called 'takers' have ZERO
wealth. The value of any assets owned by nearly half of the country is surpassed by their debt.
Slashing the Security of the Elderly
of 'entitlements' are accused by the uninformed of getting something
for nothing. The opposite is true. According to the Urban Institute
the typical two-earner couple making average wages throughout their
lifetimes will receive less in Social Security benefits than they paid
in. Same for single males. Almost the same for single females.
something for nothing? Yes, the rich are. Tax expenditures, which are
deductions and exemptions that primarily benefit the highest-earning
individuals, cost about 8% of the GDP
, the same percentage that goes to Social Security and Medicare.
just one of the tax breaks for the rich, the $113,700 cap on Payroll
Tax, were eliminated, Social Security would be almost entirely funded for the next 75 years
Slicing Up Justice
In the last few months American citizens, some of them children, have been arrested for:
· Throwing peanuts
on the school bus.
about a home address to get the kids into a better school.
Meanwhile, not a single banker was arrested for these actions:
· Goldman Sachs designed and sold mortgage packages that were meant to fail
· Bank of America and Lehman Brothers hid
billions of dollars of bonuses and loans from investors.
Severing the Head from the Global Body
you could gather together the world's 200 richest individuals, ask each
one his or her net worth, get the actual numbers from Forbes
, and then add it all up, the total
would be more than the total wealth of half the population of the world, 3.5 billion people
The U.S. is one of the greatest contributors to this shameful disparity. It's no coincidence that we're both the third least taxed
developed country and the fourth highest in wealth inequality
among all nations. It's also no surprise, with so little revenue going to the general public, that our country is the fourth worst
in the overall well-being of its children.
Castrating the Taxman
Corporations have doubled their profits
and cut their taxes in half in ten years. The burden of taxes, which
Oliver Wendell Holmes called the price of a "civilized society," has
been shifted to workers. For every dollar of employee payroll tax paid
in the 1950s corporations paid
three dollars. Now it's 22 cents.
has allowed U.S. corporations to stop paying for national defense and
infrastructure and all the benefits of the U.S. legal and educational
systems. All of the following companies
had sizable U.S. revenues, but they claimed losses here
while declaring billions of dollars of profits overseas
Bank of America, with 82% of its revenue in the U.S., declared $7
billion in U.S. losses and $10 billion in foreign profits.
Citigroup, with 42% of its revenue in North America (almost all U.S.),
declared a $5 billion U.S. loss and a $28 billion foreign profit.
Pfizer, with 40% of its revenues in the U.S., declared almost $7
billion in U.S. losses to go along with $31 billion in foreign profits.
· Abbott Labs, with 42% of its sales in the U.S., declared a $256 million U.S. loss and $12 billion in foreign profits.
Dow Chemical, with 32% of its sales in the U.S., declared a $15 million
U.S. loss against foreign profits of over $5 billion.
there's any way capitalism can work, it has to be regulated. Otherwise
greed takes over. Blind greed. The sneering head at the top of the body
watches limbs being chopped off, but it doesn't seem to recognize that
we're all bleeding to death.
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