Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Plight of the 99% and the Plague of Reaganism

Every once and a while I come across a chart or graph that screams a guttural anguished cry that strikes my very soul. The above graphic comes from a Business Insider article.

It makes a simple point. Between 1997 and 2008 (basically the Bush Years) average income in the US grew by $2,683. All of that went to the richest 10% and two-thirds went to the richest 1%. The bottom 90% lost income.
If we start with 1981 (Reagan's inauguration) the average income has risen by $12,189; 96% of that went to the richest 10% and well over half went to the richest 1%.
Let's compare that to before the plague of modern Reaganism. From World War I to Reagan the average income of the United States rose $26,027. The richest 10% got less than one-third of the increased income while the richest 1% corralled less than 5%. The bottom 90% got the rest.

This is not some Leninist redistribution but simply a reasonable balance that allows for the development of a viable middle-class. It allows for people to have some dreams of upward mobility, that hard work actually means something.

Our modern America is a place where the American Dream has come to die. The richest and the richest of the rich are parasites who suck up whatever growth the economy can generate and bleed the middle-class for more.

We have one political party that is dedicated with its every fiber to facilitate this sucking and bleeding. The other party helps the sucking and bleeding too, but at least they occasionally feel bad about it.

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