There’s a lot of debate in this country over income distribution. The “debate” aspect of it is pretty humorous if you ask me. Here’s a simple and indisputable fact—money is not infinite. There’s only a finite amount that exists in this country.
Which should be enough of a fact to dismiss the theory of Trickle-Down Economics, or “top-down economics”—which is really what it is.
Think about this for a moment; each time we give money to the top 1-2% of Americans, they “trickle” down excess to the rest of us. That’s what the theory says, right? But what this theory ignores is that the rich are going to want to grow their profits and wealth. By doing that they keep more, by giving back less. So each time we “give” them more, they’re going to “give” us less.
Meaning, each cycle of this economic theory builds their wealth, while taking more from the rest of us.
You’ve seen this the last 30+ years where the growth of the top 1-2% has grown substantially while the rest of us have seen modest growth. In fact, 1% of Americans control 40% of America’s wealth. And trust me, if Republicans and proponents of Trickle-Down Economics have their way, they’ll control even more.
Maybe that’s why Politifact verified Senator Bernie Sanders’ claim that 6 in 10 Americans believe income should be distributed more equally. And this isn’t a recent development—Gallup has done this poll 12 times since 1985 and almost every time the majority polled have said income inequality in the United States needs to be more equal.
It’s clear that the majority of Americans realize we cannot continue on this pace, with a handful of people controlling more and more of our nation’s wealth. It doesn’t even make sense. Who in their right mind thinks that 1% of a population (of over 330 million people) owning 40% of a nation’s wealth is a good thing? You’d have to be insane, ignorant or part of the 1% to think this is a good thing for American prosperity.
Even charities aren’t exempt from this greed. Almost a year after the Susan G. Komen foundation was neck deep in a controversy they brought upon themselves by deciding to pull funding for Planned Parenthood (something they quickly reversed), the foundation has recently announced that it’s cancelling seven of its three-day walks due to “economic uncertainty” and “competition.” That didn’t stop the foundation from giving the supposedly “on the way out” CEO Nancy Brinker a 64% pay increase. It’s amazing how they can’t apparently fund walks to help fight breast cancer, but they can give a CEO that’s supposedly going to step-down from that position a massive raise. How much does a CEO of a charity make exactly? Oh, just a modest $684,000 in 2012, according to tax records. Think about that the next time you decide to give this foundation a dime.
And no, I’m not one of those who vilifies the rich. Hell, most liberals I know don’t envy or vilify the rich. We don’t even care how much more they have than we do. We just want enough to live a life where we’re not living paycheck to paycheck and we can provide for our families. That’s honestly all most Americans want.
But what we do care about is when their growth of wealth comes at our expense. When their new bonus comes from our pension. When their giant retirement package comes from a layoff of 1,000 employees. When we didn’t get a raise, yet every executive did. When golden parachutes are handed out as employee hours are cut.
That’s when we take notice.
Let’s be honest about this—if you raise taxes by 5% on a teacher, firefighter, custodian, or some other blue collar worker, their families suffer. College and retirement funds take massive hits and their quality of life is reduced.
Do you know what happens when you raise taxes by 5% on someone making $450,000 or more a year? Not a damn thing. They’re still very well off. They’re still living a life that 98% of us will only dream of.
The only “battle” I see between the “haves” and “have nots” comes from their greed. Having what they have isn’t good enough—they want more. People worth six figures want to be worth seven, people worth seven want to be worth eight, people worth eight want to be worth nine. It’s an endless cycle of the rich wanting — not needing — more.
But the only place they can get it from is everyone else’s pockets—and since the dawn of Trickle-Down Economics, that’s exactly where they’ve taken it from.
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