During the debate in Las Vegas, Herman Cain told people attending that Occupy Wall Street protesters should blame themselves for their unemployment. “Don’t Blame Wall Street. Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.”
What he fails to acknowledge is that the system is rigged against us. Our politicians are passing legislation that benefits the highest income earners because the wealthy are the ones who finance the ever-increasing costs of our elections. As a result, they expect the politicians to lower their tax rates and institute austerity measures cutting everything from Pell Grants, education, healthcare, and infrastructure funding as well as turn the Medicare into a privatized program.
Well, I came across these grafts showing just how big the gap has grown in America between the very wealthy and the ever shrinking middle class. The GOP are hell-bent on removing the safety nets that make it possible for people to climb up the income ladder and create successful lives for themselves.
MotherJones has come out with a series of articles that delve into this issue, and I wanted to share just a few of the findings their research has come up with.
A huge share of the nation’s economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244.
The 2007 data (the most current) doesn’t reflect the impact of the housing market crash. In 2007, the bottom 60% of Americans had 65% of their net worth tied up in their homes. The top 1%, in contrast, had just 10%. The housing crisis has no doubt further swelled the share of total net worth held by the superrich.
The superrich have grabbed the bulk of the past three decades’ gains.
A Harvard business professor and a behavioral economist recently asked more than 5,000 Americans how they thought wealth is distributed in the United States. Most thought that it’s more balanced than it actually is. Asked to choose their ideal distribution of wealth, 92% picked one that was even more equitable.