For about 30 years — 1947 to 1977 — there was a sense of optimism about American prospects. That was before we recognized that the climate was changing, before Reagan taxed the poor to improve the lot of the wealthy, and before Citizens United allowed the wealthy to control elections.
Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” makes it painfully clear that what happened with the tax bill — shifting money from the bottom to the top — is probably inevitable on a global scale unless there is the political will to take care of the people at the bottom.
The middle class in the developed nations is being hollowed out by events in the last 30 years — globalization, mechanization, de-unionization, and taxation that benefits primarily the wealthy.
That is why fearful working-class populists chose right-wing strong-men and women to lead. Piketty notes that as long as the stock market chugs along, wealth of the top .1 percent will continue to gain exponentially.
Those at the top don’t like to share through taxes, only through their choice of tax-deductible charities.
They won’t be affected by climate change the way the poor will, and they can and will continue to control elections.
Illustrating the irrevocable U.S. divide between rich and poor, Citigroup devised its “hourglass theory” — they invest in goods and services for the very rich and the very poor: luxury goods and Family Dollar. Their stock choices rose by 56 percent between 2009 and 2011; others by only 11 percent.
Prepare for more concentrated wealth and the inevitable plutocracy.
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