Greed, one of the seven deadly sins, is both toxic to society and intrinsic to human nature. It can’t be ended or “stopped” -- but it can be regulated, which is the goal of good tax policy
Here in Europe, many consider that the US is one of the more corrupt countries in the western world.
Is that opinion considered in the US, or pretty much ignored?
When will working class people who vote Republican understand that they aren’t helping them??
Thom, you lay this out so definitively and adeptly. I asked myself, is it because life is so busy that we forget that this is, or why this is happening, and/or that we feel so powerless to stop it? But what of powerful boycotts? We could be so powerful! (Can't remember what you've said of boycotts.)
Those of us old enough can remember how life was so much richer in both basic and monetary ways before Reagan, as you have laid out, also, so many times.
All this has alienated each of us from, I'll use a similar word again (money our topic here), the true riches of life, present more then: businesses closed on Sunday, Saturday for many, a day of rest and contemplation, ample time spent in lovely ways with family and friends, neighbors knowing neighbors, time to enjoy hobbies and interests of our own, jobs supplying for many, most people? (racial inequalities then also), adequate money for home, education, health, travel, some families working harder than others for this, my dad, but not like now, there then being enough down time to balance that hard work.
And, denied these rich pleasures, that are actually very wholesome, there is an emptiness within us, and so also part of the existing vector is that the great monies provide plenty of opportunities for us to buy things to fill up the emptiness, while they ride one of those rockets, you aptly described, as talk is also to move to another place, or at least dump all the trash from extensive, outrageous buying into space. We know that Mother Earth is being gutted/raped (a not so quiet theme developing here)) as she is mined, laid bare, or planted only for a cash crop.
Also filling the emptiness of our days, there are more and more ways to watch the latest movies, series, I don't even know what all, on the latest version of forever upgrading technology.
This we all experience, but without an article such as Thom's, do we recognize and acknowledge it again?
How stop this? Return value to life. Reduce buying, boycott?, vote, ask ourselves what truly makes us happy, change education from being a feed-in to this system that isn't working, and much, much more, but also spend time in some sacred way again, in a special building, in meditation, in nature, all wherein we are reminded of the true values known within us that we can use to break the spell that only most recently was cast by Regan and those similarly motivated.
We can find the way forward if we check in to how whole and fulfilled we are feeling inside.
Thank you, Thom.
to the Heart of
America's biggest Problems.
thank you again
The University of California professors of economics have created a web page, RealTime Inequality.
It tracks income growth from 1976 to the present, 2022. This is their findings: Severe Inequality --
Tracking pre-tax and pre-transfer income, what is called "factor " income or "market" income they found that:
The lower-earning 50% of U.S. households have seen their incomes grow by $3,700 over the 46 years, 1976 – 2022.
Households’ incomes in the lower 50 group grew from $16,700 to $20,400, up 22%.
The group from the 50th percentile to the 90th, a 40% group, grew their incomes by $29,600,
from $87,500 to $117,100, up by 34%.
The top 10% group saw incomes grow from $261,900 to $616,100, a gain of $354,000 or a multiple of 2.3 times, or 130%.
The top 1% group grew incomes from $783,000 to $2,600,000, or by $1,800,000, or by 3.3 times, or 234%.
That’s, an income increase of $3,700, or of $29,600, or of $354,000, or of $1,800,000.
Or another comparison is total income by group: $20,400 for 50% -- $117,000 for 40% -- 616,000 for 10% -- $2,600,000 for 1%.
It would take 130 years for the average household in the lower half to earn what the top 1% household earns in a year.
In 1976 the lower 90% earned 62.4% of all income, in 2022 they earned 47.9%, a drop of 14.5% of total income share, or a drop of $3.16 trillion. Divided among 117 million households, that comes to an income loss of $24,315 per family. --I write a blog, Economics Without Greed, Part Two, I'll post this info one of these days. It's important to attack this dysfunctional economy that is rigged. A good book is "The Making of a Democratic Economy" by Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard.
If the ratios of 1976 were restored every household in the lower 90% could increase their income by more than $24,000 per year income.
Workers unions were a partial block to the wealth and power of the elites. But attacks on union began in earnest in 1947 with the Taft-Hartley Act and have continued to this day. Post WW II German leaders knew that the rise of the Nazi Party was financed by the wealthiest men of their country and their deal with Hitler was that they would support him and take workers' wages to fund a slush fund for party leaders and in return Hitler would ban all unions.
So the post war German leaders enacted legislation to force codetermiation that requires workers have a representative on company boards. The law allows workers to elect representatives (usually trade union representatives) for almost half of the supervisory board of directors. The legislation is separate from the main German company law Act for public companies, the Aktiengesetz. It applies to public and private companies, so long as there are over 2,000 employees. For companies with 500–2,000 employees, one third of the supervisory board must be elected. As a result skilled jobs are not exported to other countries. Democracy starts or ends in the workplace.
"... billionaires shooting themselves into space on giant penis-shaped rockets." Yes! And I thought I was the only one making this analogy. When you think about it, our 'rocket in my pocket' technology has actually regressed. 50+ years after we launched the first rockets to the moon, we should be using much more advanced technology - maybe even electro-magnetic or hydrogen- powered (too busy making nukes, another phallic symbol to collect). Instead, billionaires and their political pawns are still trying to send the biggest dick into space, on top of the biggest thrust! Just eeuuww. Inverse proportion rule on that one, by the way. The bigger the rocket, the smaller the.... Greed is the second of the seven deadly sins (they are in order), surpassed only by pride. It's not about the money, it's about pathological pride/greed.
RE: "This is, in itself, a major assault on American democracy."
And it's happened before. Plantation Oligarchs started a Civil War to end our democracy. Oligarchs for the Industrial Age tried to remove FDR and end our democracy. More recently, today's oligarchs helped fund the attempted coup of January 6th.
It's almost like Ground Hog Day. Wealth grows as laws change to benefit oligarchs again and again.
On top of repeated crimes, oligarchs are never held accountable. Slavery oligarchs were let free to figure out how to re-enslave the freed slaves and others. Industrial age oligarchs were never jailed for trying to replace FDR. DJT will never see the inside of a prison cell and new attempts to regulate our democracy killers - oligarchs, who "have become richer than any time in human history ...," will now take a much larger democratic responce than we saw in 2020.
We need to elect a plurality of Congressional representatives who are not beholding to these democracy killer - oligarchs. This Brand New Congress will need to pass laws we've never seen before to permanently disempower today's oligarchs and to prevent any future oligarchs. We need new laws to change our authoritarian economic system that keeps enabling oligarchs to try again and again to destroy democracy. We need new laws that will create a more democratic economic system that will stop enriching democracy killers - oligarchs.
I would ask, Is Capitalism the Biggest Threat to America & Democracy? It is authoritarian Capitalism that nurtures and rebirths oligarchs.
"We believe a better future is rooted in democracy: in our politics, our economy, our workplace, and our daily lives."
Just watched an interview with the out-going Senator Rob Portman. He talked about "selling himself" as a function of fundraising. Pretty sure he meant his personality, but then he also kept using the the term "we". I noticed Senator Sinema does the same thing.
Do they think of their office and themselves as a commodity? Are they using the royal "we"? Either way it's disturbing and a bit pretentious.
The very people able to end bribery and greed constantly complain and act like they are forced to perpetuate it. The Dems, the ones not like Sinema and Manchin, know what to do and are constantly trying to codify something to reverse the results of the Court's decisions. WE, as in the people, know Bernie has tried his best to lead this effort.
It won't happen in this Congress, but it sure as hell could happen this decade.
I really miss Ted Kennedy. The only senator who approaches his fervor, or even exceeds it, is Bernie Sanders.