Monday, June 13, 2016

Paying attention

"Did you notice?  You have to look back just a bit.  For nearly 50 years, as our country got richer, our families got richer -- and as our families got richer, our country got richer.
And then about 30 years ago, our country moved in a different direction. New leadership attacked wages. They attacked pensions. They attacked health care. They attacked unions. And now we find ourselves in a very different world from the one our parents and grandparents built. We are now in a world in which the rich skim more off the top in taxes and special deals, and they leave less and less for our schools, for roads and bridges, for medical and scientific research -- less to build a future." Elizabeth Warren
While I don't share Senator Warren's political leanings, she's correct.  Do your own research on changes in wealth, income, inequality, family, etc.  Take a look at The century's deadliest idea.

And yes, J.P.Morgan is one of the players responsible for the economic difficulties that plague
most of the world.  They received billions from government bailout programs so they could
stay in business. They spend millions each year on political contributions (purchasing
legislation) and millions more on lobbying. They have a voice in our government
while the typical citizen (non-billionaire) does not.

Real income, inflation adjusted        

Inequality in the U.S. in both income and total wealth is higher than most developed countries.  The effects of such disproportion are now visible as change in both the economy and in the culture.

What might those effects be?
  • A decline of the middle class
  • A decline of economic mobility
  • Stagnant wages for the bottom 90%
  • Persistent poverty in the lowest quintile
  • An accelerating gap between the top quintile and all the rest
  • Increase in corruption and white collar crime
  • Increase in urban crime and incarceration 
  • Increase in wage and benefit theft by employers
  • Decline in integrity in the financial sector
  • Decline in fiscal stability for middle class communities and urban regions
  • Economic abuse of the working poor
  • Increased impediments to economic advancement by minorities
  • Widening quality gap between the top decile and the rest for quality of services available; e.g., education, healthcare, security, representation
So how might we minimize the damage and correct our course forward?