[ExI] the formerly rich and their larvae...
pharos at gmail.com
Tue Feb 12 10:54:00 UTC 2008
On Feb 12, 2008 9:12 AM, Lee Corbin wrote:
> Well, come now. The whole point of laying out
> an extreme scenario is to make the argument clear.
> So what if Bill Gates owns 1% of American wealth
> (or something like that, Rockefeller had even more
> at one point)? I couldn't care less, provided that
> I myself (and others) are themselves all on
> exponentially increasing paths of wealth garnering.
The trouble is that you're not.
The US and the UK are rapidly heading towards Brazil-like levels of inequality.
The rich now live in their own world of private education, private
health care and gated mansions. They have their own schools and their
own banks. They even travel apart - creating a booming industry of
private jets and yachts. Their world now has a name, thanks to a new
book by Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Frank which has dubbed it
Defenders of low tax for the very rich point to the theory of
trickledown economics - the spending power of the rich benefiting the
poor. But while the super-rich have boomed, the earning power of the
average and poor citizen has not nearly matched the performance of the
elite. In 2005 the top one per cent of earners in the US gained 14 per
cent in income in real terms, while the rest of the country gained
less than one per cent. The situation is especially bad for the
severely poor - those living at half the poverty level - whose numbers
are at a 32-year high. The rich are getting richer but are not
bringing everyone else with them. 'If you look at the impact of the
last 20 years it seems pretty clear that trickledown just does not
work,' said Paul Buchheit, economics professor at Chicago's Harold
So long as the multi-millionaires hand out a few cheap toys to the
poor so that they can play music and watch videos, they will be
entertained and won't even notice how poor they really are.
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