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15 mei 2010

Help! Wat is de remedie voor financiële waanzin?

By Les Leopold, Alternet, May 15, 2010

Now that the bank lobbyists are nearly finished neutering the financial reform bill, it’s time to face reality: our financial world will continue to be run by the very financiers who crashed the system two years ago.
So the financial insanity will continue, with psychotic outcomes.

(...) The deficit hysteria drumbeat will build to a deafening crescendo.
Forget about taxing the super-rich–we’ve got to cut benefits for working people instead. Respected journalists like New York Times columnist David Leonhardt warn us that we’re all living beyond our means. It’s time to tighten our belts or we’ll end up like Greece. No more tax breaks for health and housing. We’ve got to retire later, with less money, and cut our medical expenses. And our wages have to become more “competitive.” But who is “we”? Where are all these high-living people? The average non-supervisory production worker in America (about 75 percent of the workforce) has already seen an 18 percent drop in real wages since the mid 1970s. Meanwhile productivity increased by more than 90 percent. Yet now we’ve got to tighten our belts? Where did all that money from the higher productivity go, if not to us? No surprise here: into the hands of the few.

(...) It all goes back to that most glaring symptom and cause of our psychosis: our insane maldistribution of income, which gets worse and worse every year. The richest 1 percent of Americans now earn more than the bottom 50 percent. Back in 1973, the richest 1 percent of earners collected 8 percent of the national income. By 2006, the top 1 percent got nearly 23 percent of the national income — the highest proportion since 1929. Or look at the pay gap on the job: In 1970, the top 100 CEOs earned 45 times more than their workers, on average. In 2009 the ratio was 1,071 to 1.

Here’s an example of what this maldistribution is costing us: The top 400 richest Americans have a combined wealth of more than $1.3 trillion.

(...) We need to return to Eisenhower era tax rates: 91 percent on those earning over $3 million in today’s dollars. The money would roll in, and the deficit hawks would sound like parakeets.

(...) Les Leopold is the author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street’s Game of Fantasy Finance destroyed our Jobs, Pensions and Prosperity, and What We Can Do About It, Chelsea Green Publishing, June 2009.

Zie ook:

It's All About the Wages - Our Economy Would Be Fine If Everyone Made Their Fair Share
Robert Reich, 13 juli 2010

When virtually all the gains from growth go to a small minority at the top, the result is deep-seated anxiety and frustration.

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