The Rich get Richer, The Poor Poorer

America is becoming Increasing unjust in terms of the gap between what the wealthy earn and what the rest of us make. And it has very little to do with abilities. Much of that disparity can be attributed to government policies that favor the wealthy. America has always been about opportunity. That is no longer the case. We have a political system totally controlled by corporations. And they use that power to oppress the 99 percent.

The Gap Between Rich and Poor is at Obscene levels

  • "Today, the top 0.1 percent of Americans—about 160,000 families, with net assets greater than $20 million—own 22 percent of household wealth, while the share of wealth held by the bottom 90 percent of Americans is no different than during their grandparents' time." (source)
Overwhelming Wealth Inequality Worldwide
  • "OECD: Global Inequality Is Now As Bad As In 1820" 
    • The gap between the haves and the have-nots globally is now at the same level as in the 1820s, the OECD said Thursday, warning it was one of the most "worrying" developments over the past 200 years. (source)
  • "Almost half of the world's wealth is owned by just 1% of the world's population." The World's 85 richest persons own as much as the bottom 50% poorest people. The Top 1% own 66x more than the
    bottom 50% of the World's population. (source, 1/20/2014)

CEO Pay is Skyrocketing

  • Propelled by a soaring stock market, the median pay package for a CEO rose above eight figures for the first time last year. The head of a Standard & Poor's 500 company earned a record $10.5 million, an increase of 8.8 percent from $9.6 million in 2012, according to an Associated Press/Equilar pay study.
Last year was the fourth straight that CEO compensation rose following a decline during the Great Recession. The median CEO pay package climbed more than 50 percent over that stretch. A chief executive now makes about 257 times the average worker's salary, up sharply from 181 times in 2009. (source)
  • "...CEO pay has risen 725% [as of 2012] over the last 30 years and 80% of all real income growth has gone to the richest 1% of Americans." (source)
  • Top US and European bankers, including JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit, have enjoyed double-digit annual pay rises averaging almost 12 per cent, despite widespread falls in profits and share prices, Financial Times research shows. (source)
  • Incentives for executives grew last year, exceeding comparable levels in 2009 and 2010. Moreover, 17 percent of CEOs received at least 175 percent of planned payouts (meaning they were paid 75 percent more than originally anticipated by the company) last year, compared with just 15 percent in 2009. (source)

The Poor are Getting Poorer

  • Things are much worse for people without college degrees, though. The real entry-level hourly wage for men who recently graduated from high school fell to $11.68 last year, from $15.64 in 1979, according to data from the Economic Policy Institute. And the percentage of those jobs that offer health insurance has plummeted to 22.8 percent, from 63.3 percent in 1979.
  • "Half of the people in this country are now considered poor or low-income." (source)

Trickle-Down economics does not work:

  • "In the 1980s, the United States embarked on a social experiment premised on the notion that cutting taxes for the wealthy would stimulate economic growth sufficient to offset the revenue lost from those lower taxes. The result has been a neglected infrastructure, a frayed social safety net and a huge increase in the national debt. Opportunities to achieve the American Dream have shrunk. Any reasonable correction would include raising taxes on those who benefited from those lower taxes: i.e., the wealthy. But, for right-wingers, that is dismissed as class envy." (source)

Americans are struggling to make ends meet

  • "In death, Maria Fernandes drew national attention as the 32-year-old woman who juggled three jobs and died as she napped in her sport utility vehicle between shifts at Dunkin’ Donuts." (source)