Robert Reich (November 17, 2014)
The richest Americans hold more of the nation’s wealth than they have in almost a century. What do they spend it on? As you might expect, personal jets, giant yachts, works of art, and luxury penthouses. And also on politics.
Their political investments have paid off in the form of lower taxes on themselves and their businesses, subsidies for their corporations, government bailouts, federal prosecutions that end in settlements where companies don’t affirm or deny the facts and where executives don’t go to jail, watered-down regulations, and non-enforcement of antitrust laws.
Since the top .01 began investing big time in politics, corporate profits and the stock market have risen to record levels. But the bottom 90 percent don’t own many shares of stock. They rely on wages, which have been trending downward. And for some reason, politicians don’t seem particularly intent on reversing this trend.
If you want to know what’s happened to the American economy, follow the money. That will lead you to the richest .01 percent. And if you want to know what’s happened to our democracy, follow the richest .01 percent. They’ll lead you to the politicians who have been selling our democracy.
* A mere 5 human beings living in the United States and working as Supreme Court judges killed democracy for 315 million people in America with two court decisions: Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon vs. FEC — and the 5 horrible and evil offenders are:
- John G. Roberts
- Antonin Scalia
- Clarence Thomas
- Samuel Alito
- Anthony Kennedy