The Bottom 99% Today
Our "ism", just like all other "isms", has failed us. Capitalism in the United States is broken.
We have 30 million Americans that are under-employed, struggling with part-time and low-paying jobs to earn a living wage to support themselves and their families.
We have another 21 million who can't find any work at all. That's twice as many as there were during the height of the Great Depression.
And just for the sake of Fox News, not all 21 million unemployed Americans owned homes, then borrowed against the equity of their home when home prices went up, just before the housing bubble burst. In fact, most people didn't even own homes, and of those who did, most didn't take out home-equity loans unless it's was also for home improvement. But the GOP wants everybody to think the jobless had lived above their means, took on frivolous excessive debt, weren't responsible for their actions, didn't plan ahead, and made bad decisions...and so therefore, don't deserve unemployment benefits.
Last year in 2010, about 48 million people ages 18 to 64 did not work even one week out of the year, up from 45 million in 2009.
We also have 46 million Americans who need food stamps just to eat and Medicaid for healthcare, but the Republicans want to cut these programs in the middle of a job crisis. 50 million Americans are still living without any healthcare insurance at all.
We have 46 million Americans living below the ridiculously low "official" poverty line. This is the highest number in the 52 years. The government defines poverty as a single person earning below $10,890 a year (that's $907 a month for rent, heat, clothing, medical, and food) or a family of 4 trying to survive on $22,350 a year.
Imagine how the elderly struggle on fixed Social Security incomes with no cost-of-living increases - - - because the government doesn't include housing, energy, and food in the cost-of-living inflation index. The very three basic necessities that people actually need to "live". The Republicans would love to cut Social Security and Medicare too.
The Top 1% Today
The income gap between the wealthy and the rest of the country has grown along with dramatic increases in CEO pay. Inequality in the U.S. has grown steadily since the 1970s, following a flat period after World War II. In 2008, the wealthiest 10 percent earned almost the same amount of income as the rest of the country combined. The top 0.1 percent of the population (those making about $1.7 million or more) saw the sharpest increase in income share.
With corporate executive pay, the rich have pulled far away from the rest of America. For years, statistics have depicted growing income disparity in the United States, and it has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression.
Washington Post: "Here’s one financial figure some big U.S. companies would rather keep secret: how much more their chief executive makes than the typical worker."
Cozy relationships and ‘peer benchmarking’ send CEOs’ pay soaring - "If every company tries to keep up with or exceed the median pay for executives, executive compensation will spiral upward, regardless of performance."
Capital gains tax rates that benefit the wealthy feed growing gap between rich and poor - "For the very richest Americans, low tax rates on capital gains are better than any Christmas gift." (Herman Cain wants to lower them from 15% to 9%, when it was 20% before Bush. Newt Gingrich want them at 0%)
Government contracts fuel wealth for some. Millions of dollars worth of federal contracts transformed Anita Talwar from a government accounting clerk into a wealthy woman — one who can afford a $2.8 million home in the Washington suburbs with its own elevator, wine cellar and Swarovski crystal chandeliers.
Forbes 20 Richest Americans - The net worth of these 20 Americans ranges from $12.4 billion to $54 billion in 2010.
Clearly, one "ism" (capitalism) works for 1% of this country, but it has failed the other 99%.
What's your poison? Anarchism, authoritarianism, barbarianism, Bolshevism, cannibalism, capitalism, colonialism, communism, corporatism, despotism, fascism, federalism, feudalism, imperialism, libertarianism, Leninism, Marxism, monarchism, Nazism, totalitarianism, tribalism, tsarism or socialism?
Why don't we try humanitarianism?
Does the 1% have more of a right to live in luxury that the other 99% has a right to live at all? Are all men (and women) endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Does the 1% determine how much life, liberty, and happiness that the other 99% may enjoy? Weren't the 99% only endowed by the top 1% with only "certain" unalienable Rights? And that "occupying" was not meant to be one of them? Now, what will become of 1% if the 99% no longer obeys them? Will we soon have chaos by December 21, 2012? Will the top 1% then become part of the bottom 99%?
Will we then all have a "Right to Life"? But don't we already have a piece of paper that says so? And doesn't it also say "...that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government...it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."