There is no denying that America has become a nation of inequality. The $64,000 question is "how do you constrain capitalism from doing stupid things that are not in the public interest?[Robert Reich] In practice we have a set of rules and regulations to check these rogue factions in our community. However, our democracy has been corrupted, and these rules and regulations are being discarded or not enforced. If the corruption by the excesses of the American Capitalist is the cause of this malfeasance then the first thing we must do is get big money out of our politics.
Robert Reich On Inequality For All
On the issue of inequality in America, there is much confusion. Most people of the right-wing persuasion blame the poor. On the other hand, people on the left want to blame the rich. There is a lot of blame going around. According to well-respected economist Robert Reich, "people are not looking at the actual structure of the economy as its evolving." "They're not looking how we need to change the organization of the economy." America is the most unequal of all advanced societies in the world. Our research found many misconceptions floating around out in the public sphere. Many believe the economy is some natural force that can't be changed. In short, we all are slaves to the immutable economy. However, when you " peel back the onion," the economy is a set of rules and regulations.
Our economy is not a state of nature.
There are rules regarding property and liability, anti-trust laws, bankruptcy, subsidies, and taxes for various things. These are the rules and guidelines for the game we call the economy. These rules determine the outcome of the game. In a democracy, if you don't like the rules of the game you can create a conscientious and change the rules. If we had a democracy, that was working as envisioned by our founding fathers[See Source] The rules for the game of economy can be difficult to explain in writing. To get a clear understanding, one must refer to the experts. Our source Robert Reich book " Beyond Outrage," does an excellent job of explaining these rules in writing. American economist has some hard questions to answer. Why does the United States have an unequal distribution of income and wealth by far than any other civilized country? And it's surging! Reich's metric for answering this question is to evaluate the earnings of the people at the top[1%] compared to the earnings of a typical worker[47%] which represents the middle.
In Today's America, 400 of the nation's richest people have more wealth than half the population of the United States.
According to our source, which looked at IRS data stretching back to 1913 the beginning of the progressive income tax wealth inequality reached an all-time high in 2012. What was apparent from our research here in the House of Public Discourse America's economic growth has consistently been going to a small group of people at the top.[See Source]
The Wealth Inequality In America Is Startling To Say The Least!
This inequality is tearing at the fabric of America. In the first three years, of the recovery from the recession brought on by the financial collapse of 2008, the top one percent of Americans took home 95% of the income gains. Amazing! In the past, as the economy grew so did everyone else. Ronald Reagan and his God-awful trickle down economics saw an end to this equitable formula and what we got in return was a nation in debt and growing now surging wealth inequality. Regular Americans knew this as shared prosperity. Along came the Republicans in the 1980's with these so-called family Christian values 'War on Drugs,' 'War on Women,' and "War on the Poor" calling this shared prosperity socialism. Hell, Eisenhower a Republican was president during most of this time of shared prosperity and We The People did not consider him a socialist, We did not think him abnormal.
In the years of shared prosperity our nation's economy doubled. Moreover, everybody's income increased as well. Even, Americans in the bottom 5% percent did better. Then here comes Ronald Reagan and the extreme radicalization of the Christian Right,and the "slobbering at the mouth," Capitalist Elect. The 1980's changed the historical relationship of shared prosperity between economic growth and the growth in productivity and wages. Over the last three decades, most of the wealth and most of the new wealth has gone straight to the top. Income gains went to the top and people in the middle, the median worker, the median wage stagnated.
How Do We Fix It?
To the point, a strong and vibrant labor movement needs to be orchestrated and based on our research here at the House of Public Discourse could be the " wonder drug" for lack of a term.
Drawing on a myriad of evidence as in our nation's past a re invigoration of equitable labor practices would go a long way in achieving an equal society. The research bears it out clearly. Almost all health and social problems that disproportionately affect poor and middle class are greater in societies with higher levels of inequality. The widening income gap as mentioned earlier seems to be a direct result of the " War on Unions" and the lack of a strong and consistent labor movement in America. Another factor is the dwindling democratic constraints on the top 1% income earners. One of the conclusions we came to here in the House of Public Discourse is to implement practical limitations by extending democracy to our economic institutions. Our study found equal societies gain greater equality by redistribution. We need a fundamental approach to reducing inequality in America. Our exhaustive research on the issue of " America The Land of Inequality," found that the weakening of the labor movement over the last quarter of the 20th Century has severely impacted the ability of working people to influence their standard of living and overall quality of life.
One of the House of Public Discourse primary points of advocacy is to recreate a healthy, active labor movement in America. We achieve this with both political and social influence that will enable the old labor movement to regather itself and fight for a fairer more sustainable future for our country.