Forum Post: The single greatest underlying cause is the obscene concentration of wealth. Those who refuse to admit this can't do simple math. Albert Einstein was a mathematician. He said the same thing about the Great Depression. CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH.
Posted 8 years ago on Dec. 12, 2011, 7:49 a.m. EST by ModestCapitalist
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
The ugly truth. America's wealth is STILL being concentrated. When the rich get too rich, the poor get poorer. These latest figures prove it. AGAIN.
According to the Social Security Administration, 50 percent of U.S. workers made less than $26,364 in 2010. In addition, those making less than $200,000, or 99 percent of Americans (actually more like 98%), saw their earnings fall by $4.5 billion collectively.
The sobering numbers were a far cry from what was going on for the richest one percent of Americans.
The incomes of the top one percent of the wage scale in the U.S. rose in 2010; and their collective wage earnings jumped by $120 billion. In addition, those earning at least $1 million a year in wages, which is roughly 93,000 Americans, reported payroll income jumped 22 percent from 2009. Overall, the economy has shed 5.2 million jobs since the start of the Great Recession in 2007. It’s the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930’s.
Another word about the first Great Depression. It really was a perfect storm. Caused almost entirely by greed. First, there was unprecedented economic growth. There was a massive building spree. There was a growing sense of optimism and materialism. There was a growing obsession for celebrities. The American people became spoiled, foolish, naive, brainwashed, and love-sick. They were bombarded with ads for one product or service after another. Encouraged to spend all of their money as if it were going out of style. Obscene profits were hoarded at the top. In 1928, the rich were already way ahead. Still, they were given huge tax breaks. All of this represented a MASSIVE transfer of wealth from poor to rich. Executives, entrepreneurs, developers, celebrities, and share holders. By 1929, America's wealthiest 1 percent had accumulated 44 percent of all United States wealth. The upper, middle, and lower classes were left to share the rest. When the lower majority finally ran low on money to spend, profits declined and the stock market crashed.
Of course, the rich threw a fit and started cutting jobs. They would stop at nothing to maintain their disgusting profit margins and ill-gotten obscene levels of wealth as long as possible. The small business owners did what they felt necessary to survive. They cut more jobs. The losses were felt primarily by the little guy. This created a domino effect. The middle class shrunk drastically and the lower class expanded. With less wealth in reserve and active circulation, banks failed by the hundreds. More jobs were cut. Unemployment reached 25% in 1933. The worst year of the Great Depression. Those who were employed had to settle for much lower wages. Millions went cold and hungry. The recovery involved a massive infusion of new currency, a World War, and higher taxes on the rich. With so many men in the service, so many women on the production line, and those higher taxes to help pay for it, some US wealth was gradually transferred back down to the majority. This redistribution of wealth continued until the mid seventies. By 1976, the richest 1 percent held less than 20 percent. The lower majority held the rest. This was the recovery. A partial redistribution of wealth.
Then it began to concentrate all over again. Here we are 35 years later. The richest one percent now own over 40 percent of all US wealth. The upper, middle, and lower classes are sharing the rest. This is true even after taxes, welfare, financial aid, and charity. It is the underlying cause. No redistribution. No recovery.
The government won't step in and do what's necessary. Not this time. It's up to us. Support small business more and big business less. Support the little guy more and the big guy less. It's tricky but not impossible.
For the good of society, stop giving so much of your money to rich people. Stop concentrating the wealth. This may be our last chance to prevent the worst economic depression in world history. No redistribution. No recovery.
Those of you who agree on these major issues are welcome to summarize this post, copy it, link to it, save it, show a friend, or spread the word in any fashion. Most major cities have daily call-in talk radio shows. You can reach thousands of people at once. They should know the ugly truth. Be sure to quote the figures which prove that America's wealth is still being concentrated. I don't care who takes the credit. We are up against a tiny but very powerful minority who have more influence on the masses than any other group in history. They have the means to reach millions at once with outrageous political and commercial propaganda. Those of us who speak the ugly truth must work incredibly hard just to be heard.