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Forum Post: This is why we fight the system -- Economic Democracy excerpt from Wikipedia

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 8, 2012, 6:07 a.m. EST by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"It is argued that increasing concentration of corporate power is a cause of the large-scale debt, unemployment, and poverty characteristics of economic recession and depression. According to Jack Rasmus, author of The War At Home and The Trillion Dollar Income Shift, income inequality in contemporary America increased as the relative share of income for corporations and the wealthiest one per cent of households rose while income shares declined for 80-percent of the United States workforce. After rising steadily for three decades after World War II, the standard of living for most American workers has sharply declined between the mid-1970s to the present.

Rasmus likens the widening income gap in contemporary American society to the decade leading up to the Great Depression, estimating "well over $1 trillion in income is transferred annually from the roughly 90 million working class families in America to corporations and the wealthiest non-working-class households. While a hundred new billionaires were created since 2001, real weekly earnings for 100 million workers are less in 2007 than in 1980 when Ronald Reagan took office". According to Rasmus and other analysts, this "quarter century pay freeze", imposed by rapidly increasing control of wealth by the very rich, has resulted in innumerable negative externalities: For the first time since the U.S. government began to collect the data in 1947, wages and salaries no longer constitute more than half of total national income. In contrast, corporate profits are at their highest levels since World War II, having risen double digits every quarter in the last three and a half years alone and 21.3% in the most recent year, 2005, according to Dow-Jones 'Market Watch'. Corporate profit margins are higher than they have been in more than half a century, according to Merrill Lynch economist, David Rosenberg. After tax profits are now equal to 8.5% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product – that's more than a trillion dollars – and the highest since the end of World War II in 1945."

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