Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Johann Wagener 10-22-13

Some call it Capitalism, others, The Free Market, and then there's Trickle Down Economics. But, a closer look smells of Ponzi. It's simple really. A few slick people con a few other people into buying into a "get rich quick" scheme. They then take their money and find more people to take more money from and in the process giving back a little of what they take to make it look like every one is getting rich, and that brings in more people and more money and, you know the rest. All along the way the few guys at the top are taking a little from everyone paying into the scheme which adds up to a lot of money but goes un-noticed because, hey! everyone's getting rich!. This can go on ad infinitum as long as more people keep coming in with more money unless, one day, everyone decides to take their money out at one time. It's commonly referred to as a "bubble" popping, which happened most recent in 2008.

How this differs from an actual Ponzi scheme is that the guys at the top usually don't get punished, or, as in 2008, actually get bailed out by the same people they ripped of. The government simply prints more money and gives it to them at zero interest for a promise that they won't do it again, which is what they say each time the bubble pops. They then take that money, pay themselves a handsome salary and some hefty bonuses and use what's left to start the process all over again.

What we end up with is what has been coined as the 1% and then, there's everybody else. Maybe it's time for a change?

Unequal wealth distribution is hardly a new or uniquely American problem. In fact, it’s been prevalent throughout society since humans first built civilizations: A small minority of aristocrats has always wielded the most power throughout history. In modern times, America lags behind nearly every other first-world nation in closing the gap between the classes. In fact, we’re making it worse.

Before you can talk about the 1 percent, it’s important to put the figures into perspective by understanding exactly what that figure means. The average annual income of the top 1 percent of the population is $717,000, compared to the average income of the rest of the population, which is around $51,000. The real disparity between the classes isn’t in income, however, but in net value: The 1 percent are worth about $8.4 million, or 70 times the worth of the lower classes.
The 1 percent are executives, doctors, lawyers and politicians, among other things. Within this group of people is an even smaller and wealthier subset of people, 1 percent of the top, or .01 percent of the entire nation. Those people have incomes of over $27 million, or roughly 540 times the national average income. Altogether, the top 1 percent control 43 percent of the wealth in the nation; the next 4 percent control an additional 29 percent.
It’s historically common for a powerful minority to control a majority of finances, but Americans haven’t seen a disparity this wide since before the Great Depression — and it keeps growing.