January 02, 2008

Just how good has the economy been?

We've known for a while that the economy hasn't been on all that great for the vast majority of Americans. The reality is that supply-side economics does exactly what it was always supposed to do... concentrate income and, as a consequence, wealth at the top. Here's a breakdown of the economic gains made from 2003-2005...


Bottom quintile: 2%
Next quintile: 2.4%
Middle quintile: 3.9%
Fourth quintile: 3.7%
Top quintile: 16%
Top 10%: 20.9%
Top 5%: 27.7%
Top 1%: 43.5%

71.2% of the income available in the United States went to 5% of the population. While no one ever said capitalism was fair, it has historically been a good way to create and distribute wealth across a large population. However, what we functionally have now isn't really capitalism, it's a form of pseudo-fascism with incredible amounts of government cooperation with industry, especially in terms of military spending. Whether the Republicans realize it or not, they've engaged in economic manipulation and a redistribution of wealth that is functionally impoverishing the vast majority of the people in this country.

The total income of the top 1.1 million households was $1.8 trillion, or 18.1 percent of the total income of all Americans, up from 14.3 percent of all income in 2003. The total 2005 income of the three million individual Americans at the top was roughly equal to that of the bottom 166 million Americans, analysis of the report showed.

The report is the latest to document the growing concentration of income at the top, a trend that President Bush said last January had been under way for more than 25 years.

Earlier reports, based on tax returns, showed that in 2005 the top 10 percent, top 1 percent and fractions of the top 1 percent enjoyed their greatest share of income since 1928 and 1929.

I suppose it's purely coincidental that the 'trend' toward a concentration of wealth at the top has run along with the rise of 'conservatism' and supply-side economics. And now, it's time to put the brakes on in a big way. This isn't about socialism, this is about re-regulating the 'free' market to stop the abuses, not impose restrictions on profits or make it difficult for people to make a living. It's about recreating the progressive tax system that helped make this country an economic powerhouse and created the middle class.

Now's the time for aggressive moves from the Democrats.

Posted by mcblogger at January 2, 2008 01:01 PM

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