The Wealth Gap Widens

From the Ramparts
Junious Ricardo Stanton ~                                                       

        “Incomes and wages are not the only places we find staggering inequality. Wealth—also called net worth, measured as assets less liabilities—is skewed heavily, not only to the rich, but to the richest of the rich. Starting with the bottom fifth of the wealth distribution is a group that has negative wealth (in other words, on average, the least wealthy 20% of people in this country owe more than the value of their assets). From there, wealth increases dramatically by wealth class. By any measure, household wealth is far higher for whites than blacks. Within each group, comparing the median—i.e., the mid-point of the wealth distribution—with average wealth illustrates just how skewed the wealth distribution is. A relatively small number of people with very high wealth at the top pull the overall average upward, often masking the far lower wealth of the typical household.”  The State of Working America Economic Policy Institute 

    One of the features of a genuine banana republic is the great  wealth, comfort and life style disparity between the elites and the masses. By wealth I’m not talking about salaries, wages  and compensation although that is one small measure; by wealth I mean assets, what is owned and controlled. In the US real wealth, material assets: land, property, factories, utilities, stores, banks, stocks, bonds, ownership rights, patents and intellectual property are in the hands of an extremely small few, while the rest of the population’s assets are meager in comparison. For example in an article entitled “Who Rules America” G. William Domhoff points out the glaring inequities of wealth and power in the US. “In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers)...  In terms of types of financial wealth, the top one percent of households have 38.3% of all privately held stock, 60.6% of financial securities, and 62.4% of business equity. The top 10% have 80% to 90% of stocks, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and over 75% of non-home real estate. Since financial wealth is what counts as far as the control of income-producing assets, we can say that just 10% of the people own the United States of America.” Who Rules America Power in America Wealth Income and Power 
    By this reckoning most of us are not rich nor do we fall into the category of the truly powerful in this country. Even the high profile  ballers and entertainers although they may earn  lots of money from  wages as jocks and showmen and women, are not owners nor are they powerful in the sense they can dictate policy. While these Negroes are well off, and that’s relative, the fact of the matter is we’re really not in the game. Much of the flash and bling for most of us is due to credit, the ability to acquire material goods now, based on a promise to pay (with interest) in the future.  When all is said and done people of color are still no where near as wealthy as whites. “In 2007, the average white household had 15 times as much total wealth as the average African-American or Latino household. If we exclude home equity from the calculations and consider only financial wealth, the ratios are in the neighborhood of 100:1. Extrapolating from these figures, we see that 70% of white families' wealth is in the form of their principal residence; for Blacks and Hispanics, the figures are 95% and 96%, respectively. And for all Americans, things are getting worse: as the projections to July 2009 by Wolff (2010) make clear, the last few years have seen a huge loss in housing wealth for most families, making the gap between the rich and the rest of America even greater, and increasing the number of households with no marketable assets from 18.6% to 24.1%.” ibid.
    The giant housing market Ponzi schemes, the Wall Street and financial industries’ criminal shenanigans and the insatiable appetite of the military industrial complex have drained most of the savings, equity and capital from the lower classes as they lose their homes, jobs and are put on the hook for trillions to bail out and enrich the very people whose policies and criminal activities are robbing, looting and raping us. The reason no one goes to jail (Bernie Madoff was not the subject of a government investigation, he turned himself in) is  because the people who sit at the controls of power in this country work for and do the bidding of the super rich not us!  The people who rule and run America are the people who pay for and dictate to the Congress, Obama and courts what to do to enrich themselves at our expense ! The system is rigged against us just like a casino or a crooked dice game. 
    The media which is owned either directly or indirectly (via stocks, interlocking corporate directorates, loans etc) either works on behalf of their owners or is dependent upon advertising from the companies and corporations owned by these people. This is why there can be no really honest of radical black media that depends upon white corporate support. They are not going to advertise on these types of stations. That’s why independent media is so important. It is the media that creates and perpetuates a false reality to make it seem as if we have some say or we are part of the operations of this country when clearly we are not. Their job is to keep the charade going at all costs, keep us duped and discombobulated while the rich steal even more of our money and rig the game even more in their favor.
    The so called debate on the US budget is a classic example. Anyone who has worked on a household budget knows you cannot keep spending more then a you take in without dire consequences. If you borrow to get over the hump but you still keep spending more than you bring in eventually you will go bankrupt. This is the shape the US government is in. It is broke and yet they keep spending on programs and policies that benefit the rich. The media and the puppets in Congress would have us believe the government is broke because of social programs like aid to families and children, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Rubbish ! The real reason the government is broke is because of corporate welfare, huge give a-ways to the rich, subsidies and tax breaks and policies put in place by useful idiots working on behalf of the rich like: Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bu$h, Bill Clinton, George W. Bu$h and Barack Obama and he Congress critters  to wage class war on the rest of us. “Between 1977 and 1999, the average after tax income of the wealthiest one percent of households went up 119.7%. The bottom fifth of households lost 12% and the middle fifth lost 3.1%. Today the top 1% of income earners 2.7 million people receive 50.4% of the national income more than the poorest 100 million people.” Economic Apartheid In America A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity by Chuck Collins and Felice Yeskel page 39 
    The fact of the matter is the rich are winning the class war. “In the United States today, the wealthiest one per cent of the population owns more than the bottom 95 per cent. The United States has the greatest disparity of wealth in the entire industrialized world. That fact is a national disgrace, though it is largely invisible both in the media, and in the endless accolades about the wonders of capitalism. While America seems to be enjoying a banquet of unbelievable richness, most Americans do not get a full plate, and a remarkable number go hungry. In the last quarter of a century when the United States moved from global power to global behemoth, a quarter of a century in which American corporations reaped huge profits while spreading their power and influence all over the globe, American workers made no gains. None. The wages of American workers have, since 1978, been flat or declining.” Economic Inequality in US by Huck Gutman 
    The situation is getting worse but the corporate mind control apparatus virtually ignores this reality in favor of crime shows that desensitize us to the sanctity of life, mindless celebrity gossip, shows like dancing with the stars , sports and a myriad of other distractions while the education (propaganda) system teaches nonsense about free markets, upward mobility and opportunity. Wake up, the markets are rigged on behalf of the rich who own them. The masses of black folks never had upward mobility and the few who do will see it dissipate due to the steady economic decline of the US; unless we begin to create markets, jobs and economic enterprises for ourselves

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  • NYMetro
    Well this sums it all up quite well, thank you very much.  It's a disgusting shame that it is SO right on target.
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