- May 5, 2009
(and more than a few people claiming there is no difference between democrats and republicans), I feel it bears repeating.
The US economy has been growing over the past decade.
Median income has not.
In fact, adjusted for inflation, the real income of the middle class has actually fallen slightly.
The reason for this disparity is that virtually 100% of the economic gain has gone to the upper class - largely people who don't need to do any real work because they own the means of production, real estate, or stock, which means they actually contribute nothing to society.
The net worth of America’s wealthiest 1 percent now exceeds the net worth of the entire bottom 90 percent. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/fy2010_new_era/Inheriting_a_Legacy1.pdf
When someone says that raising taxes hurts "the economy", well yes, it may reduce the total GDP. But it is only taking money away from people who have too much already, who don't need it, and frankly, don't deserve it. When taxes are raised on big business they ARE NOT forced to lay off workers. They could just as easily reduce CEO pay, reduce dividends, or slow the companies rate of growth.
Total GDP and economic growth are not goals in and of themselves. They are useful only to the extent that they improve quality of life for American citizens. We have myopically focused on nothing but total rate of growth for too long. We have the world’s largest economy, yet we don't have the highest standard of living.
When middle America is ready to head to wall street with AK47s, I'm there. In the meantime, we have Obama. Lets not let years of cynicism keep us from appreciating it.