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The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion from the Bottom 90% — And That’s Made the US Less Secure


By Nick Hanauer and David M. Rolf | 14 September 2020

TIME — Like many of the virus’s hardest hit victims, the United States went into the COVID-19 pandemic wracked by preexisting conditions. A fraying public health infrastructure, inadequate medical supplies, an employer-based health insurance system perversely unsuited to the moment—these and other afflictions are surely contributing to the death toll. But in addressing the causes and consequences of this pandemic—and its cruelly uneven impact—the elephant in the room is extreme income inequality.

How big is this elephant? A staggering $50 trillion. That is how much the upward redistribution of income has cost American workers over the past several decades.

This is not some back-of-the-napkin approximation. According to a groundbreaking new working paper by Carter C. Price and Kathryn Edwards of the RAND Corporation, had the more equitable income distributions of the three decades following World War II (1945 through 1974) merely held steady, the aggregate annual income of Americans earning below the 90th percentile would have been $2.5 trillion higher in the year 2018 alone. That is an amount equal to nearly 12 percent of GDP—enough to more than double median income—enough to pay every single working American in the bottom nine deciles an additional $1,144 a month. Every month. Every single year.

Price and Edwards calculate that the cumulative tab for our four-decade-long experiment in radical inequality had grown to over $47 trillion from 1975 through 2018. At a recent pace of about $2.5 trillion a year, that number we estimate crossed the $50 trillion mark by early 2020. That’s $50 trillion that would have gone into the paychecks of working Americans had inequality held constant—$50 trillion that would have built a far larger and more prosperous economy—$50 trillion that would have enabled the vast majority of Americans to enter this pandemic far more healthy, resilient, and financially secure. […]

3 Comments on The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion from the Bottom 90% — And That’s Made the US Less Secure

  1. I’m blaming the Jewish influence on capitalism and politics for this problem. According to God’s Chosen People Inc., every single shekel on planet Earth belongs in their pockets.

  2. Interesting numbers, but I couldn’t keep reading. I’ve been dazzled with BS for way too long. How about a relentless discussion of how the Fed has destroyed the buying power of the US dollar ? When some ‘egghead’ starts making out like a topic is “too technical” for little old me, I know right then to get my barn boots on.

    • I’ll end the discussion before it starts, and the answer is very simple: the fed has destroyed the purchasing power of the dollar by taxing this medium of exchange. They have also tricked the world into believing that fiat currency is a store of value. It isn’t. It’s a medium of exchange. If one wants to store value, the smart ones exchange their fiat currency for actual tangible assets that will appreciate. People with mountains of money in the bank are actively impoverishing the little guy. They’d be much wealthier if they spent those mountains back into the system in exchange for real assets, and the greater society would also become wealthier because there’d be much less lack of the medium of exchange that we’re all forced to use to exchange goods and services. As it stands now people are always scraping for dollars to pay off debts. So it’s obvious to anyone paying attention that the big banks, who are in charge of printing the medium of exchange, would desire to keep the medium in short supply, so as to repossess real assets when poor folks can’t scrape enough together to service their debts. This is why people liken this whole process to theft. A long but accurate article on the subject:

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