Skip to main content

Our Growing Inequality



Since the 1970s, the CEO class and their political allies have used policy to reshape our economy to their benefit.  They’ve gotten excessive tax breaks for corporations and the very richest, trade policies that rob our communities of good jobs, deregulation that left average Americans unprotected from financial fallout and laws that encourage union-busting.  Last year they even got a court case – Citizens United – that allows unlimited corporate dollars to influence our elections.

These policies matter a great deal.  They are creating a massive wealth and income gap in our country.  Take a look at the numbers:

  • The richest one percent of Americans owns over 35 percent – more than one-third – of our nation's wealth.
  • The four hundred wealthiest Americans now have more cash, stock and property than the combined total of half of America’s households.
  • Median CEO pay jumped 27 percent in 2010. Workers’ pay grew just 2.1 percent in 2010.
  • The average hourly wage in 1972, adjusted for inflation was $20.06.  By 2008, the average hourly wage dropped to $18.52.  In other words, income for the middle class has stagnated over the last 30 years.
  • In the early 1960s, the top fifth of wealth holders had 81 percent of all wealth, and the bottom four-fifths held 19 percent. But it has only gotten worse since then – as of 2009, the top fifth wealthiest Americans hold over 87 percent of the nation’s wealth. The bottom four-fifths hold just under 13 percent.
Let’s Fight Back – The next time someone tells you that our country is “broke” remind that person that there is plenty of wealth – it’s just not in the hands of the middle class.  This isn’t good for us.  It isn’t good for our democracy.  And, it will get worse if we lose the state-level fights over collective bargaining rights – our tool to fight for fair wages and benefits.  Please stay involved in state and national fights and watch for ways to get involved through Rapid Response.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR)

Trump To Cut Social Security

Trump’s Promise Not to Cut Social Security has been Broken by Robert Roach, Jr. President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget is a non-starter. He has betrayed America’s seniors. In fact, $2 trillion in deficit reduction turns out to be just a math error. The budget cuts $72 billion over ten years from disability programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Trump promised repeatedly to protect – not cut – Social Security. Yet his first budget does just that, harming millions of disabled Americans.  The Trump budget also slashes $1.4 trillion from Medicaid over 10 years. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), total Medicaid spending was $368 billion in 2016. Almost two-thirds of that was for seniors and people with disabilities, who rely on Medicaid for health care and long-term care. This cut is drastic and dangerous by any measurement. This budget also decimates the Community Development Block Grant, which pro…

The Ship of Fear

My Destroyer, the U.S.S. Walker, was tied up in Pearl Harbor.

The Newspaper headlines for several days along with lengthy articles told of a merchant ship, "the Pomona" that was tied up in Honolulu waiting for crew to take it to the far east. The Captain had been murdered while at sea and the crew was afraid that the murderer was still aboard. The ship finally got underway again and my memory is that it had rudder problems and had to return to port. Then, after getting underway again it had a fire on board and had to return again.

While on liberty one day in Honolulu, I stopped in at a saloon on my way back to my ship. There, I met a merchant sailor who happened to be a sailor aboard the Pomona. He offered to take me back to the ship and let me come aboard her. We did and headed for the bow of the ship where there was a lot of noise. There sitting on the deck were a number of sailors, mostly drunken, talking about their predicament.

This occurred sometime between 1961 and…