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Something has to change

I was listening to CBC Radio yesterday and there was suddenly a story highlighting the sharing of wealth among the population in each country in the world.

Not surprisingly leading the way was the United States where the richest 1% of the population was responsible for amassing 50% of the economic wealth. If you think about this figure it is staggering and points to a problem that we are all seeing – the shrinking middle class.

While I am not a communist I find that statistic troubling and mind numbing.

More troubling still is that my own country which has historically prided itself on being a little more socially conscious and collective in its social policy and political thinking was second on the list at 38% of the wealth being amassed by the richest 1%.

Downtown Montreal has people at virtually every street corner asking for money and it’s a phenomenon that has grown steadily since the mid 1980’s. What this shows me is that the global distribution of wealth is not working. Increasingly the middle class is dropping into a new class known as the working poor and the top earners are taking their winnings and keeping them.

There never was any such thing as trickle-down economics and with all due respect to any Reaganites out there it’s easier for these guys to move their plants to Mexico, China or Malaysia so they skip the taxes and avoid paying fair wages.

As much as Americans like to claim that free market capitalism works in fact the opposite is showing itself to be true. There is a huge disparity in wealth in the United States and more and more people are falling off the grid.

People are starting to notice.

We buy cheap crap from China but the Chinese are going to get tired of producing our junk for peanuts and things will eventually change. Along with that change will be in shift in the balance of power.

For those that forget how the United States was built it’s good to remember that FDR built his economy on the New Deal and high taxes on the rich. A strong middle class was then subsequently built which was able to afford a high quality of life with families where only one parent worked.

Today we struggle even at two incomes and the coming generations are poorer than the baby boomers that came before them.

Something has to change.


Comments

  1. Talking about redistribution or wealth or the new misnomer of economic fairness served as a basis for many of the communist and socialist theorists. What we are looking at is a massive growth of government and tax systems that are confiscatory. The current admininstration has succeeded in raising the income tax rate to over 39%. Add to that the high state tax rates in many states such as California (13% and NY 10%) and you can understand why those with wealth will look to do what they can to preserve the fruits of their labor. Having the highest corporate tax rate in the world of 35% almost forces companies to move elsewhere.
    The socialist concept of redistribution creates a permanent non working class. The economy in this country has been terrible over the past 6 years. On election day 2008 we had twice the economy of China. This weeks statistics show that in that 6 year period the economy of China has come to match that of the US.
    The administration that has grown the deficit from an absurd $9 trillion to $17 has put the burden on all of us and our children and grandchildren. Businesses have been choked out of existance by taxes and regulations. How do you get incentives back to grow anything if the government will deprive you of the benefits of your efforts.

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  2. Pat I am just talking about the general concept that greed does not work and you need to set up companies where there is a fair wage structure. Why do some CEOs make bonuses in the millions? there are good business models in your country but very bad ones as well. I am not a proponent of spreading money around but simply being more equitable in your business practices so that everyone is treated fairly. The Walmart model is a failure.

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