Americans only content with the division of wealth because they don’t realise quite how bad it is

I thought I posted something similar to this already (and if I didn’t, I meant to), but here’s the breakdown of wealth in the US in easily-digestible form:

There’s a lot more on the Mother Jones site, but I think that one’s the most telling. Not because it reveals how tiny a percentage of people control such a huge percentage of the country’s wealth, and how many people have so little – but because it pokes a huge hole in the great myth of the USA: that this is the way the American people want it to be.

They want achievement to be rewarded. They want freedom from oppression at the hands of government. But they also want a reasonable share of the pie if they do a reasonable amount of the work. And it is obvious from those figures that that is not at all what actually happens in their system.

It is vitally important for the powers that be that as few voters as possible see the above graph; and that they be encouraged to think it’s impossible to change. (And to be fair, without significant reform to their undemocratic two-party system, it probably is.)

Still, disabusing people of their destructive fantasies is always a good start.

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11 responses to “Americans only content with the division of wealth because they don’t realise quite how bad it is

  1. jordanrastrick

    The “What they want it to be” figures are a bit of a stretch – the richest fifth of the population controlling only a quarter of the wealth is a massively egalatarian economy, much more so than any I’m familiar with .

    It is very interesting how much people typically underestimate the Gini coefficient and its proxies.

    If only life were as simple matter of disabusing people of their misguided notions with facts…

  2. It’s real viscious circle – many underestimate the degree of the income inequality in the US, and at the same time overestimate their position on the income scale.

  3. ‘viscious’ – lol

  4. Read “Deer Hunting with Jesus”, Jeremy? It goes into that sort of thinking from the working class coalface and up.

  5. Blast Tyrant

    Well it’s good to see public sector workers in Wisconsin standing up for their rights against Scott Walker, the Tea Party and the multi billionaire Koch brothers.

    Hopefully it continues and spreads in other states.

  6. Splatterbottom

    If I was a Yank I’d me more worried about the fact that the country is bankrupt. It won’t belong before there is no pie to fight over.

  7. jordanrastrick

    Yeah. They’re going to have to live with quite hefty tax increases, a few years of 10% inflation, a new retirement age somewhere in the 70s, just for a start.

    This is one of the reasons Superannuation was such a good reform of the Keating government. And also a reason to be very, very thankful for the Costello-created obsession we have in this country with balancing the budget over the fiscal cycle.

  8. [i]If I was a Yank I’d me more worried about the fact that the country is bankrupt. It won’t belong before there is no pie to fight over.[/i]

    And who can we thank for placing the US, and indeed the world, in that position my dear Splatter?

  9. “And who can we thank for placing the US, and indeed the world, in that position my dear Splatter? ”

    The Splatter knows but is a little shy in admitting it.

    Of course he would have us believe it’s all those over paid workers in the U.S. Those dirty rotten working class commie bastards. All of Americas wealth has been squandered by these lazy good for nothing factory workers, who have had it far tooo bloody good, for far tooo bloody long. Wasted on luxuries like food and clothes, medical insurance, and of course enough good ol glory flags to wrap themselves in, for patriotic nirvana.

    Yep wrapped in the old glory whilst they listened to good ol George wax lyrical about “Weapons of mass deception” And how tax breaks for the filthy rich, would bring them closer to God and a spiritual fulfilment only our righteous right wingers can not only imagine, but experience..

    Yep I can see them now, sitting around in their 1 bedroom apartments sharing their beds with rats and lice, thinking to themselves, aint life grand?

    Time for another Republican administration me thinks, What did ol Malcolm say? Oh that’s RIGHT life wasn’t meant to be easy.

  10. And who can we thank for placing the US, and indeed the world, in that position my dear Splatter?

    You’ve just opened a door that you’ll regret autonomy. SB will argue that it was the Clinton Democrats who done it, and will not resign from that view.

    The truth, however, is that neither party are uniquely to blame for the economic mess the US finds itself in. Both are controlled by the actual culprits: the moneyed-up factions that pay billions each year to lubricate their annexation of ever increasing chunks of economic capital to their private empires.

    Lobbyists and influence peddlers now control Washington on behalf of the super-rich, and Obama is just as much a captive as Bush was before him.

  11. Splatterbottom

    Actually Mondo it was worse before and after Clinton. Obama has also massively contributed to the current record deficit. Someone should tell Obama that “it’s the economy, stupid”.

    The most critical task of Obama’s economic advisers is to ensure that no one tells him what comes after trillions.

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