Capitalism sucks, unless you are very very rich

Capitalism sucks, unless you are one of the 74 wealthiest Americans who made profits five times bigger than the previous year, while most working-class people were catching hell in the Great Recession.

If you are one of the gilded Americans whose earnings were more than $50 million a piece last year, you actually saw your average income "skyrocket from $91.8 million in 2008 to a mind-boggling $518.8 million in 2009."

These guys - the group of 74 - made more than the combined total of the 19 million lowest paid workers in the country.

These findings and more are based on statistics recently released by the Social Security Administration and analysed almost exclusively by David Kay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize winning former New York Times reporter.

At the height of the election campaign, it's a surprise, even startling, that the media has said scarcely a word about this.

Johnston comments, "Not a single news organization reported this data when it was released October 15, searches of Google and the Nexis databases show" - a curious silence indeed given the debate in Congress on extension of the Bush tax cuts.

The superprofits raked in by the 74 added up to a combined $38.4 billion in 2009, up from $11.9 billion earned by 131 individuals with wages above $50 million in 2008, according to Social Security Administration data, writes Bloomberg news.

Keep in mind, the data, based on Medicare payments only, pertains only to wages and salaries and not investment income.

While the rich are growing fabulously richer - a fivefold increase in fact - wages for most of us fell, Johnston points out. Equally significant, he says, "Every 34th wage earner in America in 2008 went all of 2009 without earning a single dollar."

This massive transfer of wealth, he contends, began in 1981 when there was "an abrupt change in tax and economic policy. Since then the base has fared poorly while huge economic gains piled up at the very top, along with much lower tax burdens."

Thus it was Reaganism and GOP policy that set these forces in motion, a process that has had a devastating impact on the working class both economically and ideologically. "This systematic destruction of the working class and middle class has come during an era notable for celebrating the super-rich just for being super-rich," Johnston writes. "From the Forbes 400 launch in 1982 and Robin Leach's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" in 1984 to the faux reality of the multiplying "Real Housewives" shows, money voyeurism has grown in tandem with stagnant to falling incomes for the vast majority. There has also been huge income growth at the top and the economic children of income inequality: budget deficits and malign neglect of our commonwealth."

It was hoped that the Obama election two years ago signalled the end of that era of unprecedented capital accumulation that resulted in the Great Recession. That is precisely what's at stake next Tuesday.














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  • came across a very visual site on why capitalism sucks so badly

    Posted by howard rudman, 10/06/2011 2:47pm (4 years ago)

  • What exactly is a person's "profit?" people make incomes not profits. Companies make profits. And exactly why is this schnook assigned a subject matter ("capitalism") about which he obviously knows nothing?
    Let's see now, according to this Joe, only 74 folks had income increases last year. That's a lie. He also claims
    people are apparently starving becasue of the recession. Is he kidding? No one starved even during the Great Depression, when unemployment was many times worse than now. The reason for this "Great recession" lies not with capitalism, but with the Federal Reserve, specifically Alan Greenspan. I thought everyone knew that. Apparently not. But then Joe
    isn't a guy on anyone's short list for the next Nobel prize in economics. He rants, and like all such folks, leaves his brain at home.

    Posted by Kerry Brooks, 11/07/2010 10:53pm (5 years ago)

  • Wow Joe, you are saying that life sucks unless you have $50 million? That's an extraordinary level of greed. Are you sure you aren't a hardcore capitalist in disguise?

    Posted by Russ, 11/04/2010 11:56am (5 years ago)

  • The majority of the world population's standard of living is remarkably lower than yours because of capitalism.

    Posted by Arturo, 11/01/2010 4:38am (5 years ago)

  • Yeah, I'm in the lowest tax bracket in the US, and capitalism is working just find for me.

    What's that? My standard of living is still remarkably higher than the majority of the world population? Yeah. That's nice, that. Real nice.

    Posted by Sean, 10/28/2010 9:29am (5 years ago)

  • Hi

    Do you hear what you are saying? "Top", "bottom", "middle"? Do you see the pyramid scheme symbol on the back of the USA one dollar bill? Do you see the servitude infestation in capitalism (working FOR instead of WITH)?

    We ALL see the "pay up or lose your wellbeing" Chicago mob-like felony extortion widespread within capitalism. We ALL see the "join or starve" felony extortion done to the 18 year olds... by this ugly competer's church called capitalism. We ALL see how forcing competer's religions onto 18 year olds, and/or LURING them into it with bling-dangling and promises of empowerments... kills membership in the cooperator's church (Christianity/socialism). We ALL understand that AmWay (American Way) (New World Order) got "the exclusive" (legal tender) on the TYPE of survival coupons (money) accepted in supply depots (stores) and leverages 18 year olds into the organization via that felony activity. (It puts AmWay-coupon slaving requirements called price tags... on all the survival goods). We ALL well-know how sure-to-collapse farmyard pyramids... operate... from our childhoods. The upper 1/3 are "heads in the clouds" while the kids on the bottom ALWAYS GET HURT from the weight of the world's knees in their backs. Its EASY see how such systems are illegal, immoral, and just plain sick. Do you condone pyramiding, author? Would you let children do it?

    We American Christian socialists are patiently awaiting the natural fall of the pyramid-o-servitude, or the busting of the free marketeers felony... by the USA Dept of Justice. We Christians are VERY CLOSE to issuing a cease and desist order until the servitude and inequality goes away... which means it turns into a commune. Commune is a word we LOVE when used in the word "community"... but its one the caps HATE when used in the word "commune-ism". Go fig. PROGRAMMED!!

    Do a Google IMAGE SEARCH for 'pyramid of capitalist' to see a full color picture made way back in 1911, when capitalism was first discovered to be a con/sham instigated by the Free Masons/Illuminati. Folks sure bought into the thing... hook, line, and sinker just the same. The caps didn't even check if a string was attached! Now THAT'S easy fishing, eh?

    Time to level the felony pyramid scheme called capitalism. Abolish economies and ownershipism worldwide, and hurry. Economies just cause rat-racing, and rat-racing causes felony pyramiding. BUST IT, America! Look to the USA military supply/survival system... (and the USA public library system) for socialism and morals done right. Equal, owner-less, money-less, bill-less, timecard-less, and concerned with growth of value-criteria OTHER THAN money-value. Quit doing monetary discrimination immediately, and make it illegal. There are MANY measurement criteria of "value"... not just dollars. Try morals, efficiency, discrimination-levels, repairability, etc etc. Economies are cancerous tumors, and to cheer for their growth... is just insane. Profiting causes inflation, so if caps LIKE inflation, and if they LIKE a terrible time in afterlife when they meet the planet's ORIGINAL OWNER before caps tried to squat it all with ownershipism, then keep it up with the felony pyramiding. I dare you. While us Christians are finally bulldozing that pyramid scheme back to level, lets make servitude and "join or starve" (get a job or die) illegal in the USA, and lets level the architecture seen in USA courtrooms, too. Right now, USA courtrooms are church simulators or "fear chambers", by special design. Sick.

    Isn't that back-of-the-dollar pyramid... a Columbian freemason symbol? And WHERE is the USA gov located? District of Columbia? (Not even part of the USA!) How much more blatant can ya get? The "Fed" runs a pyramid scheme called the free marketeers. If you're using the "federal reserve note" certificates, or using no-other-living-thing-on-the-planet entitles of ownership, you're bought into a servitude/slavery con/sham... called capitalism. Pyramiding 101.

    Larry "Wingnut" Wendlandt
    MaStars - Mothers Against Stuff That Ain't Right
    Bessemer MI USA

    PS: Admin, the input area and capcha box... needs some css... as I'm black text on black backdrop.

    Posted by Wingnut, 10/28/2010 9:02am (5 years ago)

  • Pet peeve of mine.

    Stop saying "made" and "earned" when talking about these high incomes. The whole point is that these incomes aren't "earned" and these people haven't "made" this money.

    That's the whole point, these incomes are redistribution from the workers to the capital owners.

    Posted by rationalrevo, 10/27/2010 4:52pm (5 years ago)

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