Show Me The Money?

Remember the slogan from the movie Jerry McGuire: Cuba Gooding’s character, a wide receiver on a championship football team, had played well so he expected to get his just due of a fair salary. Don’t we all deserve that after doing good work?

Well, this has not been the case in the United States since the 1970s. The top 1% of the country’s grabbed the lion’s share of the wealth over the 1979-2007 period. What did that mean to the rest of us? Middle-income households lost $13,042 in 2007 alone. Families in the bottom fifth lost $6,010.

Things have only gotten worse since the recession with the top 1% grabbing 125% of all growth in the last few years, leaving the rest of us with scraps that amount to much less than before.

Here’s a chart showing where the wealth is in the U.S.

financial_wealth_pie_chart

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1 comment so far

  1. Mari on

    The problem with pies, is that one assumes the pie stays the same year after year and that everyone added equally to the baked good.

    We can disagree about the worth of labor and activies of individuals, but the market place makes the decisions. The sales person for a company may make gobs and gobs more than the person on the factory floor, but it is the salesperson’s talent for convincing someone they need the snuggie or widget that creates a demand, which creates a need for the person on the floor in the first place. Other factors like how replacable is the sales person or the snuggie worker also determine compensation.

    Communism with its idea of fairness did not work. The Chinese, though communist in name and brutality, are supercapitalists and that nation creates millions of billionaries while workers in cities make very little and those in the countryside, squat. Maybe the US will create what you preceive as a European based fairness system but I don’t see it as sustainable as worldwide, non- eurocentric/western type capitalism grows.


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