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Economic Silver Linings - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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August 21st, 2009

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01:09 am - Economic Silver Linings
There's definitely one bit of good news amidst all the economic gloom the wealthy now control a smaller percentage of US wealth than they did in 2007. The graphic on the upper left of the article is especially illuminating. The rapid rise in how much of the nation's wealth was controlled by the wealthy started around 1980s, with the beginning of the greed-filled excesses of the "Reagan revolution" and the idiocies of the California "tax revolt", after 40 years of relative stability – vivid proof of the decline of the middle class as the far right took control of the US economy. I'm hoping that we'll also see some laws to further restrict the accumulation of excess wealth – I'm particularly fond of the plan to tax the ultra-wealthy to pay for healthcare. I'm also reminded of how 6 or so years ago my friend jakesquid did the calculations and figured out that you could replace all Oregon income tax revenues by a flat 50% tax on all income over $500,000 – no other income tax would be needed - would that this could be made into law. The idea that 1% of the population controls 10% of the nation's wealth (as was true from 1940-1980) seems a bit excessive, but the current 25% is clearly far too much. It's also very interesting to note that the last time that occurred was in 1929. I continue to hope that we'll see a similar level of regulation put in place after this latest economic mess.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
Huh. While I'm not sympathetic to the plight of the rich, I'm also wondering if lots of museums and other institutions that depend on donations will have to close.

I always thought that the rich would get richer forever and enjoy less regulation and more rights, while everyone else would be more tightly regulated, pay more taxes, and have fewer rights. (The rise in speech codes on college campuses and corporations' increasing control over workers' private lives over the last 15 years is where I got the idea of fewer rights.)
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
Museums are already closing because the rich have lost the last dregs of generosity in favor of the greed culture we've been encoraging the last few decades. Depending on the whims of a small number of people is not a valid way to survive.

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