America’s Wealth Inequality Not Liked and Vastly Underestimated

Filed in Gather Politics News Channel by on February 11, 2011 0 Comments

In a poll of 5,000 randomly sampled people concerning wealth inequality and wealth distribution, conducted by Dan Ariely of Duke and Michael Norton of Harvard University, showed that nearly 92% of respondents chose an unlabeled pie chart that “showed the top twenty percent owning thirty-six percent of the country’s wealth and the bottom twenty percent owning eleven percent of the wealth—a society with moderate inequality.”

The pie chart that showed actual U.S. wealth distribution—“top fifth owned 84% of the wealth and where the lowest quintile owned one-tenth of one percent of the total wealth”—couldn’t even muster 10% of the respondents’ choice.

Although one might be excused for thinking this was the sole responsibility of the Republicans, and they have the primary role in this gratuitous wealth inequality, it is the Democrats’ enthusiasm in neo-liberal free-market economic theory that allowed them to have a role with “frequent advocacy for Wall Street’s de-regulatory agenda and its equivocal policy response to the decline of organized labor.”

The decline of organized labor has occurred, too, because of neo-liberal economic treaties and regulations that have siphoned off jobs overseas faster than the Pied Piper led rats to drown in the river Weser.

Two political scientists, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, “contend, organized business interests and their ideological allies have waged an extraordinarily successful battle to enact policies—including changes in tax rates and tax law enforcement, labor law, financial de-regulation and curtailing public assistance—that benefit the wealthiest Americans. At the same time, those interests have succeeded in achieving what Hacker and Pierson call policy ‘drift’—obstructing policy changes that would be necessary to attenuate the conditions fueling growing inequality.”

This is indicative of the institutionalization into our legal fabric the desires of the ever-burgeoning plutocrats and oligarchs that are running our country.  The transformation of a society that has run amok with harmful deregulation in fiduciary industries like banking coupled with a federal income tax system made severely more regressive with the continuance of GW’s tax policies hollowing out our revenue stream by necessity will create economic wealth inequality.

Moreover, the neo-liberal fantasy of unshackling the economy from any oversight, creating an economy dependent on speculative derivatives, credit swaps, outsourcing, and impossible and overly optimistic continual highly sustained growth, while simultaneously subordinating ethical as well as moral issues to be trampled under the sole exclusion of profits will destroy the democratic nature of our nation.

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