That is a lot of money being given to the rich who are not, I repeat NOT, using it to create jobs no matter how many times the GOP says it. And guess what? The Republicans want to give them even more. Who in their right mind thinks this is a good idea? Rich people, stupid people and gullible people, of which the latter two we have way too many of. Here's some more statistics for you:
In 2010, the top hedge fund managers earned as much in one hour as the average family earns in 47 years.
The top 25 hedge fund managers in 2010 as much as 658,000 first year teachers.
In 1970, the top 100 CEOs made $40 for every $1 their workers made. In 2006 it was $1,723 for every $1 made.
Meanwhile, we keep hearing that problem is Social Security, Medicare and Medicade and not outrageous salaries, corporate tax avoidance and falling wages which are far more damaging. If people made more money in the middle class, they would pay more in taxes which would create more revenue. Contrary to what the Tea Party wants you to believe, we have a revenue problem not a spending problem. Although to be fair, we do spend way to much on things like defense which needs to be severely curtailed even if millions of people lose their jobs. To offset those loses, we could find other things for them to do like fixing our aging infrastructure which now resembles some third world nations. Compared to Europe, which is even poorer than us, they have outspent us on infrastructure 100 to one.
FDR through Lyndon Johnson, including Republicans like Eisenhower, changed all this by enacting things like the Glass-Steagal Act, raising rates on the richest Americans to a whopping 90% and the formation of the SEC. As a result, we saw tremendous growth. But with the election of Ronald Reagan, all that changed and not for the better. With the culmination of the worst President of all time, George W., things have fallen off the map. The "free market" economy has been an abject disaster yet no one is willing to admit it, Democrat or Republican and until we do, things will never change.
Reagan slashed taxes for the rich, began the long slide of union bashing and eliminated many Wall Street regulations for the boom that never happened. As a matter of fact, things went so badly, that Reagan was forced to raise taxes to make up the short fall that happened soon after, a fact lost on the neo-conservatives of today.
For one brief moment, the OWS movement shined a bright light on that inequality. But as the press was more interested in first ignoring then demonizing the group, their message got lost. It didn't help that OWS had no organizational skills and as the movement stalled with no demands being leveled against anyone, after the police crack down, the whole event fizzled. But it hasn't changed the fact that we are in serious trouble and the elites are stealing from us at every juncture.
We need to raise the minimum wage, where if adjusted for inflation, if we got paid what you made in 1968, the wage today would be at least $16 an hour. I don't remember businesses going under in mass numbers in 1968 do you? The reason why is it didn't happen. Here are some facts about raising the minimum wage from newsforage.com:
"1 Most Americans Support Raising The Minimum Wage
The erosion of the minimum wage -- that is, the decline of its purchasing power as prices rise -- contributed to income inequality among poorer Americans in the 1980s, according to one study.
In New Jersey, employers did not cut their workers' hours in response to the state's 1992 minimum wage hike, according to one study.
9 Most Minimum-Wage Workers Are AdultsIn other words, if we raise the wage, the economy will improve dramatically, help reduce poverty and obesity rates and make this country a better place.
We have to start standing up to this by not just accepting things as they are and start fighting for what is ours. Do not take a job making a crap salary no matter how much you need money. If they can't fill these positions, they will be forced to pay more. Do not accept internships that work you to death. Every time you do, you are decreasing the positioning power of everyone. Yes, it sounds good on paper but we are helping fund this nonsense and it has to stop. If you have no choice but to get one of these awful jobs, do everything you can to throw a wrench into the works and looks for another job with every free moment. Do not accept your place as a slave. Become Spartacus. I have never worked at a shitty job one second longer than I had to, and the entire time I did work for one of these slave drivers, I worked as little as possible and went job hunting at every possible moment. And guess what? I found better work. And so can you, no matter what your education level is.
Most importantly, stop putting people in office whose sole job is fuck you in the ass for every moment of every day. Stop supporting anyone in the Tea Party, almost all of the Republicans and most of the Democrats. If we don't start standing up for ourselves, this country will die and that looks to be coming down the pike in the neat future. If the government shuts down at the end of the month, and all indications are that might happen, the world economy goes with it. And we will have no one to blame but ourselves.