On the other hand, those of us who believe that money becomes valuable because of the hard work and ingenuity of the Producing Classes are obviously less concerned with the form money takes. Rearranged electrons on the back of a piece of plastic is just fine so long as it represents Producer energy.
The big problem is that not enough of the money has made it to the wider public. If financial markets are supported by anything, it is by the ability of Producers to purchase their output. But in the last 35 years, the money validated by Producer energy has wound up in fewer and fewer hands.
The final act of the Predators has been to loot governments so that there now remains almost no one to purchase much of anything. Along with the other austerity measures taken around the world to prop up tottering banks, the recent debt ceiling deal accomplished almost nothing except for severely damaging governments as final consumers. So now that the prime pillar supporting the very existence of the markets has been crippled, it is really no surprise that around the world, the bourses are in near panic.
Inequality Between The Top 1% And Middle Class Worst In Almost 100 Years
The richest 1% of US Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country’s income and control an astonishing 40% of its wealth. Inequality in the US is more extreme than it’s been in almost a century — and the gap between the super rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years.
Meanwhile, in Washington, a bitter partisan debate over how to cut deficit spending and reduce the US’ 14.3 trillion dollar debt is underway. As low and middle class wages stagnate and unemployment remains above 9%, Republicans and Democrats are tussling over whether to slash funding for the medical and retirement programs that are the backbone of the US’s social safety net, and whether to raise taxes — or to cut them further.
The budget debate and the economy are the battleground on which the 2012 presidential election race will be fought. And the United States has never seemed so divided — both politically and economically.
How did the gap grow so wide, and so quickly? And how are the convictions, campaign contributions and charitable donations of the top 1% impacting the other 99% of Americans? Fault Lines investigates the gap between the rich and the rest.
This episode of Fault Lines first aired on Al Jazeera English on August 2, 2011 at 0930 GMT. more