“The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist, but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight.”– Michael LindIn total, US millionaire households have at least $45.9 trillion in wealth, the majority of this wealth is held within the upper 0.1% of the 1% population according to the report by David DeGraw, Analysis of Financial Terror. Meanwhile an astounding 62 million Americans have a zero net worth, and 68.3 million Americans struggle to put food on their table. That's right, the very same people, the top one-tenth of one percenters, 300,000 out of 300 million people, essentially responsible for the devastating economic damage to the US,whilst benefiting greatly, have almost $46 trillion in wealth. Remember, $1 trillion is equal to $1000 billion! Imagine, what $46 trillion can do for you.
And unlike those in the lower half of the top 1%, the top 0.1%--not to mention, the 99.9%--can often borrow as much as they want at very nearly 0% interest, keep profits and production offshore, store personal assets in tax havens, ride out down markets and economies, and greatly influence legislation in the US. They have access to the best of the best in accounting firms, attorneys, consultants, private wealth managers, and access to a network of other wealthy and powerful friends, lucrative business opportunities, and on and on and on...
However, thanks to the absence of reporting and/or the reporting of outright lies on this issue by the mainstream media--despite growing financial hardship--most of us are left to believe the rest of the nation is coming out of this financial crisis and getting back on their feet. Add to that, statistics based on rather primitive and outdated poverty/unemployment measures. Although, all one has to do is drive around and see the empty storefronts that line the streets of the wealthiest nation in the world.
The following excerpts come from Michiganjf and Jon who commented on the show The End Of Middle Class Neighborhoods? on On Point with Tom Ashbrook.
"Well, 30 years of Reaganomics and the Republican Revolution has allowed the super-wealthy to "trickle down" on the heads of the middle class and the poor in America... allow the wealthiest 1% to squeeze every penny they can out of the middle-class (those who actually spread money throughout the economy and kept it thriving for so long), and of course it eventually leads to the demise of once healthy middle-class neighborhoods!and from Jon:
Just check out On Points recent show on "Dirty Politics and Big Money" for an idea of the ways in which "The Club for the Rich" rigs the game for their own private and exclusive benefit, bestowing temporary Visas into the Land of the Wealthy unto politicians who "play ball" by the Club Rules.
The wealth, savings, and homes of the middle-class are fodder for the super-wealthy to milk at will:
... But Hey, let's protect those tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% who milk the rest... even if not compromising means giving up the 4 trillion in deficit reduction the Dems and the Prez offered up in exchange,
- The market goes down, the wealthy make a bundle while the rest of America gets wiped out
- The market goes up, the wealthy make 99% of the profit
- The middle class saves money, the wealthy use institutionalized gambling to leverage those savings at absurd risk for their own gain, hedging their leverage for their own gain if the poor suckers' savings get wiped out
- Got a good job? Wait a while... the wealthy will see that your employer is liquidated for a nice tax write-off; or maybe they'll restructure and send your job off to China to improve the value of their executive preferred stock options
- Need cheap gas or food to make ends meet? Well, a nicely cornered commodity and some specualtive maneuvering will see to it that oil gets a $30 jump to makes someone billions almost overnight; or perhaps wheat, or corn, or pork
- You'd like to see that decaying bridge fixed so you don't end up having to add an hour to your commute? Well, Government's broke because the wealthy needed another tax cut... or perhaps a few million tossed by industry lobbyists saw to it that those infrastructure dollars were spent on corporate subsidies instead.
- Start a brilliant business and now want to take it public? Well, you'll get in on the IPO, of course... but the rest of the IPO stock needs to be reserved for the bank's "more deserving clients..." we don't want just anybody in on this money-maker, do we?
Then you wouldn't be an industry lobbyist looking for corporate subsidies at the expense of infrastructure development! Good, successful programs start to suffer at the hands of the Mismanagement Kings who would rather see taxpayer dollars go to corporate welfare, tax breaks for those who don't need them, and the military-industrial complex... after all, why spend the money on Government programs that work well for 99% of Americans."
"I'm an Electrical Engineer with a Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering. I'm 57 and was layed off two years ago when the business I was associated with went under. At my age (ageism is accepted in our sociaty) I've given up after 100+ resumes. Luckly my wife is a tenured academinc, otherwise our situation would have been quite serious. Yes we are still middle class, however if the situation was a little different we would have been catapolted into the growing ranks of the distressed. I'm now doing furniture and cabinet work that grew out of what was a hobby. I've gone from being saleried to hourly and although I own my own buisness, my revenue is joined to the hip of the failing economy. Our income was cut by more than half and I feel like the very fabric of what made this country great is being torn apart.Not only have our values been turned upside down, exalting greed and technology to the level of god, we no longer create value. Manufacturing and even services are increasingly chase cheap labor all over the world. At the same time institutionalized gambling--the stock/bond/derivative markets--has taken over, creating nothing, or counterfeit "value". The jobs have been shipped overseas, or "in-sourced", leaving us with a feudal system of lords and serfs. A perpetual underclass and permanent overclass.
This did not happen overnight. Rising home equity and easy credit masked the ever-increasing deficit in wages and purchasing power. But now that they've crashed the housing sector and tightened credit, the veil is beginning to rise, revealing the ugly reality. Moreover, the predator class is cashing in and increasing our burden tenfold, ensuring that the next generation faces a third world society, a reality they are not prepared for, given they've been dumbed down and distracted by glitzy celebrities and super shiny technology.
Full Report: The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States of America