The Fourteenth Banker Blog

July 24, 2010


Filed under: Running Commentary — thefourteenthbanker @ 4:10 PM

In this Huffinton Post piece, Senator Bernie Sanders is actually, get this, Senatorial. He rails against that part of capitalism that undermines democracy, the accumulation and misuse of power and it’s effect on the well being of the greater population.

And while the Great Wall Street Recession has devastated the middle class, the truth is that working families have been experiencing a decline for decades. During the Bush years alone, from 2000-2008, median family income dropped by nearly $2,200 and millions lost their health insurance. Today, because of stagnating wages and higher costs for basic necessities, the average two-wage-earner family has less disposable income than a one-wage-earner family did a generation ago. The average American today is underpaid, overworked and stressed out as to what the future will bring for his or her children. For many, the American dream has become a nightmare.

This is a shocking statement. The average two earner family has less disposable income than the single earner family of a generation ago. Over decades, the second earner has been absorbed into the economy as a factor of production, and used like cattle, with the dramatic productivity growth going to the ownership class.

Meanwhile, they have taxed the working class while giving themselves a free ride.

Last year, the top 25 hedge fund managers made a combined $25 billion but because of tax policy their lobbyists helped write, they pay a lower effective tax rate than many teachers, nurses, and police officers. As a result of tax havens in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and elsewhere, the wealthy and large corporations are evading some $100 billion a year in U.S. taxes. Warren Buffett, one of the richest people on earth, has often commented that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary.

And have abused globalism to take the profits from workers while paying little or nothing for the infrastructure, national security, and public services that make this all possible.

But it’s not just wealthy individuals who grotesquely manipulate the system for their benefit. It’s the multi-national corporations they own and control. In 2009, Exxon Mobil, the most profitable corporation in history made $19 billion in profits and not only paid no federal income tax — they actually received a $156 million refund from the government. In 2005, one out of every four large corporations in the United States paid no federal income taxes while earning $1.1 trillion in revenue.

Even government employees sometimes get in on the act.   Congratulations to the citizens of Bell for getting some of the bums thrown out. We need to throw all the bums out, wherever they may hide.


1 Comment »

  1. “the truth is that working families have been experiencing a decline for decades”

    Yet, it’ll be easy to find “Serious” people trying to refute (rather unconvincingly) this statement.

    The reich wing nuts are hard at work trying to obscure the facts about income inequality. Apparently, asking the wealthiest to pay more is tantamount to “soaking the rich”. See Andrea Mitchell [Miss Greenspan] interviewing Trumpka, or Ruth Marcus in the WaPo or Kudlow’s moanings, or John Mauldin warning how bad our economy would fall back into recession if the Bush tax cuts expire and so on and so forth.

    I have a question for all these apologists: Should we keep soaking the middle class and the poor then?

    I wonder how long it will take for the unwashed masses to DEMAND higher taxes on multinational corps and the wealthiest.

    It’s not only an economic matter; it’s about basic fairness

    Comment by Dr. Frankie — July 25, 2010 @ 9:59 AM | Reply

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