Sunday, March 6, 2011

400 Americans have more wealth than 155,000,000 Americans combined!

400 people in America have more wealth than one half of the entire population of the United States of America. Those 400 individuals have more wealth than 155,000,000 people do. Please take a few moments and watch this speech from Madison, Wisconsin.


Michael Dodd said...

Republicans get all agitated if we talk about taxing that top percentage that has all the wealth. They want the rest of us -- yes, I am a public employee in Wisconsin -- to share in the sacrifice, when we average less than $25,000 a year in income. If the governor's bill goes through, some people here who plow our roads, teach our kids and care for our elderly will lose their homes. Yet it would be too much to ask folks with billions to give more -- even though it could not possibly cause them to miss a single cup of coffee.

Who is waging class warfare on whom?

Mareczku said...

That is so hard to believe. I wonder what the figure was for the top 400, 40 years ago. The median family income keeps going down while the rich get richer and richer. What do the bishops have to say about this?

Father Geoff said...

Dear Mareczku,

The fact that you have to ask this question, is the most damning commentary on the bishops I can think of.

Joe said...

Here are some more stats to chew on:

According to a UC Santa Cruz study, in 2007, the top 1% owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth; the next 19% owned $50.5% of the wealth. Therefore, the top 20% owned over 85% of the wealth, leaving the bottom 80% with less than 15% of the wealth.

However, it gets worse. When you take out the value of one's home, the breakdown is as follows: top 1% own 42.7%; next 19% own 50.3%, leaving the bottom 80% with 7%.

Furthermore, there is a measurement of income inequality called the Gini index. It runs from 0 (total equality) to 1 (total inequality). According to the CIA, the U.S.'s number is 0.468. We are much closer to Zimbabwe (0.501) than we are to other western countries (Germany: 0.27; France: 0.327; UK: 0.34).

Finally, the Vatican's denouncement of liberation theology & relative lack of advocation for the poor - especially relative to the Church hierarchy's ACTIVE interference with LGBT rights - leads me to believe that they are not the least bit holy men.

Tom said...

@Michael. Keep fighting up there in WI! You are an inspiration to the rest of the nation. Have the unions up there talked of a strike?

@Geoff. I agree completely about the question being damning in of itself. I just published a blog post on the hypocrisy of Walker, Snyder, Boehner, and their like, who are receiving six figure salaries and housing courtesy of our tax dollars, while saying folks like Mr. Dodd are overpaid. I did some research and discovered that David Koch is a Catholic. But you don't see the bishops denying him communion, because of his violations of Catholic teachings concerning care for the poor, alien, and most vulnerable. Also, I found articles in the Wisconsin papers where Catholic ethicists were claiming that the church's teachings supported Walker's actions, using long outdated statement of Leo to contradict JPII's strong encyclicals in support of worker's rights.