As news and business reports are making clear, the rich have a huge (and growing) influence over both the economy and politics.
In an animated GIF created by the Financial Times, the damage to working people is easy to see, and getting worse.
(Graph via Michael Hiltzik, of the LA Times)
The Pew Research Center study on America’s middle class shows the 40 year trend:
- The biggest group used to be in the Middle Class, but now is the rich.
- Income is down for everyone, except for the rich.
- There is a growing number of people in poverty.
In other words: the GREED and CONTROL by the rich is at an all-time high, and getting worse!
What the graph does not show is that there is MORE MONEY than ever being generated by our economy. So not only are working people earning less and families stressed more, but the rich have MORE MONEY THAN THEY EVER SPEND. The rich no longer need to create businesses to get richer – they use the stock market and rent-taking – without the need to give people jobs.
By paying people less there is also less spending and supporting of local businesses, so things keep getting worse.
It is clear that the current system of taxation is skewed to benefit the rich, and that tax havens are hiding away massive, hidden wealth. The Panama Papers have exposed the tip of the iceberg of high-level secrecy and corruption.
The rich are taking money out of the loop, and old-fashioned income taxes barely affect them. So new ways need to be enacted to reset the balance.
It’s time for new ways to reset the prosperity balance, including:
- Social Responsibility Payments (“SoRePs”), which reflect the publicly-funded inputs into a company’s success. As an example, Apple could not have created iPhones without publicly-funded and invented GPS, Internet and touch screens. Some percentage of successful companies’ wealth needs to flow back to the public, much like other types of indebtedness.
- Transaction Taxes on the Stock Market and Currency Markets. These micro-slices barely affect the rich people using these systems and can add up to benefit the public. These make further sense because the rich rarely create long-term employment anymore, but use the stock market instead to increase their wealth.
- Get the big money out of politics, and bring back a people-focus to legislation.