Over the past 30 years, a larger and larger portion of America's income growth has gone to those in the top 10% of incomes, and outlandish portions to those in the top 1%. This is a major change from the prior 60 years, in which the top 10% and the bottom 90% shared income gains. Wages have been steadily falling, while profits have been steadily rising. Financial elites have piles of money but are not investing in businesses because middle class consumers lack enough money to create the demand that investors need to create jobs. People have needs and wants but lack enough money to pay for them.
So diverting wealth away from the middle class hurts the entire economy. Wealth inequality not only is unfair; it hurts everybody, including the wealthy. They also depend on a healthy society. There’s plenty of supply—fabulous wealth lies ready to be used—but the demand is lacking. This is the root of our sick economy.
The Ryan budget has everything exactly wrong. Its tunnel-vision sees only the budget deficit and as a solution looks only at cutting funds for domestic needs. It looks at one tree and fails to see the whole forest of our sick economy. Middle class people work harder and harder just to stay in place. Families with two incomes still are struggling, still are falling behind. Adjusting for inflation, 85 to 90% of Americans have made no financial gains in the past 50 years, while CEO earnings have exploded.
The speaker in the last video thinks the solution cannot come from government. He thinks those with excess profits need to be convinced to pay fair wages for their own benefit, because systems don’t stay out of balance for long. They correct themselves. Either there will be a quiet revolution or a noisy, disruptive revolution. He may be right, because this imbalance will not go on for long. I hope enough financial elites catch on soon enough to avoid bedlam.
Those of us who recognize the inner world as the source of solutions can do more than pray. We can stay informed and help to educate our society dying from the illness of wealth disparity.
Click and listen to S. Simone Campbell at the Democratic National Convention, and to the thunderous ovation. It will lift you up.