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Fifteen Things You Probably Don’t Know About the Ultra-Wealthy

Updated on June 28, 2014
Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin is among the millions of hardworking denizens of the world disillusioned by the abuses of the ultra-wealthy.

As the pie chart indicates, this is one of the worst times for disparity of wealth in our nation's history.
As the pie chart indicates, this is one of the worst times for disparity of wealth in our nation's history. | Source

The following article is cynical but true. For those of you not given to conspiracy theories, you probably won’t enjoy it. I’m not given to them either, except when they are true. I’ve never quite understood the policy of forsaking all conspiracy theories, especially if they happen to be an accurate depiction of what is happening.

Facts: the disparity between the income of us normal folks and the wealthy-elite is larger now than it has been in 120 years. This is not conjecture and this is not a subtle variance. The gap between the haves and have nots has been skyrocketing, especially since around 1980.

Despite the economic crises in recent history, despite the economic failure of many major banks, the people who have suffered are those in poverty, working class, middle class, and the wealthy. The ultra-wealthy, representing well less than one percent of the population, the ones who got us into this mess in the first place, are the only ones who have flourished.

If I have your ear, and you want an overview of how this happened, read the following.

1. They are not Necessarily Smart, Cultured, or Better than You in Any Way:

It’s a little-known fact that many of our wealthy-elite are dumb, rude, and altogether not very smart. Many of them don’t have to be smart because their parents or grandparents were smart for them. At this point they simply have employees hire employees for them that are smart.

In addition, they often lack even the most basic social skills that make civilized life possible. Most never do anything kind except for the commercial value of the gesture, and even then, the gesture is more hot air than action.

Disparity of Wealth

On a scale of 1-5, how bad would you rank the disparity of wealth problem in America?

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2. The Ultra-Wealthy are not Usually Film Stars, Singers, Entertainers, Professional Athletes or the Person with the Nice House Down the Street:

One of the biggest misconceptions about the wealthy-elite is that they are famous people. Yes, pro athletes and entertainers can make lots of money, but they do not usually fall into the category of the wealthy-elite. Nor does the guy down the street from you with the ostentatious house.

There is a big difference between being wealthy and being a billionaire. So often our aggravation towards the disparity of wealth is errantly cast at those who are simply wealthy, when they actually carry very little of the blame for our problems.

Let’s say a person has 50-100 million dollars. This is not the type of person being bailed out by the poor or paying virtually no taxes. These are not the people singlehandedly paying congress for laws that benefit just them. These wealthy are nothing compared to the multi-billionaires that control the world.

3. There are Only Around 400 Wealthy-Elite:

In all, there are only around 400 people in this country that make up the wealthy-elite. These people represent about 75% of the nation’s money. To put this into perspective, these 400 have more money that the lower 150 million people in the United States.

4. The Wealthy-Elite Pay Themselves Obscenely High Salaries:

This may seem apparent, but I don’t think people fully understand the depravity in the salaries these people pay themselves. For example, a CEO in 1965 made about 20 times the salary of his or her workers. Currently conservative estimates put the average CEO’s pay at around 231 times that of the rest of us.

What is important to understand is that this sum is the salary paid to the CEO by their company, not the profit from success of the company, which they are also tied into. Not the company business account, which they also have access to. This is the salary they make regardless of fiscal success, so even if they run the company into the ground, they get rewarded as though they are successful.

What are CEOs doing now compared to 1965 that justifies 231 times the pay of their employees?
What are CEOs doing now compared to 1965 that justifies 231 times the pay of their employees? | Source

5. You Probably Paid Their Salaries:

The Ultra-Wealthy can fail absolutely and still be given money from the government. Loans with virtually no interest and bailout money. So in essence, if you pay taxes, you gave them this money. Not only will they not let you use their pool on weekends, they don’t so much as send you a thank you card.

The irony in this is that they call all of us deadbeats. They whittle down all government programs to nothing, and they label everyone who is not them as blights on society, all the while leaching off the less fortunate.

6. There Has Not Been a Tax Cut in the Last 30 Years that Benefits Anyone but the Ultra-Rich and the Wealthy:

We need to educate ourselves regarding tax cuts. They are never for the rest of us. The only people reaping benefits on these sorts of things are the wealthy-elite and to a much smaller degree, the wealthy. Whenever you hear talk of tax cuts, just assume they are not for you, because they are not.

Does it seem right to you that, for example, a veteran fireman who puts his life on the line for a living pays roughly double the percentage in taxes of what a wealthy-elite person does?

Through loopholes designed especially for them, large corporations pay virtually no income tax.
Through loopholes designed especially for them, large corporations pay virtually no income tax. | Source

7. They Complain about 45% of the Population not Paying Taxes:

Although the wealthy-elite pay virtually no taxes, they do pay a bit, though it is less than half the average percentage rate of what the average fulltime employee pays. Despite this, they still try to further marginalize those in poverty by saying they pay no taxes.

It is true that around 45% of society is so poor they are not required to file for taxes, but what these people are not exempt from is sales tax. The amount these people pay in sale tax is a higher portion of their meager salaries than what the wealthy-elite pay each year.

The concept that lower economic demographics don’t do their part to keep the country running is a ludicrous lie. The only people not pulling their weight are the wealthy-elite.

If this graph were simply reversed, we'd have a healthy economy.
If this graph were simply reversed, we'd have a healthy economy. | Source

8. Only the Wealthy-Elite Get a Vote:

Republicans or Democrats, they all take money from the ultra-wealthy. This money requires favors. In return for campaign finance, elected officials allow lobbyists to write legislation for them, which they in turn pass, often without reading. With very few exceptions, the system doesn’t work. It is undermined by the money of the wealthy-elite.

9. The Ultra–Wealthy Want to Overthrow the Government:

As many billions of dollars as the super-wealthy dole out each year to make all the unethical things they like to do legal, they would much prefer to cutout the middle-man of government altogether. One of their favorite ways to do this is to cut all government programs to the point that they can’t succeed, and then use these emaciated programs as examples of why government programs don’t work.

The ultimate goal is to have no government and own everything, keeping the majority of us so uneducated and poor that resistance is futile.

10.They Want to Make It Impossible for Anyone Else to Succeed:

By paying lower taxes than the rest of us, and expecting all the poor people to pick up the slack, the wealthy-elite make it virtually impossible for others to succeed. For example, you open a Ma and Pa shop and you can’t get items as cheaply as they do, because you don’t own the company that makes them, and unlike the wealthy-elite, you are expected to pay taxes. The result is almost certain failure.

11.There is Virtually No Upward Mobility In This Country Because of the Super-Wealthy:

With a stranglehold on the government and almost no social accountability, the gap between the wealthy-elite and the rest of us continues to grow. I know we are fond of calling ourselves “the land of opportunity,” but at this point it is little more than just something people say.

The United State ranks 12th among developed nations in upward mobility. What this means is that in America we are born to what we’re born to, or perhaps things will get worse. It is very unlikely our social standing will ever improve.

Rank: Upward Mobility in Developed Nations

Countries
*IIE
1, Denmark
.15
2. Norway
.17
3. Finland
.18
4. Canada
.19
5. Australia
.26
6. Sweeden
.27
7. New Zealand
.29
8. Germany
.32
9. Spain
.40
10. France
.41
11. Switzerland
.46
12. United States
.47
13. United Kingdom
.50
*IIE: Intergenerational Income Elasticities,

12.They Manipulate Us With Things Called “Think Tanks”:

A think tank in this instance is a group of people who are usually relatively intelligent employed by billionaires for evil. The overall purpose of these think tanks is to figure out how to sway information and peddle influence while keeping the population as confused as possible in regards to what is actually happening.

For example, they are the ones who put together elaborate plans that make it possible to take away rights of the individual, yet make the individual come away thinking they’ve been done a great favor.

13.They Spend Billions of Dollars to Fund Programs that Appear to be "Grass-Roots":

There are many supposedly “grass root” programs secretly funded by billionaires. The purpose of these programs is to dupe hard-working citizens into believing these programs represent them. They are actually positioned to make the super-wealthy wealthier. Their speakers spout off rhetoric about “freedom,” when the actual purpose is to allow large businesses more freedom from pollution laws, common decency, and responsibility.

They do a wonderful job of making the common people think they have their best interest at heart. They vilify public programs that help and hold up their workers, ridiculously, as fat-cats and social leeches. They denounce the common decency of helping one another because a virtually forgotten author wrote a ridiculous book in 1957 that supports this behavior.

They claim to be fervently Christian when all their beliefs are almost diametrically opposed to another book that is very popular and has stood the test of time: it’s called The New Testament.

They manipulate the public so successfully that most people don’t realize what they are voting for is actually hurting them. These supposed grass root programs abound. Some examples: “Americans for Prosperity Foundation” and “The Tea Party.” A good rule of thumb: until you know otherwise, just assume any political movement that has a patriotic name is for the benefit of the wealthy.

14.The Wealthy-Elite Have Virtually Done Away with Unions:

The various unions that made up this country are pretty much dead. Is it true that some unions bred corruption? Absolutely. And the ultra-rich have used this fact to vilify them altogether. They convinced us that somehow unions keep us from having jobs and take away our freedom of choice, while all the while their demise assured the wealthy-elite powerless employees.

Yes, there are negatives regarding unions, but when the alternative is to have no organization and no way to fight for equality, the good far outweighed the evil.

15.They Want You to Believe They are the Only Ones Who Can Lead Us:

When the banks failed, we were made to believe that we had to bail them out, because they were” too big to fail.” Though it is true we may have seen dark days for a longer period of time if we hadn’t saved their sorry butts, the simple fact is that this never would have happened had they been competent at their jobs in the first place.

Instead of giving these few people the money they lost, why couldn’t we have given it to other Americans? Is it really any sillier to give people who haven’t failed the opportunity to succeed than give the money right back to those who blew it? Let’s put it this way: what happened to our economy happened largely because too few people had too much influence. When too few people have all the money it is always a recipe for disaster. If we’re doing a bailout, why not redistribute the bailout money to a larger number of people so this sort of thing doesn’t happen again?

American Dream Versus Current Reality

I know that people from all walks of life are still able to realize the American dream, and failure has always been a possible outcome in any era, but the below examples overwhelmingly demonstrate the norm for how things were and are now.

High School Education:

Past Reality—With a high school education, you are supposed to be able to survive. For example, you should be able to acquire a job that pays well enough so that you can have a place to live and some manner of transport. You should be able to get married, have a child or two, and if you and your spouse both work, be able to retire at a reasonable age. Or if you don’t go the family route right away, you should have the means to better your circumstances through education: college, vocational school, etc, without incurring so much debt that you can never hope to recover.

Current Reality—With only a high school education, you will very likely end up homeless. The most likely best case scenario is that you will keep your head above water and every penny you earn will go to paying for things you can never own, like your apartment, until you are too old to work, at which time society will dispose of you. There will likely be no comfortable retirement in your future, and any children you have will likely repeat the cycle.

A Basic College Degree or Good Vocational Certification:

Past Reality—Barring terrible luck, with credentials like these you are supposed to have a relatively carefree existence. Home ownership should not be out of your grasp. Vacations with your family in the summer should be a yearly occurrence. It should be possible for you or your spouse to stay at home with the children through their youth if you choose. You should be able to take care of your offspring’s post-high school education without much of a problem.

Current Reality—Everyone has to work all the time. You’ll rarely see your children, and as soon as your kids are old enough, they are required to work in order for the family to function. Vacations happen rarely, if ever. You have a 30 year mortgage on your home, and between paying that and feeding your family, money is tight. Without a major academic scholarship, getting your child through college requires everyone working and budgeting carefully, but despite these efforts, student loans are heaped on top of your other debts.

If during this time any of this working unit loses their job and there is a gap between employment, everything falls apart. Even if you get your house bought and the kids through school, true retirement is probably still an impossible dream.

Starting Your Own Business:

Past Reality—With a little backing and education, you are supposed to be able to open your own business and have a decent shot at success. Not a franchise, but your own business.

Current Reality—You will face almost unconquerable conglomerates and all laws and regulations will be set up to ensure your failure.

Upward Mobility

Do you feel you have as much of an opportunity to move up socially as those before you?

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Why are Things So Bleak Now for the Working Class Versus 30 Years Ago?

The quick answer to the above question is that salaries are way, way too divergent nowadays. Just imagine if CEOs, rather than paying themselves 231 times the norm, settled for 20 times the national average like before. Imagine if rather than the working class paying twice as much in taxes as the wealthy-elite, we paid lower taxes and the super-wealthy were expected to pay a slightly higher percentage than us, like in decades past.

The result would be everyone receiving appropriate pay. Not only would most everybody be able to survive on their salaries, more people would be able to make the transition from employee to employer.

This would lead to the re-diversification of our economy. Rather than a few people monopolizing the whole United States, we would have lots of employers succeeding in the marketplace. With more business owners, stability, and security from economic collapse would increase.

There seems to be a common notion in society that things have just changed somehow, and it is impossible now for things to go back to the way they were. And people just accept this, but the only thing that has changed is that the ultra-wealthy are not doing their part to help society. As a result, us with so little are picking up the slack and the results are obvious.

At one time in this society the soup lines were for the impoverished. Nowadays all the free meals go to the ultra-wealthy, and it isn’t soup, it’s surf and turf garnered with truffles.

Is There Any Hope for Change?

There is always hope, but our backs are against the wall. With Congress only listening to those that bankroll them, no strong unions to represent us, and the ultra-elite able to pay billions of dollars to fix the game, things look dire.

The biggest ally us common folk currently have, oddly enough, are the few wealthy-elite with conscience enough to know things need to change. Of the 400 hundred of our wealthiest running the world right now, there are three camps: Those who know what is being done is wrong and want to fix it, those who know what is being done is wrong but don’t want to fix it because it works in their favor, and those who know what is being done is wrong and are actively campaigning to keep things that way and further monopolize the money because they are sociopaths.

Because we don’t really have a government right now, but more of a bill-for-hire system, the only way things change comfortably is if the wealthy-elite who want a level playing field fight money with money. If these super-wealthy could restore things to a level of normalcy, the next item on the agenda would be to do away with the current lobbyist system entirely, because it is the vessel for almost all corruption in Washington D.C.

Sources:

There are numerous books, documentaries, and even comical satires detailing the increasing problem of wealth disparity in America. For this article I relied heavily on the 2012 documentary Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream.

Conclusions:

I know that to those of you brought up to not complain all of this sounds like whiney hippie stuff, but I was brought up not to complain as well, unless you have to. This is a have to situation. The overall state of things is ridiculous. The level of corruption and stupidity that abounds with the wealthy few and the powers that be has reached heights not seen since the enactment of monopoly laws.

I usually like to give a noble reasoning for both sides of an argument before I break things down and make an assessment of which has more merit, but in the case of the disparity in wealth all I see is a population of hardworking individuals wondering why they can’t take care of their families anymore and a sector of the wealthy-elite knowing exactly why they can’t and doing everything in their power to make our lives even harder.

Democracy works. The problem is our current society is not a democracy. A few people buying all the rules of the world is not a democracy. We need to go back to a democratic system. I don’t know how anyone can realistically expect our society to function if we continue on this path. Things have to change.

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    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I agree with everything you quoted, but how do we change the system? What party represents the poor, the tea party? I think NOT, the republican party? I think NOT. What's left? The democratic party. yes, but like you say, greed had infiltrated the DNC, so what do we do? Who do we vote for? I was a firm believer and donated to get Obama elected, his hands are tied. We the people are not stupid. We see who makes and passes the laws. If we do not change congress we all will be in the poorhouse. Just my opinion..Great article!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well that was depressing. Of course I knew it already, but I was hoping to get through the day without a dark cloud hovering over my head. :) As long as the wealthy are allowed to basically buy politicians, this will continue....I wish I was hopeful but I'm not. Thanks for a real eye-opener, Larry.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      My first experience with the ultra wealthy was at college when a young man I was dating asked what my father did for a living. He told me his father bought and sold companies. I was out of my league.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Great Hub, Larry. The Supreme Court has officially turned our political system over to the wealthy with their horrible Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions. Things will only get worse until the Court changes. People also need to stop being swayed by deceptive bulk ads.The electorate needs to do their homework and then vote smart.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Always exploring: There is always hope. I'm not an economist, but as best I can tell, the cornerstone for all our problems is the lobbying system for campaign funds. It needs to be absolutely overhauled. Until that happens, it will continue to only be the people with the deepest pockets who have their ideas heard.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      billybuc: I'm sorry to be a downer, but I figure the more the word gets out there, the better chance we have for reform. The current trend of our nation has to and will eventually stop, but the question is how? Public outrage is a start, but when our voices are deemed almost silent by money, it makes it hard to get a foothold.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Flourish Anyway: Thanks for the comment:)

    • SoundNFury profile image

      Michael Valencia 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Depressing, but great hub. The game does seem rigged, and we let it happen. What other chances for change, if not ending lobbying and getting money out of politics? Violent overthrow? I think if you keep people down long enough, it can happen.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      SoundNFury: There was a psychological experiment done with a Monopoly board game where one player started the game with lots of money and property, and the other didn't. The one with the advantage won. Big surprise, lol. I like living in a society where I can determine my success. I don't mind that some people are more successful than others. It makes life more interesting, but when those who have more rig the game, it is infuriating. Thanks for the comment.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile image

      Dr Billy Kidd 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Actually, it's 1400 billionaires in the world, working together to make it all one big corporate empire. Hence, no help from Congress for small businesses during the bailout during the Bush Recession.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      My statistics were U.S. based, and the information I looked at had the number around 400 in the U.S. I was focusing on U.S. problems, but world domination of the 1,400 you alluded to is probably on the agenda as well. Excellent observation and thanks for dropping by.

    • profile image

      dragonflycolor 3 years ago

      I find this inspiring. I feel like most Americans are tired and have given up the fight to make things TRULY better for as many as possible. We need a pep talk, pep rally, pep something to encourage us to keep going...to not give those bastards the satisfaction! Where's Gunny Highway when you need him?!

    • Tranquilheart profile image

      Tranquilheart 2 years ago from Canada

      Excellent choice for HOTD

    • mySuccess8 profile image

      mySuccess8 2 years ago

      Wealth disparity is a global issue, with varying degrees of severity among different countries. A study of the wealth distribution in a country gives a valuable insight into the state of the economy and the well-being of the nation’s majority. The international organization Oxfam reported that almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years. You have presented an interesting perspective on wealth disparity in America. One interesting point is regarding the excessive salary of CEO being paid regardless of the financial performance of the company. Congrats on Hub of the Day!

    • SAQIB6608 profile image

      SAQIB 2 years ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

      What is the credibility of these stats?

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

      So pleased to see this well reasoned and excellent hub chosen as HOTD. Voted up and shared - everyone should read it with an open mind and then do their own research. We are in trouble here and it's like no one seems to be paying attention.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Congratulations on being HOTD; it deserved it, rated Awesome.

      As to the stats, @SAOIB6608, they line up very nicely with sources (U.S. Census, BLS, researchers like Piketty, etc) that I use.

      While I agree with all of your themes, I can't bring myself to go quite as far in condemnation on some of them as you do.

      The answer to your first poll question is "Significantly". While the disparity in both Income and Wealth are high, they are only the "highest they ever been" relative to after the Great Depression. Things were much worse prior to WW I.

      Thomas Piketty suggests that changing the tax structure for income and wealth, as you have pointed out, back to, say, 1980 would go a long way toward narrowing the gap.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      mySuccess8

      Thank you for such well thought out comments.

      You are right. This is not just a US problem.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      SAQIB6608

      As always, stats can be skewed to support a stance. Dependent on where you get the information, these numbers will vary, but all things considered, having looked at the methods in which the statistics were compiled, I believe my information to be an accurate depiction of what is going on in society.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      ChristinS: Thanks so much for dropping by.

      As you said, people not paying attention is definitely part of the problem. I think the other part of the problem is that people are so disillusioned and beaten down, they don't feel like it matters if they do complain.

      Excellent comments.

    • profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago

      Nice article. I knew this already for a long time and also that these richest psychopaths are getting worse every day. I hope you realize in the same time that with enabling the Ads you are feeding this Larry Page of Google.

    • smnoman profile image

      Blogger 2 years ago

      Your post is very informative and I specially thank you for sharing it.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Tranquilheart:

      Thanks for the kind words.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      My Esoteric:

      Very well though out response. I also respect that some of our analysis and levels of condemnation vary, but I think we can agree that things need to change.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Buildreps:

      You can't pay your bills without feeding the beast, and the more you feed the beast the stronger it becomes.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 2 years ago from California, United States of America

      Everything I've been thinking for a long time you've articulated very well here. It is a horror that so many of us have been duped into thinking that what harms us is good and what helps us is bad and that we just need to keep struggling harder. Thanks for this, you nailed it.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      smnoman:

      Thanks so much for dropping by.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 2 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      It sounds like we need a revolution! Like the French revolution! Not until the poorest of the poor and dejected, started overrunning the palaces and taking the heads, did the greedy wealthy get the point! You can't have everything while the rest of us have nothing! I have to post this hub on my Facebook page!

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      NateB11:

      At times it becomes so hard to distinguish between what is for our benefit and what is not because the powerful do such a good job of keeping us confused.

      Great comments

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Very much appreciate what you have written here and I hope everyone will read it and take it to heart. Taking it to heart, from my perspective, means not dumping on each other when things don't go well, stopping the ugly slurs some people make towards the unemployed and homeless. We need to band together, not divide further with finger pointing and judgment because for the moment we may be better off than our neighbor. Excellent article and congratulations on getting HOTD! Sharing this to emphasize its importance.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      2besure:

      Love your enthusiasm, but I don't think we need to start chopping head just yet. We just need to fix things.

      If there is just one thing we could do, it would be to dismantle the lobbyist system. It is at the heart of all our problems. When individuals can peddle influence with money, it undermines the entire democratic system. Nobody's voice matters in a system like this but that of the wealthy.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Au fait

      Love your comments.

      The thing I always point out is that it is foolish for us to marginalize and even try to criminalize the poor when most of us are one unfortunate misstep from being in their shoes.

    • profile image

      CPGebera 2 years ago

      To the person wondering if this is accurate I will first state that it is a known political phenomena that people who disagree with a political position will not believe it as a credible source if what is being said makes sense but conflicts with their opinion or the opinion they have been fed by their political part. These statistics are accurate and claim of “expertise” is that I have a B.A. in Political Science and a Graduate Certificate in International Relations and I studied this income inequality first studied by Dorsey Shaw and Emmanuel Saez of Berkley. Saez, in particular had looked at not only the top 1% but the top 1% of 1% finding even more shocking numbers. His statistics come from federal tax reports.

      Here is a summary of his findings from the Pew Research Foundation:

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/05/u-...

      Another study agreeing from Williams College with graphs and material from the US tax roles:

      https://web.williams.edu/Economics/wp/BakijaColeHe...

      Statistics in the Buffet Report published by the White House agreeing:

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/Buff...

      The New York Times agreeing:

      https://web.williams.edu/Economics/wp/BakijaColeHe...

      The Library of Economics and Liberty:

      http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/DistributionofI...

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      CPGebera:

      Really appreciate this information.

      When I look at these statistics, I scratch my head and it's even hard for me to believe it's that bad, and I wrote the article.

      Thanks for the information.

    • justthemessenger profile image

      James C Moore 2 years ago from The Great Midwest

      You can never ignore reason #14 when talking about income and wealth disparity. The decline in union membership, particularly since 1980, and the wealth gap between the super rich and the rest of us is statistically and inextricably linked. Also, my Christian faith Bible denounce economic oppression in Malachi 3:5 from the Old Testament James 5:4 from the New Testament. So what branch of "Christians" believe God approves of artificial wealth disparity?

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 2 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Well done Larry, every word of it, succinct and to the point.

      Ben

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 2 years ago

      This is a very important article. Sharing widely!

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      justthemessenger:

      People have so vilified the concept of unions, that folks think they're the axis of evil. Yes, unions can and have at times became corrupt, but when ran properly, they are a voice for those who are individually powerless against big money.

      Wonderful comments

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Ben Zoltak:

      Thanks for the kind words.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      RoadMonkey

      I so am happy you found the article relevant.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      This is a fabulous article. Thanks you for doing all this research. I also agree that the decline in union membership has really hurt the middle class. I don't know why more people don't recognize this.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      This is a fabulous article. Thanks you for doing all this research. I also agree that the decline in union membership has really hurt the middle class. I don't know why more people don't recognize this.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      To @CPGebera, what you described in your first sentence is academically known as a "high-scoring RWA follower", RWA stands for Right Wing Authoritarian. (Right Wing does not necessarily refer to America's Right Wing, but, if I remember right, where the politicians sat in the French Parliament way back when who most often exhibit the characteristics of an RWA.)

      @Larry, I wouldn't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater vis-a-vis Lobbyists. I spent a career in the Dept of the Air Force and near the end of it, had to deal with Congress a bit. Believe it or not, Congress couldn't function without lobbyists. If lobbyists stopped dropping by, each Senator and Representative would have to increase their staffs 10-fold or more.

      Along with buying Congressmen and women, lobbyist bring in a wealth of information that political leaders need to make informed decisions. Unlike 1794, the world is so complex no person in Congress can hope to get a handle on it without these sources of information.

      The trick is to get rid of the undo influence and keep the benefits of lobbyists. The first step, imo, toward that is to have members of Congress (or any other political group in charge of our laws, as well as the Executive branch) disclose meetings they or their staffs have with representatives of any person or organization who contributed more than $10,000 in total to their election.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Deborahdian:

      Thanks for the comments.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      My Esoteric:

      I am so fed up with corruption in lobbying, but I agree that some manner of lobbying is necessary. In its best sense, lobbying is a way to have thoughts and concepts that represent the masses heard. In its worst sense, it's an "I'll give you a lot of money and you'll be my personal puppet" system. In my opinion, it is currently more of the latter.

      When I talk about dismantling the lobbying system, I'm talking more of a complete overhaul. In my opinion, things cannot and will not get better until the lobby system is changed drastically.

      Thanks again for the well thought out comments.

    • Adam Lee Andersen profile image

      Adam 2 years ago from Overland Park, Kansas

      What an eye opening article you have here. I now know that both parties are in on the action, because of just how my representative voted on the recent 1.1 trillion spending bill. My representative voted yes on the bill, which shows where his loyalties lie. My friends, we have a much larger problem on our hands, and if you think for one second that calling or emailing your rep is going to damn thing you're in for an ugly surprise! There's a reason why it's called a political machine, because it takes in politicians and spits out money. It's that simple. Sometimes you just have to take machine out into the middle of a field, bash it to pieces and get a new one.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Bingo! Spot on target!

      It certainly does look bleak. They have the system rigged so that it is impossible to lift yourself out of poverty. The so-called "cost of living" raises in Social Security and Disability payments (OUR MONEY, to start with!), are so infinitesimal as to be a 'why bother?' Like a $7 per year "raise" is going to make a difference in our purchasing power.

      Some things that will help, IF we can get them passed (which is unlikely):

      1) Lobbying needs to become illegal.

      2) Term limits need to be established for all of congress.

      3) MAJOR revisions to campaigns for public office need to happen.

      4) Congress must be disallowed from voting their own salary amounts, as it is a clear conflict of interest. In point of fact, they should not get a salary, but only an honorarium, since they are supposed to be public SERVANTS. (They have forgotten this!)

      5) The minimum wage must be raised substantially, and NOT JUST for workers in companies with government contracts, but across the board for every employee of any company.

      I could go on all day, but I'll restrain myself. My husband and I do our best to educate people via Face Book posts, passing on such information as this, and you may be sure I'll be sharing this article, as well!

      Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. I hope those who NEED to read this, do so! Otherwise, we are stuck preaching to the proverbial choir. I am glad to see protests happening in large numbers. There may yet be hope.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      DzyMsLizz

      Great comments. Thanks for the support and doing your best to educate people.

    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 2 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Bravo! A fairly good article. What would have made it better is to include more specifics. You talk largely in generalities. Some specific facts and details could have made your arguments more convincing. You give some powerful graphs, but need to include the sources of the data. The fact that you drew a graph is not as convincing as would be drawing the graph from data at a specific and reputable web page.

      I agree with almost everything you said. One exception is the Tea Party. I suspect that the Tea Party started with good people and good intentions, but then it became infiltrated and corrupted, just like Greenpeace. The psychopathic elite are good at buying their way into a successful organization and taking it over from the inside out.

      On the bank bailouts, you didn't go far enough. We should have put the bankers in jail! That's what the Icelanders did with their banking fiasco. And they're doing very well after a very brief period of hardship.

      One of the Rockefellers told the late Aaron Russo that their family supported Women's Liberation, not to liberate women, but to double the Rockefeller income in their private Federal Reserve System banks. You see, taxes go to the owners of the Fed, not to the government. One other powerful Rockefeller reason for supporting women's liberation was so that kids would become dependent upon the state instead of the family -- to break up the family!

      One female world leader told her doctor a few years ago that a great culling was about to begin to get rid of the "useless eaters" who use up their (the psychopathic elite's) resources. How arrogant of them. Who made Earth "theirs?" In their own minds, perhaps. But that speaks volumes about the selfishness of their attitude.

      The Rockefellers and their fellow psychopaths did a superb job selling the world their Global Warming scam. When Al Gore came out with his award-winning video, I bought it hook, line and sinker. A few years later, I discovered that I had been wrong. Global Warming is good, because it yields more rain, more life and ends the current (2.6-million-year) Ice Age. CO2 is good for Earth as evidenced by the current "greening" of the deserts, just like the Sahara was green during the far warmer Holocene Optimum 8,000 years ago.

      And the Rockefellers have no love for us. To them, we're merely pawns to be disposed of as they see fit. Take 9/11, for instance. Aaron Russo learned from one of the Rockefellers that a big event was going to give us Iraq and Afghanistan. That was in late 2000. A year later, we had 9/11 and this was the BIG reason for going into both Muslim countries. These guys will murder at the drop of a hat.

      But despite all their crimes, the only way to win against such evil is to forgive them. We need to make more people aware, certainly, but we need also to teach selfless love. Otherwise, we solve nothing and only perpetuate the same self-concern which got us into this mess.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      lone77star:

      I do give a list of sources, but perhaps it would have been better to include specifics below the graphs. As to the wealthy buying out organizations started with good intentions, that is often the case, but I was under the impression they started the modern Tea Party from the ground up. Could be wrong, but I know they do start many organizations from the ground up, often times with a faux grass roots feel.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 2 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on HOTD. I think the reason that this disparity continues to exist is because we let it. We say, oh well. Sure our politicians listen more to the people giving them the money, but if enough of us write to them and explain to them that they might get voted out if they don't make the change, then they can see that the bankroll is coming to an end, and be more likely to listen.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Yes, your plan would work if people are informed. What happens so often is the ultra wealthy simply confuse the issues and dupe the public into getting behind ideas that actual hurt the rest of us and help them. In addition, they corrupt ideas that start out with good intentions.

      The problem is that the average citizen, myself included, spends so much time working hard and trying to get by, that we can't keep up with everything that is going on. Not that the rest of us are stupid or incapable. It is simply that we don't have the time. In contrast, the wealthy can hire entire teams of people to skew every good idea into a corrupt one.

      We do need to be in the ear of our elected officials as much as possible, as you said, that is a big part of it, but I just can't see those voices being seriously considered unless we totally tear down the current lobbyist system and rebuild it in such a way that the elected officials feel obligated to serve all of us.

      Thank you for the comments

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      LR - "Not that the rest of us are stupid or incapable. It is simply that we don't have the time. In contrast, the wealthy can hire entire teams of people to skew every good idea into a corrupt one."

      ME - A very important theme, although I would replace "corrupt" with "one advantageous to them." The reason is that not all the wealthy and large corporations are "corrupt". Most have self-interests, legitimate ones in many cases. which can (and do) are the the detriment of the People. The problem is, as you point out, is that "influence buying" is not a free-market commodity that all parties have an equal opportunity to participate in. Instead, the use of power for one's own gain at the expense of others is an oligopoly.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Larry, thank you for writing this, it is spot on. As my dear friend Au fait says, everyone should read this.

      I read this and I think that if the unions had been made as ineffective as they are right now 20-30 years ago. I would be homeless.

      I feel that the political position we find ourselves in right is that most Democrats voted for the Republicans, by simply not voting, while they were drowning in apathy, and thinking that all the other Democrats will vote them out, without realizing that they are the them and they did not vote.

      Voted up, UABI and shared.

      Shyron

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I'll have to ditto Bill's remark..."depressing.".....However, besides the fact that this is a well-written article and I appreciate the research work you extended......some of the comments are awesome as well. I like what au fait, Dzy and lone star all had to say.

      Thank you for the education, Larry.....now I'm off to find something to make me laugh because this dark cloud definitely HAS TO GO! I'll probably run into Bill looking for the same thing!..UP+++ Peace, Paula

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      My Esoteric:

      As always, I appreciate your response, and I value your knowledge, but I do respectfully disagree with you on a few fronts.

      I certainly agree that not all large corporate entities are corrupt. For example, a number of Silicon's wealthy have voiced their aggravation with the slanting of interests. Warren Buffet has went on record indicating that he is not sure if he could have had the middle class to riches story that he has had were he a young man making his way in today's world.

      But I feel the majority of our wealthy elite don't want to rock the boat, especially because things are working in their favor. I don't want to get in an argument over semantics, but to my way of thinking, turning a blind eye to unfairness when it is as egregious as it currently is, albeit a lesser version, is a form of corruption.

      A small portion of our wealthy elite go one step farther, greedily trying to slant things even more in their favor. This, to me, is extremely corrupt.

      I understand your argument of a person doing things to their advantage, but at some point this becomes corrupt. Why did early settlers of this country opt for labor at no or little charge? Because it was to their advantage. Why does a mobster kill a rival? Because it is to his advantage. I don't mean to entertain that these examples are the same things that are going on now, I simply use them to illustrate that doing things to one's advantage doesn't free that act from corruption. Just because an act is technically legal does not free it from being corrupt.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Shyron:

      Thanks so much for dropping by.

      I am definitely a Democrat, and I definitely feel safer with Democrats in power than Republicans, but I don't feel this is purely a Democrat vs. Republican issue. Democrats have their hand in the state of things too. They take the big money just like the Republicans do. This problem is bigger. It involves all parties turning a deaf ear to us to follow the green. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it is my belief the only way we fix this problem is by fixing the lobbyist system.

      Thanks again for the comments.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Fantastic article and I will network this around onto all my appropriate networks. We all need to be the change we want to see happening in the world.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      So depressing, but I feel the need to write about it.

      Everyone has something they can't stomach. For me, it's the mistreatment of animals. I give what money I can to help, but I just can't handle those commercials. Puts me in a funk all day.

      I appreciate your stopping by. Sorry I made you sad.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Nadine:

      So glad to hear from you. Thank you so much for helping.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      LR - "But I feel the majority of our wealthy elite don't want to rock the boat, especially because things are working in their favor. I don't want to get in an argument over semantics, but to my way of thinking, turning a blind eye to unfairness when it is as egregious as it currently is, albeit a lesser version, is a form of corruption." and "I understand your argument of a person doing things to their advantage, but at some point this becomes corrupt."

      ME - Absotutely, as my drunk relative likes to say.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Great article. Sad state of affairs. I feel as if the working class and lower middle class listens to the false morality that is broadcast on AM radio talk shows. I hear so many people rant about the evil poor, the greedy poor, how the stupid ruined the economy with their greed. Everything blamed on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder. During the past economic plunge, I feel like we should ask the question that is asked in TV crime shows - who stands to benefit from the crime? There you find the culprit of our economic woes. Not the victims.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Yep, follow the money (and power) ... works every time.

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 2 years ago from California

      Very good article, but you certainly stuck your opinion into it, didn't you? I don't blame you, though. Now that the Reps are surging into Congress once again, all the gains of the Obama administration could be reversed. Only the Demos could possible change the current state of income inequality. Vote Demo - it's our only chance. Later!

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Dolores Monet:

      Thanks so much for dropping by. I don't know what to add except I agree. Wonderful comments.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Kosmo:

      I chose to go with an emotional voice in this article because I had just watched a couple of documentaries, and quite frankly, they made me angry.

      I am capable of going with a more formal voice, but a less formal voice serves a purpose from time to time too, as long as we don't bolster emotion so much that we don't think.

      As to Democrats and Republicans, I've always been a Democrat, but do you remember when Republicans weren't so scary? Used to it didn't scare me so much to see Republicans in power from time to time. Democrats in power, things were a little more liberal. Republicans in power, things were a little more conservative. Nowadays the idea is to throw away every institution of human decency and in fairness, a lot of Democrats are on the dole too.

    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 2 years ago from Northern California

      The US is not a democracy; it is a Representative Republic. Studying the tax code is one way to attain financial success in the US. Joining your central committee is another. Another way is to become self-employed. Another way is to try different things until one thing works.

      Recently a teacher complained to me about people "taking advantage" of "tax loopholes". She has not studied the tax code. I suggested she do so. She has no interest.

      Many people are unemployed and cannot understand why the economy does not "come to them" and hire them. It has not occurred to them to go to the economy and learn a skill the economy wants.

      The beat goes on.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      LOL.....Larry.....it's more like "envy depression" than "sad!" Really, to tell you the truth, my original thought for a comment was: There are probably dozens of things I don't know about the ultra wealthy.....nor do I want to know, since I'm never going to be one of them!...LOL

      Don't feel badly. You didn't make me SAD. I think your article is great. (I'm 100% with you on animal abuse. I actually cannot watch those commercials.....I close my eyes . I want to bring every one of those poor babies home and love them.)

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Doodlehead:

      Thanks for dropping by.

      I fail to see how understanding the tax code better would fix the world. For example, if I study the tax code, the main thing I learn is that in order to have a good chance of success I need to start life as a billionaire. How does that help the general public exactly?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thomas Piketty, a French economist, makes a very strong case that tax rates are tied closely to income and wealth inequality. Simply put, the higher the marginal tax rates, to a point, the lower the inequality because it transfers wealth back to where the rich got it from simply because that is the capitalism works, not because they earned it. In other words, the lower income classes who work subsidize the upper income classes. This is something people views similar to @Doodlehead don't understand.

      I also think that if he changed "Many people are unemployed ..." to "A few people who are unemployed cannot ..." then I could agree with him.

      As to his suggestions on how work your way up in the world, they are certainly laudable, but I would certainly love to have the resources (money, contacts, etc) it would take to accomplish that if you weren't successful the first few times for I would be rich and already successful. It seems when those run out, then your chances to succeed to diminish to near zero. They are also near zero when people or society works to deny you those resources.

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Great article, however your premise that this information is somehow a conspiracy is ridiculous to the point of absurd and merely defines how the average man is so uneducated as to 'think' that this information is hidden.

      con·spir·a·cy/kənˈspirəsē/

      noun

      a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.

      No one and I mean NO ONE that accepts and understands the true nature of conspiracies, is deluded enough to not recognize this information as absolute fact. Sorry don't need to use your Rocket Surgeon skills to recognize facts.

      Those of us that have accepted that everything that is taught in our antiquated education system is a lie, don't need to know that a very small percentage of the world's population runs the show . . . are you seriously just now realizing this?

      WOW!

    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 2 years ago from Northern California

      Somethgblue-

      Thanks for this observation.

      I agree with you.

      I cannot remember how many people I have heard complain about the "tax loopholes" of "the rich". The last person who complained was a school teacher with a University of Arizona master's degree. I asked her why she did not study the tax code as it is all over the irs.gov website. She was speechless when she found that out.

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      The next BIG question is, among many, if the Re-evaluation of Currency the BRICS nation's and the White Dragon Society is imposing on America will impact the American people in the way the fear mongers are proposing, such as a liquidation of 401k's, retirement funds and other paper investments or if it will be business as usual and all debts will be wiped clean for a fresh restart?

      Of course, if you have read any of my articles, it maybe a short respite when Nibiru Planet X wipes the slate clean, literally and humanity must start over, or what is left of it anyway.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Hey blue.....is there a sign-up list or application of some sort? I just wanna get my preferences out there. Will you keep a file on me please?

    • seraphic profile image

      Seraph 2 years ago from Canada

      Great that you put this data out here! It is terribly upsetting to think that 50 years ago there was a much better quality of life, yet most of the time back then only one person was working outside of the home! Children had a chance back then with the full time support of a parent at home, today we are living in a financial pressure-cooker just to stay afloat. It sickens me that the wealthy do not give back to the community in the way they "Extract from the community." Yet, those of us working on the bottom are expected to work for peanuts and worry about being able to help out a loved one who is sick and dying. Things have to change.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I just don't know how you can view the information in the article and not understand there is a problem, that this isn't healthy. You don't even need to read the article, just look at the charts and tables.

      Those poor misunderstood wealthy that have to make do with 99% of the wealth. So mistreated. We must defend them and shield them from the reality and consequences of their actions. They are blameless. It's all our fault.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      While I understand the sentiment and why its said, to make a blanket indictment of the wealthy by saying they "do not give back to the community in the way they "Extract from the community" is as bad as the Right making the claim that all poor are lazy ... by choice. Neither are true.

      Just like the few bad apples among the less fortunate that poison the well for all, the same is true for the wealthy. The difference is when the wealthy are bad, they hurt hundreds, thousands, millions in some cases, of other people in the process; you can not say that of some poor guy ripping off the system.

      Most wealthy people earned their wealth honestly and with integrity and lived as moral a life as those struggling to make ends meet. All wealthy people since 1981, however, gained their wealth, through no fault of their own, from the tax structure which is designed to transfer the wealth of the low and middle income classes to the upper income classes. Many wealthy people give back in big ways, some in huge ways, in philanthropic efforts, many of which are directed at the underprivileged (I don't think I like that word), the destitute, the disabled, etc. (A couple give back to their cats even.)

      Now, my defence of the wealthy does NOT carry over to major corporations or those who run them. Individually, these people may be decent, but in protecting their own interests (and sometimes even that of their stockholders) a good many of them know no bounds to indecency. In my mind, that is where your ire ought to be directed for there is a much larger percentage of bad apple major corporations than there are bad apple wealthy people. Anyway, that is what I think.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I see no reason to argue over this topic. I merely want to know if there are any Ultra- wealthy single men out there? ...Because if you are one, I have a proposal for you.

      No, I mean literally.....a proposal. (smile)

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Were your on your knees when you typed those words, sorry just thinking out loud . . .

      My Esoteric must be living in la la land to think that most wealthy people gained their finances honestly, certainly not the USA. Perhaps he is confusing honest with legally, considering that the illegal drug trade in America comes in third behind weapons sales and health care in gross capita.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      There's my Mr.Man.....you're so bad. I'm neither confirming nor denying my position at the time. Just so you know.....for you I'd forget about the money......money....money......:)...It's not about the money.....money....money.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      You, @Somethingblue, who believes in a hollow earth, that all science is wrong, and proof of anything is a farce think that I live in la-la land; now that is a la-la-laugh.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ho Ho Ho!!! Merry Christmas one and all. Now that's the spirit! Tis the Season to be Jolly. Peace to all. Have a Great Holiday Season.....

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Fpherj48, are you calling my momma a Ho, Ho, Ho . . . by all means have a Merry Xmas, I gotta work.

      Are you still prattling on My Esoterically deluded one, tsk, tsk . . . were you not breast fed long enough?

      The Powers That Be are about to get their bell rung, you can put a fork in them, they're done. This article came at a fitting time, as I suspect we will see their demise in the next year.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Oh my NO. Mothers are the most sacred beings of all the universe......I'm not even sure I'm privy to whom the Powers That Be truly are, tsad. I believe we're all pretty powerful if we hold the truth.....don't you? I will be working both today Xmas Eve, as well as Christmas Day......No biggie....I suggest we celebrate what we are called to do, whatever the day or traditional meaning of it. The Joy of this Season is a belief and concept, if we choose to believe that. I choose to make everyday create enough Joy to out do any dread.....Ebeneezer Scrooge is my Christmas hero....because he allowed his blindness to finally see beauty..............

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I'm sorry. Forgive me.....I meant "blue"....not tsad. My message for him would be of bit different......since you are quite unique men!

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      All jibber jabber aside . . . I must congratulate the author on getting this article selected by Hub Pages for Hub of the Day. This a great honor, for writing such an excellent piece, filled with pertinent facts, great graphics and creating interesting dialogue in the comments section.

      Well done!

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Now @Fpherj48, THAT is the spirit. I am happy I it.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      blue.......I do not participate in "jibber-jabber"......that means the same as "Gibberish" Everything that has been said here has much thought and consideration behind it and within it.....written by quite obviously human beings who genuinely "think, feel, rationalize and share." Surely you can appreciate this........a little levity never hurt a single soul. In fact my love, that's precisely which keeps my soul alive.........

      Now....I would close by saying I'm off to make Christmas cookies, which sounds so festive and productive. The truth is, I'm off to do something that makes me much happier on this Christmas Eve.......packing up my enormous home filled with meaningless STUFF, to prepare for my ultimate move. I'm a proactive lady. Last minute insanity is not my thing..............Take care and try to keep Scrooge at an arm's length, unless you're fully ready to learn the same lesson.........Peace, Paula

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for all of the spirited discussion, but can we not keep things a bit more civil?:)

      Somethgblue: don't know why you're going so hard at My Esoteric? No, I don't agree with him on all aspects of the problem, nor do I agree with you on all aspects, but My Esoteric has offered some good, level-headed insight here.

      Thank you to everybody for dropping by. Hope you're having a good holiday season.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Larry, I knew this reminded me of something and I found it, this is about the voters this last November when everybody could have voted them out.

      "That's Not My Job"

      A story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done (VOTE) and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's duty. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up the Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

      And now we have one party controlling both houses.

      Don't blame me I VOTED.

      Thank you again Larry for having the courage to speak the truth.

      Voted up, UAI and shared.

      Blessings Shyron

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Shyron: wonderful comments

      Yes, if people would just vote, that's a big part of it. The other big part of the equation is being informed. I think sometimes people vote with good intentions, but they're duped into voting for the exact opposite of what they really want. The third part of the problem is that big money controls things through the lobby system in such a way so that bills that would actually change the world for the better never see the light of day.

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      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Larry, I have been mulling over an idea you promoted in some comment somewhere of providing an unbiased platform for candidates to actually "explain" their positions sans sound bites and bumper stickers. It doesn't cost much to set up a cable channel I just discovered.

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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      My Esoteric: I didn't invent the idea. My brother had brought up the concept to me, and I don't know if the idea was his brainchild or not. He has his doctorate in economics and an intense interest in politics, so he's probably thought this through a bit. Just looking at it on the surface, I think it's something that could help.

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      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Which school of economics does your brother side with and does he write on hub pages?

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      This was a great article to network around. Wake up as much people as possible to this truth. Many thanks for this post.

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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      He's not on Hubpages. He is definitely for a system that better distributes the wealth.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks

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      Lana ZK 18 months ago from California

      Scary stuff. And that's why we desperately need Bernie Sanders! I think the support he's getting is a sign that people are finally waking up to this reality.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 18 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      When you vote for a President, it seems to me there are two important criteria; 1) can he/she get elected to be president and 2) once there, is there any chance to push through the rabid Congress any of the important points of their platform.

      I don't care who the Right elects, except maybe for Kasich, they can't beat Hillary. But, people like Rubio and Kasich can beat Sanders, especially if he keeps saying he is a socialist; a term many Democrats don't like and misconstrue. Further, Sanders will never be able to convince a nation like America that any part of "socialism" is a good thing.

      Clinton is not that far away from Bernie on most issues and is much more pragmatic and likely to succeed getting her program through Congress; although so long as the Rs keep control, nobody is going to get anything important through.

      While it is very important to elect a D for President, it is even more important to take back Congress.

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