During the 2016 campaign, Bernie Sanders excited progressives. He moved members of a party which has moved to the right back to the left and renewed hope for the working class. Bernie advocates ‘democratic socialism,’ and he is 100 percent correct. Capitalism has failed the vast majority of our nation’s 320 million people.
The latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics from 2015 stated that more than 43 million Americans live in poverty; and that number is growing. Income inequality is not only growing; it’s exploding. America has 585 billionaires; China is second with 260. It is startling to know that with only about 320 million; 4.4 percent of the world’s population; the United States is the wealthiest nation in the world, but only if you are members of the one-percent. There are 1810 billionaires worldwide, and America has nearly one-third of them.
When and why did this begin?
Income inequality began in the 1950’s. As corporate officers, sought greater incomes, greed became the motivation, and profit replaced worker appreciation. Early in the 50’s, a successful corporation enjoyed a 30 percent profit margin. Today’s large corporations such as the petroleum industry, the pharmaceutical industry, etc., report 300, 400, and even 500 percent company profits. In 1950, the ratio of CEO pay to the average worker was 20-1. By 1980 the ratio was 42-1. And in 2000 it had risen to 120-1. Today’s figures are likely to display a 200-1 disparity.
“Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
In America capitalism has resulted in greed. The wealthiest among us hire lobbyists to protect their interests. This has resulted in one party supporting the one-percent exclusively.
Ronald Reagan instituted ‘supply side,’ or ‘trickle down’ economics His theory was that the more money the “job creators” made, the more jobs they would create; it was a horrific failure. The one-percent placed their profits in offshore accounts as the national debt and the poverty level rose. Unemployment reached 10 percent by 1988.
Including the ‘cost of living,’ the average American worker has not received a pay increase in the last 25 years. Conversely, corporate executives now receive an average of $13.8 million annually; the largest between $20 and $30 million. When they leave their companies, many have “golden parachutes” which in essence provide them with tens of millions of dollars in severance pay.
Capitalism only works for a very small percentage of Americans. Economists predict that younger Americans in high school today will find it impossible to own their own homes. The cost of higher education has become prohibitive for most Americans. Very few workers are able to save enough money for an active and fulfilling retirement.
Time for real change, but change will not come until every lobbyist is forced out of Washington, and Republicans removed from office. Today’s GOP is “Republican in name only.” They lack compassion, integrity, and refuse to represent those who elected them.
Let me fantasize for a moment; what would our nation be like today if “President Bernie Sanders” was residing in the White House instead of a member of the one-percent.
Please re-post; thank you.
by James Turnage
Image courtesy of DonkeyHotey
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