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Harry E Gilleland

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The Lion Trees, Part II: Awakening
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The debut novel by Owen Thomas, The Lion Trees, chronicles the humorous and dramatic unraveling of an American family. The two-volume novel has been enthusiastically rece..  
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Blogs by Harry E Gilleland

America has become a Plutocracy
2/10/2011 12:06:25 AM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

America is no longer a true democracy.

America has become a Plutocracy, where the rich rule, where political power is controlled by the rich, and where the richest ten percent, especially the top one percent, benefit disproportionately from globalization and productivity at the expense of the majority of workers.

Between 2001 and 2008, about 40,000 U.S. factories were closed and their jobs sent overseas. Six million factory jobs disappeared, about one-third of all the manufacturing jobs in America. These high-paying jobs have been replaced with low-paying, minimum wage service jobs in most cases paying one-third to one-half as much.

Just recently Harley-Davidson announced soaring profits for the company even though sales are falling. How was this profit achieved? The company cut 2,000 jobs in 2009 and plans to cut 1,500 more jobs in 2011. But the company executives are still doing well.

The rich CEOs, executives, Wall Street financiers, bankers all continue to prosper. In fact, they're making a killing. Not the workers: From 1950 to 1980, the average income for American workers (the middle class) grew from $17,719 to $30,941. But then it stopped growing! From 1980 to 2008, the average income of American workers increased from $30, 941 to $31,244 -- an increase in average income of a mere $303 in twenty-eight years. Meanwhile, the top 10 percent now control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent of Americans combined and continue to take in more than 50 percent of America's wealth each year. And we all know how much the cost of everything from cars, houses, clothes, medicine and health care, food, gas, college tuition, etc has risen in cost over the same twenty-eight year period. The middle class has been squeezed downward. For the first time in American history, the average American expects his children will have less success than his generation enjoyed ... lower earnings, smaller house, cheaper car, less spending money.

The situation was made worse in 2010 when the five members of the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are "persons" with the right to flood elections with millions of dollars of campaign ads. They now can sway elections to do the most corporate good ... and they do. Their dollars are spent convincing the middle class to vote for an agenda that aids only the richest ten percent of Americans. Why does the working class support tax breaks for the millionaires/billionaires? Why does the working class support no "death"/estate taxes that only the wealthiest of all Americans are affected by? How do the rich controlling leaders -- the Roves, the Cheneys, The Koch brothers, the Bushes -- convince the middle class to vote for policies against their own interests but put even more money in the rich's pockets? Millions and millions of dollars spent on political advertising and spent on lobbying political leaders gets their will done and leads to a misinformed public.

Face it, America. Our government has been bought and paid for by international corporations that only care about making bigger profits by hiring cheap labor overseas even if it is killing America's middle class. Anything goes just as long as the richest top ten percent keeps getting richer and richer. America is now a plutocracy. Soon the average American family will live in poverty, while the top richest Americans stay millionaires. America is heading toward becoming like a third world country in that regard -- a country of the privileged, elite rich and the poor working class. Let's hope you are one of the elite rich!

Background Source: The Progressive, February, 2011 issue, "The Rule of the Rich" by Bill Moyers, pp 20 - 23. (It is well worth the read.)


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More Blogs by Harry E Gilleland
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