Friday, September 20, 2013

Is the Current American Economy and Recovery a House of Cards?

According to Sanjay Sanghoee the current American economic recovery is deeply flawed and unsustainable.  Emerging evidence indicates that while the mortgage crisis of 2008 wiped out nearly 40% of wealth in the United States, nearly all of the economic recovery since that time has been reaped by the top 1% (fully 95% of the recovery gains have gone to the most wealthy Americans).  Inequality is growing and at it worst rate since the 1920s. From Sanghoee at the Huffington Post:

"Here are the hard facts:
  • Unemployment in the United States, at 7.3 percent, is declining but only because people are giving up and leaving the work force completely.
  • Income inequality in our nation is the worst it has been since the 1920s and almost double that of other developed nations.
  • The average income of those in the top 1 percent is $717,000 compared to $51,000 for everyone else.
  • The same top 1 percent also owns 42 percent of America's wealth, with the next 4 percent claiming another 30 percent.
  • The financial crisis of 2008 wiped out 39 percent of the wealth in the United States, but the top 1 percent have reaped 95 percent of all income gains since that time.
  • The average CEO of an S&P 500 company makes 204 times the income of rank-and-file employee and this ratio has increased by 20 percent since 2009.
  • Two-thirds of minimum-wage earners in America live below the poverty line.
  • Major companies like Walmart refuse to pay a living wage to most employees, make it impossible for workers to unionize, and deny them benefits by labeling full time workers as contractors (even as healthcare costs rise).
  • Our Treasury loses $150 billion in revenues every year because of offshore tax shelters and $200 billion because of other loopholes that disproportionately benefit the wealthy, which then necessitates cutting public services and welfare.
  • Social Security and Medicare, which low-income Americans and seniors rely on heavily for financial support, are projected to run out of money by 2033 and 2026 respectively, which will trigger a sharp reduction in benefits for both programs."
That the United States, with so many resources and creative intellects at its disposal, cannot get it together when it comes to inequality and poverty is a deeply disturbing proposition.

1 comment:

  1. Inequality is growing and at it worst rate since the 1920s. From Sanghoee at the Huffington Post: Sober Companion