Taking It From Somebody….

February 27, 2013

Banner - Will Rogers

The difference between our rich and poor grows greater every year. Our distribution of wealth is getting more uneven all the time. . . . A man can make a million over night and he is on every page in the morning. But it never tells you who give up the million he got. You can’t get money without taking it from somebody. – 1 June 1930  Will Rogers

WealthAs Will points out here the difference between the rich and the poor has always been greater than many of us would like to see but I really don’t think in Will’s day it was even remotely as wide a gap as it is today.   The latest statistics show that there is about $58 trillion of wealth in the U.S.  But as the chart to the right shows 80% of the population  controls only 7% of the wealth. That is about $10,000 per person for 80% of us. The top 1% average $7,000,000/person.

But as Will further points out that there is just so much wealth that can be owned. There has been a twenty fold increase in billionaire in the last twenty years.  In order for the money to come to them it had to come from someone else. Of course we all know where it came from. It came for the wages and benefits of the 80% that have actually decreased over that same period of time.

I’m not a financial wizard but it really doesn’t seem like rocket science to me to understand that if we want to grow our GDP we must have citizens who have the money to buy additional goods and services. The 1% can only buy so many jets and yachts. :)   In fact most of their increased wealth is likely just sitting in off-shore accounts accumulating interest.  When the elite among us insist on stagnating wages there are no additional resources to grow our economy. It is a Catch-22 and that I can understand so why can’t the big shot economists in the gOp figure it out?

8 responses to Taking It From Somebody….

  1. 

    You had me until the last line. Check out the net worth of Dianee Fienstein. Ten of the richest congressmen are from each side. Companies often pay both sides of the isle to keep wheels greased. They all love for the voters to do what you do- point at an opponent then the actual problem.
    WE have the power if WE choose to use it. The only way to get this going is from your last editorial- throw most of them out and start again.
    People like McCain and Feinstein are only intested in power- they have money….
    And if you think Obama is the answer- he is throwing seniors under the bus with the CPI. Don’t worry, as the health care act gets in place it will be more difficult for you to get more serious operations. I actually agree with that decision….but I don’t believe I need to live to be 100.

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    • 

      44 or the 100 senators are millionaires but the point in the GOP remark are that they are the ones who insist we don’t touch the loopholes that these guys swim through. When the GOP is mainly known as the party for the rich it is only natural that they would protect their donors. Yeah, I will admit that power and money do cross party lines.

      Putting the fear in people that they won’t be able to get their surgeries under Obamacare is a common tactic but untrue. It’s kind of like all those who say once you become a senior citizen your doctors will drop you. I haven’t heard of any of my friends over 65 have that happen. Between me and my wife we have probably been to at least 40 different doctors and not one refused to treat us. If we could go to full blown single payer like most of the rest of the industrial world then even that problem would be solved.

      As far as the CPI is concerned I haven’t studied that much but if that refers to the cost of living increased in social security they have been pretty joke for us in the last eight years. I think last year it was what $8.00/ month?

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  2. 

    Actually, loophole closing ideas comes from…the tea party…lol.
    The GOP conservatives have been talking flat tax for as long as I can remember. I think I voted for Ross Perot because he called for flat tax.
    I was shocked to hear that one come out of Mr Obama’s mouth. I am all for flat tax – start with small business and move through mortgage deductions. Although, it will kill the economic system for about five years.
    As far as Medicare goes. Our insurance is based off of that pay system. Ten years ago we could not get a md in Flagstaff to take us on full time. My mother’s internist will not take Medicare patients without good private insurance. Maybe you should call around in a larger community rather then simply judge from small town medicine?
    Last, it is not just the old people who will not get surgeries. I think it is crazy to give a 80 year old a new heart – but not a twenty year old. That will begin to balance out when everyone can get coverage. BTW- my 29 yr old nephew is on the transplant list….
    It is nice to think that our society can continue to spend all of their healthcare money on the elderly- but the young are dying without it….

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  3. 

    Actually Janette loophole closing is much older than the tea party but maybe they too are in favor of it and that is fine. I am a pragmatist and don’t mind sharing ideas that work with others even when I don’t agree with much else they have to say.

    As far as Obamacare is concerned I think you are falling into the fear tactics of your own party. Let’s face it as we get older we have more health issues so need more care. Maybe not you, but if you look around outside your small family you would see that ;) I get most of my healthcare from a nearby city of about 100,000 so it is not small town. My mom and dad got there care from a city of 800,000 and were also never denied by a single doctor. I guess I am going to have to study your assumption and post on in some time. I’m sure it happens but what is the percentage. But I will grant you that if you have too many seniors as patients it would be difficult to maintain a six-figure salary.

    Are you proposing death panel for keeping healthcare away from senior citizens. I seem to have heard something about that from other Republicans recently? Surely even you don’t believe that the purpose of Obamacare is to deny healthcare to younger people in order to give it to older citizens! That sounds kind of paranoid to me (ha).

    Maybe Soylent Green is your solution?

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  4. 

    I voted for Obama and defended him for a long time. Now, I am furious that Obama has back pedaled on Social Security and now favors the CPI route. That amounts to an annual cut in benefits for those of us collecting now as well as future retirees. I no longer believe him or his plans for healthcare….he says what was expedient to get elected and then re-elected and now the real agendas are emerging. He is not leading the way for the economy. He has become quite arrogant and secretive.
    I don’t trust much of anything any of them say any more.

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    • 

      Yes Jane, it is very easy to get cynical about the political processes of today. Especially when the two sides are so far apart. I guess I really don’t know much about what you call the “CPI route”? In my current ignorant mind on this topic that seems to say that they will use a different figure in giving me the extra $10/month in benefits. I guess I am not as concerned as you seem to be.

      Obama is trying to give something to the Republicans in order to extract something from them. Yeah, he has been rather naive in that regard in that he rarely gets anything in return. They are just too hardened in their “principles” right now. To me compromise is necessary in order to get things done in our political world. I am not going to give up totally on the president just because he tries to compromise once in a while. But I do agree with you when it comes to these drones. He seems to have lost his empathy for others in that case.

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      • 

        AARP gives a pretty good explanation of what the chained CPI is. For a complete definition I would urge you could go there and check it out. Also, Ronni Bennett did a post on this subject a few days ago if you’re interested in her take. But, in a nutshell, it is a significant change – using a different “formula” to determine the amount of our benefit increases. It would in essence reduce our benefits every year. They estimate retirees and veterans would lose about $129 billion or the next 10 years if enacted. It is well know that Social Security does not contribute to the national deficit. Compromise yes, but do it in an area that actually has been a contributer to the deficit. Social Security is the last place that should be touched. It is a deceptive way to cut an entitlement without calling it a cut. Obama has said he now favors this…a turnaround from his former promises.

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          Thanks Jane for the sources. I will check into them. I have been on social security for over four years now and my wife for over ten and I just don’t see much of an increase even over that period. There are currently 52 millions on SS so the $12.9 billion adds up to about $250/person/year. I guess that could be a make or brake to some who depend almost entirely on SS.

          But you are right that Social Security doesn’t directly add to the deficits but if the “figurers” in Washington could come up with a out a way of it that eliminate all those IOUs the the general fund owes Social Security it would take a big chunk out of the bills. That is primarily what guys like Mr. Ryan is trying to do and that is as you say scary.

          I’m sure you have been around long enough to realize that almost no promises made during a campaign are ever really kept :) Maybe I am more of a pragmatist than you in that I am surprised at the promises kept not the promises broken. Half full/half empty I guess.

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