Carlin: Wall Street Owns Washington

The U.S. Has An Even Larger Gap Between The Rich And The Poor Than Downton Abbey Does


by Michael

The U.S. Has An Even Larger Gap Between The Rich And The Poor Than Downton Abbey Does

There are two very different Americas today.  In one, the stock market is soaring, high end homes are selling briskly, big banks and hedge funds are rolling in money as if the last financial crisis never even happened, and life is really, really good.  In the other America, good jobs are incredibly scarce, incomes are declining, and poverty is skyrocketing to levels that we have never seen before.  The gap between the wealthy and the poor in America is getting wider with each passing day.  In fact, it is my contention that the U.S. has an even larger gap between the rich and the poor than Downton Abbey does.  If you have never seen Downton Abbey, you really should.  It is one of the most extraordinary shows to appear on television in years.  It is a drama set in the UK which follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants throughout the early part of the 20th Century.  It can be a bit jarring to watch servants wait on their masters hand and foot and refer to them by such titles as “Lord” and “Lady”, but the truth is that in many ways there is more inequality today than there was back then.  As far as people living in the worst areas of cities such as Detroit and Cleveland are concerned, the socialites that live on Fifth Avenue in New York City or in multi-million dollar homes out in the Hamptons might as well be from another planet.  If you have lots of money, America is still a really great place to live.  If you barely have any money, America can be really cold and cruel.  Sadly, our politicians continue to pursue policies that make things even better for those working for the establishment in places such as Washington D.C. and Manhattan, and worse for all the rest of us.  This has especially been true over the course of the past four years.  If nothing is done, the gaping chasm between the rich and the poor will continue to get even worse, and in the end that will have some really severe consequences for our society.

So is the answer to raise taxes and “redistribute” more money to the poor?  Of course not.  Today, we are already paying dozens of different kinds of taxes every year and the government is handing out more money to people than ever before.  But poverty just continues to explode.

What the poor in the U.S. desperately need are good jobs, but we continue to ship millions of good jobs out of the country and Barack Obama continues to pursue policies that are killing the U.S. economy.

There is not much help on the horizon for the poor or the middle class in America, and that should be distressing for all of us.

But things in the wealthy parts of America are going absolutely wonderfully right now.  Let’s take a few moments and contrast what life is like in the two Americas right now…

In the “good America”, stocks are absolutely soaring.  In fact, the S&P 500 closed above 1,500 on Friday for the very first time in more than five years.

In the “bad America”, poverty statistics just continue to get worse.  According to a newly released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

In the “good America”, hedge funds are rolling in the profits.  The Dow just had its best January since January of 1994, and many analysts are projecting that 2013 will be a banner year for the markets.

In the “bad America”, median household income has fallen for four years in a row, and millions of families are really struggling to find a way to pay the bills each month.

In the “good America”, expensive homes are selling at a pace that we have not seen in years.  Just check out what is happening in the Hamptons.  According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of homes worth at least a million dollars were 51 percent higher in November 2012 than they were in November 2011.

In the “bad America”, there are hordes of young adults that cannot find jobs and cannot take care of themselves.  Shockingly, U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rateof 37 percent.

In the “good America”, the “too big to fail” banks are partying like it was 2005 again.  For example, revenues at Goldman Sachs increased byabout 30 percent in 2012 and Goldman stock has soared by more than40 percent over the past 12 months.

In the “bad America”, poverty is exploding and government dependence has become a way of life.  If you can believe it, the number of Americans on food stamps has grown from about 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today.

In the “good America”, those working for the establishment will do just about anything to make a buck.  For instance, Goldman Sachs made 400 million dollars driving up food prices in 2012 while hundreds of millions around the world existed on the edge of starvation.

In the “bad America”, millions of families are wondering how they will make it until next month.  If you can believe it, more than a millionpublic school students in the United States are homeless.  This is the first time that has ever happened in our history.

In the “good America”, everyone has a good ride.  In fact, sales of luxury German-made vehicles set new all-time records in 2012.

In the “bad America”, those that have lost everything are shunned and ostracized.  In fact, many communities all over America are actually making feeding the homeless illegal.

The fact that there is poverty in America should not alarm you.  Every country in the world has poverty.  What should alarm you is how rapidly it is growing.  Even though the Obama administration tells us that we are in an “economic recovery”, things just continue to get worse.  The wealthy elitists in Washington D.C. and New York City may be doing wonderfully, but the truth is that the middle class continues to shrink and just about every poverty statistic that you can think of continues to rise.

If you are convinced that we do not have a “wealth gap” problem in the United States today, just check out the following statistics.  Most of them are from one of my previous articles entitled “The Middle Class In America Is Being Wiped Out – Here Are 60 Facts That Prove It“…

-According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans households on average have 288 times the amount of wealth that the average middle class American family does.

-In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

-According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

-The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have as much wealth as the bottom one-third of all Americans combined.

-At this point, the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively ownjust 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

-The United States now ranks 93rd in the world in income inequality.

-The average CEO now makes approximately 350 times as much as the average American worker makes.

-Today, corporate profits as a percentage of U.S. GDP are at an all-time high, but wages as a percentage of U.S. GDP are near an all-time low.

Sometimes, when the “good America” and the “bad America” collide, the results are quite humorous.

For example, a 23-year-old homeless Brazilian man and his friends recently decided to “move in” to a 7,522 square foot house down in Florida that is valued at $2.1 million.  The following is from a recent article in the Orlando Sentinel

Bank of America has filed to evict nine squatters from a $2.5-million mansion in a posh Boca Raton neighborhood.

In a filing in Palm Beach County court that names 23-year-old Andre De Palma Barbosa and eight other unknown people, the bank claims rightful ownership of the home – despite Barbosa’s attempt to stake his claim on the foreclosed waterside property by using an obscure Florida real estate law.

Barbosa has been invoking a state law called “adverse possession,” which allows someone to move into a property and claim the title – if they can stay there seven years.

A signed copy of that note is also posted in the home’s front window.

Yeah, they will be able to get him and his friends out of there eventually, but in future years I fear that the conflicts between the rich and the poor will not be so nice.

Already, a very ominous “Robin Hood mentality” is building among the poor in this country.  Many wealthy people don’t even realize that it is happening.  But someday when desperate “flash mobs” are roaming through their neighborhoods looking to do a little “creative redistribution”, then they will get it.

Our society is starting to come apart at the seams, and there is an incredible amount of tension between the rich and the poor.  This is unfortunate, but instead of calming things down many of our politicians are actually exploiting this tension.

When our economy crashes, the class warfare of today may actually turn into real war in the streets.  Desperate people do desperate things, and when people are hungry and they can’t feed their families, many of them will not be afraid to go over to the wealthy neighborhoods and take what they want.

A lot of people don’t want to see them, but dark clouds are building.  According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans are more negative about where America will be five years from now than they have ever been before.  Most people know that we are on the edge of something really bad, even if they can’t really explain it.

It is time to get ready for what is coming.  Even though the stock market is soaring right now, that could change at any moment.  All of the long-term economic and societal trends are pointing to some really bad things in the years ahead, and sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that everything is going to be okay somehow is not going to help.

So what do you think about all of this?

Do you think that the U.S. has an even larger gap between the rich and the poor than Downton Abbey does?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

Downton Abbey

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Merlin-Pit/100002866340414 Merlin Pit

    Great article! I like when you said: “Most people know that we are on the edge of something really bad, even if they can’t really explain it.” At preconscious or intuitive level we all know that society is broken. There is an irreconcilable fracture in most Western societies that cannot be healed in a painless manner. We all perceive that today´s leaders are phony people at best; the great majority are just coward and corrupted liars. There is a great deal of confusion. The old moral and ethical standards cannot longer hold society. It´s as if the collective spirit has been lost and we are now in Zombie world. I guess this is the definition of a severe and long-lasting crisis.

  • jc

    I agree there is a huge wealth disparity. I agree with most of your points except Obama is shipping jobs overseas. I feel the job loss in the manufacturing sector is a structural change. Nothing Obama or any president can fix. If you saw the recent clip by 60 Minutes on robotics this will greatly explain it. On the clip the MIT professors explain how technology is replacing more human workers at a much greater clip than creating new jobs. Countries such as China, India, Vietnam, etc, will in the next 10 years or so have a major problem when more companies upgrade to more advanced robotics therefore replacing manuel workers. The US has some 70 million bluecollar workers while these other countries will have over 2 billion of these workers displaced. Look at Foxconn they have some 1 million factory workers in China that our getting paid 5 to 10 times less than Western worker but are still making a major push into robotics to replace these low paid workers.
    This is the future, we just need to adjust for changes and the Boards of these companies need to limit CEO compensation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Merlin-Pit/100002866340414 Merlin Pit

      Yes, we are in a systemic crisis that require structural changes, but US has lost a lot of productive capacity. I do not remember the numbers but this economy has too much weight on the services sector and too little on the industrial/productive sectors. It is not only Obama´s fall, this shift of preponderance in the sectors began several years ago.

  • mdh2016

    Great article. Watch the Charlton Heston movie “solent green” and you should have a good idea what our future will be like.

  • TheLivingEnd

    All this is the absolute fault of the Average American, swilling beer and watching sports instead of working to remove the Elitist Parasites and CarpetBaggers, foolishly believing that the Elections Process actually changes anything for the better. Americans have given “The Wolves” too much power, too much freedom and now, it’s TOO LATE. You have a better chance of reversing final stage cancer than the current course this nation is on. America is a pillar of salt and it’s all your (the average american) fault.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mykel.scott.77 Mykel Scott

    What great jobs ? 25 % of the jobs pay 40 K or better , and 17 % of those are goverment not counting military. So again what great jobs are left too be outsourced ? Replaced by robots or internets yes. Outsourced LOL ? There is nothing left too outsource , you clown.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQ3ZWRZUATPUQBEY6MJAJWSSEQ Thomas Jefferson

    DENIAL IS NOT A RIVER IN EGYPT,america is headed for a total crash,yes the end of everything is on the horizon,the lord said america is going into captivity,the russians are here in force,the chinese have bases all over america(275) of them and the whole country is asleep to the exetreme danger were in from our government,and the foreign military here,in violation of the MONROE DOCTRINE,and no one cares about that either,MY guess is this pole shift as nibiru passes will be the straw that broke the camels back,with all the grid down,no food in the markets,and foreign military here its the perfect storm coming,are YOU READY ????

  • Don_in_Odessa

    Until the criminal financial institutions and too big to fail
    corporations finally succumb to their own greed and stupidity, we will
    always be a slave to their thievery. Or we can quit complaining and
    begin the process of change ourselves. Obama’s “change” is more of the
    same. He wiggles more and bigger government freebies with one hand with
    another he’s reaching into tomorrow and stealing our future.

    These criminals understand one thing, money. It is time we stop
    paying them to steal from us. Do not do business with any multinational
    too big to fail company, be it bank or, retail even if you have to pay a
    little more. Get out of debt by any means and stay out of debt. This
    system we live in is dependent on enslaving it’s people with debt as the
    chains. As long as we keep debt we are their slaves and they own
    everything we lay claim too. No more debt, no more funny money. It
    really is that simple. Get off everything that makes you dependent.
    Become as self sustaining as you can. Get off the money dope and do
    with as little as possible. We can win but, it will take half us to do
    it, it will take a long time and it won’t be easy. But…..we can do
    this.

  • rhumbatero

    We have some things we can do, vote with your money. The 30 year mortgage is a racket, why should we accept the first 10 years of payments as only interest? We don’t have to accept this practice. It also inflates the price of a home, when you sell you have to jack the price up to recoup all that wasted interest. Also the fees charges by escrow companies, have you noticed the shrines they build to themselves? It is evidence that escrow fees can be negotiated down if not find another escrow company.

  • rhumbatero

    We are living a life of indentured servitude to the Corporatocracy and Multinationals. Go debt free, barter, form self reliant cooperatives. Do not accept the servitude of government charity. Help each other. Resist, say no to drones and NAADA. Learn a skill.