by Paul Buchheit
"And then there's the stock market,
than tripling in value since the recession,
repeatedly reaching record highs,
almost all of the gains going to the richest 10%."
They're making it nearly
to reverse the deadly effects
of an unnaturally unequal
in part because they're
no longer connected to
the world beyond their estates.
That's not hyperbole...
There is ample evidence
for a growing inability of people around the world to maintain the
basic human needs of physical health and mental stability and a
living wage and a desire to live in peace.
Most of us recognize the need for some semblance of equality in our
relationships with others. But a smallish group of shockingly
wealthy households around the world - especially in America - is
gaining more and more power along with their wealth.
They're making it nearly
impossible to reverse the deadly effects of an unnaturally unequal
society, in part because they're no longer connected to the world
beyond their estates.
starve our public
abhor any form of
blame the poor for being poor...
The means to restore some
balance is steadily slipping away.
.01% are Wealth-Obese
In the United
States, where wealth inequality is extreme and
getting worse (see
24,000 adults (the .01%) have an average of over
$400,000,000 in wealth (mostly financial)
120,000,000 adults (the bottom 50%) have an average of about
$8,500 in wealth (mostly housing)
is similar in the degree of disparity:
500,000 adults (the .01%) have an estimated average of
$30,000,000 in wealth
The poorest 2.5
billion adults (the bottom 50%) have an average of about $673 in
Worse - Tax Havens and Tax Breaks and Tax Deferrals
"Taxes are what
we pay for civilized society," Supreme Court Justice Oliver
Wendell Holmes Jr. once said.
disdains government regulation, and one result has been trumpeted to
the ends of the earth by the Panama
Despite their immeasurable benefits from society - the
financial system, tax law, security forces, computer technology -
the world's richest individuals and corporations are stashing away
their gains rather than paying for all their benefits.
and Zucman are correct (and they usually are), an incredible $14
trillion of global wealth is being hidden in offshore tax
That's approximately the total wealth of the entire United
As for the shrinking estate tax, it would more aptly be called
the deadbeat tax if more non-working rich kids had to pay it.
And then there's the stock market, more than tripling in
value since the recession, repeatedly reaching record highs, with almost
all of the gains going to the richest
Average working Americans, on the other hand, get almost no
interest on their meager bank accounts.
How Inequality Kills
The life expectancy gap in the U.S. between the richest 1% and
poorest 1% is growing,
especially with the opioid
crisis infecting the poverty-stricken (and
parts of the nation, just like tobacco in the 1950s.
for the poorest classes is now equivalent to that of Sudan
or Pakistan. After decades of progress in
longevity, this stunning turnaround has closely paralleled the
decreasing incomes and lack
of job opportunities for American workers.
It's a similar story
survival rates are higher in more equal countries.
Americans at all income levels are experiencing higher
levels of stress and mental
illness compared to 40 years ago.
people suffer mental health problems when living or working around
people who make more money.
Inequality is deadly in
another, terror-filled way, for it is the best predictor of
homicide, as reported in up to 40
The FBI has found that
over half of murders are caused not by theft or drugs or money or
tainted love, but by a situation in which the killer has been
It's not hard to see the potential effects of inequality in other
parts of the world.
for example, attacks by Saudi Arabia continue with
American weapons, using American targeting data, and delivered by
American jets. Power and water facilities have been destroyed.
weddings and funeral processions
and hospitals have been bombed, and a cholera epidemic is raging out
of control. Signs of everyday life have disappeared, as the median
household wealth has been cut
in half in just the last two years.
From a wall in Yemen’s capital, a hand-painted message cries
out to the world:
"USA Kills Yemeni People... Why did you kill my
The Poor Remain Uninformed, the Rich Plan for Armageddon
The business-oriented mainstream media is keeping people in the dark
about the World
Economic Forum's choice for the 'Number 1 Threat'
to the global economy:
In the U.S., a shockingly
percent of the population believes inequality is a major issue,
even as they suffer the physical and mental symptoms of a
distressingly divided society.
Perhaps it's a matter of denial: the
International Social Survey Program curiously
people still tend to think their society is a meritocracy.
The super-rich, on the other hand, are well aware of the devastation
they've left in their wake, and so they're taking no chances isolating
underground survival bunkers with
pepper spray detonators
geothermal power units
anti-chemical air filters
infrared surveillance devices,
which may sustain life for a
Inequality's Final Act
In his book "The Great Leveler,"
Walter Scheidel documents the
ultimate destinies of desperately unequal societies throughout
history, and they're not pretty:
wars, revolutions, state collapses,
and catastrophic plagues.
author about the inevitable equalizing forces,
"they shared one
common root: massive and violent disruptions of the established
Even if the super-rich survive for a while in their bunkers, they
may walk out into a world that can no longer keep them alive.