The Next Revolution

The Next Revolution

Dollar Sign

There’s no secret that the gap between the rich and the poor grows exponentially every year. According to a report by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston “the bottom 90% of Americans grew only $59 (adjusted for inflation) from 1966 to 2011, while incomes for the top 10% rose by $116,071.” (Forbes)

This report from the Washington Post states:

“Taken literally, the top 1 percent of American households had a minimum income of $516,633 in 2010 — a figure that includes wages, government transfers and money from capital gains, dividends and other investment income.

That number is down from peak of $646,195 in 2007, before the economic crisis hit, all adjusted to 2011 dollars, according to calculations by the Tax Policy Center. By contrast, the bottom 60 percent earned a maximum of $59,154 in 2010, the bottom 40 percent earned a max of $33,870, while the bottom 20 percent earned just $16,961 at maximum. As Annie Lowrey points out, that gap has grown wider over time: “The top 1 percent of households took a bigger share of overall income in 2007 than they did at any time since 1928.” (And in New York City, it’s even more skewed: the top 1 percent have an average of $3.7 million in income.)”

This is not a political party issue, or at least it shouldn’t be one. (If you must know, I consider myself to be a conservative Republican.) This is a humane issue. Something’s broken, not only in this nation, but in many others around the world. Don’t mistake this post as a call to Socialism or Communism, because it’s not. I lived in Cuba under such a regime and I can attest that neither of those economic systems work. Instead, this is a wake up call. Unless something changes, unless this income gap is severely reduced, the poor will take matters into their own hands. It may not happen in 10, 20 or 50 years, but unless something drastically changes, it will happen.

According to a report by Oxfarm International, “the 85 richest people own the wealth of half of the world’s population.”

Please, read that last sentence again.

85 people own the wealth of 3.5 billion people. That is mind-blowing and utterly depressing.

I’m not an economist, so I don’t have the answers on how to fix this problem, but again, I’m just reporting the facts. The rich may have the wealth, but the poor have the numbers. The next great revolution won’t be about freedom or liberty, but instead, it will be about economic equality. And if you’re in tune with what’s going on in the world, you can hear the drums and the marching sounds of 3.5 billion people.

Further Reading:

-10 Reasons the U.S. economy is stuck (The Guardian)
-A Global Boom, but Only for Some (The New York Times)
-Is Income Inequality Destroying the American Dream? (Bloomberg TV)
-Income inequality isn’t about the rich, it’s about the rest of us (The Washington Post)
-Where Inequality is Worst in The United States (Forbes)
-IMF study finds inequality is damaging to economic growth (The Guardian)

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