Just 25 individuals make more than twice as much as all kindergarten teachers in America.
Think about that for just a minute. That is a vivid picture of how crazy inequality has gotten in America and just how dysfunctional our economy has become.
A new book by economist Thomas Piketty has caused quite a storm in the economics profession because he has gone deep into the numbers to show that the fantastically wealthy have not "earned" their money but have inherited it. That means we have become the kind of economically decadent society that values inherited wealth over work. Piketty calls this "patrimonial capitalism." It is the kind of decadent and socially destructive economy that emerges when capitalism is allowed to run free of regulation, unharnessed and unfettered for the common good and whole economies function only for the benefit of the very few at the very top.
Think awhile about what this means for America and the dreams and struggles of the people who built this country, fought its wars, suffered and sacrificed for what we are losing today.
We pay twice as high a percentage of taxes on our payroll checks than they do on their capital income. We starve our schools to lower their taxes. We allow them to invest in work in the countries with the lowest wages and most vulnerable workers often driving their wages even lower. They are not job creators. They are job stealers. And these elite of the financial elite aren't satisfied and they never will be.
These elite of the financial elite want to use their wealth to completely take over our politics and turn democracy into plutocracy or oligarchy.
This is the real internal challenge to America.
Next time a tea bagger gives you his line of crap, ask him if the Koch Brothers are paying him to do their work. The Koch Boys sure ain't workin.
To read more by Stewart Acuff, visit his blog at stewartacuff.com.