Redistribution of Wealth

Mother Jones has a set of eight charts which show the tremendous increase in income inequality in this country. Years of Republican policies designed to redistribute the wealth towards the top one percent have worked. The richest ten percent of Americans control two-thirds of its wealth. When polled, most Americans greatly underestimate the degree of income inequality, and think there should be even less:

With all the talk about tax rates, the rich are now being taxed at lower rates than when Ronald Reagan was president. That would continue to be true even if the Bush tax cuts (a major cause of the current deficit) were repealed:

Check out the full post for more charts and links to their sources.

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18 Comments

  1. 1
    BrettR4763 says:

    RT @RonChusid: Redistribution of wealth to the ultra-wealthy due to GOP policies. #p2 #p21 #topprog http://bit.ly/eKF2vD

  2. 2
    James Ellis says:

    RT @BrettR4763: RT @RonChusid: Redistribution of wealth to the ultra-wealthy due to GOP policies. #p2 #p21 #topprog http://bit.ly/eKF2vD

  3. 3
    Christine Brandt says:

    » Redistribution of Wealth Liberal Values http://bit.ly/foKllJ

  4. 4
    Christine Brandt says:

    » Redistribution of Wealth Liberal Values http://bit.ly/giV3Bz

  5. 5
    Your InHeritance says:

    » Redistribution of Wealth Liberal Values: Years of Republican policies designed to redistribute the wealth towa… http://bit.ly/f8gQhW

  6. 6
    Finance-For-Life says:

    » Redistribution of Wealth Liberal Values http://bit.ly/f8R66W

  7. 7
    dp says:

    @RonChusid: Redistribution of wealth to the ultra-wealthy due to GOP policies. #p2 #p21 #topprog http://bit.ly/eKF2vD

  8. 8
    TeaPartyGirl says:

    I know you are looking at my name and getting some knee-jerk reaction but I do have a serious question. If someone earns their wealth, why shouldn’t they keep it? Just wondering…

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    In general they should. That is one reason why I oppose GOP policies which redistribute wealth towards the ultra-wealthy. Of course there is a limit to this. People do not earn wealth in a vacuum. This requires the infrastructure of modern society and a market economy, and it is necessary for money to be taxed to support this infrastructure. A free market society also requires a thriving middle class. Republican policies which destroy the middle class are short sighted and ultimately lead to less earnings, unless they make them up by earnings in other markets. Even if the ultra-wealthy can replace their earnings from other countries after destroying the middle class here, the type of banana Republic which conservative policies would create is hardly the type of society most Americans would want to live in, and is certainly not what the type of society the American Revolution was fought to establish.

    The Tea Party also makes a lot of noise about the deficit, but the tax breaks given to the ultra wealthy by Bush are responsible for a considerable portion of the deficit.

  10. 10
    TeaPartyGirl says:

    What policies are taking money from the middle class and distributing them to the ultra-wealthy?

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    A combination of tax laws which benefit the ultra-wealthy along with corporate welfare with the Republicans cooperating with the ultra-wealthy increase their profits.

    See the work by Kevin Phillips (a Republican) who has written extensively on this problem.

  12. 12
    TeaPartyGirl says:

    Pointing me to Kevin Phillips, who is more accurately a disaffected ex-Republican, wasn’t very helpful. However, I shall plod on in my quest to figure out why I should be afraid of ultra-wealthy people.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, disaffected Republican is true as he saw the consequences of GOP policies. (I’m not certain but I believe he continued to call himself a Republican so I’m not sure if he is an ex-Republican). I don’t see why you would say that wasn’t very helpful considering the quality of his work.

  14. 14
    TeaPartyGirl says:

    So I read a little more about the top one percent. I’m still not sure why they are supposed to be alarming, but whoever they are, they aren’t very good at remaining the top one percent. Half of them drift out of that category and are either replaced by someone else who regain their footing. So are we talking about a concern regarding the one half of the top percent? And as for the one half that can’t stay there, are they no longer an issue? And as for income brackets altogether, people go in and out of them. So are we tracking the income brackets or the people?

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    There’s not that much change. Maybe some will be in the top one percent one year, 98th percentile another, and then possibly back to the top. There is very little meaningful mobility at the top.

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    It’s also not a matter of whether one should be scared of them but of the effects on the economy. This is the major reason for the deficit and it makes no sense for the Tea Party to protest about the deficit while supporting the main cause and opposing those such as Obama who are actually trying to solve the problem. This wasteful transfer of wealth to the ultra-wealthy is also a major reason why we don’t have enough money to pay for programs such as education and health care.

  17. 17
    teapartyboy says:

    “The desire to help the poor represents a generous instinct: giving to those in desperate situations, where bad luck undoubtedly plays a major role. Soaking the rich (i.e., making someone else pay to help who you decide is worthy) is a selfish instinct, one that undermines good will generally.

    And most Americans share this perspective. They are enthusiastic about public and private attempt to help the poor, but they do not agree that soaking the rich is fair. That is why U.S. policy has rarely embraced punitive income taxation or an aggressive estate tax. Instead, Americans are happy to celebrate well-earned success. The liberal hatred of the rich is a minority view, not a widely shared American value.”

    See “Soaking the Rich Is Not Fair”: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=13636

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:

    Liberals do not hate the rich–many of us would be subjected to higher taxes if the Bush tax cuts were repealed. Nor do we support soaking the rich–rates would still be lower than under Ronald Reagan. Did Ronald Reagan soak the rich? A majority does agree with us on repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

    We do object to use of government to transfer wealth from the middle class to the wealthy, which cripples the middle class, and therefore the entire economy. In the long run, this also hurts the rich.

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