“If there was a class war… my class won.” – Warren Buffett
Bill Moyers’ video essay, “The United States of Inequality” is a pretty interesting take. I am becoming increasingly convinced that the biggest threat our society faces is not the debt, climate change, North Korea, Islamic fundamentalism, or global terrorism. It is the growing gap between the rich and the poor. It’s growing dramatically and is fast reaching the point at which it will destabilize American society. 100% of all civil wars are fought over these sorts of issues.
Moyers goes after the Obama administration’s pathetic leadership on this issue, as well as the GOP’s blind commitment to the rich. This is a plague on both their houses. While corporate profits are sailing and the stock market hit an all-time high, corporations are playing all of us. They are paying less in taxes than ever, and not adding jobs as they always promise to do; all for the sake of higher executive salaries, bonuses, and higher stock prices. Corporations are running the country now, they are rigging the game so that the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class disappears and nobody seems to have the will to check corporate power.
We are living in a new Robber Baron age and our government seems to lack the ability or leadership to do anything about it. Moyers says, “A petty, narcissistic, pridefully ignorant politics has come to dominate and paralyze our government while millions of people keep falling through the gaping hole that has turned us into the United States of Inequality.”
Here are some of his stats.
- January 2013: personal income dropped 3.6%, the sharpest one month dive in 20 years.
- Pfizer: 40% of their sales are in the U.S. and they paid no taxes.
- Microsoft: avoided 4.5 billion in taxes by shifting income to Puerto Rico.
- CitiGroup: 42.5 billion dollars sitting off shore, U.S. taxes – zero
- The U.S. collects less in taxes than all but only 2 other industrialized countries: Chile & Mexico