Is This The America You Want to Live In?

Do you want to live in a society where only a few individuals earn 90-100% of the wealth generated by this country, the richest in the world?  Bob Hebert, New York Times Columnist,  reported some frightening statistics:

□        In 2009, the richest 5 percent claimed 63.5 percent of the nation’s wealth. The overwhelming majority, the bottom 80 percent, collectively held just 12.8 percent.

□        The Economic Policy Institute has reported, the richest 10 percent of Americans received 100 percent of the average income growth in the years 2000 to 2007, the most recent extended period of economic expansion.

Mr. Hubert goes on to layout the effects:

“Overwhelming imbalances in wealth and income inevitably result in enormous imbalances of political power. So the corporations and the very wealthy continue to do well. The employment crisis never gets addressed. The wars never end. And nation-building never gets a foothold here at home.”

In a recent speech by Michael Moore, he quoted another statistic:

□        400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined.

By the way if you get a minute, listen to this speech. It pretty much summarizes the sentiment of many people in this country who believe that large corporations and many of our politicians are simply out of control.

I have my own opinions about this but, to me, it is just as important we all have informed opinions and a place for true dialog.  We need to talk about these issues in a civil way so we all can grow and become even more informed.  Our colleges should be a place where we can hear what others have to say.  This blog is intended to encourage this attempt.

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About Evelyn McDowell

Accounting Professor at Rider University
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