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The Concentration of Wealth In the U.S. Is Neither Celestially Mandated Nor the Result of Any "Free Market"

It's Just the Powerful Imposing Their Will on the Weak

January 23, 2002

There is a highly unjust and dangerous concentration of wealth in this country.  10% of Americans own 71% of the country's wealth.  There's just not enough left for the other 90% any more.  The situation is getting worse, not better.

Why aren't the American people up in arms?!

From what I can gather from those sending comments to this website, the 90% majority who are getting royally screwed seem convinced that this state of affairs is just the result of some natural process, or the efficient functioning of a free market. 

That's dead wrong.  But after a lifelong, heavy dose of brainwashing, the majority of the population probably would defend the current setup.

In reality, the mechanism that has created and perpetuated this horror show goes by the name of "law of the jungle."

Those at the top of the economic mountain basically try to squeeze as much as they can out of everyone else without inciting a revolution that would bring the guillotine back in fashion. 

I know of no engraved stone tablets wherein it is commanded that CEO's should make 475 times as much as factory workers.

Nor could it honestly be said that a "free market" has set those CEO pay levels, or led to any of the myriad of other gross economic disparities between the elite of this country and the rest of the population.

No, the truth is, as even that conservative icon, George Will, admits,

"...a mature capitalist economy is a government project.  A properly functioning free market system does not spring spontaneously from society's soil as dandelions spring from suburban lawns.

"Rather, it is a complex creation of laws and mores..."

Will was admittedly trying to argue that this "government project" is designed to ensure transparency and avoid Enrons.  That's ridiculous.

The government project is designed -- from the point of view of the richest Americans -- to at worst, maintain the status quo, and at best (for them) to continue to shift a larger and larger percentage of the nation's wealth to their offshore bank accounts.

Those who design and control a system will naturally set up its "laws and mores" to benefit themselves, won't they?

There used to a safety valve.  We used to have a much more progressive tax system in this country.  The top rate used to be 90%.  But the wealthy convinced the majority that if that 90% was cut in half, and then cut even more, everyone would benefit.  But the only result has been the increasing concentration of wealth in this country.

I can't imagine what it will take to get people to open their eyes and realize, "Hey, we're all being shafted here. Enough is enough."

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

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