It’s getting harder to find old fashioned models of fair-mindedness these days.
At one extreme, we have General Electric, now America’s largest corporation, with $14.2billion in profits for 2010 and no federal taxes – none. And GE is not an exception. In general, our corporations pay about 6.6 percent of all U.S. taxes, down from 30 percent in 1950. Who makes up the difference? You guessed it.
And where do you suppose all those profits go? The Economic Policy Institute reports that 100 percent of the average growth in personal income in the U.S. between 2000 and 2007 went to the richest 10 percent among us. The top 20 percent now owns 87.2 percent of the total wealth, up from a mere 84 percent in 2008.
Meanwhile, during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression and with some 25 percent of our population living in more or less extreme poverty, the Republicans in Congress and various states are poised to whack away at Medicaid, food stamps, child nutrition programs, home health services, public sector employment, and much more.
According to the CIA World Factbook, our Gini Index (a measure of the economic gap between the rich and the poor in any country) is now worse than Egypt -- 45 in 2007 versus 34.4 for the latest available year in Egypt (2001). Ours would be even higher in 2011.
If this negative trend continues, where it will all end is in the streets. It can happen here.