If you feel like the American dream of hard and financial security isn’t working for you, you’re not alone.

58% of all new income is going to the top 1% , that’s a rigged  economy, to my mind- Bernie Sanders

So what is a rigged economy?

It works like this: the rich get richer, and use their money to influence politicians, who then make policies that keep the wealth flowing to the top.

Get this- US wealth inequalitythe top 0.1% of Americans own almost as much wealth as the entire bottom 90%. And they can afford to make sure the system keeps the money flowing one way: up.

In fact, adjusted for inflation, wages for most of us have actually been going down since 2009.

Taxes

But at least the super rich are paying their share of taxes right?

Well, not quite.

Most people make money earning a salary, but the super rich make most of their money from investments known as capital gains. And even though that’s a lot of money, it gets taxed at much lower rates than wages.

And speaking of taxes, the super wealthy and big corporations have the cash to employ expert accountants to them take advantage of all kind of loopholes and pay the least amount of taxes possible.

With that money saved, big business and wealthy individuals have lots of cash to throw at the political system to influence it.

Campaigns

After all, politicians rely on donations to finance their campaigns. Thanks to the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, corporations are able to spend unlimited amounts of money in elections using super PACs, we’re talking tens of millions of dollars. The maximum an individual can give? Just $5,000 .. if they have it.

Legislation

Don’t think the money stops when the votes are counted. Lobbyists for businesses and Wall Street woo politicians and influence legislation. Sometimes they even write it

Remember back in 2008 when the banks crashed the economy? Congress wrote something called the Dodd-Frank Act to regulate banks and make sure they couldn’t do that again. But big banks pushed back hard.  And they won.

Mehrsa Baradaran, Author  -How the other half banks- says:  “The final version of the bill that came out of congress was found to be exactly Citibank’s proposal. So in fact they didn’t change it at all. Citibank said this is what we want and that’s what go passed”

Here’s what happened to the rest of America’s: Millions of jobs lost, hundreds of thousands of homes foreclosed on, retirement accounts drained and dismal job prospects for new graduates.

Wall street’s recklessness ruined the American economy, but  virtually nobody went to jail. In fact, the government bailed out many of the big banks, using trillions of dollars of our tax money. Despite increasing profits, Wall Street is still subsidized by taxpayers.

new-infographic

It’s not surprising, considering the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street. You have former Wall Street folks working in the government to regulate banks, and you’ve got government workers moving on to lucrative Wall Street jobs.

So if they economy is rigged in a way where money and politics ultimately serve the super rich, then who’s looking out for the average American?

 

Dena Takruri

 

Aazer units people from all over the world to support each other, in a democratic, more flexible and sustainable way. GET INVOLVED

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s