Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bush Proves Karl Marx Right About 'Capitalism'

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Unfairly, a bailout price tag of some 700 billion dollars will be picked up by the American middle and poorer classes. None of those actually bearing the brunt of this transfer of wealth will benefit from it directly. The beneficiaries are those among some one percent of the nation who own about 99 percent of its total wealth.

According to US wealth distribution data compiled by 'The State of Working America', 'Wealth distribution in the U.S. is extremely concentrated at the top --even more so than income.'
These statistics, on the other hand, only hint at the L-Curve phenomenon because the top 1% isn't scrutinized in sufficient detail. Still, compare the net worth of the top half of the top 1% with the bottom half of the top 1%! If you add them together and proportion them out, 3/4 of the wealth in the top 1% is actually in the top 0.5%.

--US Wealth Distribution Data

Only a tiny group of Americans --Bush's 'base' --will benefit from the bailout directly.
The top and bottom halves of the top 0.5% would undoubtedly show even greater disparity if the data were presented with enough resolution. Note that nothing on this page even mentions billionaires. The largest fortunes are in the $100-billion range. The statistics on billionaires are diluted by lumping them in with mere millionaires. --op cit,

I have a better idea. Let's plot US wealth on a curve. Pro-rate the bailout. Let those getting the bigger share on the back-end bear the burden proportionally gong in. It is absurd to expect someone earning only $40,000 per year to cough up the same amount of money as, say, Bill Gates. I'm told Bill has given most of his money away. But, as he was once the richest man in the world, he is as good an example as anyone. Anyone whose 'net worth' is some $60 billion dollars should be expected to pay proportionally or between 10 and 15 percent of the total bailout.

So skewed to the top is wealth in America that anyone not earning millions almost falls off the bottom end of the chart. Is it fair to ask folk earning miniscule amounts to pay sums equal to those paid by billionaires?

This is a crisis foisted upon this nation by a tiny elite and their toadies in Washington. They should accept and bear the responsibility for the bailout. Instead, those who created this crisis expect to be rewarded for their incompetence and greed. Let the 'wizards' of Wall Street cough it up. Let each pay according to his ability. Bush, meanwhile, will be remembered as the right wing idiot who despite himself proved Karl Marx to have been absolutely correct.
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need!

--Karl Marx
The following is a follow up at: Reds in the Bed
"One of the ironies about this financial crisis is that it makes action on poverty look utterly achievable. It would cost $5bn (£2.7bn) to save six million children's lives."World leaders could find 140 times that amount for the banking system in a week. How can they tell us that action for the poorest is too expensive?"--Guardian,UK, Thursday September 25 2008 [quoted in Reds in the Bed ]
See also: Marx is being proved right

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