I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that the United States remains the wealthiest country in the world and has been since at least the end of World War II. Now the bad news, very few of you enjoy a portion of that wealth and that number continues to fall.
If you are truly concerned about people, the statistic that means the most is the “median wealth” rate. For those who either slept through, forgot or never really pay attention to math and economics, the median rate is simply where the exact middle of the population stands. Half are either above it or below it. The higher the median rate the more people are enjoying the overall wealth of the nation, the lower the rate, the fewer people who have control of the wealth.
I posted some links on Twitter earlier today and I’ll post them here now for you all to peruse at your leisure:
http://middleclasspoliticaleconomist.blogspot.com/ This link summarizes recent data that shows we are behind 15 other nations in terms of median wealth. Damn European Socialist States!!!!
http://www.getinthehotspot.com/10-richest-countries-in-world/ This link lists the 10 richest countries in terms of median wealth, we ain’t among them anymore.
https://infocus.credit-suisse.com/data/_product_documents/_shop/323525/2011_global_wealth_report.pdf This is for you brainiacs out there who are far better with interpreting economic data than I and have even less of a life than I do. But it’s the basis of this rant for those wanting to check the figures and concepts cited here.
The common refrain from conservatives and especially those conservatives in the 1% and especially those conservatives who make up the 17 billionaires who are trying to buy this election for Mitt Romney is that big government, regulations and high taxes stunt growth, keep entrepreneurial innovations from being created and keeps people from becoming part of the 1%. Just heard a talking head spout that off today on the radio.
Well, if that is true then all of these people need to explain some indisputable facts of history involving this nation’s history and what’s happening in the world today and how we compare to those lousy socialist state ideologues in Europe who are so damn Unamerican.
First of all, the greatest growth in terms on innovation, business, and wealth not only for the 1% but for the middle-class was after World War II. Now it helped that we were just about the only industrial nation left unscathed by war, but we did build up a huge debt to fight that war, higher in relationship to GDP than we have today. Top marginal tax rates for the upper class was 95%, regulations in terms of banking and business were at their highest in history, and the growth was continual. We led the free world, we were the worlds largest creditor nation. They came to us and we had the money to loan out. Things were going so well that you know what? Those European Nations out there not under the control of the Soviet Union began to adapt our policies in terms of regulations, unions and taxation. The only thing they added was universal healthcare for all their citizens.
Then came Ronald Reagan, Reaganomics and the dismantling of the New Deal in this country. We began to deregulate banks and businesses and something started to happen. entrepreneurial growth began to sputter, other nations picked up where we left off. Fewer people were becoming members of the 1%, but those already there were doing very well, thank you very much. Their wealth continues to expand. Where did that wealth come from, it came from the ever shrinking middle-class. While this was going on, the median wealth rate for the nation began to fall. And now today, instead of the worlds largest creditor nation, we are now the world’s largest debtor nation. Imagine that. A lot of that money is owed to China, but an even larger amount is owed to those damned evil Socialist State Europeans who maintained the regulations and tax rates they took from us after World War II.
Now many will point out that Europe isn’t doing all that well under the current economic environment. That is true. But here’s the thing, they are faltering because they are going full force austerity with their people while we are still just getting started. And we’re doing better than Europe right now because we haven’t gone full austerity. What’s more is even though the European Nations are suffering in the depression worse than the United States on most terms, their median wealth rates still far surpasses us. So they may have fewer billionaires than we do, but they have far many more secured middle-class people who also happen to still have a social safety net and universal healthcare, paid for by their higher tax rates. And people in Europe are more likely to end up in a higher income bracket than anyone in the United States even though Europe has more regulations and taxes than we do.
The economic fact here is that the more equal income distribution is in any country, the higher the median wealth rate and the better the nation does as a whole. More people live better, healthier and secured lives. The more unequal that distribution, the harder it becomes to enter a higher income bracket and the more people who end up in poverty for reasons not of their doing. This is where we have been moving under 30 years of Reaganomics.
Many in the middle-class and even the working poor see themselves as conservatives and will work on behalf of the 1% to make sure they aren’t regulated and taxed out of existence. It’s a shame that the weaker among us are more willing to help out the greater among us than vice versa.
We are still the richest nation on the planet, it’s just more of that money is with fewer and fewer people who continue to hoard it and not reinvest it back in the country. Worse yet, many of them are keeping that money in European banks who in turn, are rebuilding the European infrastructure and keeping things just peachy keen for them Godless, socialist state European heathens.