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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:16 AM

5 Ways Most Americans Are Blind to How Their Country Is Stacked for the Wealthy



1. Americans believe that the poorest 40 percent own about 10% of the wealth.

Most people greatly underestimate the level of inequality in our country, guessing that the poorest 40 percent own about 10% of the wealth, when in reality they own much less than 1% of the wealth. Out of every dollar, they own a third of a penny.


2. Entitlements are the problem .

No, they're not. The evidence is overwhelming. Social Security is a popular and well-run program. As summarized by Bernie Sanders, "Social Security, which is funded by the payroll tax, has not contributed one nickel to the deficit, and according to its trustees, can pay 100 percent of all benefits owed to every eligible American for the next 21 years." Dean Baker calls it "perhaps the greatest success story of any program in US history."


3. Welfare benefits are a drag on the economy .

Critics bemoan the amounts of aid being lavished on lower-income Americans, making dubious claims about thousands of dollars going to every poor family. But despite an ever-growing need for jobs and basic living necessities, federal spending on poverty programs is a small part of the budget, and it's been that way for almost 50 years, increasing from 0.8 percent of GDP in 1962 to 1.2 percent of GDP in 2007.


4. The American Dream is still alive, if you just work hard enough.

The Horatio Alger tale has been a popular one for conservatives, but the OECD, the Economic Policy Institute and the National Journal all came to the same conclusion: the future earnings of a child in the U.S. is closely correlated to the earnings of his or her parents. This lack of mobility is more prevalent in the U.S. than in almost all other OECD countries.

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Reply 5 Ways Most Americans Are Blind to How Their Country Is Stacked for the Wealthy (Original post)
xchrom Nov 2012 OP
fasttense Nov 2012 #1

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:47 PM

1. It seems to me that America has moved from rewarding talent, intelligence, skill and ability to


rewarding simple luck. Because luck determines if your born into a rich family or a poor one. Luck determines if you are the first to develop a particular item. Luck determines your connections and luck determines being at the right place at the right time.

Too bad you can't pass on luck.

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