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The Rich Have Gotten Richer

by Sudhama Ranganathan Monday, Nov. 29, 2010 at 6:15 AM

Since the 1970’s America’s poor and middle-class have seen virtually no growth in terms of income. We have watched the entire American dream hauled out and paraded in front of us with images and a soundtrack telling us while our nation became more powerful, so did we, “and in the meantime purchase this.” We were told when the wealthy became richer this was good for us as this “trickled down to the rest of us.” We were led to believe that if there were ever problems for the rest of us, with the American rich being richer and richer we would not have to worry. They were Americans after all. They had our backs as we always had theirs.

The Rich Have Gotten...
therichhavegottenricher.jpg, image/jpeg, 250x470

They employed us and in return we devoted ourselves to the work of building up their companies and making them larger and more powerful than ever. But, the dream of a unified prosperous nation began to fall when slowly those sources of income which had previously become such sources of pride slipped. They began to be sent overseas and we stood by watching once great cities, states and regions begin to crumble and rust.

We watched as one of the leading and most reliable contributors to economic recovery during a downturn, manufacturing, was exported piecemeal across our borders and past our shores, like a slowly moving estate sale liquidating every source of middleclass stability because someone deemed Americans no longer worth it. The people who were supposed to be a part of the whole turned out to be less than interested in anything but what they considered their own private islands. Their own little oases had nothing to do with anything American and everything to do with personal financial gain.

There was no true concept of any “we” in their view of America just a political “we.” Their view was about what they stood to gain individually, health of a nation be damned. Their view was fed not by a sense of the founding fathers’ conception of America; a nation to be built together - rich and poor - all men free. No, their view was about money and power and everything else was to be analyzed as things they could profit from or not. They continually needed more.

The Germans, who experienced one of the most robust economic expansions in the Western world since the recent recession, have always made sure to maintain manufacturing. It is something their entire country, including the wealthy owners, understands benefits the nation and speaks volumes about the level of patriotism displayed and felt by their upper classes. It has spurred their robust recovery.

The Chinese have built their manufacturing sector into the world’s manufacturing powerhouse leaving us in the dust. They have had a terrific recovery, thanks in no small part to our consuming so many of their goods, and this was of course driven by their strong manufacturing sector. They have surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest economy. This engine there was also manufacturing.

As a nation we have slowly gotten weaker, and is it any surprise? Since the seventies our wealthy have sold us down the river and no doubt have been staking out their plots in other nations. They complain about taxes, and yet in truth the wealthy pay so little. They have actually waged successful campaigns convincing huge swaths of our electorate to choose people supporting legislation favoring their collective will regarding taxes. They have convinced us they endure a disproportionate tax burden. They have convinced the nation it’s them who are the victims.

Yet one of their own mocks this idea. “According to Forbes, Warren Buffett ranks as the third richest person in the world.  As a result, it is newsworthy when Buffett argues that the rich should actually be paying more taxes in America.  Buffett made just such an argument in a recent interview with ABC […]  According to Buffett, the theory of ‘trickle down’ economics, in which the wealth of the rich trickles down to the middle-class and poor, has not worked over the last decade.  Buffett argues that the rich have benefited greatly from tax cuts over the last decade while the poor and middle-class continue to struggle.“ (

Buffett said, “’I'll bet a million dollars against any member of the Forbes 400 who challenges me that the average (federal tax rate including income and payroll taxes) for the Forbes 400 will be less than the average of their receptionists.’” ( They shouldn’t pay more just the same. And they shouldn’t whine to us about their woes. They haven’t a clue when it comes to that.

In 2008 with alarm bells practically ringing in the background George W. Bush told us we needed to bailout Wall Street because national doom was impending. Supposed ultra conservatives like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin even supported the move. The nation was on the brink of collapse. Yet, in the end, who bailed out whom?

Right. We dumped trillions of our hard earned dollars to bolster wealthy corporations. What did we gain? Well, average Jane’s and Joe’s are worse off while our recovery is going slower and slower. TV news pundits are telling us to be ready to change our lifestyles permanently and that we can expect to be poorer. Large cities which once boomed are turning huge tracts of land into farm land as they quietly slide from having moved from farming to industrialization now moving back to farming. (

Does this mean the rich have been hit at the same time? To the contrary, they received huge amounts of cash from us and, “in North America, the ranks of the rich rose 17 percent and their wealth grew 18 percent to .7 trillion. The United States was home to the most millionaires in 2009 -- 2.87 million.” ( Well, well, wonders never cease.

It’s time to start really considering who is in our best interest and who is not when it comes to how we vote. The difference comes in those choices made when in the voting booths. That is real power. If the guys sworn in to do it this time can’t handle the pressure of changing America in two years, as they railed against Obama for not having done, they should step aside letting fresh blood in. If they cannot deliver to the middle class a recovery through their own efforts by 2012, as they pledged, they should admit complete failure, as they said Obama should.

It’s only fair and an example of truly putting their money where their mouths are. Tax breaks for the wealthy after they have just became wealthier than ever while the rest of us became poorer? Lol. Hope that works out for you pal. As they previously demanded of those that had two years to do it, we will know when the time comes if they have been successful, this unless they change tack and implement solid bi-partisan efforts. If not, hopefully, they will do the right thing and “man up” admitting failure if or when the time comes.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to

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