We also focused on the plutonomy that replaced the traditional American economy.
Some recent information, based upon the recent census, indicates the scale and nature of the plutonomy, which we will get into, but first lets remember what the Wall Street Journal said about the inherent nature of a plutonomy:
... the U.S. is becoming a Plutonomy – an economy dependent on the spending and investing of the wealthy. And Plutonomies are far less stable than economies built on more evenly distributed income and mass consumption.(Wall Street Journal, 2010). This statement was made before the national census data had been completely perused, nevertheless, have you noticed that instability in the
The new census data, recently released, indicate that the plutonomy has set in hard, with no natural, traditional way out:
When the Census Bureau this month released a new measure of poverty, meant to better count disposable income, it began altering the portrait of national need. Perhaps the most startling differences between the old measure and the new involves data the government has not yet published, showing 51 million people with incomes less than 50 percent above the poverty line. That number of Americans is 76 percent higher than the official account, published in September. All told, that places 100 million people — one in three Americans — either in poverty or in the fretful zone just above it.(NY Times, emphasis added). When these numbers are crunched down then analyzed in terms of the effect on government, give a loud and clear message:
After a lost decade of flat wages and the worst downturn since the Great Depression, the findings can be thought of as putting numbers to the bleak national mood — quantifying the expressions of unease erupting in protests and political swings. They convey levels of economic stress sharply felt but until now hard to measure.
I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: A highly complex and largely discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. I am not optimistic.(Investment Manager View). Let's face it, if "money talks, and BS walks", and if "s/he who has the gold makes the rules", then we are talking about who rules America:
This document focuses on the "Top 1%" as a whole because that's been the traditional cut-off point for "the top" in academic studies, and because it's easy for us to keep in mind that we are talking about one in a hundred. But it is also important to realize that the lower half of that top 1% has far less than those in the top half; in fact, both wealth and income are super-concentrated in the top 0.1%, which is just one in a thousand.(Who Rules America). The Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread around the nation is aware of what has happened and they want America back.
The problem is that the 1% feel that they have earned their place, have created a valid plutocracy, and the 99% will simply have to learn to deal with it and live with it.
The next post in this series is here, the previous post is here.