Over the last few decades, there has been a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the financial elite. CEOs of multinational corporations have paid politicians to rewrite the rules of the economy. This economy is rigged against ordinary Americans in six ways.
- From the 1950s to the 1970s, America’s economy doubled in GDP per person and the median (middle) American’s wages doubled as well.
- Since 1980, the economy has grown by about 130% in GDP per person, but median (middle) American wages only rose 13%.
- Since the Great Recession, about 91% of all new income has gone to the top 1%.
- 100 years ago, ordinary Americans passed laws to limit corruption.
- Today, legalized bribery allows corporations and the super-rich to drown out the voice of ordinary people.
- Unlike in the past, there is now no limit to campaign “donations” from corporations and labor unions.
- Super-rich individuals can spend unlimited sums of money through Super PACs.
- These corporations and the super-rich don’t like to waste money; they are clearly purchasing a return on their investment: political power.
- Here at the shore, power companies First Energy and JCP&L would never be able to build their 20-story power lines without corrupting politicians first.
- Something is wrong when billionaires like Warren Buffett pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries do. Buffett himself believes he should be paying more!
- CEOs of multinational conglomerates have manipulated the tax code to give themselves low rates.
- On top of that, multinational companies like Microsoft hide their wealth overseas (estimated $2.1 trillion) to avoid paying taxes, sticking middle-class Americans with the bill.
- After the financial crisis in 2008, big banks and other companies were allowed reduce their own loans through bankruptcy and a $1 trillion bailout.
- Students and homeowners were not allowed to reduce their debts.
- After the recession, so many people lost their homes that New Jersey had the highest rate of home foreclosures in the country.
- If those foreclosed homes were banks, they might have been bailed out.
- In 2000, a trade agreement allowed free trade with China, and CEOs of multinational companies started outsourcing jobs there.
- Globalized companies pay workers in foreign countries cents on the dollar, sometimes $0.10 to $0.50 per hour.
- This is because multinational conglomerates lobby to stop minimum wage laws from being passed in other countries.
- Since 2000, America has lost 2.4 million jobs to Chinese competition.
- These losses hit hard because it is difficult to find new jobs nearby, or to retrain for new types of jobs.
- CEOs and corporate owners have outsourced millions of jobs to robots, deleting a total of 6 million manufacturing jobs since 2000.
- When workers’ jobs disappear, they cannot simply find new high-paying jobs in their area.
- About 47% of American jobs are at risk of disappearing because of automation.
- Private education is more expensive than ever, but the government has done little to retrain workers for new jobs.