Fire the Rich

A radical fix for the economy that greed destroyed

| March-April 2011

  • Fire-the-Rich-small

    Jason Seiler /

  • Fire-the-Rich-small

Not only has the so-called trickle-down theory of economics been revealed to be a cruel hoax, but most of the good industrial jobs have left the country, the middle class has been eviscerated, the wealthiest Americans (even in the wake of the recession) have quintupled their net worth, and polls show that upwards of 70 percent of the American public feel the country is “going down the wrong track.”

No jobs, no prospects, no leverage, no short-term solutions, no long-term plans, no big ideas to save us. While the bottom four-fifths struggle to stay afloat, and the upper one-fifth cautiously tread water, the top 1 percent continue to accumulate wealth at a staggering rate.

Thanks to the global engine, there are now more than a thousand billionaires. Oligarchies, “client-state” capitalism, wanton deregulation, CEOs earning monster salaries, corporations receiving taxpayer welfare, and half the U.S. Congress boasting of being millionaires. Meanwhile, personal debt in the United States continues to soar, one person in ten is out of work, and food stamp usage sets new records every month.

Yet even with near-record unemployment, the Department of Commerce reported in November 2010 that U.S. companies just had their best quarter . . . ever. Businesses recorded profits at an annual rate of $1.66 trillion in the third quarter of 2010, which is the highest rate (in non-inflation-adjusted figures) since the government began keeping records more than 60 years ago. Shrinking incomes, fewer jobs . . . but bigger corporate profits. Not a good sign.

Yet when you broach the dreaded subject of “class warfare,” you get blank stares. When you try to demonstrate, through charts and graphs and scores of real-life examples, that the system is largely rigged to accommodate the wealthy and powerful—and that we face an unfortunate us-versus-them dilemma—people back away.

There’s an old joke: An Oxford professor meets a former student and asks what he’s been up to. The student tells him he’s working on a doctoral thesis about the survival of the class system in the United States. The prof expresses surprise. “I didn’t think there was a class system in the United States,” he says. “Nobody does,” the student replies. “That’s how it survives.”

10/11/2011 1:31:27 PM

Rodeen, you are a tool.

5/2/2011 1:29:42 PM

I hope you are feeling okay Occum. I couldnt get anyone to bite on my offer for help? Do you think I need to change my approach?

4/28/2011 11:54:03 PM

So, I have been away experiencing radiation treatment for myself and long distance conversational support for my best friend who is dealing with terminal cancer. She is one of the most hard headed, die hard believers in "the boot strap theory" I have ever met. I witnessed her point fingers at those not physically or mentally as "tough" as she was. Now I hear the regret in her voice as she has hit her personal wall realizing many of the understandings she was conditioned to believe were false. In relation to her German heritage I find the the phrase "arbeit mach frei" ironic as it was the slogan over many labor camps in Germany during WWII. It is too bad we understand too late that work does not make you free, but the sharing of ideas, experiences and open mindedness do.

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