As an old country saying puts it, “Money is like manure — it does no good unless you spread it around.”
Yet America’s corporate and political leaders have intentionally been shoveling wealth into an ever-bigger pile for those at the top. They’ve gotten away with this by lying to the great majority, which has seen its share of America’s prosperity steadily disappear. Yes, they’ve told us, the rich are getting richer, but that’s just the natural workings of the new global economy, in which financial elites are rewarded for their exceptional talents, innovation, and bold risk-taking.
Horse dooties. The massive redistribution of America’s wealth from the many to the few is happening because the rich and their political puppets have rigged the system. Years of subsidized offshoring and downsizing, gutting labor rights, monkeywrenching the tax code, legalizing financial finagling, dismantling social programs, increasing the political dominance of corporate cash — these and other self-serving acts of the moneyed powers have created the conveyor belt that’s moving our wealth from the grassroots to the penthouses.
Not since the Gilded Age, which preceded and precipitated the Great Depression, have so few amassed so much of our nation’s riches. Having learned nothing from 1929’s devastating crash, nor from their own bank failures in 2008 that crushed our economy, the wealthiest of the wealthy fully intend to keep taking more for themselves at our expense.
Now, however, the people are onto their lies. In an October poll, two-thirds of Americans expressed support for increased taxes on millionaires, an end to corporate tax subsidies, and policies to more evenly distribute the wealth we all help create. This rising egalitarianism shows the true American character, and it’s changing our politics — for the better.
OtherWords commentaries are free to re-publish in print and online — all it takes is a simple attribution to OtherWords.org. To get a roundup of our work each Wednesday, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.