Please read this excellent CBS article in its entirety, but please take special note of the chart included with the article. This one Chart alone has the power to refute 100,000 words of the Republican Party's distortions. That's why I want it to go viral. PLEASE email a link to this article to everyone you know who's remotely interested in politics or economics, ESPECIALLY job creator worshiping CONSERVATIVES.
Left behind in America: Who's to blame for the wealth divide?
September 7, 2011
By Brian Montopoli
Americans were asked how they thought wealth was actually distributed; they estimated that the top 20 percent controlled about 59 percent of the nation's wealth, while the bottom controlled about three percent.
That wasn't even close: In reality, the top 20 percent controlled about 84 percent of the wealth, while the bottom quintile controlled just 0.1 percent. The combined net worth of the bottom 40 percent, in fact, accounted for just 0.3 percent of the nation's wealth. (See chart below, where that bottom 40 percent doesn't even show up.)
Americans want to see a much more equatable distribution of wealth than we now have, with the top 20% owning 32% a much more modest sum than the 84% they now horde. Americans also think the bottom 20% should be able to own 50 times as much as they do now.
Bartels found that senators are "fairly responsive" to the preferences of those in the upper third of income distribution, less responsive to those in the middle third, and "not at all responsive to the preferences of constituents in the bottom third of the income distribution."
In other words, he data suggested that if you're in that bottom third in terms of income, it really doesn't matter what you think - your senator effectively doesn't care.
A bias toward the desires of the wealthiest Americans has resulted in policies that critics say exacerbate the wealth and income divide - among them reduced capital gains tax rates, deregulation of the financial system and a reduction of tax rates on high earners. They say many politicians largely serve the wealthy and leave those on the bottom behind, pointing out that the minimum wage is currently lower than it was 30 years ago after accounting for inflation.
Our political system has a big blind spot for the one third of Americans who are struggling against an economic playing field that is tilted against them. Our congress is content to sit on their asses with the House in session for only one week this month while millions of Americans are desperate for a job.
Please read the rest of the article, pause to share your thoughts in the comments and then please email this important article and its killer chart out far and wide.