COMMON DREAMS has a terrific article by Paul Buchheit that highlights the deadening effects of inequality in our country, and confirms that tax avoidance, rather than a lack of middle-class initiative, is the primary culprit.
Go and read Ten Numbers the Rich Would Like Fudged.
Here are the bullet point headings:
1. Only THREE PERCENT of the very rich are entrepreneurs.
2. Only FOUR OUT OF 150 countries have more wealth inequality than us.
3. An amount equal to ONE-HALF the GDP is held untaxed overseas by rich Americans.
4. Corporations stopped paying HALF OF THEIR TAXES after the recession.
5. Just TEN Americans made a total of FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS in one year.
6. Tax deductions for the rich could pay off 100 PERCENT of the deficit.
7. The average single black or Hispanic woman has about $100 IN NET WORTH.
8. Elderly and disabled food stamp recipients get $4.30 A DAY FOR FOOD.
9. Young adults have lost TWO-THIRDS OF THEIR NET WORTH since 1984.
10. The American public paid about FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS to bail out the banks.
9:14 AM PT: UPDATE: A couple of folks have questioned bullet points #6 and #10. Obviously I'm not the author of the article, Paul Buchheit is. (He was the creator of gmail.) I can only say that upon reading the full article I found his arguments convincing, but I;m sure reasonable people can disagree on some points.