How Rich is the Top 1 Percent?

America's middle class is disappearing... and most of us are unaware of where the wealth is going.  This chart helps us see the real wealth distribution in America today.


Noa's picture

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Wendy's picture

This is a nice way to wake people up to the problem but the suggestion that socialism is equal wealth across the board is bs. I tried to find some facts on this and it is true that many socialist countries such as Sweeden and Norway have the most equal distribution of wealth but still in no way is the wealth equal across the board. I found it interesting that Iceland was way up there too - I'm sure the fact that they have given the banks the boot has helped their wealth distribution quite a bit.

One of the websites I visited in looking into this made the point that the US is a much wealthier country overall than many others so even with it's unequal distribution of wealth, it's still much better to be poor in the US than in a poor country. The nations with the worst wealth distribution all seem to be in Africa.

My sense is that wealth distribution has more to due with government corruption than economic system.

Noa's picture

It's true that many places in Africa and India, where people have no access to clean water and often are reduced to toiling in sweatshops or picking through garbage just to eek out a living, are horrible places to be poor.  Don't forget that the middle east and surrounding countries have been targeted for their natural resources, so it's no accident that the people are suffering economically.

On the other hand, I believe that in many countries in Central and South America it's actually easier to be poor than in the United States.  This has less to do with government corruption than it does with lack of government regulation.  By and large in these nations, it doesn't take much to set up shop on the street.  There's not much in the way of laws or enforcement of licensing, zoning, health codes, child labor, etc. 

Consequently, a poor family can erect a shack on a vacant lot and sell just about any talent or merchandise you can think of on the street.  The police aren't going to come and bulldoze their tents and take away their children.  They can scavenge for wood to cook with or items that other people have thrown away without harassment.  Sometimes the government even runs electricity and water to these shanty towns in exchange for a token sum as taxes. 

And most necessities can be bought cheap.  You can buy fresh produce and meat in open markets for next to nothing.  You don't need a car because the bus system is good.  There's not the same social stigma for the poor.  People tend to live together in extended families to help each other out.  And poor neighborhoods aren't necessarily crime ridden like they are in the States.  This is not exactly living well, but there's not such a huge jump between the poorest and the middle class. 

Now don't get me wrong, in a perfect world, no one should have to live in poverty; I just want to set the record straight.  It's very difficult to be poor in the United States; take it from someone who raised her kids as a single mom.  It takes more money just to survive and the pressure to keep up with the Joneses is tremendous.  Try not paying the water and electric bill and see how long it takes the government to take your kids or force you to move elsewhere.

I'd much rather be poor in Latin America.

Better yet, I'd rather not have government calling the shots.  Without a hierarchy in control, I'll bet people would find a way to live more equitably.

Wendy's picture

Yea, what your describing is unregulated capitalism. So many people think that benefits the big corporations but actually the opposite is true. Multiple government regulations eliminate the competition of small businesses and give large corporations monopolies over their particular segment of the economy. (look at what government involvement has done to health care and higher education - the businesses that have had costs increase higher than any other segment of the economy)

The point is that this video makes it sound like socialism is going to be the answer and I think that is exactly the opposite direction we need to go in.

Starmonkey's picture

and here's where the whole "meek shall inherit the earth" thing comes into full play.  THERE IS NO $$$!!!  so, technically that one percent is actually the POOREST on the planet!  HA!  when we join the rest of the world in day-to-day survival within the next decade, that concept will be worthless.  it will more depend on your skills and capacities for work and community, and $$$ will be a relative concept.  even gold and silver won't be the replacement, because you can't eat them (at least not sustainably) and you can't live under them (unless you have a shit-ton of it, and then, who cares?).  so why even give these dramas any credit?  let's move beyond these outworn and outdated designations and prepare for an alternate future.  now is the time when that is critical.  to set up networks and connections so we're not totally caught with our pants down and herded into camps just to survive.  just study the business tactics of the monster even in our immediate history on the north american continent.  presumptive and back-handed they have NO ONE'S best interests in mind, not even their own (if they would stop to think about it).  there is no future based on might=right or whoever has the most guns wins.  we already know how that turns out time and time again.  and we need to get over our weaknesses/shortcomings/petty continual failings and man or woman up.  the needy will have a REAL hard time surviving the shift.  you have to be self-empowered and respectful of same.  or you are just flotsam and jetsam and ballast which will be shedded as the acceleration/quickening picks up speed.  it's happening already!  it's also why i chose the middle way course-wise, because the others might just be a little delusional...  combining the fluffy and pragmatic is the only way to fly.  but, if you can't stand the heat...

i'm sure i'm not alone here, because i live near BOULDER and some of you live near SAN FRANCISCO, so i know you know what i'm talking about.  open up, sure, but toughen up as well, or you're cannon fodder.

Starmonkey's picture

just curious HOW MUCH time some of you spend surfing your computer's every day for tidbits of information.  i spend less than an hour a day on mine, and less than two of any t.v./movies, should i choose.  i guess if nothing else, that electricity and radiation is helping you to mutate faster.  but into what?  we are supposed to become as little children once again, but self-empowered and respectful children, not frightened and wanting to hide under mommy's skirts ones.  and i'm not judging because i have that problem hard-wired into me via my astrology, and program's are hard to break, especially one's that have been running my entire life-time since i first took a breath.  it's my curse and my challenge to find my "self", because i lack that.  just too mutable, i guess.  that is also a huge advantage, should i succeed in shedding some of the old layers.  i finally re-discovered the simplest way to do that.  becoming a rainbow bridge.  just have to clear out more of the old garbage.  thank it and let it go.  weird how a lot of the writings and such which have appealed to me have been from the 70s.  they are already out-of-date, but can be assimilated into contemporary perspective.  here is something.

Wendy's picture

Hi Christopher-

Yea, good point about the FRN's actually being debt notes and true wealth actualy found in producing healthy food. I probably spend way too much time a surfin' the net but at least I don't watch any TV unless it's something I can watch on-line. The rainbow bridge website all seems a bit too new age for me but I only looked at it briefly. Perhaps you can explain whats behind it a bit more.


Starmonkey's picture

yeah, we don't really have t.v. either.  hulu and amazon...  not even netflix.  watch less and less all the time.

and , yes that website is somewhat cheesy.  i found the book again recently and the few exercises in it are simple and can be practiced freely.  i found it powerful because it invokes your own soul and involves your own clearing, etc.  by embodying the attributes that you would imagine your higher self to be, you end up becoming that.  personal mastery starts with accepting that one is flawed, but striving toward being the higher good in one's actions and behaviors.  we get too stuck in the conceptualization process, instead of just doing it.  more later!...

Starmonkey's picture

i remember taking some notes from the book 9 years ago when i met my wife, penelope at an "intentional" community in arizona called WindSpirit.  and i just found the book in boulder at trident bookstore...  i guess it's like all writings out there.  relative to its audience.  others have probably elaborated too much on a nice and simple approach.

the rainbow bridge has significance to me in so many ways.  so many myths and prophecies mention it.  our beloved dog, sasha transitioned (goonies never say die) in february and the little bags that they put her ashes and a paw print in said "until we meet again at the rainbow bridge" on them (referring to the poem which i was unaware of before then).  jose arguelles (before he transitioned) was speaking of a circum-polar rainbow bridge on the planet being formed during our global transition (whatever that may be).  the rainbow gathering/family/people as the new global tribe/nation.  synchronicities... 

the gist of it is that if everyone works on cleansing their chakras/channels/circuits/auras, they can be rainbow bridges for spirit.  just needs to be grounded, is all.  or you may fry some circuits.  i'll share if i discover anything else through practice.


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