Waking From the American Dream
In the eternal tug of war that is our nation's great struggle, a Manifest destiny toward Kleptocracy, it appears the ruling class is confidently dragging the unwashed masses toward defeat.
Personal incomes rose in January at the fastest clip in a year, bolstered by bonus payments to high-income executives. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that personal incomes rose by 1 percent in January while consumer spending was up by 0.5 percent.
While at the same time:
The analysis showed that the number of people living in extreme poverty had grown by 26 per cent since 2000. Poverty as a whole has worsened, too, but the number of severe poor is growing 56 per cent faster than the overall segment of the population characterized as poor - about 37 million people in all according to the census data.
Just how poor is this "extreme poverty" they talk about?
The number of Americans living in severe poverty has expanded dramatically under the Bush administration, with nearly 16 million people now living on an individual income of less than $5,000 a year or a family income of less than $10,000, according to an analysis of 2005 official census data.
How can income and consumer spending be rising if there is such a growing mass of extreme poverty? Here's how:
The richest fifth of US households enjoys more than 50 per cent of the national income, while the poorest fifth gets by on an estimated 3.5 per cent. The average after-tax income of the top 1 per cent is 63 times larger than the average for the bottom 20 per cent - both because the rich have grown richer and also because the poor have grown poorer; about 19 per cent poorer since the late 1970s. The middle class, too, has been squeezed ever tighter. Every income group except for the top 20 per cent has lost ground in the past 30 years, regardless of whether the economy has boomed or tanked.
Yes, that's right, for the last 30 years - no matter what party the government was controlled by - the bottom 80 percent lost ground. Do you really need to ask who truly runs this country anymore?