The United States isn't broke. It's just the 90% that are broke. by @DavidOAtkins

The United States isn't broke. It's just the 90% that are broke.

by David Atkins

If you haven't seen this yet, consider yourself duly notified:

Incomes for the bottom 90 percent of Americans only grew by $59 on average between 1966 and 2011 (when you adjust those incomes for inflation), according to an analysis by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston for Tax Analysts. During the same period, the average income for the top 10 percent of Americans rose by $116,071, Johnston found.

To put that into perspective: if you say the $59 boost is equivalent to one inch, then the incomes of the top 10 percent of Americans rose by 168 feet, Johnston explained to Alternet last week.
Conservative shills like to point out that the wealthy are paying a bigger share of the overall tax burden than ever. That is true. But the difference between their previous share of the burden, and their overall share of the wealth isn't even close to comparable. They're paying a slightly greater share of the burden--but that's to be expected when their share of the wealth has increased two-thousandfold compared to everyone else.

And these statistics only look at the top 10%. The top 1% is making exponentially more than the rest of the 9% under them. And the top tenth of a percent is doing exponentially better than the rest of the one percent.

The country isn't broke. It's just that a small portion of the country's people have basically looted all the wealth of the last 50 years.

Ideally, that looting would be illegal in its own right. But if we give conservatives the benefit of the doubt and say that it would be too economically restrictive to attempt to control how much these people are taking away from the rest of the economy, then the second-best alternative we have under the circumstances is to redistribute a greater portion of those ill-gotten gains to create better jobs and social services for people whose incomes have been artificially constrained.

What we should under no circumstances be doing is cutting the safety net while allowing these thieves to walk away with all their loot.