Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Henry Blodget has a must-read article at Business Insider which explains Here's What The Wall Street Protesters Are So Angry About… in charts:
So, what are the protesters so upset about, really?
Do they have legitimate gripes?
To answer the latter question first, yes, they have very legitimate gripes.
And if America cannot figure out a way to address these gripes, the country will likely become increasingly "de-stabilized," as sociologists might say. And in that scenario, the current protests will likely be only the beginning.
The problem in a nutshell is this: Inequality in this country has hit a level that has been seen only once in the nation's history, and unemployment has reached a level that has been seen only once since the Great Depression. And, at the same time, corporate profits are at a record high.
In other words, in the never-ending tug-of-war between "labor" and "capital," there has rarely—if ever—been a time when "capital" was so clearly winning.
Blodget then tells the story with a series of charts:
Let's start with the obvious: Unemployment. Three years after the financial crisis, the unemployment rate is still at the highest level since the Great Depression (except for a brief blip in the early 1980s)
Jobs are scarce, so many adults have given up looking for them. Thus, a sharp decline in the "participation ratio."
And it's not like unemployment these days is a quick, painful jolt: A record percentage of unemployed people have been unemployed for longer than 6 months.
And it's not just construction workers who can't find jobs. The median duration of all unemployment is also near an all-time high.
That 9% rate, by the way, equates to 14 million Americans—people who want to work but can't find a job.
And that's just people who meet the strict criteria for "unemployed." Include people working part-time who want to work full-time, plus some people who haven't looked for a job in a while, and unemployment's at 17%.
Put differently, this is the lowest percentage of Americans with jobs since the early 1980s (And the boom prior to that, by the way, was from women entering the workforce).
So that's the jobs picture. Not pretty.
And now we turn to the other side of this issue… the Americans for whom life has never been better. The OWNERS.
Continue reading with a lot more charts at CHARTS: Here's What The Wall Street Protesters Are So Angry About…
One final chart that sums up wealth inequality:
So what does all this mean in terms of net worth? Well, for starters, it means that the top 1% of Americans own 42% of the financial wealth in this country. The top 5%, meanwhile, own nearly 70%.
We know why we are getting these results. Our successful small businessmen/job creators are being taxed to death. At most, they should give up 40 cents on the dollar to expanding government burden. But, Obama demands 63 cents. Meanwhile, Obama is rewarding the lazy pigs with Food Stamps (44 million people), air conditioning, free health care, flat screen TV’s (typical of “poor” families).
Why work? Indeed let’s tax the rich. Let’s get 63 percent of Al Gore’s $100 million – send him a tax bill for $63 million. Let’s get 63 percent of Warren Buffet’s $50 billion – send him a tax bill for $30 billion.
Wealth distribution has been extremely concentrated throughout American history, with the top 1% already owning 40-50% in the 19th century. It remained stable over the course of the 20th century.
Solution…strive to be in the 1%. This is America, at least for now, land of the free.