Posted by: coastcontact | March 8, 2013

The Rich are Getting Richer

Ford Factory - It Looks Good

Workers build a Ford Focus on the assembly line at Ford Motor Co.’s Michigan assembly plant in 2011.  (Bill Pugliano, Getty Images /December 14, 2011)


Let’s start with the positive news that 236,000 jobs were added to payrolls in the United States during February.  The most optimistic forecasts were 160,000 new jobs.  This was a marvelous wonderful surprise.  We can only hope that this is the beginning of a trend.

Meanwhile the 100 wealthiest people on the planet added $28.7 billion to their collective net worth this week after the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to a record, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

It was not just Bloomberg that pointed out the discrepancy between us and the wealthiest.  Michael Hiltzik’s Los Angeles Times column hit the very same fact.  He wrote, “Wages peaked at nearly 53% of GDP in 1970, but they never saw that number again. Through expansions and recessions that percentage has fallen almost without surcease. As of the end of last year, it was below 44%.”

“Try to find a statistical measure that shows the middle class and working class keeping up with growth in corporate wealth and affluence at the top reaches of the income scale. Viewed in isolation, of course, growth in corporate wealth would be a good thing for everybody. But the figures show that the people most responsible for this growth — the workers who contribute their sweat and brainpower — are being mulcted of their fair share.”

Am I being too harsh on the richest in our society?  My view is that no society can thrive if everyone is not included.



  1. The only people who are systematically going to grow leaps and bounds are the rich who continue to thrive, whether by solid investments, new products, whatever. Even if everyone in the world could solidly invest and collect 100% on all returns, obviously the wealthy will make more, as they have more to put into the pot, and to collect back in return on investment.

    Someone such as the fore mentioned assembly line worker is not going to change his position in society (financially speaking) without taking some sort of huge risk, investment opportunity, or winning the lottery etc. Simply continuing along the blue collar, middle class path in most cases, will not reap any huge, life changing financial gains. Now am I saying life’s fair, and it all simply “is what it is”? No, but I think the fundamental argument here is flawed in it’s basic premise, or rather by the example(s) presented.

    America is still the land of opportunity, as the overwhelming majority of millionaires in this country are self-made, 1st generation money. The old-money, inherited-wealth is the exception, they are not the rule. Personally, I’ve found that those who really want to change their lives tend to find a way more often than not. Personally I was born into the lower middle class. I enlisted in the military to pay for my college, and made choices along the way to better myself, and my position. I didn’t have some huge leg up, and I was born/raised in one of the poorest, fattest, and dumbest states in America; Mississippi.

    I currently have found a way to apply my knowledge, training, and experience to make low 6 figures a year. The work is long, hard, and tiresome. And there is great sacrifice, but sometimes that’s the price you pay. I’m not waiting for the government, or anyone else to take care of me or mine. That’s not to say we shouldn’t address problems and make efforts to correct them accordingly. Obviously we should. But the talk of “revolts” and revolution as mentioned by the above poster is a bit much.

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