The slow-rolling demise of Twitter has proven more clearly than anything that out of control wealth is toxic. For no other reason than he could, Elon Musk spent $44 billion on Twitter and then proceeded to burn it to the ground. Because he could.
That’s the extreme version of billionaire psychopathy and everything wrong with wealth distribution in our society, so it makes a handy jumping off point for this discussion: how much richer the rich have gotten in recent years and how wide the income gap has become even since the Trump tax scam.
“Last year the 237,000 highest paid employees in America together made more money than the lowest paid 60 million workers,” David Cay Johnson found in his analysis of the latest federal wage statistics. Those 237,000 people made $659.3 billion just last year. The 60 million people at the bottom of the wage sale earned $628.3 billion, collectively.
“Million dollar and up positions are the fasted growing jobs in America both in growth rate and pay,” Johnston found. “And the rate of growth is accelerating.” In 30 years, the “executive class” making more than $1 million has grown 325%, while the rest of the job force has increased by just 33%.
The rich aren’t just getting richer, they’re multiplying. Last year—just last year—those $1+ million jobs grew 95 times faster than all the rest of the jobs. That’s while the rest of us are facing an erosion of the purchasing power of our wages because of inflation.
That inflation, by the way, is in part being caused by corporate price gouging. That’s what the Economic Policy Institute has found. That price gouging is fattening corporate profits, part of which are being plowed back into executive pay. Nice gig if you can get it and are a sociopath.
While the House Republicans are spending the next two years having their fun looking for Hunter Biden’s laptop, Democrats should be hammering on corporate greed and the Senate should be having weekly hearings on price gouging and President Biden should be using every executive authority he has to hold corporations accountable.
Fixes to the tax code can’t happen with a House GOP, but Democrats can and should be laying the groundwork for doing it when they get a governing trifecta again. And then they should just fucking do it.
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