Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rich People Suck

There is serious damage being done to our country by the way the richest among us are shepherding our nation’s wealth. Check this out:
The federal government costs 3.8 trillion dollars to operate, which to most people is an incomprehensible amount of money. But it comes out to about $12,000 a person. That's about $2,000 less than I get each year from Social Security. I’m not sure how much we have to pay in tax on that, but I’m sure they are not dunning me personally for my entire $12,000 share. Or Aimée and me for $24,000 if it comes to that. Which means we get $24,000 worth of aircraft carriers, and weather balloons, and air traffic control towers, and GPS satellites, and bridges, and—the list of benefits we get for the money would stretch this post way beyond readability—for a relatively modest investment overall.

But how about the rest of our commonweal? The total U.S. GDP is $17 trillion plus, which again sounds as if it might as well be infinite, but again, comes out to about $53,000 apiece. So when the ultra-wealthy hide $361 billion in offshore banks, then each of the other 361 million of us have $52,000 to work with instead. If you feel like you can’t get ahead, consider that there is only so much money in the economy, and decisions made in government, industry, and the families of the ultra-wealthy about what to do with it matters. Just see how far we all get ahead when this bunch is through with us!

Here's another way to think about it. Slot machine operators in Nevada are legally allowed to rig the machines to siphon off up to 27% of the money. So if a great giant floor of slot machines at one of those mega casinos takes in a million dollars, almost exactly $270,000 goes into the coffers, while the other $730,000 circulates among the players. So if you put $100 into a machine and get $73 out, you have statistically broken even. Lots of families that aren't in the top 1% make way more than $53,000 per family member. Just as slot players sometimes win. Everyone else has to share the dregs. 

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