Fault Lines – The Top 1%

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The richest 1% of US Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country’s income and control an astonishing 40% of its wealth. Inequality in the US is more extreme than it’s been in almost a century — and the gap between the super rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years.

Meanwhile, in Washington, a bitter partisan debate over how to cut deficit spending and reduce the US’ 14.3 trillion dollar debt is underway. As low and middle class wages stagnate and unemployment remains above 9%, Republicans and Democrats are tussling over whether to slash funding for the medical and retirement programs that are the backbone of the US’s social safety net, and whether to raise taxes — or to cut them further.

The budget debate and the economy are the battleground on which the 2012 presidential election race will be fought. And the United States has never seemed so divided — both politically and economically.

How did the gap grow so wide, and so quickly? And how are the convictions, campaign contributions and charitable donations of the top 1% impacting the other 99% of Americans? Fault Lines investigates the gap between the rich and the rest.

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42 COMMENTS

  1. And people want lower taxes. And voted for Trump.

    Clap. Clap. Clap.

    Amazing, Americans. Amazing. Deregulation served you so well. And you vote republican. I cannot fathom the stupidity.

    Giving people with average or below average income money is perfectly sound policy! They are the most numerous, therefore create the most demand for things! A millionaire does not buy as much as a thousand average income families do.

    Healthcare and education are also two very important pillars of a country. They are things that cannot be left to the free market, because everyone needs them, and may not be able to afford them. It is the same with roads and public transport.

    I apologise if this comment is duplicated. The youtube app sometimes does strange things.

  2. Once you understand that the 1% thing of us as vermin & useless, dumb eaters…….you'll learn that NOTHING WILL CHANGE. THEY HAVE US WHERE THEY WANT US. !

  3. The huge theft of savings, stocks, hedge funds by Brokers in 2007 can never be Fixed. The "smartest" guys in the building got away with it. A few suicides and prison sentences does nothing to help those of us who suffered the BIG SHORT!!

  4. And the point of making all this money is what? To hoard it, so it fills their ego bank? Money needs to be recirculated, that is how a healthy economy functions. They are not taking any money into the next life.

  5. Can't take Akin Seriously, Sorry. Not since the "Legitimate Rape" quote. Also a good number republicans believe in odd things and say some awful stuff. Anyone who fact checks a lot of the things they say will find that a lot of the time, especially when it comes to Ethics and culture (Gay Rights, Religion, Etc) Republicans are either full of Shit with the intent to mislead, or misled. 

  6. If everyone got top notch education, like that of harvard the economy would be more balanced. everything went wrong when they put price on education. If only elite people and their children are getting good education, that will leave the rest with poor education and lower chance of getting good jobs. 

  7. Since 2007, the form of wealth that is most diffusely held, residential real estate, has crashed, with many millions of households having to give up homeownership entirely.
    Since 2007, forms of wealth that that can be concentrated at will, e.g., stocks and the owning unincorporated firms, have done well.
    Over the past 30 years, the average hourly wage rate for unsophisticated jobs has barely kept up with inflation. Most jobs created during this recovery have been unsophisticated jobs.

  8. Oh look another Libtard, I guess you missed the Libtard Memo that Bill maher said he "would Leave California if he has to pay MORE taxes" recently…You also missed the memo that Obozo the Clown has postponed his ObamaCare until 2015 (because it's such a cluster f*ck program).

  9. If I was a billionaire in the states I would definitely pay more taxes to the wealth. A country cannot call its self a good one if the people at the bottom are cut from such essential services

  10. .. ask this scum , usefull idiot Jeffrey Sachs what he thinks about eastern europe countries transfotmations [that he was preparing with scum, speculant George Soros !] creating cheap-labour collonies for corporations and banksters !

  11. US Economy .. cheap money for banksters and corporations .. to speculate and buy real stuff for fake paper/digital money ..
    .
    and naive, ignorant , brainwashed sheeple are fu..ed hard by the OWNers ..
    and they do nothing about it..
    what a nice, friendly county .. democracy, freedom , solidarity .. bla bla bla ..
    .
    wake up you morons and .. Revolt ..!

  12. About Bill Odeyell….actually I have seen hundreds of posts like that here…its intentional propaganda, the "we worked really hard from scratch went to college and now are rolling in dough" line of bull, just ads drummed up by amateur Madison Avenue types
    Much of the time these mouthpieces are ranting against the minimum wage, unions or people of color.

  13. elite rich decided it's way easier to scam and swindle the average joe and then invest in groups like the Tea Party so they can tell us our real enemies are people who want to make 12 bucks an hour instead of 7 bucks an hour. and they are succeeding. most of congress are bought by the rich…and the rest of congress who are not beholden to the rich are neutralized by those congressmen who are beholden to the rich.

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