Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Shrinking Middle Class


In 2015, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky explained: “In the United States today, the richest 1 percent owns 34 percent of our nation’s wealth – that’s more than the entire bottom 90 percent, who own just 29 percent of the country’s wealth.  And the top one-hundredth of 1 percent now makes an average of $27 million per household per year.  The average income for the bottom 90 percent of Americans is $31,244.  It’s time for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share, which is why I introduced the Fairness in Taxation Act.  This isn’t about punishment or revenge.  It’s about fairness.  It’s about avoiding budget cuts that harm middle class families and those who aspire to it.  We can choose to cut education, job creation and health care, or we can choose to ask those who can contribute more to do so.”

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has noted: “You have millions and millions of people, who are struggling to pay their mortgage or rent, to buy food, to put gas in the car.  And by the way, they are paying federal taxes in terms of FICA taxes.  You can’t get blood out of a stone when the middle class is shrinking.”

Thomas Hungerford, an analyst with the Congressional Research Service reports that capital gains tax cuts are by far the largest driver of income inequality.  Studies show that the income of the top 1 percent of Americans has been increasing dramatically.

Nick Hanauer is a technology entrepreneur, and a billionaire venture capitalist.  He insists: “If there was no one around who could afford to buy what we had to sell, all those companies and all those jobs would have evaporated.  That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs.  Nor do businesses large or small.” 

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