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Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Wealth Tax to Eliminate Poverty

A Wealth Tax to Eliminate Poverty


Think really big. A wealth tax could be the best thing for working Americans since social security or the 40 hour week. We presently have two wealth taxes ---the property and the inheritance taxes --- and we need a third, a tax on financial assets. Five European nations (and it once was twelve) have a wealth tax. If it were linked to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and to Individual Development Accounts (IDA) it would dramatically improve the quality of life in the U.S.A. It would provide the simplest and most straight forward solution to inequality and poverty.

Inequality and poverty are our economy’s, and global capitalism’s, greatest enemy and problem. According to The State of Working America, 2006/2007, 24.7% (1 of 4) jobs pay an income below the poverty line1, 13.5% (1 of 8) US households live in poverty2, 17.6% (1 of 6) children live in poverty3 (for children under 5 years old it is 1 in 5),one in six (15.9%) people have no health insurance4, private or public, or primary care physician. Among families with children below 12 years old 29% are unable to achieve the “basic family budget.”5 In 2005 the rate of nonmarital births was 37%,6 (3 of 8) or 1,470,189 nonmarital births. This rate has doubled in the past 25 years. Nonmarital births are highly correlated with poverty. The unemployment rate has oscillated between 4% and 8% since 1982.

The income of the top one percent exceeds the combined incomes of the lowest 40%7 (the incomes of 1.4 million exceeds the incomes of 54 million workers); and the top one percent of households own more than the lowest 91%8 (the wealth of 1.1 million households is greater than the wealth of 99 million households.) The top one percent own 33% of all wealth, and the top ten percent own 70%. The lowest 50% own 2.5% of all wealth. Some 17% have no assets at all; 29.6% of households own less than $10,000. The median personal income for workers over 25 is $32,140 annually.9 But the mean average individual income is over $60,000.

Inequality sounds like this quote from the Congressional Budget Office report of December, 2006, “The new CBO data document that income inequality continued to widen in 2004. The average after-tax income of the richest one percent of households rose from $722,000 in 2003 to $868,000 in 2004, after adjusting for inflation, a one-year increase of nearly $146,000 or 20 percent. This increase was the largest increase in 15 years, measured both in percentage terms and in real dollars.”10 This occurred at a time when 80% of the nation’s households experienced a drop in annual income.

If you were to convert the wealth of half of the US households’ average assets into $100 bills ($25,000 each in 55 million stacks) and stack them in neat piles of $100 bills, each stack would rise one inch high. If you stacked the average wealth of the top one percent of households, each of the 1,100,000 stacks would rise up almost 60 feet. The stack of Bill Gates wealth would rise to 30 miles high. See the Web page Lcurve.org for a graphic of this slope.

This recital is to emphasize the alarming disparities in the allocation of one of life’s and society’s essentials: money. And to draw another red line below the basic facts: a good many Americans compete with their labor against hundreds of millions in foreign nations who actually work for about $5 a day and send their products to the US for sale in our marketplace.11



*
Wealth Distribution, U.S.A., 200612

Percentile Percentage Total Amount average wealth per household
0 to 50 2.5% 1.278.6 billion $25,560
50 to 90 27.9% 14,045.9 billion $351,148
90 to 99 36.1% 18,151.0 billion $2,044,800
top one percent
33.4% 16,774.4 billion $16,774,400

******************************************************************





*
Distribution of Income, U.S.A., 2005, Source: US Census Bureau,
80 to 100 = 50.4% Selected Measures of Household Income
60 to 80 = 23.0% Dispersion: 1965 - 2005
40 to 60 = 14.6% Table A-3
20 to 40 = 8.6 %
0 to 20 = 3.4 %

Escaping poverty in the US is becoming harder, not easier. The median wages of male workers has declined 5.3% since 1979, while since 1973 productivity has risen 75.7%.13 The difference is a value that has gone into the accounts of the wealthiest. According to Professor Edward Wolff in the period between 1983 and 1998 more than half of all gains went to the top one percent.14 The measure of absolute poverty, those living with an income 50% below the poverty level, is at 43%, the greatest rate since recording began in 1975.15 This picture shows polarization at the top and bottom.

The Solution to Inequality

The most straight forward solution is to tax wealth and to combine this with an asset growth policy for the working poor. Redistribute wealth, and aim for a permanent wealth distribution slope.

Individual Development Accounts is a relatively new policy measure and it could be expanded to create a vehicle for this transfer. The many scholars and foundations that have worked to promote the IDA policy have no connection to a wealth tax proposal. One redistribution plan would increase by ten times the wealth of half the American population, or 55 million households, raising their net worth from $25,000 on average to $250,000 per household over a 12 to 20 year period. This would entail a decrease in the average wealth of the top one percent by seventy-five percent, from $16,000,000 to $4,000,000 per household. The redistribution numbers are accurate and commensurate. Of course, any slope or distribution ratio is possible, in theory. At first glance this example slope may probably be viewed alarmingly as too level. But, the stacks of $100 bills looks like this: half of them are now ten inches high, not one inch high, and the top one percent are 144 inches high (12 feet), not 60 feet. American society should begin to set limits on wealth disparity. Maybe that slope is still too steep?

Taxing wealth is the law of the land. We have the property tax in every state that supports schools, water treatment facilities, and public transportation. We have the inheritance tax that effects less than 1% of households; its threshold is $1.5 million, and its nominal rate is 47%, but its effective rate is 18%.16 Expanding or creating a direct wealth tax is doable. The greater challenge is combining it with the Earned Income Tax Credit and IDAs.

The concept of Individual Development Accounts has been advocated since 1991 beginning with the work of Michael Sherraden, professor of at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. The IDA plan is a work-based incentive plan that rewards disciplined savings by low-income workers. It has had pilot funding since 1997, supported by 14 foundation grants including the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. It was piloted by 13 regional organizations in 11 states nationwide for 4 and a half years, from July, 1997 to December, 2001. Currently it is state policy in 37 states. Congress passed the Assets for Independence Act of 1998 that authorized $250 million for IDAs between 1999 -2009. A subsequent Savings for Working Families Act -- if passed --- would authorize another $450 million for 300,000 IDAs over ten years.17 The Web page sfearn.org describes successes of the IDA plan.

In his book
The Squandering of America, Robert Kuttner reports, page 286, that "Sherraden's 1991 blueprint put the first-year cost of his IDA program at about $28 billion, or about $45 billion in today's dollars. . . The program was funded at $80 million a year, one quarter of 1 percent of what Sherraden had proposed --- enough to help just a few thousand poor families acquire assets. The appropriations were further cut under Bush." He describes the Democratic Party's effort as "tokenism . . . proposals funded at so a puny a level that they will not transform anybody's life, imagination, or political allegiance; and on the Republican side, a happy-sounding politics of bait and switch."

Asset building subsidies are not new; the Federal Government’s subsidies reached the level of $335 billion in 2003. A study by the Corporation for Enterprise Development concluded that “Federal asset policies cost $335 billion (conservatively measured). Federal policies disproportionately benefit those who already have assets. Analysis of the largest spending categories shows that over a third of the benefits go to the wealthiest 1% of Americans --- those who typically earn over $1 million per pear. In contrast, less than 5% of the benefits go to the bottom 60% of taxpayers.”18

We can contrast this $335 billion “hidden in plain sight” subsidy with federal expenditures for the safety net (the EITC is a $36 billion expense), unemployment, Medicaid and SCHIP, all totaling $464 billion (16% of federal spending in 2006).

According to the authors of
Can the Poor Save? Saving and Asset Building in Individual Development Accounts, the “United States in 2003 provided more than $100 billion in subsidies for home ownership. . . A rich person with a million-dollar mortgage would receive annual subsidies of $20,000 or more, while a poor person would receive nothing unless he or she owns a home, has a mortgage, and has tax liability. The rationale for tying housing subsidies to income, debt, assets, and tax rates seems to be based more on political and administrative expediency than on the principles of efficiency, equity, and inclusive development. The current policy is no different than collecting all taxes with no mortgage-interest deduction and then sending $20,000 checks to some of the wealthiest people and no checks to millions of the poor. . . . If policy aims to support home ownership, then it would be fairer and more effective to focus almost all subsidies where the likely impact is greatest, that is, on the poorest half of households (or individuals). At the least, the poorest half of households should get half the subsidies. . . . an important principle of good government is fairness in public benefits. A healthy democracy requires a reasonable attempt to treat everyone the same.”19

The IDA policy plan changes this inequity. The Wealth Tax-EITC-IDA plan accelerates the savings. A viable democracy finds decisive solutions to problems as important as poverty and inequality. An economic system that favors only a minority is not self-sustaining, and is incompatible with democracy.



by Ben Leet,

benleet@earthlink.net
1997 words without footnotes

October 20, 2007 e-mail author for pdf version with pie charts

2 comments:

Kelly said...

Interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST ONE PERCENT HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars which have been transfered FROM US TO THEM. All over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They just keep getting richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any 'humanitarian' progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. So don’t fall for any of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGenerous, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. No offense fellow citizens. But we have been mislead by nearly every public figure. We still are. Even now, they claim to be 'hurting' right along with the rest of us. As if gas prices actually effect the lifestyle of a millionaire. ITS A LIE. IN 2007, THE RICHEST 1% INCREASED THEIR AVERAGE BOTTOM LINE WEALTH AGAIN. On average, they are now worth over $4,000,000 each. Thats an all time high. As a group, they are now worth well over $17,000,000,000,000. THATS WELL OVER SEVENTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS. Another all time high. Which by the way, is much more than the entire middle and lower classes combined. Also more than enough to pay off our national debt, fund the Iraq war for twenty years, repair our infrastructure, and bail out the US housing market. Still think that our biggest problem is China? Think again. Its the 1% club. That means every big name celebrity, athlete, executive, entrepreneur, developer, banker, and lottery winner. Along with many attorneys, doctors, politicians, and bankers. If they are rich, then they are part of the problem. Their incredible wealth was not 'created', 'generated', grown in their back yard, or printed up on their command. It was transfered FROM US TO THEM. Directly and indirectly. Its become near impossible to spend a dollar without making some greedy pig even richer. Don't be fooled by the occasional loss of a millionaire's fortune. Overall, they just keep getting richer. They absolutely will not stop. Still, they have the nerve to pretend as if they care about ordinary people. ITS A LIE. NOTHING BUT CALCULATED PR CRAP. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. High energy prices. Their idea. Oil 'futures'. Their idea. Obscene health care charges. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit. Their idea. The multi-million dollar endorsement deal. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea. Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. Excessive medical testing. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, medical testing, love-sick, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of the above shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, create a dominoe effect of socio-economic problems, and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP. In many cases, the 'charitable' contribution is almost entirely offset. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and 'good will' all at once. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to 'federal tax revenue'. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH. If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax reveue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havok on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a dominoe effect to consider. IT CAN'T WORK THIS WAY. But our leaders refuse to acknowledge this. Instead they come up with one trick after another to milk the system and screw the majority. These decisions are heavily influensed by the 1% club. Every year, billions of federal tax dollars are diverted behind the scenes back to the rich and their respective industries. Loans from China have been necessary to compensate in part, for the red ink and multi-trillion dollar transfer of wealth to the rich. At the same time, the feds have been pushing more financial burden onto the states who push them lower onto the cities. Again, the hardship is felt more by the majority and less by the 1% club. The rich prefer to live in exclusive areas or upper class communities. They get the best of everything. Reliable city services, new schools, freshly paved roads, upscale parks, ect. The middle and lower class communities get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Which, they usually can't afford. So the red ink flows followed by service cuts and lay-offs. All because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in this country. Anyway, when you account for all federal, state, and local taxes, the middle class actually pay about the same rate as the rich. The devil is in the details. So when people forgive the rich for their incredible greed and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. Afterall, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, bankers, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, doctors, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Strong middle class, free and clear assets, lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, lower deficit, ect. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA. Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home forclosure epidemic, credit crunch, weak US dollar, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. The cost of living is higher than ever before. Most people can't even afford basic health care. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED. I really don't blame the 2nd -5th percentiles in general. No economy could ever function without some reasonable scale of personal wealth and income. But it can't be allowed to run wild like a mad dog. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK. TOP HEAVY ECONOMIES ALWAYS COLLAPSE. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The American dream will be shattered. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH MAKES WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman.. Of course, they will jump to small minded conclusions about 'jealousy', 'envy', or 'socialism'. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.


So what can we do about it? Well, not much. Unfortunately, we are stuck on a runaway train. The problem has gone unchecked for too many years. The US/global depression is comming thanks to the 1% club. It would take a massive effort by the vast majority to prevent it. Along with a voluntary sacrifice by the rich. THATS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. But if you believe in miracles, then spend your money as wisely as possible. Especially in middle and lower class communities. Check the Fortune 500 list and limit your support of high profit/low labor industries (Hollywood, pro sports, energy, credit, pharmaceutical, cable, satelite, internet advertising, cell phone, high fashion, jewelry, ect.). Cancel all but one credit card for emergencies only. If you need a cell phone, then do your homework and find the best deal on a local pre-pay. If you want home internet access, then use the least expensive provider, and share accounts whenever possible. If you need to search, then use the less popular search engines. They usually produce the same results anyway. Don't click on any internet ad. If you need the product or service, then look up the phone number or address and contact that business directly. Don't pay to see any blockbuster movie. Instead, wait a few months and rent the DVD from a local store or buy it USED. If you want to see a big name game or event, then watch it in a local bar, club, or at home on network TV. Don't buy any high end official merchendise and don't support the high end sponsors. If its endorsed by a big name celebrity, then don't buy it. If you can afford a new car, then make an exception for GM, Ford, and Dodge. If they don't increase their market share soon, then a lot more people are going to get screwed out of their pensions and/or benefits. Of course, you must know by now to avoid those big trucks and SUVs unless you truly need one for its intended purpose. Don't be ashamed to buy a foreign car if you prefer it. Afterall, those with the most fuel efficient vehicles consume a lot less foreign oil. Which accounts for a pretty big chunk of our trade deficit. Anyway, the global economy is worth supporting to some extent. Its the obscene profit margins, trade deficits, and BS from OPEC that get us into trouble. Otherwise, the global economy would be a good thing for everyone. Just keep in mind that the big 3 are struggling and they do produce a few smaller reliable cars. Don't frequent any high end department store or any business in a newly developed upper class community. By doing so, you make developers richer and draw support away from industrial areas and away from the middle class communities. Instead, support the local retailer and the less popular shopping centers. Especially in lower or middle class communities. If you can afford to buy a home, then do so. But go smaller and less expensive. Don't get yourself in too deep and don't buy into the newly developed condos or gated communities. Instead, find a modest home in a building or neighborhood at least 20 years old. If you live in one of the poorer states, then try to support its economy first and foremost. Be on the lookout for commercial brainwash plots on TV. They are written into nearly every scene of nearly every show. Most cater to network sponsors and parent companies. Especially commercial health care. Big business is fine on occasion depending on the profit margins and profit sharing. Do your homework. If you want to support any legitimate charity, then do so directly. Never support any celebrity foundation. They spend most of their funding on PR campaigns, travel, and high end accomodations for themselves. Instead, go to Charitywatch.org and look up a top rated charity to support your favorite cause. In general, support the little guy as much as possible and the big guy as little as possible. Do your part to reverse the transfer of wealth away from the rich and back to the middle and lower classes. Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer. Jobs will be lost either way. Innocent children will starve and die either way. But we need to support the largest group of workers with the most reasonable profit margins. We also need to support LEGITIMATE charities (Check that list at Charitywatch.org). This is our only chance to limit the severity and/or duration of the comming US/global depression. In the meantime, don't listen to Bernanke, Paulson, Bartiromo, Orman, Dobbs, Kramer, OReiley, or any other public figure with regard to the economy. They are all plenty smart but I swear to you that they will lie right through their rotten teeth. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These people work for big business. The 'experts' they cite also work for big business. They are all motivated by their desire to accumulate more wealth. THEY WILL LIE RIGHT THROUGH THEIR ROTTEN TEETH. So don't fall for their tricks. Instead, look at the big picture. The economic problems we face have been mounting for well over 20 years. All of them caused or aggrivated by a constant transfer of wealth from poorer to richer. Soon, it will cause the first ever GLOBAL DEPRESION. Its not brain surgery. Its simple math. Like I said, you are welcome to run this by any professor of economics or socio-economics. If thats not good enough, then look up what Einstein had to say about greed, extreme wealth, and its horrible concequences. I speak the truth. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Its already underway. A massive campaign to divert our attention. Trump, Buffet, OReiley, Pickens, and several others have been running their mouths about the economy. Finally admitting a hint of severity. They even have the nerve to acknowledge the possibility of a US/global depression. Still, they refuse to acknowledge the underlying cause. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

A word for those who respond with the usual 'I know more than you. Look how smart, knowledgable, and articulate I am' crap. Let me say this in advance. I don't claim to be an expert in this field. But I did go on record with these predictions long before any public figure uttered the word 'recession'. If you search long enough, you will find my early postings from '05' and '06'. Including the first draft of this rant. Since then, I've gone on record against people like Greenspan, Bernanke, and Paulson. So far, my predictions have been accurate. Like I said. This is not brain surgery. For the mostpart, its simple math. When you concentrate the world's wealth, you also concentrate its capital and shrink the middle class along with the potential market for every major industry. Homes go unsold. Bills go unpaid. Banks fail. More products go unsold. Jobs are lost. More banks fail. and so on. and so on. Throughout the cycle, the rich will tighten their grip. Concentrating the world's wealth and resources even further and ensuring the collapse of every major economy worldwide. Think it can't happen? Think again. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Another thing. I don't want credit for any of this. Otherwise, I would have given my full name a long time ago. As far as I'm concerned, you can put this rant in your own words and take credit for all of it. I don't care. Just spread the word. Otherwise, the greatest injustice of all time will go down in history unchecked.