We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Friday, August 29, 2014
Income Inequality Costs The Middle Class $18,000 A Year
This article provides jargon-free analysis and charts to reveal the increasing class income differences from roughly 1980 till now between high income earners and the rest of us.
It must be understood that there are essentially two types of people in a capitalist society from an economic point of view: those who "own" capital (factories, machinery, equipment, patents, intellectual property, etc--essentially anything that is regarded as having monetary value) and are referred to as "capitalists" and those whose work creates capital but without "ownership" or control over it--workers. Capitalists live off of their "ownership" of things: dividends, interest, capital gains, etc; while workers receive income from the work they perform for the owners (capitalists). The analysis in this article focuses only on income earners or workers.
It should also be understood that workers are also divided: the closer that workers are to capitalists the more privileges they enjoy and are usually paid with salaries for their work whereas lower income people are paid wages based on the time (hours) they perform work. Thus, those with the highest incomes are people who work directly for capitalists as managers, top accountants, and highly skilled technical people.