Beneath all the welcome popular disgust with George W. Bush, it is easy to forget â€“ and important to remember â€“ that some special interests and individuals have reasons to rejoice at the wonders of life under The Worst President Ever (â€œHeâ€™s the Worst Ever,â€
REASONS FOR RICH REJOICE AS THE WORLD UNRAVELS: THE HIGHEST PROFITS MARGINS IN HALF A CENTURY
The economic men and women of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) were being more than polite when they greeted Bush with spontaneous and prolonged applause last week. They were expressing heartfelt capitalist gratitude. The arch-plutocratic, anti-labor Bush administration has overseen a remarkable transfer of wealth from the American working class to the nationâ€™s ever more grotesquely opulent and privileged few.
Even before George the Second was installed through the Baker-Scalia judicial coup of 12-12-2000 (as dark a day in its own way as 9/11/2001), the
As Jack Rasmus reports in the most recent
We are returning to the highly regressive income wealth distribution of the late 1920s, with the top 1 percent â€œearningâ€ (taking) nearly 22 percent of the national income. The
The top 1 percent â€“ comprising roughly 1.4 million â€œtax unitsâ€ (see Peter Singer, â€œWhat Should a Billionaire Give?â€ New York Times Sunday Magazine, December 17, 2006, p.80) owns more than a third of all
During the last three years, Rasmus notes, the â€œearningsâ€ of the top hundredth have resumed their long-term expansion since the late 1970s, which was briefly interrupted by the dot.com bust and economic downturn of 2001. By â€œstark contrast,â€ the nationâ€™s 90 million working class families â€œnever recovered from the 2001 recessionâ€ and have â€œfallen steadily behind. This dark fact,â€ Rasmus notes, â€œis the defining economic characteristic and legacy of the George W. Bush presidency.â€ By Rasmusâ€™ calculations, United States capitalism â€“ recently hailed by Barack Obama as â€œour greatest assetâ€ and â€œa system that for generations has encouraged constant innovation, individual initiative and efficient allocation of resourcesâ€ (B.O., The Audacity of Hope [New York, 2006], pp. 149-50) â€“ transfers â€œwell over $1 in incomeâ€ annually from the nationâ€™s working class to â€œcorporations and the wealthiest non-working class householdsâ€ Rasmus, â€œTrillion Dollar Income Shiftâ€).
HOW RICH IS OUR BOURGEOISIE?
How rich is the
That astonishing total was $63 billion greater than the total cost â€“ estimated by the eminent â€œdevelopment economistâ€ Jeffrey Sachs at $121 billion â€“ of meeting the United Nationsâ€™ Millennium Goals for 2006 (Singer, â€œWhat Should a Billionaire Give?). Those frequently cited goals include: reducing by half the share of the worldâ€™s population that experiences hunger; halving the share of people who live in â€œextreme povertyâ€ (defined as living on less than one U.S. dollar per day); reducing by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water; halting and beginning to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS; halting and beginning to reduce malaria and other diseases; guaranteeing that all ch