The Year of the Great Redistribution

Robert Reich

The stock market closed out a record year at an all-time high [at the end of the year] giving stockholders in 2013 their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.

But the real news here, that went completely unreported, is that the 2013 bull market widened inequality because

(1) the richest 1 percent of Americans own 35 percent of the value of all shares of stock, and the richest 10 percent own over 80 percent,

(2) the corporate profits on which these gains were based came largely from keeping the wages of ordinary workers low,

(3) the capital gains and dividends these gains generated are taxed at a lower rate than most of the income of the middle class, and

(4) the biggest winners are the top executives and Wall Street traders whose year-end bonuses are tied to the stock market, and the hedge-fund and private-equity managers whose “carried interest” loophole allows them to cash in big-time. When will we stop measuring the health of the economy by the Dow Jones Industrial average? —

Uh, America, are we listening to this man?

8 comments

    1. You’re right Ted…”nothing new here” for those who know this already. But that’s not the lesson in this piece. Reich wants to:

      Educate as many people as he can. He/we can’t leave it up to the media to tell the truth. It’s people like Reich and Krugman who spread this info to a wider audience than corporate news does…

      I feel it’s up to every Liberal/Progressive to spread the word so that many more people will know HOW we got to this point and WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT. Although this is nothing new to most of us, there are far too many out there that need to be made aware of just how bad it is.

      Rachel Maddow and sometimes Chris Hayes are the only ones in the media that address this on a regular basis.

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      1. Ms kstreet, thank you. My comment was worded badly, but it was meant to be an agreement with R. Reich as well as appreciation for your post.

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