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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/27/14

The Disgusting Super-Rich

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Message Sam Amer

When I come in contact with the one-percenters, I don't feel envy; I feel disgust. Dealing with them is like dealing with thieves and burglars. The difference is that the one-percenters usually dress in nice clothes, drive expensive cars, and frequent expensive restaurants. To me, they are still thieves and burglars. They are the ones who stole and are still stealing my money - and yours.

The rich, and particularly the super-rich, are robbing us blind mostly by using legal means. They have managed to control our system of government through buying our Congress. They mold our public opinion by owning the airwaves. Similarly, they decide what we see on television or watch at the movies. They determine what medical systems we have and what wars we get into. They have manipulated our entire system to work exclusively for them. The problem is that they are motivated, almost entirely, by selfishness and greed, with minimal feelings of compassion or patriotism. They don't really care about America, or feel for the poor. They care only for themselves. To me, they are the scum of the earth.

Through their actions, the rich and super-rich are destroying our democracy as well. They are making a mockery of our country, which now preaches to the rest of the world about democracy and citizen representation while having almost none of it. Our Congress does not reflect our views or values; it only reflects the views and values of the moneyed interests. As our country gets richer as measured by GDP or stock-market figures, life is getting harder for the majority of us and poverty is spreading. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. If the total income of the United States is distributed equally among all the citizens, each American would make over $64,000.00 a year and a family of four would live on over $250,000.00 annual income. This contrasts severely with the reality of today, in which the median income of the average full-time American male worker is lower than it was 40 years ago. The rich and super-rich have it all; they leave only the crumbs for the rest of us.

You could easily disregard contributions by the super-rich to this or that institution with their names boldly advertised all over it. This is a gimmick devised to deflect attention from their selfish and unpatriotic ways. They conspicuously support institutions of their choosing to generate the most acknowledgment and good will from the public. We, the people, don't need such selective and temporary contributions. What we need is a more uniform dedication to improve the quality of life for all of us - through fixing our infrastructure, improving our schools, helping the poor, creating more jobs, and instituting a single-payer universal healthcare system.

The super-rich, through their control of the Congress, are trying to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and food stamps. They are opposing universal health care and any raise of the minimum wage, and are dead set against any increases in income taxes. Our schools are failing, our infrastructure is deteriorating, and many full-time workers cannot make enough money to feed their families. Yet still, the super-rich are determined to stay on top at the expense of everybody else.

The super-rich don't even live among us anymore. They live mostly in gated communities watched over by special guards. A boom in gated communities and armies of doormen controlling access to upscale apartment buildings has accompanied the growing wealth inequality in America driven by the obscene incomes of the rich and super-rich. The guard-labor share of employment in the United States is four times what it is in Sweden, where the living standards rival America's.

Many of the super-rich never really worked hard for their money. Many of them inherited their fortunes. Many take advantage of the lopsided structure of the banking and business networks they helped create. The average CEO of America's largest companies makes 475 times what the average American worker makes. This is more than twenty times the ratio in Japan, Germany, or France. One hedge-fund manager earned over $2 billion last year (billion with a 'b'). These people don't have larger brains than the rest of us. They do not contribute more to the welfare of humanity or that of the American people. They are just system manipulators who are taking advantage of the rest of us. According to the Institute for Policy Studies, the $26.7 billion of bonuses Wall Street banks paid out last year would be enough to more than double the pay of every one of America's 1,085,000 full-time minimum-wage workers. And these were just the bonuses.

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Retired Pharmacologist with two masters and a Ph.D.
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