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LongTomH's Journal
Posted by LongTomH in Editorials & Other Articles
Fri Feb 18th 2011, 02:31 PM
From AlterNet: 9 Pictures That Expose This Country's Obscene Division of Wealth. Author and blogger Dave Johnson uses imagery and rhetoric to illustrate the terrible inequity of America's New Gilded Age. The examples he gives are of luxury cars, luxury hotels that charge $20-30,000 per night, yachts, private jets, private islands, and other luxury items.

Luxury cars?



This is a Maybach. Most people donít even know there is something called a Maybach. The one in the picture, the Landaulet model, costs $1 million. (Rush Limbaugh, who has 5 homes in Palm Beach, drives a cheaper Maybach 57 S -- but makes up for it by owning 6 of them.)


And doesn't everyone - who is someone own a yacht? This baby goes for a cool $90 million!



Here's an example of a luxury home:



This modest home(it actually is, for the neighborhood it is in) is offered right now at only about $8 million. I ride my bike past it on my regular exercise route, while I think about how the top tax rate used to be high enough to have good courts, schools & roads and counter the Soviet Union and we didn't even have deficit


Johnson goes on to list the negatives effects of this concentration of wealth, here he quotes Theodore Roosevelt:

Teddy Roosevelt, speaking to the educators about "False Standards Resulting From Swollen Fortunes," warned that while teachers believe their ideals to be worth sacrifice and so do non-renumerative work for the good of others, seeing great wealth makes people think that obtaining wealth is itself a lofty ideal,

The chief harm done by men of swollen fortune to the community is not the harm that the demagogue is apt to depict as springing from their actions, but the effect that their success sets up a false standard, and serves as a bad example to the rest of us. If we do not ourselves attach an exaggerated importance to the rich man who is distinguished only by his riches, this rich man would have a most insignificant influence over us.


I do suggest reading the entire article; Johnson's done a very good job of discussing the deleterious effects of extreme inequality on U.S. society. He lists some good resources for studying the issue in more detail:

The Working Group on Extreme Inequality explains why inequality matters in many more ways, and is well worth clicking through to study. They also have a page of resources for study with links to other organizations. Also, spend some time at Too Much, A commentary on excess and inequality because it is "Dedicated to the notion that our world would be considerably more caring, prosperous, and democratic if we narrowed the vast gap that divides our wealthy from everyone else." The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a Poverty and Income area of research with good resources. The Center for Economic and Policy Research has a research section on Inequality and Poverty.


Dave Johnson's blogs at Seeing the Forest. He's also a contributor to The Campaign for America's Future
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