The super rich have been growing in numbers although their numbers have really increased very slowly with less than .1% who truly qualify for that designation. The Census Bureau reports that the ranks of the now dubbed “super poor”, or rather they are the extreme poor who have now swollen ranks to 1 in 15 or 7% of Americans. To qualify for this designation you must have an income of less than half of the official poverty rate and this line is extremely low to begin with.
For a family of four in the bottom half of the poverty income bracket (remember there are many far below this line) this income bracket is slightly more than $11,000 per year. In the greatest nation on the planet we have 21 million people who are in extreme poverty while the top 25 Wall Street hedge fund managers “earned” over a billion each last year on average. That’s billion with a “b” or 100,000 times what millions of American families live on.
Right wingers will point out that 25 billion dollars divided among 21 million people wouldn’t make them “rich“, but that’s 5000 dollars for a family of four and it would change “their“ lifestyle dramatically while still leaving them in poverty. The thing is, this 25 billion wasn’t just a tax on the peasants. Hedge funds make their money by looting and pillaging, it‘s not carrying off the treasury that does the real damage, it’s burning the villages, slaughtering the livestock, salting the earth and poisoning the wells that makes 21 million people into the “super” poor.
The super rich have closed 55,000 factories in the last ten years and that wasn’t the beginning of their terrorism, having started more than 30 years ago thanks to their Patron Saint Ronald Reagan. They have made millions homeless, ruined the livelihoods of millions of farmers in the US and in Mexico and they are polluting the water table everywhere they can make a buck and that‘s just a few of their crimes. The real damage the one percent has done runs into many trillions every year.
Converting a billion dollar income into the numbers of the Super Poor, each of the palatial estates of the Super Rich could be a city of 100,000. Indeed census figures show that the poor tend to be clustered in their own communities, dare we use the word “ghetto”? This clustering doubles their misery as the local government has no money for services of any kind let alone relief for the poor. No schools worthy of the name, no libraries, no city services the rest of us take for granted, and no jobs at an acceptable wage as most of these people have skills that have been outsourced to China.
States (especially the red ones) don’t provide anything for poor communities anymore, even to support police protection and crime is mushrooming. The Republicans in Congress are determined that no Federal relief will be forthcoming.
The fastest growth in poverty, nearly double anywhere else, is in the suburbs. Formally the symbol of the American dream, they are now a nightmare of isolation and despair, crime ridden, and deteriorating fast, with no jobs to be had, with no government support we are creating a permanent under class. And just so you right wingers know, in these suburbs the people are mostly white like you, worship the same god as you and believe the same rightwing lies as you. You are next. Be like them or fight back. www.prairie2.com