Excerpt from article by Sarah van Gelder, YES Magazine
While U.S. policies allowed transnational corporations, Wall Street banks, and the wealthiest Americans to recover from the collapse of 2008, for many in the 99 percent, this remains a time of sustained unemployment, low-wage jobs, and economic insecurity.
After years of pressure by well-endowed think tanks and lobbyists, President Obama as well as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have bought into the idea that our country is broke. This is not the case. GDP per capita, has doubled over the last 40 years, while wages have stagnated. It’s not that our nation’s wealth has gone away—it’s just being tied up by the top 1 percent. And their power over politicians is keeping it that way.
In fact it is just this concentration of wealth that makes the economic growth we see in GDP charts so ineffective at improving the quality of our lives. If we were to measure the real wealth of our society—our health and well being, the health of the natural world, our level of education, etc.—we would see that inequality itself is reducing our nation’s well being, and the power of big corporations is allowing the degradation of our communities and environment. [MORE]