Photo 325 out of 365 – “American Flag at Night”
When it comes to politics I go through phases. Sometimes, I keep up with the news regularly. I read weekly magazines, I watch Bill Maher and I check in with some online sources. Sometimes, I get real fired up and want to get involved and want to change things that are unfair. Then, what typically happens, is it all starts to seem rather corrupt and hopeless and I get so upset and frustrated by the state of politics in this country, that I check out and re-enter my safe bubble where I can live happily ever ignorant. But that never lasts long.
I happen to be in a news-gathering phase at the moment and now I’ve reached that fired-up state. I picked up a magazine called Mother Jones the other day. I needed some reading material while I ate my lunch. The cover of the magazine shows a vampire with the headline:
The Vampire Economy
The Superrich are Sucking America Dry. Congress is Under Their Sway. Can Obama Stay Alive?
What the article outlined is that first, the wealth in this country is growing more and more unequal every day – by staggering amounts. A statistic in the article states that the richest 1% of Americans now control 34.6% of the nation’s wealth, the richest 10% control over 73% of the nation’s wealth leaving the bottom 90% of the US population with only 27%. MESSED UP! More unsettling is the data that shows that the top 0.01% of the population make an average of over $27 million per year, while the bottom 90% of the population make an average of only around $30,000.
The second major point the article highlights is that both the democratic and republican parties are now pretty much controlled by the superrich and almost all the major decisions they’ve made over the last thirty years have been to appease the superrich and make them even richer! Hence, this inequality is spiraling further and further out of control every year.
Just to get some perspective, I looked up income inequality across the world to see where the US fits in. I was shocked to find that we are worse than every single country in Europe, as well as Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Canada, India, Egypt, Pakistan, Ghana, Nicaragua and about eighty other countries spanning the globe. Yikes.
So I think to myself… if our representatives do not have our best interests at heart and our government is not working for us (if we’re not millionaires that is), how will any of this change? And won’t it just keep getting worse if it goes unchecked? It’s kind of scary – right? What can an interested, frustrated, optimistic, genuinely good person do in this scenario to make a difference? Any ideas? I’m looking into it.
Oh – and Photo 326 out of 365 – “Neighborhood Festivities”