Honestly, the inequality gap in America should stagger the imagination or, on second thought, maybe it shouldn’t, not with the first billionaire in the White House and at least two more threatening to join him in a run for the presidency in 2020. After all, we now live on the planet of the billionaires. In January, as the billionaire summit in Davos, Switzerland, was about to be held, Oxfam summed our world up this way:
“Billionaire fortunes increased by 12% last year — or $2.5 billion a day — while the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth decline by 11%… [T]he number of billionaires has nearly doubled since the financial crisis, yet wealthy individuals and corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades, thanks in part to the new tax law championed by President Trump.”
Yes, a billionaire strolled into the Oval Office in January 2017 and (don’t be shocked!) promptly fused with congressional Republicans not to fund America’s crumbling infrastructure of roads, dams, levies, and the like, or to offer better medical care, or to rescue the environment, or to face the climate crisis that threatens the human future, or to do anything that would help an average American. Instead, they focused on funding the creation of yet more of the super wealthy with a tax cut sent straight from billionaire heaven.
With 2020 in mind, President Trump is now warning American voters about the dangers of “radical left” Democrats, a crew of “socialists” capable of launching a reign of terror against… hmmm, billionaires. Let me quote the most dangerous among them. Bernie Sanders: “Instead of an austerity program for working families and the poor, we need austerity for billionaires and large multinational corporations.” Elizabeth Warren: “I want these billionaires to stop being freeloaders.” So watch out if they take the White House! And while you’re at it, check out what really should be the scandal of this American century. From the indispensable Nomi Prins, TomDispatch regular and author, appropriately enough, of Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World, comes an overview of the economic “great wall” that Donald Trump and crew are building to keep most Americans out.