Social Security and Medicare are sustainable with some fixes and the only people calling for cuts are the people who don't rely on the programs in the first place (i.e., the rich).
The nation's tax structure, thanks to three decades of ill-conceived "reform" have helped push income and wealth upward. As he says,
The real median wage is only slightly higher now than it was 30 years ago, even though the economy is twice as large.Of course, discussions about taxing this group are viewed as socialism run amok. Taxing wealth, the wealthy say, is tantamount to thievery. And yet, as Reich points out, we do tax wealth -- at the state level. It is called the property tax.
The only people whose means have soared are at the very top, because they’ve received almost all the gains from growth. Over the last three decades, the top 1 percent’s share of the nation’s income has doubled; the top one-tenth of 1 percent’s share, tripled. The richest one-tenth of 1 percent is now earning as much as the bottom 120 million Americans put together.
Wealth has become even more concentrated than income (income is a stream of money, wealth is the pool into which it flows).
The richest 1 percent now own more than 35 percent of all of the nation’s household wealth, and 38 percent of the nation’s financial assets – including stocks and pension funds.
Think about this: The richest 400 Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together. The 6 Walmart heirs have more wealth than bottom 33 million American families combined.
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