Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ten Fingers: The Super Rich 3/3

So I’ll ask again, where is the money? Much of the money is now privately held by people who have no intention of spending it on jobs. A rich person just can’t buy things for no reason—a couple million big macs anyone. And despite some of the uber-rich trying really hard to burn through their money (presidential campaigns, expensive toupees, monogrammed jets) they just can’t spend like households who have a need for that cash can. And there is a demonstrated need. Eventually 60% of all Americans will at some point need some extra cash. And that doesn’t include how much we could all use a raise for our increased work hours since 1979. Or how about closing the gender wage gap?

Nope, the amply monied continue to amass large sums of cash while bequeathing a bare minimum to the majority of Americans. Let me put it this way; billionaire Sheldon Adelson is willing to spend less than the tip of his pinky on the presidential campaign. For an average American that’s equivalent to 5 dollars. For him that’s $100 million. And it’s so he can keep what he already has and not spend it on creating American jobs. If we were to restore some of the taxes from 1979, Addy would have to actually put that money (in the form of taxes) toward programs that fund the military, job training, public works, police, fire, and hundreds of other common services that we all take advantage of.

It’s not that Addy can’t have his billions; it’s that they have actually come at the expense of honest hard working Americans after a point. Sure there are people hired under his purview, but at the point where the cash stops circulating he is no longer helping anyone but himself.

Put simply, if Mr. Adelson’s money were circulating in the economy, people would be making marginally more per household, but there would be much more money to circulate. As it stands, he is circulating probably less than five fingers of his money (nothing is trickling down). If that money were divided amongst average American households then nine and a half fingers would be circulating. If that money were given to the poorest Americans, then all ten fingers would circulate. If he were to give away everything but $1 billion (20,000 average American households) then that would inject $25.5 billion into the economy.

Recap. 6 fingers of Americans will drop below the poverty line in their lives and will suffer from a lack of cash. Your pinky tip owns 2 fingers of America’s wealth, double the amount in 1979. Wealthy Americans have had their taxes slashed to nearly half of what they were and do not suffer from lack of cash. Wealthy people keep one fist closed tight around their cash (at a minimum). The average American household keeps about half a pinky in savings and spends the rest in the economy.

You should care that the rich are being stingy with their cash yet continue to receive tax cuts while over half of us will at some point become so poor that we will be forced to take government assistance. You should also care that one of the presidential candidates wants to increase this disparity.