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inequality

We have a very conservative Senate and House. Congress is dominated by large campaign contributors who exercise enormous influence. I think, the people here [in Washington] have almost developed an instinct not to attack the people who put money into their coffers. Obviously the Republicans are beholden to these guys. But too many Democrats are nervous about talking about issues including income and wealth inequality. But in fact, the American people absolutely want to hear about it. I talk about it all the time. I give a lot of speeches and large crowds come out. People are very, very concerned about the overall impact of income and wealth inequality in terms of morality, in terms of economics, in terms of—with Citizens United—what it means to our political system. The Koch brothers are not tucking their money under the mattress. They’re spending it very significantly trying to buy elections so that candidates representing the wealthy are going to get elected. So it is a huge issue, which people are keenly concerned about. But you have a Congress significantly dependent on the one percent for their campaign contributions and you have the media that is owned by multinational corporations who are not excited about dealing with this issue. Bernie Sanders

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Most Americans say, if asked, that inequality is too high and something should be done about it — there is overwhelming support for higher minimum wages, and a majority favors higher taxes at the top. But at least so far confronting extreme inequality hasn’t been an election-winning issue. Maybe that would be true even if Americans knew the facts about our new Gilded Age. But we don’t know that. Today’s political balance rests on a foundation of ignorance, in which the public has no idea what our society is really like. Our Invisible Rich

We now live in a neo-feudal society. The evidence is undeniable. The indentured servant is now the indebted wage slave. David DeGraw

American exceptionalism when it comes to income distribution – our unique suspicion of and hostility to social insurance and anti-poverty programs – is, I and many others would argue, very much tied to our racial history. This does not, however, explain in any direct way why we should misperceive real inequality: people could oppose aid to Those People while understanding how rich the rich are. There may, however, be an indirect effect, because the racial divide empowers right-wing groups of all kinds, which in turn issue a lot of propaganda dismissing and minimizing inequality. Inequality Delusions

When looking at the unprecedented level of wealth inequality in today’s society, it is obvious that “the spirit of Fascism” has prevailed. Instead of increased productivity and wealth being a very good thing for overall society, the shortsighted greed of the .01% has systematically taken the increase in wealth for themselves, robbing everyone else of a life of liberty, economic security and freedom. The “gangster rule” that Roosevelt warned against is now the norm. The .01% acts with impunity, totally above the law, engaging in trillions of dollars in fraudulent activity without being held accountable. In fact, they are rewarded with all-time recording-breaking bonuses and ever-increasing wealth. Peak Inequality: The .01% And The Impoverishment Of Society

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If we affirm the shared value and distribution of basic human rights among all citizens, then every member of humankind – regardless of skin color – is supposed to share a common dignity. The result is a connection of collective humanity that is expressed through companionship in community. In other words, not only does white housing isolation lead to increased levels of homicide within all so-called communities, but it leads to the homicide of community itself, as our white cultural conception of kinship is far too constricted. As a result, we should embrace the state of being connected as companions, for in doing so we are more likely to understand than ignore, serve rather than sever, walk alongside rather than push up against, and of course, speak with instead of shoot at. Housing, Homogeny, and Hostility

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Visionaries and leaders such as Buckminster Fuller and President Franklin D. Roosevelt saw the modern advancement of technology and increase in productivity and wealth creation occurring. They began to envision a near future where people could regain their freedom from the dreary compulsion of industrialism. Roosevelt proposed an Economic Bill of Rights that would guard against unhealthy levels of inequality and guarantee economic security for every citizen. He equated the concentration of wealth to “fascism” and “gangster rule.” Upon accepting his second nomination as President, before World War II started, Roosevelt declared a war for economic freedom against the .01%. He compared the wealthiest members of society to the British monarchy during revolutionary times… David DeGraw

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Behind all of the statistics presented in this report is immense physical and psychological trauma. The stress of economic insecurity compounds the problem by leading to health problems, which dramatically increase costs of living. Economic insecurity drives people to expensive healthcare, medications, drug use and crime. Beyond the moral and humanitarian imperative, recent studies prove that the cost of poverty to overall society is far higher than the cost of eliminating poverty. The shortsighted greed of the .01% is causing the unnecessary suffering of an unprecedented number of people. Their consolidation of wealth has created a system of economic slavery. In a wealthy and technologically advanced society, it is a crime against humanity for a majority of the population to be toiling in extreme debt, poverty, unemployment and low-wage jobs. Peak Inequality: The .01% And The Impoverishment Of Society

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Beyond unemployment and underemployment, the percentage of full-time working poor has grown significantly. US workers are presently producing twice as much wealth per work hour than they were in 1980. Instead of median incomes doubling since then, they have stagnated. The gap between wealth production and median income is now at an all-time high. David DeGraw

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