Sunday, October 18, 2015

Income gap problem is not just about the 1%

I see the income gap as being more than just the problem of the 1% versus the rest. It's also the growing gap between the top 10% and the rest. The top 10%, or even the top 20%. This is the problem behind why so many workers can no longer afford to go the the dentist; for instance. Dentists are often in the top 10% while most workers make a lot less. As the gap between the top 10% and the rest of the population becomes wider, it gets harder for ordinary people to pay the dentist's wages. This makes going to the dentist less affordable.

As for the wealth of the top 1%, that can seem like its farther from directly effecting the lives of the average person. You pay your dental bill, but you don't notice paying Donald Trump's salary as much, or at least that connection isn't as obvious.

Conservative folks will often say, "I don't care what Donald Trump does with his own money as much as I care what Uncle Sam does with MY money." They must believe that how Donald Trump gets and uses his money is non of their business while they fret about taxes taking their money. Maybe they would notice how their dentist (for instance) gets his money when they pay their dental bill, however.

The connection between the wealth of the top 1% and problems the rest of us face is not that apparent; especially to conservatives. Maybe more folks would understand the connection between the income of the top 10% and the problems they face; problems such as high dental bills, or even high tuition costs. Look at the salaries of college presidents and administrators. Many of the presidents are in the 1% anyway.

We should be talking about the income gap between the top 10% and the rest of us, rather than just talking about the top 1%.

Also I don't mean to vilify any group of people, including the top 1%, or even the top 10%. We need them. Some of the top income folks do great things; like Space X founder Elon Musk for instance. It's just that society has a problem when the all income classes get too far apart.

When the incomes get too spread out, most people can no longer pay their dental bills, doctor bills, insurance premiums, education costs and so forth. These bills go to pay the high salaries of professionals in those fields.

Also, only talking about the 1% comes from political consideration. Make the group you vilify as small as possible. If 99% are on the "good" side and only 1% on the bad side, you win every election. Right? Well, why didn't that work in 2014? Maybe talking about the 1% makes the other 99% into "victims." Victims are less likely to do things for themselves such as voting. If they don't vote, then supporters of the 1% win. I realize that the wealth of the 1% gets larger and larger compared to the 99% with each passing year, but the 99% does need to take some responsibility; at least enough to vote for candidates that support higher taxes on top income folks. At least show up to the polls, I guess.

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