“Though the jumble of financial acronyms sounds like gibberish to the layperson, the fact that there may now be price-fixing scandals involving both Libor and ISDAfix suggests a single, giant mushrooming conspiracy of collusion and price-fixing hovering under the ostensibly competitive veneer of Wall Street culture.”
“The wealth gap between blacks and whites has nearly tripled over the past 25 years, due largely to inequality in home ownership, income, education and inheritances, according to a new study by Brandeis University”
“The readers and editors of the Wall Street Journal may find comfort in hearing Boudreaux and Perry’s good news about the middle class. Middle-class people themselves, however, may be a bit skeptical on being told that they’ve never had it so good.”
This is what the Wall Street Journal thinks the average American makes.
Every single household in this cartoon is in the top 5%, except the retired couple, who are in the top 7%.
The real median income is about $44,000. I’m sure some single parents make the amount in their cartoon. However 50% make $25,000 or less. The vast majority are women.
The median rent in the most expensive city (San Francisco) is about $3,000. Someone who makes $108,000 can afford that. Coincidentally, that’s the top 20%. That same person could afford a $800,000 home with a modest down payment. How much more would you need to make to live a life of comfort?
The official poverty line is about $23,000. Around half of the country lives so close to poverty, they need assistance for basic needs of survival. Nearly 60% of every American will live in poverty for at least one year of their life. 47% of this nation gets a lot of their federal tax money back thanks to these factors. By factoring wealth ownership and tax burden, they still end up paying 108% of their “fair share” thanks largely to state and local taxes. The top 20% pay 80% of their share.
The only tax debate going on is this:: how much can the super rich trick the rest of us into fighting on their side to keep their 15% capitol gains deductions (which is how most make their money), their $5 million estate tax exemption, and 70-80% of their income while our schools, our roads, our libraries, our health care, our mental care, our arts and science funding, our programs for the poor, young, and elderly, all of our social structures fall apart for want of money.
Changing ownership to Bimbo (a Mexican company) and taking out a $700 million loan brought them out in 2009.
Not being able to pay that loan (they suspended their $2 billion in pensions) had them filing for bankruptcy in 2011.
Executives also tripled their salaries that same year.
Hostess has also been sitting on valuable real estate, with languishing plants, instead of selling. They use more expensive rental trucks instead of fixing their own fleet.
When faced with the final stages of bankruptcy, they offered their employees more cuts (from their already cut wages, ~$17/hour), cut benefits, lay offs of 1/3 of the work force, contract update to clear out their pensions.
The employees were faced with a choice of making a living or finding a new line of work with making a deal with a proven incompetent management who had already stopped honoring union contracts, failed to update and maintain the business and could not manage to pay back investment loans.