DEAR AMERICA: You Should Be Mad As Hell About This [CHARTS]

Ellis Island

[credit provider=”Library of Congress”]

In November, Americans will have a chance to speak their minds.

And there’s one thing everyone should agree on:

America just isn’t working right now.

It’s not just Americans who aren’t working. It’s America itself, a country whose economy once worked for almost everyone, not just the rich.

In the old America, if you worked hard, you had a good chance of moving up.

In the old America, the fruits of people’s labors accrued to the whole country, not just the top.

In the old America, there was a strong middle class, and their immense collective purchasing power drove the economy for decades.

No longer.

Over the past couple of decades, the disparity between “the 1%” and everyone else has hit a level not seen since the 1920s. And there is a widespread and growing sense that life here is not fair or right.

If America cannot figure out a way to fix these problems, the country will likely become increasingly polarised and de-stabilised. And if that happens, the recent “Occupy” protests will likely be only the beginning.

The problem in a nutshell is this:

In the never-ending tug-of-war between “labour” and “capital,” there has rarely—if ever—been a time when “capital” was so clearly winning.

And that’s not just unfair.

It’s un-American.

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[slide
permalink=”lets-start-with-the-obvious-unemployment-three-years-after-the-financial-crisis-the-unemployment-rate-is-still-at-one-of-the-highest-levels-since-the-great-depression-1″
title=”Let’s start with the obvious: Unemployment. Three years after the financial crisis, the unemployment rate is still at one of the highest levels since the Great Depression.”
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[slide
permalink=”a-record-percentage-of-unemployed-people-have-been-unemployed-for-longer-than-6-months-2″
title=”A record percentage of unemployed people have been unemployed for longer than 6 months.”
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[slide
permalink=”our-8-unemployment-rate-by-the-way-equates-to-about-13-million-americanspeople-who-want-to-work-but-cant-find-a-job-3″
title=”Our 8% unemployment rate, by the way, equates to about 13 million Americans—people who want to work but can’t find a job.”
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[slide
permalink=”and-when-you-include-people-working-part-time-who-want-to-work-full-time-plus-some-people-who-havent-looked-for-a-job-in-a-while-unemployment-is-at-15-4″
title=”And when you include people working part-time who want to work full-time, plus some people who haven’t looked for a job in a while, unemployment is at 15%”
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[slide
permalink=”yes-the-number-of-jobs-has-started-to-grow-again-and-unemployments-coming-down-slowly-but-we-still-have-miles-to-go-we-havent-yet-recovered-even-half-of-the-jobs-we-lost-in-the-recession-5″
title=”Yes, the number of jobs has started to grow again, and unemployment’s coming down slowly. But we still have miles to go. We haven’t yet recovered even half of the jobs we lost in the recession.”
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[slide
permalink=”put-differently-a-lower-percentage-of-americans-are-working-than-any-time-since-the-early-1980s-and-the-boom-prior-to-that-by-the-way-was-from-women-entering-the-workforce-6″
title=”Put differently, a lower percentage of Americans are working than any time since the early 1980s (And the boom prior to that, by the way, was from women entering the workforce).”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”so-thats-the-jobs-picture-not-pretty-7″
title=”So that’s the jobs picture. Not pretty.”
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[slide
permalink=”and-now-we-turn-to-the-other-side-of-this-issue–the-americans-for-whom-life-has-never-been-better-the-owners-8″
title=”And now we turn to the other side of this issue … the Americans for whom life has never been better. The OWNERS.”
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[slide
permalink=”corporate-profits-just-hit-another-all-time-high-9″
title=”Corporate profits just hit another all-time high.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4fcf99edecad04f603000027″
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[slide
permalink=”corporate-profits-as-a-percent-of-the-economy-also-just-hit-an-all-time-high-profits-are-now-vastly-higher-than-theyve-been-for-most-of-the-last-half-century-10″
title=”Corporate profits as a per cent of the economy also just hit an all-time high. Profits are now VASTLY higher than they’ve been for most of the last half-century.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4fcf9a1c6bb3f7a42c000005″
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[slide
permalink=”if-corporations-are-doing-so-well-everyone-who-works-for-them-should-be-doing-great-right-wrong-the-folks-who-are-doing-well-are-at-the-top-ceo-pay-is-now-350x-the-average-workers-up-from-50x-from-1960-1985-11″
title=”If corporations are doing so well, everyone who works for them should be doing great, right? Wrong. The folks who are doing well are at the top. CEO pay is now 350X the average worker’s, up from 50X from 1960-1985.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e9460baeab8ea2d4d000022″
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[slide
permalink=”ceo-pay-has-skyrocketed-300-since-1990-corporate-profits-have-doubled-average-production-worker-pay-has-increased-4-the-minimum-wage-has-dropped-all-numbers-adjusted-for-inflation-12″
title=”CEO pay has skyrocketed 300% since 1990. Corporate profits have doubled. Average “production worker” pay has increased 4%. The minimum wage has dropped. (All numbers adjusted for inflation).”
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[slide
permalink=”after-adjusting-for-inflation-average-hourly-earnings-havent-increased-in-50-years-13″
title=”After adjusting for inflation, average hourly earnings haven’t increased in 50 years.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bbcb53d7f8b9a2e1beb0c00″
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[slide
permalink=”in-short–while-ceos-and-shareholders-have-been-cashing-in-wages-as-a-percent-of-the-economy-have-dropped-to-an-all-time-low-14″
title=”In short … while CEOs and shareholders have been cashing in, wages as a per cent of the economy have dropped to an all-time low.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4fcf9a4c6bb3f7d52c000003″
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[slide
permalink=”in-other-words-in-the-struggle-between-labor-and-capital-capital-has-basically-won-this-man-lives-in-a-tent-city-in-lakewood-new-jersey-about-a-hundred-miles-from-wall-street-he-would-presumably-be-labor-except-that-he-lost-his-job-and-cant-find-another-one-15″
title=”In other words, in the struggle between “labour” and “capital,” capital has basically won. (This man lives in a tent city in Lakewood, New Jersey, about a hundred miles from Wall Street. He would presumably be “labour,” except that he lost his job and can’t find another one.)”
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[slide
permalink=”of-course-life-is-great-if-youre-in-the-top-1-of-american-wage-earners-youre-hauling-in-a-bigger-percentage-of-the-countrys-total-pre-tax-income-than-you-have-at-any-time-since-the-late-1920s-your-share-of-the-national-income-in-fact-is-almost-2x-the-long-term-average-16″
title=”Of course, life is great if you’re in the top 1% of American wage earners. You’re hauling in a bigger percentage of the country’s total pre-tax income than you have at any time since the late 1920s. Your share of the national income, in fact, is almost 2X the long-term average!”
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[slide
permalink=”and-the-top-01-in-america-are-doing-way-better-than-the-top-01-in-other-first-world-countries-17″
title=”And the top 0.1% in America are doing way better than the top 0.1% in other first-world countries.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4cd7fa6b49e2ae461a060000″
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[slide
permalink=”it-wasnt-always-this-way–from-1917-to-1981-the-bottom-90-of-wage-earners-in-this-country-blue-captured-69-of-the-total-wage-growth-the-richest-10-meanwhile-got-31-of-the-wage-gains-18″
title=”It wasn’t always this way … From 1917 to 1981, the bottom 90% of wage earners in this country (blue) captured 69% of the total wage growth. The richest 10%, meanwhile, got 31% of the wage gains.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e9a0f7e6bb3f75043000015″
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[slide
permalink=”between-1981-and-2008-however-things-changed-the-richest-10-grabbed-96-of-the-income-gains-in-those-years-leaving-only-4-for-the-bottom-90-19″
title=”Between 1981 and 2008, however, things changed. The richest 10% grabbed 96% of the income gains in those years, leaving only 4% for the bottom 90%.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e9a101aeab8ea062100001e”
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[slide
permalink=”and-from-1997-2008-things-got-grossly-unfair-all-of-the-wage-gains-went-to-the-top-10-the-wages-of-the-bottom-90-meanwhile-declined-20″
title=”And from 1997-2008, things got grossly unfair. ALL of the wage gains went to the top 10%. The wages of the bottom 90%, meanwhile, declined.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e9a0fb86bb3f7754b000000″
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[slide
permalink=”in-fact-income-inequality-has-gotten-so-extreme-here-that-the-us-now-ranks-93rd-in-the-world-in-income-equality-chinas-ahead-of-us-so-is-india-so-is-iran-21″
title=”In fact, income inequality has gotten so extreme here that the US now ranks 93rd in the world in “income equality.” China’s ahead of us. So is India. So is Iran.”
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[slide
permalink=”and-by-the-way-few-people-would-have-a-problem-with-inequality-if-the-american-dream-were-still-fully-intactif-it-were-easy-to-work-your-way-into-that-top-1-but-unfortunately-social-mobility-in-this-country-is-also-near-an-all-time-low-22″
title=”And, by the way, few people would have a problem with inequality if the American Dream were still fully intact—if it were easy to work your way into that top 1%. But, unfortunately, social mobility in this country is also near an all-time low.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bbcbdbb7f8b9acb194a0300″
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[slide
permalink=”so-what-does-all-this-mean-in-terms-of-net-worth-well-for-starters-it-means-that-the-top-1-of-americans-own-42-of-the-financial-wealth-in-this-country-the-top-5-meanwhile-own-nearly-70-23″
title=”So what does all this mean in terms of net worth? Well, for starters, it means that the top 1% of Americans own 42% of the financial wealth in this country. The top 5%, meanwhile, own nearly 70%.”
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[slide
permalink=”thats-about-60-of-the-net-worth-of-the-country-held-by-the-top-5-left-chart-24″
title=”That’s about 60% of the net worth of the country held by the top 5% (left chart).”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e9460fdeab8ea254d000025″
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[slide
permalink=”and-remember-that-huge-debt-problem-we-havewith-hundreds-of-millions-of-americans-indebted-up-to-their-eyeballs-well-the-top-1-doesnt-have-that-problem-they-only-own-5-of-the-countrys-debt-25″
title=”And remember that huge debt problem we have—with hundreds of millions of Americans indebted up to their eyeballs? Well, the top 1% doesn’t have that problem. They only own 5% of the country’s debt.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e9460de6bb3f73b6300002c”
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[slide
permalink=”and-then-there-are-taxes–its-a-great-time-to-make-a-boatload-of-money-in-america-because-taxes-on-the-nations-highest-earners-are-close-to-the-lowest-theyve-ever-been-26″
title=”And then there are taxes … It’s a great time to make a boatload of money in America, because taxes on the nation’s highest-earners are close to the lowest they’ve ever been.”
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[slide
permalink=”the-aggregate-tax-rate-for-the-top-1-is-lower-than-for-the-next-9and-not-much-higher-than-it-is-for-pretty-much-everyone-else-27″
title=”The aggregate tax rate for the top 1% is lower than for the next 9%—and not much higher than it is for pretty much everyone else.”
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[slide
permalink=”as-the-nations-richest-people-often-point-out-they-do-pay-the-lions-share-of-taxes-in-the-country-the-richest-20-pay-64-of-the-total-taxes-lower-bar-of-course-thats-because-they-also-make-most-of-the-money-top-bar-28″
title=”As the nation’s richest people often point out, they do pay the lion’s share of taxes in the country: The richest 20% pay 64% of the total taxes. (Lower bar). Of course, that’s because they also make most of the money. (Top bar).”
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[slide
permalink=”and-now-we-come-to-the-type-of-american-corporation-that-getsand-deservesa-big-share-of-the-blame-the-banks-willie-sutton-once-explained-that-the-reason-he-robbed-banks-was-because-thats-where-the-money-is-the-man-knew-his-stuff-29″
title=”And now we come to the type of American corporation that gets—and deserves—a big share of the blame: The banks. Willie Sutton once explained that the reason he robbed banks was because “that’s where the money is.” The man knew his stuff.”
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[slide
permalink=”remember-when-we-bailed-out-the-banks-remember-why-we-bailed-them-out-we-bailed-them-out-we-were-told-so-that-the-banks-could-keep-lending-to-american-businesses-without-that-lending-we-were-told-society-would-collapse–30″
title=”Remember when we bailed out the banks? Remember WHY we bailed them out? We bailed them out, we were told, so that the banks could keep lending to American businesses. Without that lending, we were told, society would collapse …”
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[slide
permalink=”so-did-the-banks-keep-lending-after-we-bailed-them-out-no-bank-lending-dropped-sharply-and-it-has-yet-to-fully-recover-31″
title=”So, did the banks keep lending after we bailed them out? No. Bank lending dropped sharply, and it has yet to fully recover.”
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[slide
permalink=”real-estate-loans-are-still-down–32″
title=”Real-estate loans are still down …”
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[slide
permalink=”commercial-loans-are-still-below-their-peak-33″
title=”Commercial loans are still below their peak.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4fcf9d84eab8ea3e08000021″
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[slide
permalink=”so-what-have-banks-been-doing-since-2007-if-not-lending-money-to-american-companies-lending-money-to-americas-government-by-buying-risk-free-treasury-bonds-and-other-government-guaranteed-securities-34″
title=”So, what have banks been doing since 2007 if not lending money to American companies? Lending money to America’s government! By buying risk-free Treasury bonds and other government-guaranteed securities.”
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[slide
permalink=”and-remarkably-the-banks-have-also-been-collecting-interest-on-money-they-are-not-lendingthe-excess-reserves-they-have-at-the-fed-back-in-the-financial-crisis-the-fed-decided-to-help-bail-out-the-banks-by-paying-them-interest-on-this-money-that-theyre-not-lending-and-theyre-happily-still-collecting-it-its-awesome-to-be-a-bank-35″
title=”And, remarkably, the banks have also been collecting interest on money they are NOT lending—the “excess reserves” they have at the Fed. Back in the financial crisis, the Fed decided to help bail out the banks by paying them interest on this money that they’re not lending. And they’re happily still collecting it. (It’s AWESOME to be a bank.)”
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[slide
permalink=”meanwhile-of-course-the-banks-are-able-to-borrow-money-for-free-because-the-fed-has-slashed-rates-to-basically-zero-and-the-banks-have-slashed-the-rates-they-pay-on-deposits-to-basically-zero-so-they-can-have-all-the-money-they-wantfor-nearly-free-36″
title=”Meanwhile, of course, the banks are able to borrow money FOR FREE. Because the Fed has slashed rates to basically zero. And the banks have slashed the rates they pay on deposits to basically zero. So they can have all the money they want—for nearly free!”
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[slide
permalink=”when-you-can-borrow-money-for-nothing-and-lend-it-back-to-the-government-risk-free-for-a-few-percentage-points-you-can-coin-money-and-the-banks-are-doing-that-according-to-institutional-risk-analytics-the-net-interest-margin-made-by-us-banks-in-the-first-six-months-of-last-year-was-211-billion-nice-37″
title=”When you can borrow money for nothing, and lend it back to the government risk-free for a few percentage points, you can COIN MONEY. And the banks are doing that. According to Institutional Risk Analytics, the “net interest margin” made by US banks in the first six months of last year was $211 Billion. Nice!”
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[slide
permalink=”and-that-helped-produce-58-billion-of-profit-in-the-first-six-months-of-the-year-38″
title=”And that helped produce $58 billion of profit in the first six months of the year.”
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[slide
permalink=”and-it-has-helped-generate-near-record-financial-sector-profitswhile-the-rest-of-the-country-struggles-with-its-8-unemployment-rate-39″
title=”And it has helped generate near-record financial sector profits—while the rest of the country struggles with its 8% unemployment rate.”
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[slide
permalink=”and-these-profits-are-getting-back-toward-a-record-as-a-percentage-of-all-corporate-profits-40″
title=”And these profits are getting back toward a record as a percentage of all corporate profits.”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”those-profits-of-course-are-after-the-banks-have-paid-their-bankers-and-its-still-great-to-be-a-banker-the-average-banker-in-new-york-city-made-361330-in-2010-not-bad-41″
title=”Those profits, of course, are AFTER the banks have paid their bankers. And it’s still great to be a banker. The average banker in New York City made $361,330 in 2010. Not bad!”
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[slide
permalink=”this-average-wall-street-salary-was-6x-the-average-private-sector-salary-which-in-turn-is-actually-lower-than-the-average-government-salary-but-thats-a-different-issue-42″
title=”This average Wall Street salary was 6X the average private-sector salary (which, in turn, is actually lower than the average government salary, but that’s a different issue).”
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[slide
permalink=”so-it-really-doesnt-suck-to-be-a-banker-43″
title=”So it REALLY doesn’t suck to be a banker.”
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[slide
permalink=”so-the-1-is-doing-great-and-the-99-are-getting-the-shaft-but-maybe-the-governments-stepping-in-to-help-everyone–by-building-roads-or-something-44″
title=”So, the 1% is doing great, and the 99% are getting the shaft, but maybe the government’s stepping in to help everyone … by building roads or something?”
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[slide
permalink=”nope-public-construction-spending-is-falling-45″
title=”Nope. Public construction spending is falling.”
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[slide
permalink=”including-on-roads–46″
title=”Including on roads …”
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[slide
permalink=”and-transportation–47″
title=”and transportation …”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4fd023fbeab8eaaf2d000002″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”and-schools-48″
title=”and schools.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4fd024eaecad04f877000021″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”in-short-america-just-isnt-america-anymore-49″
title=”In short, America just isn’t America anymore.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4fa2d85769bedd4e78000002″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”so-thats-what-americans-should-be-mad-as-hell-about-50″
title=”So that’s what Americans should be mad as hell about.”
content=”Now here’s how to fix it >
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e4be3a4eab8ea9c06000032″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]