# The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

```Thanks, Jon

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 21:03:04
From: Jonathan Marshall <Jonathan.Marshall@UTS.EDU.AU>
To: CYBERMIND@listserv.wvu.edu

From:
http://www.alternet.org/economy/149918/9_pictures_that_expose_this_country%27s_obscene_division_of_wealth?page=entire

[edited]

Some Wall Street types (and others) make over a billion dollars a year ? each year. How much is a billion dollars? How can you visualize an amount of money so high? Here is one way to think about it: The median household income in the US is around \$29,000, meaning half of us make less and half make more. If you make \$29,000 a year, and don?t spend a single penny of it, it will take you 34,482 years to save a billion dollars....

Some things you could buy if really wealthy:

1) the Maybach car the Landaulet model, costs \$1 million. (Rush Limbaugh, who has 5 homes in Palm Beach, drives a cheaper Maybach 57 S -- but makes up for it by owning 6 of them.). Your \$1 billion will buy you a thousand Maybach Landaulets

2) Some hotels charge \$20-30,000 per night. A billion dollars will buy you a \$20,000 room every night for 137 years

3) Some people spend as much as \$200 million or more on a single yacht. You can buy ten \$100 million yachts with a billion dollars

4) There are approximately 15,000 private jets registered in the US according to NBAA. You can pick one up for around \$40 million, maybe \$60 million for top-of-the-line. Your billion will buy you 25 of these.

[etc]

So you say to yourself, "I want me some of that. I?d like to place the following order, please.":

One Maybach Landaulet for \$1 million to drive around in.
One \$100 million yacht for when I want to get seasick.
One Gulfstream G550 private jet for \$40 million.
One private island for \$24.5 million (castle included) for when I want to escape the masses.
One \$8 million estate for when I have to go ashore and mingle with the masses (but not too close.)
One \$5 million watch so I can have one.
Total: \$178.5 million.

My change after paying with a billion-dollar bill is a meager \$821.5 million. I can still stay in a \$20,000 hotel room every night for 112 and 1/2 years.

As you see, \$1 billion is more than enough to really live it up. Some people today are amassing multiples of billions

And the concentration of income and wealth is increasing. The top 1% took in 23.5% of all of the country?s income in 2007. In 1979 they only took in 8.9%.

Between 1979 and 2008, the top 5% of American families saw their real incomes increase 73%, according to Census data. Over the same period, the lowest-income fifth (20% of us) saw a decrease in real income of 4.1%. The rest were just stagnant or saw very little increase.
http://extremeinequality.org/?page_id=8

Wealth can be inherited and accumulates over the years.... The top 1% owns more than 90% of us combined. In 2007, the latest year for which figures are available from the Federal Reserve Board, the richest 1% of U.S. households owned 33.8% of the nation?s private wealth. That?s more than the combined wealth of the bottom 90 percent.

The combined net worth of the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans in 2007 was \$1.5 trillion. The combined net worth of the poorest 50% of American households (about 150 million people) was \$1.6 trillion

The top 1% also own 50.9% of all stocks, bonds, and mutual fund assets. The top 10% own 90.3%.

Income inequality is actually greater in the United States than it is in Egypt - and this does affect politics.  It makes legislation which favours the wealthy and increases inequality, but it also protects the wealthy form the consequences of their profit.

The Koch brothers are said to have a net worth of \$21.5 billion each. They financed the Tea Party movement and, along with big corporations and other billionaires, they financed the massive assault of TV ads in the midterm elections that helped change the makeup of the Congress. And now Congress is paying them back:

Nine of the 12 new Republicans on the panel signed a pledge distributed by a Koch-founded advocacy group ? Americans for Prosperity ? to oppose the Obama administration's proposal to regulate greenhouse gases. Of the six GOP freshman lawmakers on the panel, five benefited from the group's separate advertising and grassroots activity during the 2010 campaign.

Republicans on the committee have launched an agenda of the sort long backed by the Koch brothers. A top early goal: restricting the reach of the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the Kochs' core energy businesses.

http://toomuchonline.org/
http://www.cbpp.org/research/index.cfm?fa=topic&id=36

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