Give Us Your Lavishly Rich, Your Xenophobic

Immigrants. Taking our jobs and public assistance. The cause of all
our problems.

But it's not true. We're blaming people who are struggling day-by-day
to survive on their own or support their families, while we applaud a
system that allows a financial expert to make enough money to pay the
salaries of 50,000 police officers.

Here are some facts:

The Census Bureau and the World Wealth Report 2010 both report
increases for the top 5% of households even during the current

Based on Internal Revenue Service figures, the richest 1% have TRIPLED
their cut of America's income pie in one generation. In 1980 the
richest 1% of America took one of every fifteen income dollars. Now
they take THREE of every fifteen income dollars. That's a TRILLION
extra dollars a year.

Some ultra-rich individuals, like hedge fund managers David Tepper and
John Paulson, made $4 billion in a year (on most of which they paid
only a 15% capital gains tax rate). This is enough to pay the salaries
of every public school teacher in New York City.

But we blame the immigrants instead of the people taking unimaginable
amounts of money from society.

Howard Zinn wrote about the petty thieves who go to jail for crimes
averaging $1000 per offense, while sophisticated financial insiders
get probation for swindling millions from the system. The only
difference now is that it's "legal" to use financial trickery to
divert funds from education and infrastructure to a few
well-positioned money managers.

The way it's supposed to work, say the free-market tax-me-not
supply-side trickle-down tea-party advocates, is that the rich will
create jobs and stimulate the economy by investing in new production.
But the richest 1%, who used to take $7 of every $100 of America's
income, have increased that to $20 of every $100 in just one

To put it another way, if the bottom 90% had shared in America's
prosperity at a level consistent with 1980 incomes, the average
middle-class family would be making $45,000 a year instead of $35,000.

And it's not just the rich individuals, but also the corporations that
are taking money meant for jobs and public needs. Fareed Zakaria noted
in Newsweek that the 500 largest non-financial companies are sitting
on $1.8 trillion in uninvested cash.

Zinn said change will occur only through direct action by the people,
as occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. The poor foreigner is not the
enemy. It's the person or corporation who siphons money away from the
rest of us while supporting our irrational fears through the media and
the military.

Give us your tired, your poor.

Give us your manipulator of finances.

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