This just in from Hamburg: The US has entered a second Gilded Age, but one in which hedge fund managers have replaced oil barons — and it is killing the American Dream.
And not even the 99 percent (nor Triumph, their Insult Comic Dog) can do anything about it.
Here are a few of the article’s more fascinating, never-yet-revealed-before mysteries behind America’s unsolved perpetual decline and fall:
“We are the 99 percent” is a development that has shaken the world’s most powerful nation to its core (and here I thought it had been the subway line underneath our street).
Inequality in America is greater than it has been in almost a century (wow, I had no idea that inequality was that much worse now than it had been back in 1911, had you?).
Wealth disparity is greater in the US than in Tunisia or Egypt (but our disparity has a much longer democratic tradition or something).
The major economic expansion under President Ronald Reagan benefited only a few, and the problem only grew worse under George W. Bush (but those Clinton and Obama years really rocked though/still rock, don’t they?).
Although the productivity of the US economy has increased considerably since the beginning of the millennium (despite everything having grown worse under George W. Bush?) , most Americans haven’t benefited from it.
The United States has developed into a winner-take-all economy (can they take all our debts with them while they’re at it?).
The extreme deregulation of today’s financial and economic system makes it impossible for individuals’ self-serving behavior to ultimately contribute to the prosperity of society as a whole (that Adam Smith was like such a dolt).
Differences between rich and poor are tolerated as long as the rags-to-riches story of the dishwasher-turned-millionaire remains theoretically possible (so if it stays practically possible toleration time is over or what?).
“In the first Gilded Age, the streets were flooded with protest movements.” Manhattan hasn’t yet quite reached that point.
Has America become an oligarchy!?!
It’s a result of typical bad European journalism. All the European public gets abou the US are stories that are meant to either mock or enflame hatred and condescention.
It must make their flaming-out sting less. Somewhere along the line, we’ll hear that their misfortune is entirely Americans’ fault – that’s the way it always goes.
I just re-read it. EVERY SINGLE assumption in the article is incorrect. ALL OF IT.
Yeah, Joe. Sure. But heartfelt.
It’s a function of style. Pffft! The US tax system is actually more progressive than the German regime. What they’re siezing on, is that the rates themselves are lower.
Then again, it could be worse. We could actualyl LOWER our aggregate tax outlay. Behold these horrors: http://999calculator.net/
Remeber that ONE of the “9s” ends up becoming the payroll deduction: SS, Medicare, Medicaid. The Corporate and Sales tax finances the rest of the government.
The other beauty of the thing is that it neutralizes the effect of importing from places that have VAT. By shifting some of what WOULD come from payroll into sales taxes, the price of domestic goods are reduced compared to imported goods.
In effect, Europe and Canada’s VATs have a tariff effect on exported goods. This equalizes it.