The richest one percent in America are richer than they’ve been in decades. There are many factors contributing to that. They hoard their cash, buy politicians who will protect their interests, and they also have a certain amount of control over our media.
The current concentration of wealth hasn’t been this high since the Roaring 20s, the decade whose excessive living and decadence led to the Great Depression.
The richest people in America hoard excruciatingly high amounts of their money. An article by Richard Eskow indicates that “37 percent of their income goes unspent” and 60 percent of them have no plans for that money. That is millions of dollars just sitting in a bank account, collecting dust and making no contribution to the economy. As Eskow puts it, it “means that it isn’t creating jobs or economic growth.”
The United States government also belongs to the wealthy as only “less than 0.01 percent of the nation’s population contributed 28 percent of the country’s total political contributions.” That’s a lot of muscle that the wealthy have on Capitol Hill. And, of course, the wealthy are going to spend on politicians who are going to look after their money-driven interests. In 2012, the wealthy gave nearly $2 billion in political contributions and “84 percent of Congress took in more from the 0.01 percent than they did from all other donors combined.”
Eskow also points out that corporate profits are the highest they’ve been since the mid-20th century. In the third quarter of 2012, corporate profits “stood at 14.2 percent . . . which is higher than they’ve been since 1950.” Corporations have earned 20 percent more than the previous year since the crash in 2008 and one percent “capture[d] 121 percent of income gains since” that same year.
Not only have the wealthy pocketed a good chunk of Washington, they have also seized a majority of the country’s news outlets.
Wealthy corporations have all but solidified their hold on American media. Six companies now control 90 percent of the news providers compared to the 50 companies that owned them three decades ago. There is an inherent, internal influence from the owners of a news organization.
The owners or publishers of the outlet dictate what to cover to the president of the paper, stations, etc. who then hands it down to the editors and then to the writers/anchors. Now, 90 percent of media outlets have a restricted and biased agenda. And that, along with buying politicians like baseball cards, is what the wealthy do with their money.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.