The United States is the richest country the earth has ever known. And today, the wealthiest 1% of Americans own 40% of this great wealth. The remaining 99% percent of us hold 60% of America’s wealth between us. The gap between the ultra-wealthy and the remainder of us has grown larger over the past 50 years to an unprecedented level.
The richest 1% live lives that are completely different than the rest of us. They have multiple homes – in the nicest locations – the best of everything, and never have to worry about problems of saving for retirement, healthcare, or providing for their children. When you have 10s of millions, none of those issues that the rest of us deal with on a daily basis are of concern. The rich live in a world of entitlement that insulates them from the reality of others. They have never had it better.
But it isn’t enough. They want more. Donald Trump, in complete indifference to the promises he made as a candidate, is fully onboard with their desires. There are numerous examples, including his support to reduce regulations that are designed to protect people from the excesses of business, killing healthcare, reducing budgets for social programs, etc.
But the biggest and most obvious example is the misnamed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This bill includes a number of intentionally confusing provisions that contain both positive and negative implications for the 99% – but it is CLEARLY designed to provide huge benefits for the 1%. When the original versions from both the House and Senate were unveiled, they were roundly criticized as being Robin Hood in reverse. So, we were told that they would make it better in conference.
But the latest version, unveiled just yesterday, is worse. Now it provides an even greater break for the wealthiest. Why? Because those who already have so much – wanted more – and they compelled their Republican servants in office to give it to them. And they did – to the detriment of the rest of us.
The people aren’t completely stupid. They do have a voice at the ballot box. They have been fooled before (Exhibit A – Donald Trump). But they won’t be fooled again. And this time, the social issues won’t be enough to convince people to vote against their own economic self interest.
There will be a swing in power – a huge swing – as a result of the next national election. Republicans will be thrown out of office in massive numbers. And Democrats will be empowered – even compelled – to reclaim wealth from the richest 1%. It will be ugly.
And so it will come to pass. In their greed, the rich will be brought down. They couldn’t leave well enough alone, and they will pay the price. As they should.