Speaking of the 99% versus the 1%

Speaking of the 99% versus the 1% - a new report out of the International Monetary Fund finds that one of the greatest factors for prolonged economic growth in a nation is a low level of wealth inequality. By reviewing economies around the world – and looking at economic variables such as political institutions, debt, and trade – the study found that by far – it’s wealth inequality that has the greatest effect on sustained economic growth – and that if nations are made 10% more equitable in their wealth distribution – then they could see economic growth sustained for 50% longer.

As in – if you spread the wealth around a little better – then you’ll see much better economic growth for the whole nation. Currently – the United States is the most unequal nation in the developed world – and more unequal than nations like the Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Pakistan. We have a lot of work to do to fix this imbalance – and it starts with Wall Street.


mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 37 weeks ago

I made a chart last night to better show the class difference: http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/mathboy/blog/2011/10/wealth-disparity-more-helpful-infographic

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 37 weeks ago

Nice chart, Mathboy! Too bad that one right wing idiot chimed in with his two cents worth...

Charts help tell the real story...but cartoons often also help in that regard. I am no cartoonist but I had a mental cartoon of a fat man sitting at a table (a very thick slab of gold laced marble) being supported on the backs of emaciated and downtrodden workers. On the table next to the huge platter of caviar and lobster sits a first edition of "Atlas Shrugged". The man's chair was a gold laced marble throne being supported by other sickly workers. And the slobbering porcine man says "money has to be 'earned' and not just given to people". He blurts out to the workers..."Now, who is the culprit who whispered that I inherited most of my money and got the rest by stealing from the poor...and that I would burn in hell? Jesus was a capitalist and you will all suffer your fate because you didn't follow my religion...and believeth in me...for I am the light. I'm so magnanimous, righteous, and holy I deserve everything I own...and you all don't! I tell you, you are all so lucky that I let you 'support me'...you should all be kissing my feet!" And then, one of the stammering workers replies with " but, but, wasn't Ayn Rand an atheist?" The fat man turns red and chokes to death on his own folly..his golden slippers shrivel up and the fat man melts. Hi, ho, the dary-o. Swing-em hi, and swing-em low. Hi, ho, the wicked witch is dead!....the death of capitalism? laissez faire killed capitalism...off with his head!

Well, that might be a lot to put into a cartoon...and I wouldn't be surprised if a similar one hasn't already been published.

I'm going to have to stop eating all of those cat-flavored chili poppers before bed.

Bandy Legged Marsupial Cave Rabbi's picture
Bandy Legged Ma... 12 years 37 weeks ago

In response to the news I heard on the show today that Ken Salazar had declared hydro-fracking to be 'safe', I wrote him the following letter which you can read here: Another Betrayal.

DJ Pullstart 12 years 37 weeks ago

"When the white man discovered this country, Indians were running it. No taxes, no debt, women did all the work. White man thought he could improve on a system like this." ..... Cherokee saying.

Chubbell 12 years 37 weeks ago

Nope. They don't care. Same thing happened in 1929.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 12 years 37 weeks ago

I agree with Chubbell, except it's not that they don't care, it's because that's the way they planned for it to be once they cashed in on Roosevelt securities issued during the Depression, many of which have been stolen from Charitable Trusts, Foundations, and Private Trusts and Wills.

It was planned for the G.W.Bush generation to have everything in their hands, easily demonstrated by calculating the age of the New Deal securities.

It was the robber barons' collective ultimate revenge on the Roosevelts for upsetting their arsenic-laden apple carts.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 12 years 37 weeks ago

Yes, sure the "top" 1% care and of course they will pay attention. IF they believe that without their cooperation we are going to TAKE BACK what they have stolen from us through government action or through non-violent refusal to cooperate.

The problem with dealing with sociopaths is that we first have to convince them that it's in THEIR best interest to stop harming us. Because they literally could not care less about the harm they have done to us. In fact, those at the top actually feel a sadistic pleasure in harming us. If we can't convince them that it is in their best interest to stop harming us, it will just keep getting worse. Which is why so many people are non-violently occupying so many cities.

The "top" 1% have been trying to turn America into a strongly patriarchal society like Italy and Germany were when the top 1% over there started fascism and the Nazi party. Because in a patriarchal society you have to obey authority even when the authority orders you to violate your conscience and break laws. Which is exactly why the republicans are promoting this whole "Biblical" thing where the woman has to obey the man and women can't control their own reproductive choices. The republicans are trying to change America's relative equality of the sexes, back into a dark ages thing where there is a very strict chain of command: the woman obeys the man or he beats her or kills her, the man obeys the government or the government beats him or kills him, and the government obeys the corporations or the corporations have the government officials beaten or killed. And if the republicans could convince enough women to be subservient to men, they would win this whole thing and they would turn America into an outright fascist country, and the entire world would sink into a condition that would make the dark ages look like heaven.

The republican attempt to do this horrible thing is rank hypocricy, because come on: is there one person on this entire planet who believes that Sarah Palin obeys her husband? Why, if he crossed her she would gut him with a boat hook. And who among us believes that Michelle Bachman is subservient to her husband?

The answer is simple: civil disobedience. Just as is happening all over America. The banks and other corporations own our criminal Supreme Court, our congress, and our White House. They own our police and our military. But when enough of us take to the streets for long enough, they will fold. No government can control a populace that refuses to cooperate.

Now, the next question is, just how stupid are those would-be fascists who want to run America? I ask this question because how stupid they are will indicate how long it will take to convince them that they have lost again. America does not belong to international criminals, to fascists and would-be dictators. America does not belong to war-mongering inhuman cruelty. America belongs to patriots, to people who believe in freedom. This is our country, our flag, our constitution.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 12 years 37 weeks ago

Most of us know trickle down republican-style destroys the economy, while trickle down democratic- style, where the rich pay their fair share of tax, grows the economy. The wealthy benefit either way, but everyone benefits the democratic way. Maybe the top 1% would pay attention and be more willing to close the wealth inequality gap if we simply change the word taxation to business reinvestment. Tax payments really do trickle down and create jobs which in turn creates economic growth. In fact, I just paid my local school district well over $4000 in property tax and view it as an investment in our community's future. I know those taxes create good jobs and also prepare young people to become wealth creators for the so called job creators.

Ron_C's picture
Ron_C 12 years 37 weeks ago

Nothing short of an armed revolution will get the attention of the top 1%. They have the ability to live and travel almost completely isolated from the general population. I doubt that they care for anything beyond amassing as much wealth as possible and enjoying the fruits of their labor. People like Buffet and Gates are the rare exception.

Do you really think you can affect a Hedge Fund manager? The only way to get their notice is by a significant tax increase. Put a limit on capital gains exemption, say a million dollars a year and put an income tax increase on income more than 5 million at about 55%, that will get their attention.

Money talks, b.s. walks.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 12 years 37 weeks ago

You can rationalize with 99% of the people, some of the time.
And you can rationalize with some of the people, most of the time.
But you can't rationalize with the 1%, any of the time.

mythomaccount's picture
mythomaccount 12 years 37 weeks ago

Please pass along this song to Thom. It was written by a friend of mine and sounds like it would be perfect for one of your little audio song clips when you are coming back on after a break during discussions about the 99% movement.


dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 12 years 37 weeks ago

Wall street aside...I heard you talking with Mr. Gaynor on thurs in regards to the over regulation issue and how the companies then can't affor to pay people, some jive like that. I'm sick of hearing that excuse when just the other day you were discussing the % differenc between what CEOs made way back vrs. what CEOs make today. Seems to me if a CEO can take a wage of $10,000,000 or $100,000,000 then regulation is far from the issue. I would like to hear your show some day make that point. I mean seriously just how much is being a CEO worth when someone makes an idiodic point like to much regulations. Seems to me the regulation should be on just how much CEOs can make. You know minimum wage and maximum? Just wondering...

Sprague 12 years 37 weeks ago

Plutocracy: Government by the Wealthy.

Please don't demonize, "the wealthy" or talk about "Class Warfare".

Love the wealthy. Most of us want to be wealthy. When our children do bad things, we establish guidelines and limits to their activities. However, we still love them.

Fight Plutocracy. Fight what the wealthy do. They use Corporate money, and their own to buy legislation that benefits the wealthy without regard for the effects on, "We the people". When they buy legislation by Campaign Contributions, PACs to Attack their opponents, Lobbying, and hiring exPolitical Aids and Office Holders, use the word that describes what they do: Plutocracy.

Almost all legislation can now be traced to support for, or threat to withold support for reelection. Examples of Plutocracy:

Pink Slime is labelled a "Processing Agent"

Pipeline from Canada to Texas will be approveds even though, "We the People" oppose it.

Milk labels don't list growth hormones.

Unrestricted use of antibiotics (2/3 of US consumption are added to feed) by Corporate meat raisers,

Implementation of EPA rules delayed.

Planned Post Office Shock Doctrine fiscal crisis.

Support Plutocracy, Vote Republican.


carlos1947's picture
carlos1947 12 years 37 weeks ago


I listen to your show as often as time permits, and the one thing I come back to is that there are two types of people, the one’s that defend their position with carful thought and analysis (a good example: YOU) willing to concede a topic if presented with indisputable evidences or admit that they may be wrong when the facts are not readily available. Then there are those whose personality prevents them from ever conceding a possibility that they may be incorrect or have their facts distorted. This is the point at which critical thinking has ceased to exist and they begin to defend their theories with accusations and intimidation. I like to consider myself to be open minded, striving always to conceder all ideas. I have a saying that I came up with, many years ago, that whenever I find myself straying I use. I believe very much in these words and I hope that I can encourage others to believe in them also:

"Fixed ideas are monuments to man’s stupidity".


Carlos F. Garces

jstrahan's picture
jstrahan 12 years 37 weeks ago

It won't make that much difference unless information of this sort is made public to people like those in the streets around the country protesting the concentration of wealth in this country and the growing concern the American Dream is disappearing. There is simply no fair and balanced news reporting going on in this country as the sources are controlled primarily by the right. I think we also need a pledge and require all Democratic legislators sign same to find out who is with us and who is not with us and should be replaced in the next election. I for one am tired of hearing Republicans talk about the failed policies of Obama when Repbublicans filibustered 75% of all Democratic bills since Obama came into office and don't permit any improvement in the unemployment rate by firing almost 1 million workers in states with Republican governors.I say Thom Hartmann for V.P. in 2012 and President in 2016.

cygnus1's picture
cygnus1 12 years 37 weeks ago

For as long as the money system is allowed to develop in a society, no amount of revolution or protests are going to change the economic climate of the nation or that of the world.

The 1% cannot relate to you, the less fortunate or the poor. Nor do the majority of the 1 percent care about you, they only care about what you can do for them. The 1% give to charities but only for the purpose of tax writeoffs.

The United States is being held hostage, as many other nations are, by Israel's itinerary. The United States itinerary is Israel's itinerary. Just look whose payroll your sons and daughters are on in foreign countries murdering innocent people all for the corporate dollar. Wall Street is no different than the IMF, World Bank or foreign run Federal Reserve. The 1% put the economic squeeze upon whomever they please and the media belongs to them. It is one big onion skin.

All a revolution will do will bring about a change in policy of who will be the next dictator working for the onion skin whether that dictator will be a President or otherwise and which elected ones (including Congress, etc) will abscond with your money. In this all nations are tied together and whenever a so-called leader steps out of place with Israel's agenda, that leader will find him or herself either assassinated or blacklisted by the United States government run by lobbyists who work for Israel's finest interests.

Take a look at the new maps: there is no Palestine. There never was supposed to be. And Israel's enemies (for Israel makes them enemies) in the Arab world are infiltrated with CIA and Mossad and Blackwater posing as revolutionaries murdering the other revolutionaries around them, and creating chaos in order to place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the present governments in order that they be overturned and puppet regimes put in their place. Blackwater creates infighting among the revolutionaries so the oneness of development of character will never take place. This oneness is what makes Israel strong, because the U.S. dollar is handled in many ways by the ones working for Israel.

The U.S. military is handled by Israel as is NATO, and the governments are infiltrated by Israel. This is why British policy was once changed from placing arrest warrants for Israeli war criminals who came to Britain into a policy which would see not one arrested.

Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel (which is not a nation for it has broken every nationhood rule of the U.N.) walks freely into one of the most restricted sites of the United States of America and that is the Pentagon, where he gives the orders and meets President Obama who is also indebted to him for his position in the White House, behind closed doors.

Do your homework and you will see the onion skin and the connection the money system has made worldwide, by whom, and to your detriment.

If you are going to suceed in regaining back your nations, one by one, you must learn to first come to an agreement to work in the oneness using thousands to millions of eyes to pick out those who would upset the apple cart a second and third time, then to establish an entirely different system conducted solely of paradisical itinery as utilized upon other worlds. Should you accomplish this then you will not only get your country back but you will suceed in building your paradise right where you stand.

Everyone waits for the next life (after presumable death) for a hope to enter into paradise. I tell you this: You are already in your "future" life and are now given the opportunity to once again try to build your paradise from scratch.

Joe1's picture
Joe1 12 years 37 weeks ago

I wonder what can happen when all the crowd controllers: the police officers, the military and all the security personnel come to realize that they are the 99%. Their children, their family,their relatives, friends, neighbors are the 99%. Some may defect and join the WSO. We will see. I’m hopping for a violent free, safe demonstration that will bring the government to do the people’s work and what is best for America…

cygnus1's picture
cygnus1 12 years 37 weeks ago

If the military enjoined forces with the people, if the police joined forces with the people, and if all sectors of the American public enjoined with one another, not restricted by race nor religion, nor present political waves of ignorance, then a future system would be developed as utilized upon other worlds with no form of money gains, whether be credit cards, bank loans, cheques nor any other form of transaction.

Those of us who understand and physically know how to set up such a system have been threatened by governments and their thugs, but when government is weakened through an overturn of their elite society, inside their 1% billionaire safehouse, then the people and their protective military then the people and their protective military in all its branches could no longer hold the people hostage through the money system deciding who would have a house, a job, food and education; would employ control of the people’s lives through payoff’s to thugs, mercenaries, and the countless other people who generate homage to the banker through frauds, and other forms of wickedness against the people and those who rise up against them.

When you have countless eyes working in a onesness in every department in the land passing information on to one another against citizens who try their best to throw the present system out for the good of the people, for the health of the people, to govern the new nation by the people who are truly fit to assist the people in governing the nation, then that oneness becomes invincible especially when the leaders of these millions of unified eyes run the entire military machine, promote and conduct neverending wars, as well as infiltrating the governments of various nations; running the banks, pharmaceutical companies, corporations, Federal Reserve, IMF, World Bank, U.N. etc. You get the picture.

When the people become revolutionary these eyes watch all, and interweave their wickedness against the people in all forms making them poor in order that the people will be too busy to rise up against them, but this is precisely why the people do rise up.

It is not enough to rebel without an understanding that to just replace other men and women into an unworkable system will never work. Look back at history. One elected or appointed leadership as a whole replaced with another elected or appointed leadership as a whole never worked. Elected and dictatorship changes never worked and never will.

These leaderships are placed continually (without true enlightenment of how to set up a paradisical system) into an unworkable system, whether it be democracy, autocracy, monarchy, communism nor countless others. Neither will system changes other than that which occur and are upheld and practiced upon worlds you call belonging to paradise work.

There are countless people from other worlds in our galaxy who are standing by waiting to help the people of this earth, and at the least if that help is to be forever thrown back in their faces, then a global evacuation is continually offered to those who are ready and consider these brothers and sisters their friends.

There are enough starships to set much of this planet back on its feet, but the 1% will not allow it for they are too selfish, too greedy and too hateful toward the people at their feet.

This is why world militaries are sacrificed and murdered and allowed to murder and made to murder other people of other nations for the full benefit of corporate greed as well as the manifestation of the military bases belonging to the 1% throughout the world.

If the military in all its units would join with the people then the people would have their own military who would never turn against them - A MILITARY WHICH COULD NEVER BE USED AGAINST THEM! The same with the police force, unions and other. You are most correct about all of this.

Your sons and daughters are collateral damage just as are the sons and daughters of those they send them to fight. Not one of them on either side get a thing out of the war, neither do their children, their parents, their grandchildren to come - no matter which war it is and then they are usually thrown out on the street, so to speak, when they are wounded and sent home – no more use to the eyes and the 1% who hide behind them. Wars make money – they do not save lives nor do anything other than engage in destructive behavior.

It is time the U.S./NATO military stop fighting wars for the itinerary of Israel, the corporate bankers, and industries.

The U.S. government is held so hostage that they are no longer a government of the people and have not been a government of the people for centuries. While there are 50 million Americans, 1 in 5 living in abject poverty, your controlled government is feeding Israel 3 billion of your tax dollars plus all the military equipment they need to bring horrendous wars down upon weak and unarmed nations.

Let these 1% fight their own wars with their own fists to make the fight even, for if the people in all their parts join one another, all wars will cease and all national resources and lands will be returned to the people themselves and this will be the beginning of building the paradise which the American people believed once was to be their heritage and their legacy unto their next generation of children.

The first step is for the people to take back their own power in every part of the world. The people of the world joining together, no one left out.



teneraansis's picture
teneraansis 12 years 36 weeks ago

The cynus1 posting (#19) is an excellent method for the 99% of downtrodden people to regain control over their own destiny. Let's face it. The 1% who own it all have no guns and rely on guns in the hands of all belonging to the 99% group of the enslaved. Therefore, having solved the issue of how to gain the upper hand on the minority rich, the vacuum will then have to become filled with a brand new economic order of the perhaps following description:

In the recent past we have made the simple and accurate statement, that all planets who have joined the Intergalactic Economic Order have been able to do so because the societies living on them have at one time or another graduated into the adoption of an economic system based on demand, meaning a system of economics where production only covers items in societal demand.

This "demand" in our terms can simply be expressed by a purchase order (speaking in terms of industry and business) or by the granting of free and unconditional public access to basic essentials so people can live comfortably. The latter is a form of expressing that "demand" as well.

All members of society participate in an organized but unregimented fashion in filling that demand, and that simple participation automatically gives every member the right of access to the nations' productive output. And all this activity of production = consumption occurs in the absence of all types of currency as we know it today.

And why is the switch from a money-controlled into to a demand-controlled economic system so necessary at this point in time? We realize there are more answers to this question than merely one, however let me name and explain the first and most important one: WE MUST NOW ADOPT THE SIMPLICITY OF THE PURCHASE ORDER SYSTEM OF ECONOMICS, FOR IF WE DON'T, WE WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO FEED THE GROWING NUMBER OF PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET! For those who retort "What difference does the type of economic system make to the earth's ability to feed her many people?" I simply say: "A CRUCIAL DIFFERENCE!" And this is why:

A worker must eat, have shelter, clothes and transportation. His daily labour input on a semi-automated system produces the industrial value equal to that of, say, one lawn mower per day. The man earns $7.00 Dollars per hour, which equals $56.00 Dollars/day. After income tax and S.S. deductions his daily take-home pay has shrunk to $36.00 Dollars/day. Yet the value on the retail market his labour input generated, being that of a self-propelled lawnmower is $560.00 Dollars. Should this man ever have need of a mower of which he produces one per day, he will have to work for 15 1/2 days in order to acquire it. In other words, the system compels him to produce 15 1/2 lawn mowers in order to have one for himself. Yet in the meantime the man must eat and sleep, have money for transportation to go to work, etc., and even these basic essentials are again "front-loaded" with production costs at a similar ratio, resulting in a visible ratio of overall industrial wastage of being some 15 times higher than it actually should be. ONE WORKER MUST PRODUCE 15 TIMES AS MUCH IN GOODS OR SERVICES THAN WHAT HE WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE TO IN ORDER TO MEET HIS NEEDS IF HIS PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY WERE GIVING HIM NATURAL ACCESS TO HIS OWN PRODUCTION! The man's productive capacity is wasted into the system at a rate 14 times that of his personal output, and all because of a corrupt financial system!

Take this wastage factor and multiply it into the increased number of people this planet will have to feed during the next foreseeable 25 years, then we can plainly see, that a continuation of today’s waste factor the money system calls for cannot be tolerated into the coming century. We cannot tolerate a system, whereby 15 automobiles must be produced in order to drive one, or 15 loaves of bread in order to eat one, or build 15 homes in order to live in one!

My calculation tells me that 10 billion people on this planet by the year of 2025 will waste less of this world's natural resources while living in luxury using the P.O. System of Economics than today's 6 billion do in production of a 15 to 1 waste ratio.

The Masters of this Universe mean business when they insist on a revised economic system, for if it were not permitted to be introduced into the next decade, the next generation will suffer massive starvation and the master plan of orderly evacuation would become ruined.

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