The Real Redistribution

Republicans love to whine about redistribution of wealth, but it's all just an act. They may scream about “socialist” welfare programs, they don't make a peep when massive amounts of America's wealth goes straight to the top.

According to Paul Buchheit over at Alternet, the 14 richest Americans increased their wealth by $82 billion dollars in the last year alone. And, they're just a small part of the wealthiest 400 Americans, who Forbes magazine says got $270 billion dollars richer over that same time period. To put those numbers in perspective,

Paul pointed out that our entire food stamp budget is only $80 billion dollars – and it feeds 50 million people in our country each year. The wealth that flowed to the 14 richest people could have hired two million pre-school teachers in our country, while middle class wages stayed stagnant, and programs for the poor were slashed at every turn. Talk about redistribution of wealth.

Republicans in Congress say that we can't afford to rebuild our infrastructure, extend unemployment benefits, or help students struggling with college debt, but they're wrong. We can afford to make those investments in our nation, and we must reverse the trickle-up economics that sends all the wealth straight to the top.

We've had three decades under the disastrous policies of Ronald Reagan, and we don't need more evidence to prove that trickle-down is a myth. Thirty-plus years of Reaganomics have put more and more wealth in the hands of a few, and left our government struggling to care for many.

The greed of the richest 14 people doesn't out-weigh the needs to 50 million, and it's time to stop the real redistribution of wealth that's been going to the top.


delster's picture
delster 9 years 36 weeks ago

I really don't think it's about wealth or greed, I believe it is more about lust for power and control. Georage Carlin said it best when he said they (the Wealthy) own us. They own all of us and merely give us the illusion of control by allowing us to vote in a completely spurious election. You think you have some say in an election ? "You Don't !" I believe we have outgrown the fantasy of election and realize it is now time for more deliberate effort at liberty. Non violent disobedience and resistance and hypervigilance will be required to gaine partial control of a perpetual struggle. Could that ever possibly take place after the last 40 years of dictatorship, deception, and mind control ? It's time we interupt the process. It is not necessary to be destructive. Just simple non cooperation will do fine. Then again...I'm a dreamer.

leaf42's picture
leaf42 9 years 36 weeks ago

I hear ya, here's my rant

Republicans think that Liberals want to tax the rich to support the poor. Of course this is wrong because regardless of race and political belief everyone wants to support themselves. Liberals realize that being poor in America means you are well off compared to being poor in many other countries but also realize that the minimum someone needs to get a job in America is not trivial, phone, Internet access, education, car or fare etc. Or maybe you don't need all that, maybe you can walk to a job at McDonalds, lucky you, but you contribute nothing to the economy because you only displaced someone else who may need food stamps. Liberals understand that having a job doesn’t always lift you out of poverty but it should. To get someone off the dole, they need to be paid more, get a better job, or create their own. Few people can create their own job so we suggest getting a passport and working at McDonalds in Germany for a few years so you can get a free college education. Then when you come back you can help rebuild the middle class that capitalism needs to thrive. Of course it’s easier to just take money from the rich and give it to the poor but only Republicans think that would work.

Liberals are not indoctrinated with principles, they are indoctrinated with science and build principles.

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 9 years 36 weeks ago

The leadership of the Republican Party is behaving as though they are a terrorist organization bent on destroying democracy in America. They seem not to like women, college students, African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, LGTB folk, Asian Americans, and seniors. I cannot understand what their end game is unless it is to turn our Government of the People to be a Plutocracy ruled by corporate CEO's.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 36 weeks ago

BINGO PhilipHenderson! These mostly white male kleptofascist, war mongering psychopaths are destabilizing the world, as no other country has done since WWII. They are destroying democracy here in America and reducing us all to serfs. We're living under fascism now. And you can add pregnant women to their little hate list. - AIW

johnbest's picture
johnbest 9 years 36 weeks ago

Just think of how many jobs that $270 billion would create and how many additional jobs we would create with this kind of domestic spending. It is mind boggling. The only jobs created by the rich are banking jobs in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. We need to get republican heads out of their asses and return to the tax rates in effect before Saint Raygun screwed the American people. The republicans have to be the dumbest bastards on the planet if they don't see this. Perhaps they are just arrogant, greedy pricks.

Speaking of greedy arrogant pricks bring to mind Adolf Hitler. He wanted to make the entire world his own playground. But what about the American Fascists.

Check this out:

Google: "Henry A. Wallace The Danger of American Fascism"

This is a piece by Henry A. Wallace which was published in the NY Times on April 9, 1944 titled The Dangers of American Fascism. It is frightening how close our country is to becoming a fascist dictatorship with the Koch Brothers or their paid republicans like Ted Cruz as dictators.

atchelka's picture
atchelka 9 years 36 weeks ago

My hair stands on end when I hear people repeat the mantra that the rich are wealthy because they've earned it! Many are wealthy because they inherited it (think Paris Hilton) and most are wealthy because they rip off the rest of us. When you have stagnant wages for 30 years, who do you think that is benefiting? When your boss engages in downsizing and you find yourself doing the work of two and even three people with no further remuneration, who do you think that benefits?

It's a fact that Reagonomics has never worked and people are hurting because of it. It's hard to believe that people are buying into this "free market" rubbish from Milton Friedman and the rest of the clowns at the Chicago School of Economics but they are. Thomas Frank's book "What's the Matter with Kansas" goes a long way into explaining this, but people have to wake up. We can make a difference with campaign finance reform--getting the dark money out of our politics and voting in people who are not millionaires and are not from the revolving doors of Wall Street, the banks and big business. Think Bernie Sanders!

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 36 weeks ago

If Reaganomics is so bad why hasn't any body changed it in over 30 years. The answer is it works. Americans buy half of the worlds products. They can because they are taxed the least. When you redistribute wealth like European countries no one has anything left over to spend. They live in 600 sq/ft apartments , maybe have one car per family with tons of time off and no money go anywhere. I like our system. Not very many places in the world give you the opperatunity to achieve what ever you want yet you complain that some poeple make too much. I don't get it.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 9 years 36 weeks ago

The one percent are in charge of changing things and they like things just the way they are. Redistribution of wealth has worked pretty good for them. We're doomed to buy half the world's products because nothing is made here.

Gary Reber's picture
Gary Reber 9 years 36 weeks ago

The wealthy capital ownership class wants to OWN us completely. Paul Buchheit and Thom Hartmann dance around the REAL issue of concentrated ownership and offers no solutions to broaden ownership simultaneously with the growth of the economy. Instead more redistributive solutions are offered by the Democrats. The American people need to WAKE UP and all political parties need to embrace a new national policy direction that will empower ordinary Americans to become owners of wealth-creating, income-producing capital assets.

The Republican Party's "free market" is one that is laissez-faire where things take their own course, without interfering. Of course, given the unjust system we are presently trapped in, this will ONLY further concentrate capital ownership among the already wealthy ownership class and further enslave people as wage slaves and welfare slaves. Instead what needs to happen is our leaders need to reform the system to provide equal opportunity access to insured, interest-free capital credit to simultaneously finance the building of a FUTURE regulated "free market" economy that can support general affluence for EVERY citizen while broadening personal ownership of newly formed capital assets whereby EVERY citizen is an OWNER.

We need to finance our FUTURE using financial mechanisms (which the wealthy use) that would empower EVERY citizen to acquire ownership in FUTURE wealth-creating, income-producing capital assets. A key financial mechanism would be to provide equal access by EVERY citizen to insured, interest-free capital credit loans repayable with the FUTURE dividend earnings of the investment, without having to pledge past savings or equity or reduce one's standard of living.

The solution is to adopt and implement the Capital Homestead Act ( and that will empower EVERY American citizen to become an owner of wealth-creating, income-producing capital assets simultaneously with the technological economic growth of the economy. The Capital Homestead Act is a key plank in the Unite America Party platform (published by The Huffington Post at as well as Nation Of Change at and OpEd News at

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 36 weeks ago

The richest country but the 27th overall middle class and counting downwards...that says it all!

God save the President...the Fascist Regime!....the corpse media made you a MORON.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 36 weeks ago

10k 27 th I have a hard time believing that. Why do millions want to move there if it's that bad. If you want to raise your middle class get rid of the 30 to 40 million illegals that are driving your wages down, and filling your schools and hospitals without paying any tax. There is more illegals there than the population of Canada.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 36 weeks ago

10k 27 th I have a hard time believing that. Why do millions want to move there if it's that bad. If you want to raise your middle class get rid of the 30 to 40 million illegals that are driving your wages down, and filling your schools and hospitals without paying any tax. There is more illegals there than the population of Canada.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 9 years 36 weeks ago

Kend, you silly boy, comparing us to third world nations is more fallacious than apples to oranges. We are no longer the "consumer of last resort". The dollar is no longer the premium currency of the world. Our greatness that comes from pre Reagan policy is all but faded away. It was before Reagan, when taxes were high and manufacture was robust, that all the things you say and allude to about America were true.

Europeans live in 600 sq. ft. apartments because their continent is so crowded and densely populated. Limited supply makes elbow room expensive. Where do you get this business that, "they never go anywhere"? European cities are vibrant cafe societies. Thus the old adage, "A Parisian needs a bedroom, bath and perhaps a kitchen but his living room is the cafes of Paris."

You see? They make for lack of space by sharing and communing and are, by all research, much happier than we are and live longer than we do.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 9 years 36 weeks ago

Divisive strategies of scapegoating immigrants, getting us to turn on our fellow workers from south of the border, after the big business rats ruined their economy with NAFTA, would, if we took that bait, cause us to cut our own throats when it's the corporate rats who are responsible for the kleptocracy that imiserates us all and who brought the immigrants here so they can play them off against U.S. born workers.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 9 years 36 weeks ago

They're not just wrong about trickle down, they're lying! They know damn well it doesn't work - for us. Works great for them though.

Right Kend? Works great for you, no?

Howard Laverne Stewart's picture
Howard Laverne ... 9 years 36 weeks ago

The fact that there are more poor voters than rich voters verifies that the Republican polls predicting their winning is fabricated Lies. Lying is the same as stealing.

CarolynWHart 9 years 36 weeks ago

Well said!! About scapegoqating immigrants and poor people I mean

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 36 weeks ago

Mark to prove my point. One of my sons works on a paving crew. Here we can only pave in the summer. They just shut down for the winter and he made over 80 thousand in 6 months. Do you think they would have to pay him that much if we could hire non tax paying illegals for 8 dollars a hour.

I have been to Europe many times. They can have it. It is not true that there is no land. The problem is most European countries have very strict agricultural land district controls. So they force them into cities. There is lots of land they could subdivide into larger parcels for homes.

Sorry Mark Canada doesn't have the same tax structure you have. I wish. Here we tax the hell out of the upper and middle class and have very low taxes for business I have to admit it works. Many US businesses are moving up here for the low taxes. Our wealthy pay huge personal taxes I think after $300,000 it is half.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 36 weeks ago

80,000 Canadian Dollars = 71,425 US dollars but that's still a lot of money even in US dollars especially given that it is earned in a 6 month period. I imagine paving is hard work. I thought your son worked in the oil fields? That's right, you said "one of you sons" worked in paving.

RFord's picture
RFord 9 years 36 weeks ago

"Giving help to the wealthy to help the wealthy become more wealthy" should be the motto of the republican party because that's that's what republicans do. The elected republicans would probobly prefer "Working for all Americans" but that is extremly far from the truth. They only work for the wealthy who put money in their pockets. So how do they keep getting re-elected? They use their wealthy friends money to advertise. They advertise that they are "pro-life", apealing to the many people in this country with high moral principals while screwing them financially. Weather they believe in this or not I don't know but I doubt it. We all know that If they say it they can get votes. There are many other ways to get the votes of the people you are going to screw financially such as saying "I support the second amendment" or "I'm a god fearing Christian who does not believe in taking god out of the classroom" and "I fully support the constitution of The United States of America". Oh yea, what about that first amendment? Sometimes it seems like the only way for the middle class and the impoverished to get ahead is for democrats to become Bible thumping, gun loving, anti-abortionist too but that would be hypocritical and that would just be wrong. So, the best way for the 99% to get ahead is to exspose the republicans for the illusionist that they are but that is easier said than done.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 36 weeks ago

Mark, your #14 post is a slam-dunk. Bingo! You too, Mr. Ford. Well said! - AIW

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 9 years 36 weeks ago

Why is it like this who and what would create a system like the one we have ?

why is the gap between the rich and poor growing wider every year ,what kind of thoughts would produce a system where around 200 people have the same wealth as half the worlds population.

Hey folks we have to think here ? What is causing this abuse of life and resources that rightly belong to all people's of the Earth.

Is it not every man for himself we each paddle our own canoe .Hey life is tough at least three billion people live in poverty with at least 1.3 in absolute poverty ! We are talking about day to day survival folks .All because we have an economic system that its purpose is to generate profit .Our economic model comes from the idea that there is not enough to go around and that humans are separate from each other illusions of Insufficiency and Disunity .

Dominion over the Earth has been interpreted as Domination .And so we have imagined that ownership of,or power over ,people ,places and things is an asset or what we have called wealth.So the more things we own the more power is given or had and the wealthier you became .

Time to shift from a possessions and power economy to one of USE and ACCESS (Cooperation ) Change from an every man for himself economy to a highest good of all economy .

Simple really as there is more than enough in the world for everyone to live quite happily .

We are all one is the Spiritual understanding of making this happen .It says there's enough .If we take these messages to heart ,we will begin at once to devise ways of treating everyone as you would want to be treated ,giving everyone what you would want to be given ,and providing everyone with what you would want to be provided.So growing the economy is not the answer or trying to create a never ending upward spiral attempting to make everyone own and afford to buy the same stuff. Reducing the economy would work providing everyone with Access to and Use of the same things .So fewer consumer items per person on the planet ,how good is that for the ecology bad for Walmart good for the people and planet .Thats a win- win.

Humans are a very primitive species ,we have to mature fast now ,time is running out .

Another thing the fastest way to move economic power from the SELECT FEW is through decentralisation.We need to create lots of small economies not one massive global system.

Most of this information comes from the Book Tomorrow's God chapter 20 Throwing the money changers out -again .

Stephen mills

William King's picture
William King 9 years 36 weeks ago

i agree with you 100% (I liked Carlin's rant too) except that wealth and greed IS power and control.

William King's picture
William King 9 years 36 weeks ago

Thom has put his finger on the the hottest button in this country.

The richest ("idle rich", who live off their investments) pay a mere 15% maximum capital gains tax, while the working stiff has a max income tax of 39%.

Everybody out there, except Thom is too scared to talk about it.

Even Krugman, of all people, didn't mention it in his assesment of Obama yesterday.

Fanchon88's picture
Fanchon88 9 years 36 weeks ago

I've been accused of being a bleeding heart liberal, BUT the fact is that out of a certain size population, a certain percentage will need help for whatever reason! On any military base, for example, even in peacetime, some dimwit will fall down the steps, scrape his shin and develop blood poisoning. Stuff happens and when it does is not time to place blame or ask why. Yes, maybe Daddy was lazy or Uncle was a boozer, but too many times there are little children in the picture who really do deserve a good chance at life. My redneck Republican brother named Michael Moore thinks we can write off the welfare brats. I say absolutely not! We don't know which of them will bring something great to the country. How many of our great contributors were written off by their own ex-spurt elders! If we help someone who appears lazy, we're giving them the benefit of the doubt, and that doesn't hurt us in the long run. Maybe next time around we will need a little help -- we who don't need help just now. It does come back around. All the lessons do get learned in the long run.

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