The following stats are from an article by Michael Snyder posted on Yahoo Finance, referring to a set of charts posted on Business Insider. The article is about the shrinking middle class in the US. I picked out some of the stats given to illustrate a tangential -- but not too tangential -- point, because though there are of course many reasons why the middle class is shrinking, foremost among my concerns is this: one of the two major political parties in this country does not think the solution given in my post title is a sick joke.
• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
• Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
• In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
• As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
• The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America's corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.