wealth distribution

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ART OF THE ANCIENT AMERICAS II: TLINGIT AND HAIDA

The indigenous people that make up the Tlingit and Haida nations inhabit the coastal regions of what are now Alaska and British Columbia. With its abundant and easily harvested natural resources, the Pacific Northwest supported populations large enough to make it the most densely-inhabited indigenous region on the globe for a time. Fueled by prosperity and a great concern for social rank, the aristocracy of the North Coast tribes engaged in the ostentatious display of wealth, including rituals of hospitality and expenditure (the potlatch), and personal adornment. A chief could also demonstrate his wealth, and thereby enhance his social status, by hiring artists and buying, displaying, giving away and even destroying works of art, valued for their precious materials and fine craftsmanship, 

Images permeated Tlingit and Haida culture to a higher degree than other Native American groups. Objects ranging from prestigious 60-foot totem poles representing the chief’s ancestry, embroidered ceremonial blankets and carved amulets to simple objects meant for daily use like canoe paddles, bowls and ladles, were decorated with figural imagery, rendered in a highly-stylized formal language that is still practiced today and is a major component of the self-definition and cultural identity of both nations.

The iconography of Tlingit and Haida art is almost entirely figural, with the representation of humans and animals at its center. In North Coast mythology, animals and their behaviors are reflections and/or antiypes of human acts and traits. This is given visual form in the images of ravens, wolves, salmon, bears and seals who stand upright and mimic human facial expressions and comportment.

anonymous asked:

The problem I have with the issue of wealth distribution (in America) is the fact that such a program can and would be abused. We see this already with the welfare system. Case in point: my cousin and her husband live on welfare. Both have decided that welfare money is "good enough" for them and neither has worked in years, nor made any efforts to apply for jobs or go back to school. If you legitimately have trouble finding work, that's one thing, but if you just don't want to work, why pay you?

By 2016, more than half of the world’s wealth will be owned by the 1% 

The rich keep getting richer.

More than half the world’s wealth will be owned by just 1% of the population by 2016 as wealth inequality soars, international anti-poverty charity Oxfam announced Monday in a report.

Released ahead of this week’s annual meeting of global political and economic elites in Davos, Switzerland, the report says the top tier had seen their share of wealth increase from 44% in 2009 to 48% percent in 2014, on track to exceed 50% percent in 2016.

"Do we really want to live in a world where the 1% own more than the rest of us combined?"

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Infographic: Scenes From The Censored Documentary

Gif 1:

Mobility in the United States lags most other advanced industrial democracies.

Gif 2:

"There’s always been a gap between the wealthiest in our society and everyone else. But in the last 30 years, something changed. That gap became the Grand Canyon.

Gif 3:

"This is what America’s economic pie looked like in the decades after World War ll (1947-1977). Income gains were share by everyone with big portions going to average Americans. But since the late 1970’s, the bottom 90% have seen their share of the pie completely devoured by the top 1%.

Video Source: Park Avenue: Money, Power and The American Dream

Everyone except corporations and the politicians they own seem to realize we need corporate tax reform. To that end, the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government have put together a study about corporate tax practices and realities—and it is a doozy:

Of America’s 30 largest corporations, seven paid their CEOs more last year than they paid in federal income taxes, according to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government. The report, Fleecing Uncle Sam, also looks at the 100 highest-paid CEOs in 2013, finding that 29 received more in pay than their company paid in federal income taxes – up from 25 out of the top 100 in our 2010 and 2011 surveys. These 29 companies operate 237 subsidiaries in tax havens.

Opponents of corporate tax reform point out the United States’ high corporate tax rate (35%) but frequently forget to mention the fact that, with all their evasive maneuvering and tax loophole lobbying, corporations have paid about 19.9% in taxes between 2008-2012. And they don’t create wealth for anyone but themselves:

Corporate stock repurchases have the effect of boosting earnings per share. Higher earnings per share in turn boost stock prices. And since CEO pay is largely dependent on stock price, this pathway leads to soaring levels of CEO pay, even while average worker pay continues to stagnate. Merging with competitors also boosts corporate profits, but rather than leading to more jobs, mergers commonly lead to layoffs as redundant employees are cast off and join the army of unemployed Americans facing an uncertain future. Corporations have also fought for – and won – lucrative loopholes and tax credits that have taxpayers picking up the normal costs of business that corporations used to pay for themselves.

The study is damning. It is everything you imagine it is. You can read some of the infuriating highlights below:

Of America’s 30 largest corporations, seven (23 percent) paid their CEOs more than they paid in federal income taxes last year.

  • All seven of these firms were highly profitable, collectively reporting more than $74 billion in U.S. pre-tax profits. However, they received a combined total of $1.9 billion in refunds from the IRS, giving them an effective tax rate of negative 2.5 percent.
  • The seven CEOs leading these tax-dodging corporations were paid $17.3 million on average in 2013. Boeing and Ford Motors both paid their CEOs more than $23 million last year while receiving large tax refunds.
  • Of America’s 100 highest-paid CEOs, 29 received more in pay last year than their company paid in federal income taxes – up from 25 out of the top 100 in our 2010 and 2011 surveys.
  • Together, these 29 CEOs made nearly $1 billion last year, or $32 million on average. Their corporations reported $24 billion in U.S. pre-tax profits and yet, as a group, claimed $238 million in tax refunds, an effective tax rate of negative one percent.
  • Combined, the 29 companies operate 237 subsidiaries in tax havens. The company with the most subsidiaries in tax havens was Abbott Laboratories, with 79. The pharmaceutical firm’s CEO paycheck was $4 million larger than its IRS bill in 2013.
  • Of the 29 firms, only 12 reported U.S. losses in 2013. At these 12 unprofitable firms, CEO pay averaged $36.6 million—more than three times the $11.7 million national average for large company CEOs.
  • The company that received the largest tax refund was Citigroup, which owes its existence to taxpayer bailouts. In 2013, Citi paid its CEO $18 million while pocketing an IRS refund of $260 million.
  • Three firms have made the list in all three years surveyed. Boeing, Chesapeake Energy, and Ford Motors paid their CEO more than Uncle Sam in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

Grrrrr.

American politics are dominated by those with money. As such, America’s tax debate is dominated by voices that insist the rich are unduly persecuted by high taxes and that low-income folks are living the high life. Indeed, a new survey by the Pew Research Center recently found that the most financially secure Americans believe “poor people today have it easy.”


The rich are certainly entitled to their own opinions — but, as the old saying goes, nobody is entitled to their own facts. With that in mind, here’s a set of tax facts that’s worth considering: Middle- and low-income Americans are facing far higher state and local tax rates than the wealthy.

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Rising income inequality is getting more difficult to ignore. Inequality.is, an interactive website, walks you through the problem (and helps give you ideas about the solution).

There’s a really pernicious myth out there that the U.S. secretly has a super-generous welfare state. Just this summer, in fact, the Cato Institute was claiming that “welfare” provides some D.C. residents with the equivalent of a $50,820-a-year salary. That study gotthoroughly decimated by other analysts, but the myth persists.

So if you somehow get yourself embroiled in a Facebook comment thread flamewar about this, or have to reply to a chain email your grandpa sent along these lines, send along the chart above. A new paper from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that people getting government assistance in the form of Medicaid, Section 8, food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), etc. spend a whole lot less on just about everything than those not getting assistance. Folks on those programs aren’t living high on the hog; they’re scraping by, with a little help from the government.

Click “Know More” to read the full BLS study. Hat-tip goes to Jordan Weissmann.

Natural and social scientists develop new model of how ‘perfect storm’ of crises could unravel global system.

A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution. 

Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common.”

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Viral Video Shows the Extent of U.S. Wealth Inequality

I encourage all my followers to watch and reblog this, this post should be going viral. If more Americans knew about this, they would realize it is time for significant change. And I’m not talking about change in leadership, I’m speaking of revolution. 

And in case you needed more visual reminders of the income inequality in America, here is a pie graph showing the net worth of Americans in 2007:

In 2007 the richest 1% of the American population owned 34.6% of the country’s total wealth, and the next 19% owned 50.5%. Thus, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15%. 

Mind you that this is before the recession. Let’s take a look at the graph during the recession in 2010, the latest data we have:

In 2010, during the recession, the 1%, as well as the top 20%, actually gained wealth while the bottom 80% loss theirs. The left side shows net worth and the right side shows actual wealth. In 2010, the bottom 80% of America held 5% of all the wealth in the richest nation in the world. 

In case you’re wondering where you fall in the graph, I’ll break it down for you: If your household income is $17,300 or below, you are in the bottom 40%, $41,700 or below is the bottom 60%, $72,000 or below is the bottom 80%. Anywhere between $72,000 and $226,200 is the top 20% and over $1,318,200 is the top 1%.

In case you’re doubting the data, this was taken from the Sociology department in the University of California at Santa Cruz.

And here is the icing on the cake:

Half of America (150 Million) Is Officially Poor According To Census Data

More Than 50 Million Americans Are Short on Food

17 Million Americans Suffer From “Very Low Food Security”

Youth Unemployment Rises To 23%, 39% For Blacks

1 of 4 US Children Live In Poverty, Second Highest In ‘Developed World’

Minimum Wage Would Be $21.72 If It Kept Pace With Increases In Productivity