Vail Daily letter: The 10 percent
August 9, 2010
I would like to respond to Cas Dunlap’s critique of my letter (“Republican ideas rich”).
I agree with much of what Mr. Dunlap asserts. However, it was not my intention to make age a topic of disagreement between differing political views, and I certainly didn’t intend to merge age and wealth together into some kind of wicked plot, as his criticism suggests.
Perhaps I could have stated my case better.
So let me get right to the point. About 2 percent of the American population owns 60 percent of our country’s wealth.
During our last economic bubble (2002-06), the top 1 percent of Americans received 67 percent of the gain in national income, the top 10 percent received 88 percent of the gain in national income, and the bottom 90 percent of Americans got just 12 percent, according to David Stockman, President Reagan’s budget director.
The byline to Mr. Stockman’s commentary “Four Deformations of the Apocalypse” in the Aug. 1 issue of the Denver Post reads “How my GOP destroyed the U.S. economy.” Per Stockman, “This growing wealth gap is not the market’s fault. It’s the decaying fruit of bad economic policy … and the modern Republican Party offers the American people an irrelevant platform of recycled Keynesianism.”
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Our country has the widest wealth stratification gap in our country’s history, and when individuals like Stockman and the former CEO of Intel, Andy Grove, start sounding alarms about this gap, we should all pay attention.
You are right, Mr. Dunlap, wealth is not a limited quantity. It continues to accumulate in great amounts in the hands of the few.
Plutocracy and aristocracy are the operative words.
If your are not among the 10 percent of the American population referenced above (independent of age), perhaps you should consider voting for someone other than a Republican.