It is time that we all faced facts, looked at ourselves in the mirror and asked ourselves who we are.
If you are part of a group that makes racial slurs and condones the bigoted signs of demonstrators or laughs at the racist jokes of radio commentators, or applauds the disrespect for the Presidency of members of the House of Representatives merely because the President is African-American…you are a racist Republican. It is as simple as that.
If you think that between 15 million and 25 million Americans should be facing life with no jobs and only food pantries and homeless shelters, and yet you vote for more tax cuts and cuts in government but no jobs bills, then you are a Republican.
If that is who you are, then you should pay attention. Because that is who you are today, but you may not be that tomorrow. If you think that the new Neocon-Republican Party, like the Nazis of old, will take care of you, see to it that you move into the upper brackets of income…pay attention. You are 500 times more likely to become one of the unemployed.
Are you a man making over $350,000 per year? If so, we can categorize you generally as part of “senior management.? Whoa! Hold on there, you say. I am making $280,000 per year and I am part of senior management, definitely part of senior management. Well, let’s take a look at that concept.
Lets start with a base of facts from which to make some determinations. The last really good year for all Americans, not just Wall Street, was in 2007. So let’s use those numbers, keeping in mind that the winters of our discontent are colder and the long, hot summers are shorter. In other words, the rich may not be richer, but they are getting richer at a faster rate than you are. They are because the rest of us are getting poorer.
There are not only 14.9 million Americans out of work, but those who are working–a.) take less in bonuses, health insurance and 401K contributions than they did before the Bush Depression, and b.) everyone lost 40% of equity automatically when the market crashed in October 2008. So those who made enough were able to reinvest in $6,000 in GE stock and see it climb at some point back up to $24,000.
If you were trying to barely hold onto a house worth less than you paid for it, you were not climbing back up the ladder. So winters (low incomes) got colder and darker and the summers (high incomes and bonuses) got longer and hotter. But I’m in the top 1%, you say. You have made it to the top tier in business. Really? Not so fast.
So, the top 1% of all Americans made over $348,000 in 2007. If there were about 110 million workers, that means that about 1.1 million people made over approximately $350,000. Of those, according to the pre-Murdoch Wall Street Journal (and therefore reliable reporting) about 950,000 are physicians and of those only 350,000 are family practice physicians. So, if we just arbitrarily drop these guys and gals, as Palin would say, from the rolls, you have about 600,000 physicians above the $348,000 groupcategory who are doctors, which leaves you with about 500,000 non-medical personnel who are in that top group.
Now, this may sound counter intuitive but lawyers have always made more than doctors in the long run. They start out earning less but make more eventually. So, in 2007, in the U.S. there were 1,143,000 lawyers in the U.S. That’s about one percent of the workforce. If you take the top only ten percent of the attorneys, the top earning group, according to data, you have about 110, 000 individuals Which then leaves you with only 400,000 people making over $350,000.
But if you do it another way, there are litigation attorneys, transactional attorneys and patent attorneys….among other categories…who easily make over $350,000 per year. Therefore the number in this already high category, where the median income for an established attorney in a law firm is about $150,000 per year, must be more like one out of five in a variety of specialties, making over $350,000. Which means that this leaves only 300,000 people in industry making over $350,000.
What about dentists? There are about 150,000 dentists practicing in the U.S, of which about 20% are specialists. Regular dentists bill about $750,000 per year, specialists bill about $1,000,000. If you extend that out an say that the general practitioners keep about $350,000, which apparently the good ones do, then it is pretty safe to say that at least half, or 75,000 dentists made over $350,000 in 2007.
So now we are down to about 225,000 people who made over $350,000 in 2007. Well, what about these small businessmen we hear about who are so afraid of paying more taxes? They must be taking home big bucks. No so. They don’t even make a dent in the upper incomes. Most of them are in the $50,000 to $60,000 range for at least five years and never do take more than $200,000 unless the company hits it big and they start collecting options. So, let’s put just a minimal number into this category…25,000 who actually have hit it big and are taking out a substantial amount.
If you throw in successful entertainers, artists, writers, and television celebrities you can probably get it down to 200,000 people in corporations in the top income category.
That an average of about 4,000 people per state. Do you think that there may be 4,000 people in New York City or Los Angeles or Washington, D.C. alone who make $348,000 a year? If they don’t why do they live there?
Add in the inherited wealth, which, if averaged would definitely exceed the number of celebrities. So certainly we can remove from the list probably 500 per state from the total, making it 3,500 per state and bringing the total of employed, corporate executives over $350,000 per year to 175,000. Put 25,000 of the top people in Fortune 500 corporations and you now have 150,000 people who are left who can vie with each other for the top 1% in income.
In the U.S. today, there are about 80,000 companies employing about 67 million people who have the sales volume to pay at least one executive $350,000 per year. So, putting this another way, if you happen to work for one of those corporations, and if you have the qualifications, there are 150,000 people in corporate life whose jobs pay them $348,000 and up. That means that your odds are one in 446 that you can get one of those jobs.
If you take the odds in general they are more like one in 50,000. So good luck.
Do you see now, why you should not be a Republican?
Who is being protected by big corporations? Who is being paid enough to make losing Medicare and Social Security and a social safety network and financial protections for your savings and investments for retirement? Can you trust the corporation you work for?
Not if your odds of working your way into that top echelon are 500 to one. And we haven’t even considered the fact that you may need simple certification without which you will not even be considered. Are you an MBA? If not, then your odds go up to 1,000 to one.
So what do you do? You don’t rely on the corporation to be familial. Corporations no longer have the kinds of loyalty that they had in days gone by. They lay off workers to prevent paying them retirement contributions. They send essential, skilled jobs overseas. They move jobs to states on a whim or a few dollars an hour. They pay senior executives 300 to 500 times what workers make, and use the money from laid off workers to pay executive bonuses.
They increase health care premiums and then donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations dedicated to promoting private health care and to killing even any small decreases in health care costs that will come about from health care reform. They disregard civic responsibilities and hire high-priced attorneys instead of accepting their responsibilities for environmental damage and illegal hiring practices.
When Wall Street Corporations fall on hard times through speculation or bad decisions they have no reluctance to fire hundreds of workers on almost a whim. They treat their financial responsibilities towards customers and the public the same way. They recklessly gambled with the pensions and the mutual funds of average workers and created the greatest aggregate losses for American citizens in the history of the country.
You, as a corporate executive, have no security. No one is safe, not even top executives. But the further you are down the ladder, including executives who make hundreds of thousands of dollars, the more likely you are not only never to see that $350,000 income, but even to be secure that when in your fifties you will not be laid off and spend the rest of your life spending your 401K to survive.