Guess the answers to these questions, then check the link to see how many you got right.

1.  U.S. companies in total pay a smaller percentage of taxes than

  • A. the top earning 1%
  • B. the lowest - income 40%
  • c. the lowest-income 20% of Americans

2. The high-profit, tax-avoiding tech industry was built on

  • A. productivity from think tanks
  • B. inventive genius funded by start up investors
  • C. publicly-funded research

3. When a quadrillion dollars is traded, it generates how much in tax revenue?

  • A. a billion dollars
  • B. 550,000 dollars
  • C. no revenue

4. For every dollar in securities held in the United States, only a one and  half cents is held by

  • A. the bottom 90%
  • B. the bottom 25 %
  • C. the bottom 10%


Some Outrageous Facts About Inequality

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O, WOW!  I'd never seen that video before.  That is SO secksy!  What is it about blues that makes me just want to dance (when I can't anymore)?


Here's another delight...the bottom line is a little hard to read, but my eyes get wet whenever I see it:

Wow!  Love the sign and the sentiments, and what a wonderful tribute to Lennon!  I sometimes wonder if he will be noted as one of the great philosophers of the 20th century.

Sadly, I answered them all correctly. But then, I spend a lot of time tracking the economy and that kind of stuff when I could be pulling weeds in my garden or making chocolate chip cookies. Following the different tracks of reasoning about fiscal policy, I have a fairly clear impression of what happens, why, who benefits and who pays. 

Thanks for this excellent article Ruth. 

 Sadly I also got them all correct, inequality and greed appear to be growth industries in the US.

And this is one of my favourite Hitch quotes.

" can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you’ll just get yourself called Reverend."  -- Christopher Hitchens

And become bloody wealthy scamming the poor, without having to pay taxes.

Al Capone was in the wrong business.

I missed number 3 - wow that's just unbelievable to me.

I know! I have been tracking this trend since the late 1970s or early 1980s, and it has been getting worse each month. Trying to sound the alarm to others, no one seemed to notice or pay attention ... I think things are getting so bad now, I don't have to keep alerting people any longer, the economy is saying it all. 
Incidentally, it is no accident these trends occur, they are caused by changes in policies. Remember when regulations started being taken off banking and financial institutions, when the labor unions lost their support in the courts, and when wages began to lag? Those were the consequences of taking away post-WWII supports for labor. 

Born in 1936, I remember the left-overs of the depression, the war, and then the strong political effort to protect wage earners, and then watch it crumble away. Quite an era to be alive. 

In 1939 (the year I was born), Robert A. Heinlein made a chart to help him keep track of the stories, characters, and timelines of the stories he was writing.  He labelled the last half of the 20th Century and at least the first half of this one "The Crazy Years."  He always denied that he was predicting an actual future, but he was highly intelligent, and a voracious reader...he was right more often than Jeanne Dixon and others of that ilk.


There's a book called The Crazy Years, it's a collection of op-ed essays by Spider Robinson written for the Toronto Globe and Mail from about 1995 to 2004.  Spider is the closest thing to Heinlein's literary heir, and he loved him as much as he loved his own wife.  Try to find a used copy on's worth it!


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