Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Inequality as Theft

Marcus Baram has this nice chart at Huffpo that compares the growth in financial sector bonuses to non-growth in salaries.
Back in 1985, the average annual salary for all workers across the country was actually a bit higher than the average bonus ($19,000 to $13,970). (Note: these numbers are not adjusted for inflation).  How times have changed - while the average bonus soared almost 14 times higher (by 2006), the average salary has essentially been stagnant sine the mid-1980s.
 Meanwhile, the Obama administration got pissed at the insurance industry for its open attack a couple of weeks ago on even the weak reform plan. Obama lit into them, and on This Week White House advisor David Axelrod repeated the basic argument:
we need these reforms. In the last year—in the last ten years, premiums have doubled. You’ve seen the insurance companies take—ten years ago, fifteen years ago, they spent 95 percent of their premiums on healthcare, now 80 percent. More of the money is going to bonuses, salaries, administrative costs. This is not a sustainable path for this country. So we need reform, and that’s what he is arguing for.
Turns out politicians can in fact discuss parasitism in America, but only when the deal with the newly proclaimed parasites has fallen apart. When will Axelrod substitute "insurance companies" with "banks" in the same phrase?

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