Our Founding Fathers created America as a reaction against Europe’s royal dynasties. Today, dynastic wealth threatens our democracy, putting economic and political power into the hands of the privileged few and their heirs.
In the 1970’s, the wealthiest 10 percent owned a third of US total household wealth; today, they control 75 percent. Meanwhile, nearly half of America has no retirement savings; 55 million Americans have no emergency savings.
60 percent of US wealth is inherited; the Walton heirs (of Walmart fame) have more wealth than lowest 42% of Americans. We’re witnessing the largest US intergenerational transfer of wealth ever; wealthy boomers will bequeath about $32 trillion to their children.
The wealthy also rigged the system to get big tax breaks. Payroll and income taxes finance most government programs, totally ignoring the wealth accruing at the very top. Meanwhile local, state, and federal governments struggle to fund investments in transportation and infrastructure, support public schools and universities, and maintain other essential programs.
Wealth taxes like Governor Murphy’s would stem the tide of growing wealth inequality by requiring the super rich to pay a fairer share. They’d also help protect democracy by reducing this group’s political influence.
The American system should work for the many, not just the few richest. Contact your NJ legislators and tell them to increase NJ tax fairness. Tell them to support the Millionaire’s tax.
Don’t stop there! Educate yourself and vote June 4 and November 5, and every election, to stem the tide of Rule by the Rich.
By Dianne Douthat
Published in The Record 5/17/2019