In recent decades, the rich have gathered an increasing share of the total wealth in the United States. As this wealth disparity grows and especially as large numbers of the formerly middle class fall into poverty and even into homelessness, this flow of wealth from main street (from anyone not seriously wealthy) to those who already have extreme wealth, becomes more obvious – and more suspect.
Much of this transfer of wealth to the rich from those of lesser means is either of questionable legality (not to mention ethics) or flatly facilitated by political corruption or cronyism.
“$16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest.”
In many cases, the cronyism and corporatism is happening in plain sight, as when our government pays premium prices to contractors for work that taxpayers are already paying the government to do – outsourcing of military and security work in the Middle East being a well-known example. For instance, the Wikipedia article on XE Services (formerly Blackwater) quotes a Congressional report that alleges “Blackwater charges the government $1,222 per day per guard, ‘equivalent to $445,000 per year, or six times more than the cost of an equivalent U.S. soldier’” (Erik Prince, Blackwater’s co-founder and CEO at the time, disputed that figure). Either way, given that the U.S. spends almost as much on its military as the rest of the world combined, why are we paying large numbers of private contractors to do what taxpayers already pay the military to do?