The Guardian today printed a piece by Bernie Sanders with the title “Trump’s economy is great for billionaires, not for working people” the first two-thirds of which is an attack on the Trump administration’s huge diversion of wealth to the richest 1%. Well and good, though misdirected of course. Then come these two interesting paragraphs:
While working families continue to struggle, the US now has more income and wealth inequality than at any time since the 1920s. Since the Wall Street crash [here Sanders means 2007-2009], 46% of all new income that has been created in the US has gone to the top 1%. Corporate CEOs have seen their incomes go up by 937% over the past 40 years and now make over 360 times more than their average workers. While corporate profits are near an all-time high, wages as a percentage of the economy are near an all-time low.
The most important economic reality of our time is that over the past 40 years there has been an enormous transfer of income and wealth from the middle class to the wealthiest people in America. Since 1979, the bottom 90% of Americans have seen their share of national income decline from 58 % to just 46% costing them nearly $11,000 per household.
While in his concluding section Sanders again refers to “Trump’s policies” he focuses much more on what “we must” do — “we” meaning who?
Language endlessly fascinates me, and instructional games in language classes often prompt new insight on challenges posed by my mother tongue. How does one say “class interests” in American without using the word “class”? How do you talk about American society in American without using the words “capitalism” or “neoliberalism” or “oligarchy”?