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An MLK Commentary AND Billionaires are the manifestation of a failed economic system.
Here is why we must acknowledge MLK day as a holiday for all. The fact that we have Billionaires and super-millionaires is a failure of our economic system on steroids.
This morning I was a guest on Steve Hunter’s KPFT 90.1 FM’s U-Talk program. The program centralized on MLK today. He encouraged listeners to call no matter what their message was. One of my initial commentaries was that the country owed a huge debt to Martin Luther King’s stance on forcing non-violent change. That was not beneficial solely to black folks but to the entire nation. It saved us from a cycle of violence as all those who were legislative 2nd class citizens ultimately rebelled.
A listener called to reinforce that the MLK Holiday was a black holiday and contrasted it to Thanksgiving and Columbus day. Later in the program, I pointed out that this man’s commentary was necessary. After all, his thought process is that of many who generally remain silent for fear others would judge them. The only way to change people’s past indoctrination is for them to articulate their indoctrination so we can convincingly correct the record. Silence is the enemy. Fear of expression is the enemy. Talking and teaching critical thinking is a must. Ultimately, that is how we change both minds and hearts.
As I did my daily peruse of Common Dreams, I found a substantive article titled “'Every Billionaire Is a Policy Failure,' Says Oxfam as Global Elite Gather in Davos“ that everyone should read. Anyone who listens to my program Politics Done Right knows the disregard I have for billionaires because no one can put the amount of work and intellect into anything to make that amount of money, It is an aberration in our economic system that allows the few with capital to monopolize on the intellect, work, and services of the many. Oxfam agrees.
As the world's corporate and political elite convened in Davos, Switzerland for the first winter World Economic Forum in three years, an analysis published Monday by Oxfam International found that the global rich have captured nearly two-thirds of all wealth generated since 2020—a period marked by a devastating pandemic, worsening costs of living crises, and continued fallout from the climate emergency.
In a new report titled Survival of the Richest, Oxfam shows that the top 1% worldwide grabbed $26 trillion of the $42 trillion in new wealth created, close to twice as much as the bottom 99% of the global population.
Billionaires, in particular, have seen their wealth explode since 2020, adding around $1.7 million to their net worth for every $1 in wealth gained by a person in the bottom 90% of the global income distribution. According to Oxfam, billionaires' fortunes have grown by an average of $2.7 billion per day since 2020.
Meanwhile, nearly 2 billion workers across the globe likely saw inflation rise at a faster pace than their wages, resulting in a real pay cut that has increased poverty, hunger, and other hardships.
The article was not done there. It points out the obvious.
To combat skyrocketing inequality produced by excess corporate profits and the disproportionate wealth gains of the ultra-rich—who also contribute far more to the climate crisis than the rest of humanity—Oxfam argues that governments around the world should institute "a systemic and wide-ranging increase in taxation" targeting billionaires who often pay astonishingly low tax rates.
The new report cites the example of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who—according to Internal Revenue Service documents obtained by ProPublica—paid a true tax rate of just over 3% between 2014 and 2018.
By comparison, Oxfam observes, "Aber Christine, a flour vendor in Uganda, makes $80 a month and pays a tax rate of 40%."
The aid group's report makes clear that Musk is hardly alone among billionaires in reaping massive wealth gains—much of it unrealized stock appreciation—while paying little tax.
"Every billionaire is a policy failure," the report says. "The very existence of booming billionaires and record profits, while most people face austerity, rising poverty, and a cost-of-living crisis, is evidence of an economic system that fails to deliver for humanity. For too long, governments, international financial institutions, and elites have misled the world with a fictional story about trickle-down economics, in which low tax and high gains for a few would ultimately benefit us all. It is a story without any basis in truth."
We must change our indoctrination. One of the reasons the Right and neo-liberals object to CRT is because an educated population will ask the important questions. Why am I doing the work, providing the service and intellect, as others take all the profits? It is the design of our economic system. It is a failure for most, even if most are unaware of why.
This subject is the topic of discussion today on Politics Done Right on KPFT 90.1 FM Houston today at Noon Central Time (1 PM Eastern/10 AM Pacific/11 AM Mountain). You can listen to it on air at 90.1 FM in the Houston metropolitan area or at politicsdoneright.tv.
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