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5 Nov, 2009 07:59

The billionaire bailout society

The new financial instruments invented about 30 years ago helped the America’s wealthiest to suck up the extra wealth created by deregulated finance system, explains Les Leopold, author of “The Looting of America”.

“From WWII to the mid-1970s, virtually every year productivity went up in America and the average wage of the average worker went up. The two lines [on a graph] went together, then they split apart. The average American production workers – about a 100 million people – their average wage now has gone down 18% since the mid-1970s, but the people at the top do fantastically well,” revealed Leopold.

He continued: “In 1970 the ratio of the top 100 CEO versus the average worker was 45 to 1… By 2006 it was 1,723 to 1.

“What is really missing is that steady average rise of the real wage, where the fruits of productivity are shared broadly – that has stopped. We have entered that brave new world, a sort of Milton Friedman capitalism – the great experiment of deregulation – killed that natural progression that we had done since WWII.

“The president runs the US, but the President is unwilling to toss overboard the fundamental philosophy that the bankers live under.

“Billionaires will get richer and we will have more of them – and we will have a hollowed-out middle class. And when the system gets in trouble, we’ll take money from the population and give it to the finance community to help them out.”