The Pain of Inequality Among Yacht Buyers

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

The Pain of Inequality Among Yacht Buyers

In the spirit of holiday harmony and good will toward all, I say it's time for you working stiffs (and even those of you who've been badly stiffed and can't find work) to extend your hands in a gesture of solidarity with America's millionaires.

Why? Because we now share a common cause: Inequality. You don't hear much about it, but millionaires are suffering a wealth gap, too, and it's having a depressing impact on both their level of consumption and their psychological well-being. While it's true that millionaires are still full members of the 1-percent club, that generalization overlooks the painful and personally-grating fact that mere millionaires today are ranked as "lesser 1- percenters." They don't dwell in the same zip-codes as the über-rich few, who comprise the uppermost one-hundredth of the 1-percenters, with wealth starting in the hundreds-of-millions of dollars and spiraling up into multiple-billions.

No doubt you'll be saddened to learn that this divide between The Haves and The Have It Alls is widening. For example, have you checked the yacht market recently? Sales of your 100-to-150-footers are down by as much as 50 percent from 2008 – just one indicator of the hidden suffering being endured by the merely rich.

In this same time period, however, yacht sales of your 300-footers, with prices above $200 million dollars, are at all time highs. As a New York Times wealth columnist noted, "For decades, a rising tide lifted all yachts. Now it is mainly lifting megayachts."

Imagine how this makes people with only a few million dollars feel. So let’s reach out to comfort our downcast brothers and sisters. Tell them, "We're all in this inequality fight together," and invite them to come to the next rally in your area to raise America's minimum wage above the poverty level.

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This has been reposted from Jim Hightower's website.

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Jim Hightower

Union Matters

Steel for Wind Power

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

Siemens Gamesa last month laid off 130 workers at its turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa, just months after GE Renewable Energy decided to close an Arkansas factory and eliminate 470 jobs.

The companies reported shrinking demand for their products, even though U.S. consumption of wind energy increases every year.

America’s prosperity depends not only on harnessing this crucial energy source but also ensuring that highly skilled U.S. workers build the components with the cleanest technology available.

Right now, the nation relies on imported steel and turbine components from foreign manufacturers like China while America’s own steel industry—well equipped for this production—struggles because of dumping and other unfair trade practices.

Steel makes up the bulk of turbine hubs and the wind towers themselves. It’s also used to make the cranes and platforms necessary for installing the towers.

Yet the potential boon to America’s steel industry is just one reason to ramp up domestic production of wind energy infrastructure.

American steel production ranks among the cleanest in the world, while China has the highest carbon emissions of any steelmaking nation and flouts environmental regulations.

The nation’s highly-skilled steelmaking workforce must play an essential role in the deeply-needed revitalization and modernization of the nation’s failing infrastructure. Producing the components for harnessing wind energy domestically and cleanly is an important step that will put Americans to work and position the United States to be world leaders in this growing industry.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work