A year that began so brilliantly — for our top 1 percent — is ending in angst.
Just one year ago, Forbes was predicting that 2011 might well turn into “the best year yet to be rich.” That prediction made sense. President Obama and GOP leaders in Congress had just cut an eleventh-hour deal that extended the Bush income tax cuts for America’s deepest pockets — and dropped the federal estate tax on the wealthy even lower than George W. had left it.
How our world has changed since then. Smug smiles no longer grace the faces of America’s rich and powerful. The Occupy Wall Street upsurge has Wall Street’s toughest CEO, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, whining to reporters. That stuff about “everyone who is rich is bad,” said Dimon last week, “I just don’t get it.”
President Obama does now seem to “get it.” His December 6 address at Osawatomie, Kansas — site a century ago of Teddy Roosevelt’s most powerful warning against grand concentrations of private wealth — resounded with the cadences of the Occupy movement. In broad and clear strokes, the President described how “the breathtaking greed of a few” has plunged us into crisis.
This week in Too Much we detail that “breathtaking greed” with our fourth annual list of America’s ten greediest. Last year, at this time, the greedy we chronicled seemed arrogantly triumphant. Now they just seem pathetic.
The wheel has turned. In the year ahead, we all need to keep pushing . . .
With this week’s Too Much, we’ll be beginning our annual year-end publishing hiatus. Our weekly Too Much will return in early January, all tuned up for what figures to be an eventful new year.
Want to help get that year off to a rousing start? How about encouraging friends and neighbors to sign up for a Too Much subscription? You can even personalize an email invitation. And if you’d like to go above and beyond, please consider making a year-end donation via our Web portal at Inequality.Org. Thank you!
And check out the 10 Greediest listed at Too Much Online.