“S. Robson “Rob” Walton, Walmart chairman, has a net worth of about $19.7 billion. And he’s only number 9 on the list of 2010’s top 20 richest Americans. Walmart workers, meanwhile, make around $8.75 an hour—about $18,000 a year. They’d have to work over a million years to approach what the chairman of Walmart Stores is sitting on. Alice and Jim Walton each have about $20 billion, and Christy Walton has $24 billion. Last year Jonathan Turley noted that the CEO of Walmart, Michael Duke, makes his average employee’s yearly salary every hour………..”
This is not just an American phenomenon anymore, although the gap tends to be wider in America and the third world (including the Middle East where the gap may possibly be the widest now) than in Europe or Japan. From Russia to Ireland, and south to the Middle East, income gaps are widening among working people and their corporate and government leaders. The middle classes, usually the pillars of stability wherever they exist, are being truly squeezed, forcing a very few of them upward, pushing the vast majority of them down the ladder. That is when revolutions erupt: when the middle class, if it exists, is threatened, when very few are at the top and most are at the bottom. Think France 1789, Russia 1917, China 1949, Iran 1979. The now-aborted Arab Spring was at least partly a bread and butter issue, about depots taking away both freedom and a chance at decent living.
Just when we thought Europe was irrevocably in its post-revolutionary stage, we are getting the ‘uprisings’ in Greece and Spain, not to mention the perennial French issue-oriented little ‘uprisings’. Advice to many older Europeans, especially in the PIGS countries: don’t throw away your Che Guevara posters and caps yet.
Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, barely, so don’t sell the farm yet…..