Moreover, they have seen to it that a range of special privileges
exists, not only for their own benefit, but as a means of winning
political support from all those who envy their lop-sided share
of the nation's wealth. Such privileges, (memberships in exclusive
country clubs, unlimited travel, vehicles, planes, business subsidies
and loans, tariff protection, price guarantees, etc. etc.) are
all made accessible in addition to tax avoidance methods, and
tax shelters, that the bottom 90% don't even make enough money
In response to a wave of independence movements which swept the globe in the late 40's, the great colonial powers were forced to withdraw many of their political representatives as well as their military occupation forces. Because this occurred, historians and the media were quick to announce that the colonial era had ended.
However, the more determined colonialists simply installed puppet governments in the 3rd World countries which gladly signed defense treaties which allowed the colonialists to re-install their military occupation forces. Despite the superficial changes, both Feudalism and Colonialism are very much alive and well today.
However, colonial exploitation did, at least for a time, decline. This decline triggered off a decline in the standard of living in the West for a couple of reasons. First of all, as the level of colonial exploitation was reduced globally, the spillover benefits of colonialism were reduced for all Western citizens. Even more importantly, the colonialists (i.e. the Feudalists) increasingly redirected the focus of their exploitation toward their own populations in an effort to make up for lost colonial revenue! Not only is exploitation in the 3rd World now worse than in the 40's, it's worse in the 1st World too!!
Since the 50s, the planet has in effect, been enduring an era of social regression caused by the widespread proliferation of the new and more subtle forms of both Feudalism and Colonialism.
It is also extremely important to keep in mind that the conditions
referred to throughout the book pertain not just to America, but
to virtually all the capitalist democracies, ...England, Canada,
Israel, Scotland, West Germany, South Africa, Ireland, India,
Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc., as well as to all the other
countries ruled by economically elite minorities. They are all
functioning like separate Feudal empires.
The distribution patterns of the 60's and 70's have been chosen to provide a valuable yardstick with which to begin an evaluation of our present condition. The statistics will show how things were in the 60's and 70's, and then by knowing what has happened in the last decade, it will be perfectly clear not only where America is headed, but why immediate action is so necessary.
When the comparative study was carried out in 1979, the information gathered was the latest available from each country. The studies have traditionally been carried out infrequently probably to avoid any unnecessary risk of the information becoming part of the public awareness, and hence a topic of popular concern.
During the 60's and 70's, the richest 1% owned an average of 25% of the total national wealth; the richest 5% about 45% of the wealth; and the richest 10% about 60% of the wealth; ...in virtually each of the Western nations.