Fault Lines: The Top 1%

25 minutes 9.0/10 based on 1 votes

The richest 1% of US Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country’s income and control an astonishing 40% of its wealth. Inequality in the US is more extreme than it’s been in almost a century — and the gap between the super rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years.

Meanwhile, in Washington, a bitter partisan debate over how to cut deficit spending and reduce the US’ 14.3 trillion dollar debt is underway. As low and middle class wages stagnate and unemployment remains above 9%, Republicans and Democrats are tussling over whether to slash funding for the medical and retirement programs that are the backbone of the US’s social safety net, and whether to raise taxes — or to cut them further.

The budget debate and the economy are the battleground on which the 2012 presidential election race will be fought. And the United States has never seemed so divided — both politically and economically.

How did the gap grow so wide, and so quickly? And how are the convictions, campaign contributions and charitable donations of the top 1% impacting the other 99% of Americans? Fault Lines investigates the gap between the rich and the rest.

Released August 2, 2011. 25 min. TV documentary.

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  • JK

    Leftist propaganda. $200,000 is considered rich now? Anybody who believes the rich get richer by taking from the poor is just plain stupid! The fact is the rich get richer and the poor get richer! If you believe building wealth makes people poorer you’re just too ignorant to be helped. The truth is govt overspending, interference and over regulation of business is what is hurting our economy, not the wealthy.

    • Volc

      Regulation is hurting your economy? Are you kidding me?

      Regulation is run by the same people who run the companies who do unfair practices like cutting off people from firms or workplaces. The companies know they can make more money by firing the higher wage American citizens so they can send the jobs else where because it increases their profit. The major issue is that the companies aren’t sharing the profit amongst the people and are keeping it for their own little kitty.

      To say it is the poors fault for being poor is stupid, it is people like Alan Greenspan who allow for inflation and allow the American people to think it is okay to take out a loan for something they don’t need. So the rich can get richer of course.

      The gap is only there between the rich and the poor because the rich don’t spend their money, they just want to watch it grow. So it isn’t us who need to spend more money for the economy, its them who need to have higher taxes on their savings.

      If the rich are allowed to get away with it we all will suffer. I’m not agreeing with the documentary but something needs to be done, the rich cant get away with becoming richer by hurting the poor.

    • Cam

      They never tried to claim that “building wealth makes people poorer”…where on Earth did you get that idea out of this documentary? All they are claiming is that not everyone who’s poor has the ability/resources to get out of the hole they’re in (in fact, most don’t). Meritocracy is a myth, that’s what they’re saying. I don’t know what you thought they were saying but you clearly misunderstood it.

    • Maestra Sierra

      $200,000 is rich if you’re the only one, single, and you live frugally. However, even with a family, $200,000 a year is still a lot of money. Believe me. Between me and my mate we earn about $65,000 a year. Our savings is pretty high, but we’re a fugal bunch. You’d be surprised at how much people could actually live with. I think it’s all about lifestyle, your marriage status and amount of children.

      I don’t blame the wealthy too much… they must face the jury too and take personal responsibilities, especially if they’re at the fault of overseaing jobs rather than stimulating the local economy that has been so good to them…. I blame a society that places the wrong ideals of what needs to be the priority of ones life. Do you really need that ipad 2 when you already have a working original ipad? I blame the epidemic known as affluenza. Laugh all you want on that word but it’s happening all around us, even in the most impoverished neighborhoods. People glamorize and even worship the idea of appearing that which you aren’t. Does a kid really need a pair of sneakers that cost $149 when that kid doesn’t even have basic materials for school or even lunch to eat during lunch time? You’d be shocked at how many students go to school just for lunch and even then they don’t eat that garbage and cry to me that they’re hungry… “No duh stupid! You didn’t ate the free food that’s in front of you.” I don’t blame the wealthy either, but I wouldn’t blame what you’ve enlisted as potential suspects either. I blame the people in this case… for not prioritizing what is really important and needed in ones life.

    • Canthandleidiots

      JK you are a moron. Go educate yourself before spewing right wing capitalist garbage.

    • Kekacaus

      You are an idiot.just educated yourself.

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