I am not an economist nor do I claim to fully understand the reason why in the past 100 years personal income taxes around the globe have reached unprecedented heights, and why the size of governments across the globe has grown to the point where the executive earns $ millions in tax payers money each year.
I also have a limited grasp of the terms, indexes and instruments traded on the various stock exchanges around the globe, further I am making no claim as to my understanding why the gold standard was abandoned BUT I know the human race needs to survive and to prosper in a sustainable manner.
The US almost always takes the lead and my focus will be on them. The US Federal reserve system was the first reserve bank system in the world (as far as I know), and with this system came the false sense of security and proclamations of how great the free market system is [After the great Depression- which some still believe was engineered by those who created the Federal reserve system to oust the small banks by creating a panic]. The fundamental flaws of the system are still known and very well ignored by its proponents even today. The term 'funny money' came from the removal of the gold standard by the US - from there money became legal tender (basically useless paper with the power of the law behind it).
There will always be class differences. This is mainly due to the different personal and social perceptions when it comes to work, work ethics and wealth comfort zones. The big problem with capitalism is the rule of leveraged resources - Those who have will ALWAYS have the upper hand in a capitalist economy regardless of how hard an poor man works to level the field. Yes there will be entrepreneurial triumph every once in a while, but as industries form and mature it becomes harder to capitalise on demand if you are one of the 'small fish' and this means the gap between the haves and the have nots will certainly grow.
Another issue with capitalism is perpetual debt - as the US economy has grown so has its debt and the debt ceiling - which currently stands at about $14 trillion with the ceiling raised above that, this is a really BIG number and the shlep is that YOU as the tax payer are footing the bill whilst politicians make the decision to go and fight some unnecessary war somewhere with fake WMD. Look security is VERY important, but not at the expense of our children's future and ultimately our survival.
I am still trying to figure out how attacking a movement called Al-Qaeda which effectively is a Jihad militant religious grouping has any effect on terrorism or in anyway creates world peace - The US must explain to us - SLOWLY (some of us are not that bright). The effect of attacking Al-Qaeda in my opinion is to create more 'terrorists', as the saying goes - your terrorist is someone else's freedom fighter. Its like the crusades - they just made Islam more aggressive and this will not have any real result whatsoever. Maybe this is the aim of those in power so they can take away your freedom and privacy in the name of protecting you (who knows? Conspiracy anyone?).
Personal income tax has over the years increased to meet with the demand for money to wage war, pay public representatives and deliver services at the same time. Never in the history of mankind have taxes been this steep. I am talking about various ways in which the government funds its programmes and also municipal taxes, tranfer duty, etc etc...The list of taxes is quite endless and complex right about now - End result: The majority of the tax is collected from the middle and lower classes as the upper classes have the resources to ensure they pay minimal tax through consultants. There are also new taxes coming up just now - the Carbon tax is coming (like it or not). At the end of the day if citizens feel that the tax burden and the size of governments are okay then nothing will be done and public officials will continue to ride on your backs until the Lord returns.
Are there ultimate beneficiaries in this whole scheme of things - YES. The BANKERS - those are the people who benefit from your sorrow. The state is just a puppet as the Federal reserve is actually privately owned and run. They charge interest on every dollar they lend to the public (They make the funny money + interest) so every dollar that comes out already has interest attached i.e. they want their money plus more money (which they make) - so basically its debt prison created artificially by a bunch of greedy folks...yes really. If the reserve bank was totally government owned repo rates would be very low and this would filter to commercial banks and to customers.
The shenanigans that lead to the current economic downturn are known to everyone - GREED is what will ultimately decide what we do with capitalism.