Imagine a gigantic pot filled with money, sixteen to seventeen trillion dollars. This is the Gross National Product (GNP); the value of all the goods and services produced in the United States during one twelve month period (a fiscal year).
It is a finite amount that allows all the people in the country to function, to supply themselves with their basic needs and beyond. No matter how large or inconceivable the amount is it is still limited and must be utilized by all the people of the nation.
There are, according to the census of 2010, 308.7 million people in the United States. By the end of 2011 the Census Bureau estimated the count to be about 320 million; and if we add an additional 11 million for 2012 to this number, that brings the total population of the United States to approximately 331 million. If we divide the population into the GDP for 2012 the number we arrive at is about forty-eight thousand dollars per person, which would make the average for a family of four a little under two hundred thousand dollars a year, if we were dealing with per capita income.
This, of course, does not occur; the money distribution is far more unequal. People are paid according to their occupation. The CEO of a large successful corporation like British Petroleum or the Ford Automobile Company would be making well over a million dollars a month while someone with a minimum wage job would be bringing home $7.25 cents an hour, $58 a day, $290 a week, $1,160 a month, and $13,920 a year. That is before any taxes are taken out of his earnings.
The point, here, is that the GDP is fixed; no matter how large it is the amount is set, finite. If more money is taken out by the upper percentage of the population there is less available for the middle and lower segments of society. The result is as the base shrinks those people can afford less and less. In the long run this also hurts the upper echelon of society because it shrinks the potential of the money in circulation. They, in turn, will earn less than they could if there were a wider and fairer distribution of the national income. The upper percentage of the nation, both individual and corporations in their greed to lower their taxes and lessen or eradicate government control over their practices are actually working against themselves, and, in the case of the large corporations, against the welfare of their stockholders.
A fairer distribution of the wealth produced in the
U.S would jump the GDP to a much higher level and insure greater profits for the corporations and the upper percentage of the population as well as a much greater prosperity and productivity for the people of the nation.