Letter to the One Percent
In this vigorously argued manifesto, Orlando, an op-ed columnist and college lecturer, reinforces widespread perceptions that the richest 1% of Americans are waging class warfare on the rest of the population. Calling the difference between the 1% and the 99% "the deciding issue of our time," the author provides a dizzying array of dismal statistics, supported by a substantially documented bibliography. Orlando charges that the loss of decent jobs and incomes has pitted worker against worker, even as federal tax policy further tilts the balance in favor of the wealthy. Orlando maintains that pronounced income inequality is destroying freedom and justice in the U.S. Surprisingly, his concluding recommendations do not urge workers to the barricades. He asserts that the nation has been poorly served by the reign of the 1%, but nonetheless notes that the economic elite have traditionally played a beneficent role in American history. The author's amazingly simple plea is that members of 1% should realize their elite status is due in part to the benefits of freedom and democracy in the U.S. and, because of this, demand to pay more taxes. Significantly, Orlando doesn't make any predictions about when this change might occur.