Engineered Inequality – Jacob Hacker & Paul Pierson on Engineered Inequality, Moyers & Company, March 1, 2012…Instead of shared prosperity our political system has now produced a winner-take-all economy…This gross inequality didn’t just happen. It was made to happen. It was politically engineered by powerful players in Washington and on Wall Street…. the optimistic message is that politics got us into this mess and therefore potentially politics can get us out of it. ..:
CATO Institute Report Says Poor Americans Have It Too Good by Joshua Holland, BillMoyers.com August 21, 2013
Why Elites Want to Mask the Suffering of Poor Whites by Chauncey DeVega, Daily Kos, August 1, 2013
Redistributing wealth upward by Harold Meyerson, Washington Post, September 25, 2012 – Which is the more redistributionist of our two parties? In recent decades, as Republicans have devoted themselves with laser-like intensity to redistributing America’s wealth and income upward, the evidence suggests the answer is the GOP. The most obvious way that Republicans have robbed from the middle to give to the rich has been the changes they wrought in the tax code — reducing income taxes for the wealthy in the Reagan and George W. Bush tax cuts, and cutting the tax rate on capital gains to less than half the rate on the top income of upper-middle-class employees…The less widely understood way that Republicans have helped redistribute wealth to the already wealthy is by changing the rules…Indeed, the United States has experienced an upward redistribution so profound that it affects far more than incomes. Whole sectors of the economy and regions of the country have been decimated by these economic changes. The descent in all manner of social indexes is most apparent among poorly educated whites… Many Democrats have been complicit in this calamity by their indifference to the consequences of deregulation and trade. But the trophy for promoting the policies that have redistributed wealth, family stability and longevity upward goes to the Republicans, whose standard-bearers are championing even more radical versions of these policies today…
CEOs average $12.3 million in 2012, 354 times the average worker by Laura ClawsonFollow for Daily Kos Labor, Apr 15, 2013 – The AFL-CIO is out with its Executive Paywatch. Here’s how some of the numbers break down: 1) In 2012, CEOs of S&P 500 Index companies averaged $12.3 million in total compensation, while rank-and-file worker wages averaged $34,645, for a ratio of 354 to one. 2) In Germany, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio is a relatively modest 147 to one. Workers make more—$40,223—and CEOs make less—$5,912,781. In Canada, it’s 206 to one. In Sweden, Australia, Japan, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom, and other countries, the ratio is below 100 to one. The comparisons with other nations and with our own past are a powerful reminder that how things are in this country right now is not how things have to be to have a healthy economy. The growing inequality in the United States that goes beyond a few CEOs isn’t good for our economy or our politics. But when you consider that 354 to one ratio, you understand the power that’s lined up against changing things for the better.
The Empathy Ceiling: The Rich Are Different — And Not In a Good Way by Brian Alexander, MSNBC, August 10, 2011 Studies Suggest The ‘Haves’ show less empathy than ‘Have-nots’ …the rich really are different, and not in a good way: Their life experience makes them less empathetic, less altruistic, and generally more selfish…the philosophical battle over economics, taxes, debt ceilings and defaults that are now roiling the stock market is partly rooted in an upper class “ideology of self-interest.”… There is one interesting piece of evidence showing that many rich people may not be selfish as much as willfully clueless, and therefore unable to make the cognitive link between need and resources. Last year, research at Duke and Harvard universities showed that regardless of political affiliation or income, Americans tended to think wealth distribution ought to be more equal. The problem? Rich people wrongly believed it already was.
How the Billionaires Class Is Destroying Democracy By Thom Hartmann and Sam Sacks, 19 January 2013 Op-Ed, Truth-out.org…It’s not the powerless who corrupt democracies… it’s the powerful who corrupt democracies. And money is the source of that power…America’s fiscal problems are a direct result of the Billionaire Class working behind the scenes of our democracy and syphoning off massive amounts of wealth for themselves while paying lower taxes than they’ve paid in a half-century…
How Inbred Elites Are Tearing America Apart by David Daley, Salon, June 26, 2013 – …Chris Hayes’ “Twilight of the Elites” … is a story about inequality and myths: the myth of the meritocracy and the reality of the very uneven society that allows those…As Hayes writes: “Along with all the other rising inequalities we’ve become so familiar with — in income, in wealth, in access to politicians — we confront now a fundamental inequality of accountability… we cannot have a just society that applies the principle of accountability to the powerless and the principle of forgiveness to the powerful. This is the America in which we currently reside.”…we can no longer assume basic competence from those who at least appear to have risen on the merits of intelligence…That kind of institutional rot seems to me one of the most important stories of the day – the problems facing us are so serious and so large, and yet we seem completely unequipped to deal with them forthrightly and seriously – whether in Congress, in the media, in academia… full text
‘Born on Third Base’: How the Wealthy Inherit the Earth, Common Dreams, September 19, 2012
The Rich Get Even Richer By Steven Rattner, New York Times, March 25, 2012
Exposing the Republicans’ 3-Part Strategy to Tear the Middle Class Apart — Let’s Stop Them in Wisconsin By Robert Reich, RobertReich.org, February 20, 2011
6 Ways the Rich Are Waging a Class War Against the American People By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, September 25, 2011
Socialism? The Rich Are Winning the US Class War: Facts Show Rich Getting Richer, Everyone Else Poorer by Bill Quigley, CommonDreams.org, October 25, 2010
The Richest 1% Have Captured America’s Wealth — What’s It Going to Take to Get It Back? By David DeGraw, Amped Status, February 17, 2010
Americans Don’t Realize Just How Badly We’re Getting Screwed by the Top 0.1 Percent Hoarding the Country’s Wealth By David DeGraw, Amped Status
Bitter Tales from the Massive White Underclass in Joe Bageant’s “Redneck” Memoir, AlterNet.org, September 20, 2010
The Economic Elite Have Engineered an Extraordinary Coup, Threatening the Very Existence of the Middle Class, By David DeGraw, Alternet.org, February 15, 2010
Redistributing Wealth To The Rich. The Progress Report, by Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Satyam Khanna, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Ali Frick, and Ryan Powers, October 24, 2008,
A Crisis from the Top: The Unwisdom of Elites by Paul Krugman, New York Times, May 9, 2011
Poll Conducted for Aspen Ideas Festival Shows ‘American Dream’ Unreachable for Most Americans, US Newswire | July 6, 2006 – …a new survey conducted by Dr. Douglas E. Schoen finds that a majority of Americans say they are not living the American Dream…Some of the key findings of the survey are as follows:– While 81 percent agree that America is the land of opportunity, the idea is not something that is being realized, it is simply an abstract concept. — Today, 61 percent of Americans say they are not living the American Dream.