Income inequality - it's the policy, stupid
Frank Rich posts a good column today on income inequality. He rehashes many of the points you high denominator readers already know but this is the money quote:
Inequality is instead the result of specific policies, including tax policies, championed by Washington Democrats and Republicans alike as they conducted a bidding war for high-rolling donors in election after election.It's about filling the war chests for the perpetual campaigns. On a related note, Steve Hynd posted a fine rant the other day that makes another point that can't be over-stated:
In 2008, the average net worth of a Senator was almost $14 million. The average net worth of a Congressman was $4.6 million. Every single one stands to gain $3 million from those Bush tax cuts over the next decade. Do you think that might just be a wee, tiny tad of a conflict of interest? [...]The bottom line is their bottom line and the same can be said for our very well paid media stars. It's all just a ratings game for them because they're so economically secure the marginal downturns that devaste working people who are living on the knife edge of poverty, just don't affect them all that much. For them it's a choice between the expensive and the obscenely expensive restaurant for dinner. For the working poor, it's a choice between turning on the heat or having dinner at all. Unless you've been there, there is really no way to know how horribly scary it feels.
Does your rich Senator or Congressman - or President - really get this? No. While median wealth in the U.S. plunged 39% during the housing crash, the wealth of the upper 1% dropped less than 12%. The rich aren't hurting nearly as much as the poor and mostly just don't care about our getting to work - the priority for them is debt reduction because it helps safeguard the value of the investments they hold. Those Senators and Congressman - and President - no matter which party political lable is affixed to them, have no fucking idea what it is to be truly poor in America. While you were suffering, they have increased their wealth.