Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Wake up, (your dream sounds so sad)

I didn't have time to read it all yet, but this piece on the end of the American dream is a knockout evaluation of the dynamics behind our current state of income equality. This one quote really resonates:
"The fundamental bargain, the core of America, has always been that we can live with big gaps between rich and poor as long as there is also equality of opportunity," Putnam says. "If that is no longer true, then the core bargain is being violated."
It's bigger than just a contract violation. A handful of rich and powerful megalomaniacs are seriously plotting to take over the bulk of the world's wealth. It's like we're trapped in the worst game of Risk ever. These guys aren't just hiding their cards under the board, they're using rigged dice.

[Post title taken from my favorite William Topley song.

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Anonymous teadoust said...

"we can live with big gaps between rich and poor as long as there is also equality of opportunity"

far as i'm concerned, that's always been the biggest problem. it's the con which allows us to simply disregard how bad things are for some people. sadly, as long as a fair number of us can get by (even with lowered expectations) things will never change. and those who fall by the wayside can and will be dismissed as losers.

1:27:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

With my overdeveloped empathy and life experience that ranges from being fairly well off to being poverty stricken, I can't disregard how bad it is for the poor. It's why I fight.

4:21:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

When that equality of opportunity offers as much valid hope as the lottery and no more, then we might as well admit our third world status. The American Dream, mythological though it's been, has evolved from working for a better future, to making a killing in the market, to buying that quick-pick at the 7/11. Have a great new invention and a ton of orders? Forget getting a loan and if you do, some Global conglomerate will sue you and put you out of business.

But I've been arguing that the natural trend in economics is the constant upflow of money and its attendant power, which is another way to describe feudalism. The more it accumulates at the top, the stronger the upward force.

Any system that does not balance that trend will fail. I believe history strongly supports the notion. The core of Republican/Libertarian economic philosophy is at odds with this statement. In effect it replaces the dream of progress with bread and circuses in that new corporate stadium.

9:07:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well said Fogg. That's exactly where I see us right now.

3:28:00 PM  

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