Monday, October 1, 2012

Income Inequality IS a Big Issue!

Income inequality IS an Important Issue!

Updates:  GOP Congress Boosts the Wealthiest   
 “We discovered that income inequality increased during periods of Republican control of Congress and decreased when the Democratic Party was in control,” Kelly said.
Here's another good one... just published this past week.  See what kind of grade your Congresscritter got.  Thank them if it is a good one.  Income Inequality:  A Congressional Report Card.  You can probably guess which Congresspeople got the A's and the B's and which ones got the C's, D's, and F's. 

* From Paul Krugman's blog at the New York Times.  Credit below. 
I started paying attention to politics again a few years back, before the 2008 election and even before the 2008 meltdown.  I don't know when I started being aware of and concerned about increasing income inequality, but I remember the feeling of being stunned when I learned about the GINI factor and when I learned what the U.S. GINI factor was compared to those of other countries.  I did not believe that anything good could come with a GINI factor that was equivalent to that of many third world countries.   

Alec Baldwin wrote an interesting piece called "Can America Be Great Again?" published at Huffington Post.  My comments here are not specifically in response to his article, which contains some interesting ideas and information, but it is a reply to a comment about income inequality.

The person posted:

Perspective is what issues are about.
Name any one year out of the past 3,000 years that the subject of "equality" in earnings HASN'T been an issue! There has ALWAYS been a "1%," and ALWAYS will be.

To make it a political issue is to divide and conquer.....again, and again and again! THAT is what history shows.....a never-ending circle of the same issue.

Does anyone REALLY believe that by just voting for Obama, this will go away? Or Mitt? It is what it is, and it's not an issue that can ever be or will be resolved! Wait and see..............
My reply:

The inequality in this country now is as bad as it is in many third world countries. In a country this rich and this productive, NOBODY should be without a decent paying- decent paying- job commensurate with their skills and capacities. But paying people decently takes away money from the uber-rich at the top, and the uber-rich refuse to voluntarily part with their mountains of cash.  much like the sad people we see on Hoarders..  except that the riches of the Hoarders are mostly junk that take over their homes. 
 The basic point, which for some reason eludes you, is that, while there will always be a 1%, the percentage of income and assets amassed by the 1% is greater now than it has ever been.... and that is DESTRUCTIVE for this country.
The people guilty of "dividing and conquering" ARE the uber-rich who somehow think they are deserving of all of this loot ... NOT the people who are saying, "NO! This sucks and it is wrong." It does tend to be a never-ending circle of the same issue...
One of the things I learned as a young kid is that one of the reasons that this country was so great is that the extreme income inequality didn't exist here... We weren't stuck; we could move up, and moving up meant to a slightly larger house or perhaps a new luxury item-- It didn't mean six homes, each more lavish than the next, while your neighbors were moving into a trailer-- and "regular people" could live a comfortable life by working 40 hours a week in decent working conditions.  Those "regular folks" could provide for their families (usually on one salary), raise their kids in peace, send them to a decent school and retire in security and dignity. 
I certainly do NOT think income inequality will go away under Obama... The problem is much, much deeper.  However, if we didn't have constant Republican obstruction and constant Republican propaganda telling people that the biggest problem is "lazy people with their hands in your pockets" (vs. the sociopathic and greedy mega rich people who turn their heads to the suffering of people who aren't as rich as they are), we'd be on our way to a more equitable society.  The only hope for returning to that more egalitarian country that I grew up in is to elect more Democrats and toss the Republicans out of power.
Romney? We KNOW that we would just go farther and farther towards the income inequality that has been so destructive to us for the past 30 years.  We heard his opinion on the 47% and no amount of excuses will change those comments.  They were very, very clear.
Let's make this clear again:  No, Both Parties Are NOT the Same! 

* The graph is from the introduction to Paul Krugman's blog at the New York Times in 2007.  Krugman writes:  

In fact, let me start this blog off with a chart that’s central to how I think about the big picture, the underlying story of what’s really going on in this country. The chart shows the share of the richest 10 percent of the American population in total income – an indicator that closely tracks many other measures of economic inequality – over the past 90 years, as estimated by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez. I’ve added labels indicating four key periods. 

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