Monday, November 20, 2006

Let's Call It What It Is

One of the underlying themes this election season was little discussed, but often in the middle of debates. Its why the GOP hyperventilation about tax cuts made it into debates, why the economy seemed to be ignored over the growing disaster of Iraq, the corruption of the GOP, and it was the foundation of the plaintive Democratic theme, "we can do better."

I refer to the growing income gap in this country, nicely laid out in this article by Don Bauder. It's something I've talked about a bit over at the old homestead, it's something I've argued in comments about, that sure, the economy may be doing great, that wealth may be on the rise, but it's not any where near equitable or uniform. What are those stats cited in the article,

  • Chief execs of the largest corps make 500 times what the avg worker makes.
  • Forty years ago it was 80 times.
  • The top 1 percent of Americans has 34.4 percent of the wealth.
  • The top 5 percent has 58.9 percent.
  • The bottom 80 percent has 15.3 percent.

Oh yes, the economy is doing fantabulously. But not just for everyone. In fact not for most everyone. Sure, we have more material stuff, hell it was our patriotic duty to consume more, right, but having more stuff doesn't pay for a serious medical illness, put the kids through college, or move your good retirement date any closer.

You're going to see this theme more now that those nasty Democrats have control of Congress, and State legislatures, and Governors (don't even say it, muck. Grrrrrrr!)

But will they call it the way it is?

Tax the Rich!! Feed the Poor!! Medical Insurance for All!! Make the Rich Pay!!

That strange rumbling sound you just heard was the shudder of the GOP wealthy. People are starting to get a sense of what has really been happening while they've been looking at the death and destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, peering under their beds for Terrorists, duct taping their windows, all the scaremongering and terrorizing done by their own government.

As Democrats start their oversight, as Henry Waxman gets some answers, as the Democratic Staffers, as the Whistleblowers, as the wronged in this country get heard, that shudder is going to turn into squeeling and whining like nothing we've heard, as the gopper corporatists try desperately to hold onto that wealth, and as everyday Americans realize that wealth was unfairly earned at their expense, there's going to be some serious dues paying, and it will get ugly.

But it must be done, if we're to have any say in the future, any pull with China and the tremendous threat their billions of consumers pose to this planet if they don't manage their growth with intelligence and foresight, if we don't want to plunge the world into another world wide depression and world war, a real one, fought for control of the planets resources, oil, fresh water, food.

And I'm an optimist!!


muckdog said...

C'mon, Duck. Community colleges are practically free. I hear about "can't afford for college" and wonder if folks are pricing out an Ivy League school or something. In addition to the community colleges, the state university system is pretty inexpensive. Throw in government grants and loans, and anyone who wants to go to college, can go.

Your Leftcoaster buddies are predicting a recession in 2007. I think they could be right, as the Fed has gone too far in hiking rates. Taxes are not going to go up if we're having a recession or even an economic slowdown.

Besides, I doubt Bush is going to sign any tax increase during his term.

muckdog said...

Like the blog archive widget. Cool.

Anonymous said...

There's a troubling problem with regard to media bias: they have to socialize with their subjects in order to maintain access. And they're more likely to empathize with those who see no problem in living lavishly, since those people are more fun to socialize with.

~ dj moonbat