Income Inequality Hits The National Consciousness

Thanks Occupy:

Two-thirds of likely voters say the American middle class is shrinking, and 55 percent believe income inequality has become a big problem for the country, according to this week’s The Hill Poll.

It may not resonate in DC YET, but it is resonating.

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    I don't (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 09:43:08 AM EST
    think it's going to resonate with DC for quite a while unfortunately.

    What resonates in DC (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 09:55:27 AM EST
    is taking that strength in numbers to the polls. It is the only way to overcome the financial advantage.

    Take it to the polls and vote for who? (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by Romberry on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:02:58 AM EST
    The Democratic Party of the last 20+ years is not blameless for the awful situation we are in today. And if you look at what the Dems on the austerian "super committee" are proposing, they aren't exactly the solution to the problem.

    OWS is a recognition that we have a completely broken system. Republicans are part of that system, but so are the Dems. As far as I'm concerned, we should throw almost all of 'em out on both sides.


    Sure, throw them all out (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:11:17 AM EST
    You can't do that without going to the polls.

    If Republicans and Dems are the only... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Romberry on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:17:14 AM EST
    ...choices on the ballots, how is that supposed to work?

    It's a long game (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:23:22 AM EST
    If the "current" incumbent can be tossed due to voter dissatisfaction then the "new" incumbent can be tossed too.  Also with both parties scrambling for secure footing it gives a greater focus and visibility to alternate parties.  And maybe even a chance.

    They are seldom the only choices (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:25:36 AM EST
    It is just that people have never heard of the other choices. If enough people are fed up with the two choices, others will get more attractive.

    Granted, it is not going to happen overnight. But I see the OWS movement as a start in that direction. There was a local guy gathering petition signatures to get on the local ballot when I was at the OWS Orland. I have to believe that is happening all over the country at the OWS sites.


    Oops! Left out the intended link (none / 0) (#5)
    by Romberry on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:05:22 AM EST
    This is what the "super committee" Dems are putting on the table. Would I vote for that? Not in a million years.

    Well (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:01:04 AM EST
    I would have faith in that but lately DC has chosen to ignore the polls time and again. How many things like cuts in SS or Medicare that are politically unpopular are they planning to do? Lots it seems.

    I mean polls as in voting (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:12:19 AM EST
    If there is another way to throw the bums out of Washington, I am all ears.

    We don't have a "no confidence" vote (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:30:19 AM EST
    that would remove someone from public office; "throwing them out" via the electoral process means "ushering someone else in", and therein lies the problem with the electoral method: who do you replace the bums with, if the only choices are bums of varying flavors and intensity?

    I mean, what has your congressional delegation done to try to narrow the income inequality gap, and how will re-electing them give impetus to efforts to achieve more equality?

    If this becomes a conversation about electing these same Dems because they aren't widening the gap as fast as the GOP would like to, that's just not a convincing argument anymore - at least not for me, and I suspect, not for many who are active in and support the Occupy movement.


    More candidates are needed (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:34:47 AM EST
    As I said above, OWS is a great place for alternate candidates to get their partitions signed to get on the ballot.

    I honestly don't know what else to do. The only thing we in the 99% have going for us are sheer numbers, and those are most useful at the ballot box.


    Or taking our money out of the (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:38:52 AM EST
    mega-banks and depositing it with credit unions and community banks, and, where municipalities have pension funds and operating accounts for doing the people's business in those same maga-banks, putting pressure on them to do the same.

    That's useful, and that gets attention, too, in a language the 1% understand.


    Yup, that is a great one too (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:41:00 AM EST
    B of A is listening to the people rejecting their ATM card fees. I do believe that works.

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#24)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:09:35 AM EST
    I doubt they listened to customers.  They listened to the competition that formally announced that they wouldn't add the fees.

    why do you think the competition did that? (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CST on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:10:31 AM EST
    because customers were p*ssed and they were hoping to capitalize on it.

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:45:30 PM EST
    but "listening to customers" means doing something even if it doesn't directly affect your bottom line.

    What they were doing is listening to their competitors and the money going out the door.  They could give a rats hiney about their customers, except to the extent that their bottom line is affected.  This is why they thought they could charge the fee.

    I know bank of america.  I had a credit card there.  They started charging me a yearly fee because I was "a deadbeat"...which means someone who doesn't carry a credit card balance.

    When I went to cancel the account within the deadline where I could without incurring the fee, they wouldn't cancel it for me.  I called and called.  Then they started charging me the fee.  I had to contact the state Attorney General to get them to cancel my credit card.  

    No, Bank of America does not listen to customers..even when they want to leave.  They are the worst of the worst.


    A tiger can't change his stripes (none / 0) (#71)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 02:08:44 PM EST
    We can't expect a public corporation to look after the consumer's interests; they have a fiduciary duty to look after their shareholder's interests. Sometimes those things coincide, but often not.

    Instead, they can try to charge what they want, and we can transfer our money elsewhere if we don't like what they are doing. The key, of course, is that we have other options to go to.  I found a very nice local bank that I am very pleased with and transfered away from Citi over a year ago. I know not everyone has great options but most of us aren't completely powerless in this regard.

    Voting with your feet is something corporations understand. We should use it more often.


    In all the time I've been posting on TL (none / 0) (#91)
    by NYShooter on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 07:50:33 PM EST
    I don't think I've ever agreed with someone's comment (s) 100%.......... 99%?, maybe, but 100%?, never!


    Re: Bank of America....

    "Bank of America doesn't listen to customers.....they are the worst of the worst."


    I'm not saying (none / 0) (#56)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:46:05 PM EST
    that the competition is any better.  They all suck.

    Anne, do you have a good idea on a 401k (none / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:45:16 AM EST
    alternative? I don't want them gambling my retirement money is the WS casino, but I'm not convinced I would do any better with it.

    Possible the only advantage I see to a flat tax is getting rid of that deduction so we are not encouraged to send our money to the casino.


    I know that is waaay OT.... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:46:59 AM EST
    just on my mind lately as I contemplate fighting my dogs for food in my old age.

    May not be the easiest thing... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:21:51 AM EST
    but I would consider finding a local entrepeneur with a solid idea and invest direct with some likeminded partners looking for a new way to invest for retirement without going through the leeches.  

    I have a friend looking to buy a bread route...if I had some cash I would totally buy a piece of that as an investment.


    Unfortunately (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Amiss on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 02:22:37 PM EST
    in today's system of elections, the only way to become visible and then elected, it takes money and plenty of it. The very thing that is the cause of the problem. I see no way out unless a cap is put on total monies spent and donated by and to candidates. How can we get that done by those hands that it took to grease to begin with? No way in hades will one of them much less a majority of them to vote for such a law that I can see, at least.

    Alternative to "no confidence" vote (none / 0) (#15)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:36:43 AM EST
    would be Instant Runoff Voting.  But just as hard to implement, no doubt.

    How about a national write-in campaign (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:39:45 AM EST
    for No Confidence?

    Or maybe OWS could suggest a name of a person for everyone to use to express that sentiment.


    "None of the Above" is a choice I (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:42:53 AM EST
    could fully support; it's hard to imagine such a choice would not be the overwhelming vote-getter in a number of districts.

    If nothing else, it would express the people's dissatisfaction in a way that would be hard to ignore.


    Sadly you're probably right (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by cal1942 on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:47:29 AM EST
    Given what we've heard about the "Super Committee" in recent days, Democratic members have heard absolutely nothing.

    Given the way Democrats have responded to past electoral defeat we can expect them to become even more conservative if 2012 is a disaster.


    That's the other point I made to my (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:33:34 AM EST
    friend on Saturday.  (The first "point" was the observation that the pushback to the Occupiers happened pretty much all at once, nationally).  She has a good, long-time friend who is (I think) in the finance biz.  At any rate, said friend makes a LOT of money and works in New York.

    Apparently they have talked quite a bit about OWS and the crap I heard from her would make you tired.  "I wonder if any of them know what the Fed is", "What a joke, no one knows what they want", "what are they going to accomplish stinking up a park".  Seriously, I felt like walking home.  

    But instead I started by saying that I knew what they wanted.  It isn't hard to figure out if you listen.  And as to what they can accomplish by "stinking up a park"?  Well so far they've changed the narrative -- from Deficit!!! to income inequality.  She didn't have a response to that.  Then our cocktails arrived and it seemed like a good time to change the subject and let that idea percolate.  

    We'll see.  She holds that particular friend in high esteem.

    Reminder.... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:02:43 PM EST
    November 5th is Bank Transfer Day...if you haven't already gotten your pennies out of the clutches of the leeches called big banks, do it on the 5th.

    Remains to be seen if we can beat them, but we sure as hell don't have to help them...the big banks are using your money against you and people like you.  This aggression can not stand man.

    Goldman Sachs (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:20:45 PM EST
    is now using your money to beat down little credit unions and fight OWS.

    Goldman Sachs and Occupy Wall Street's bank: the real story


    No surprise, but at least my wife tells me... (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 03:38:42 PM EST
    ...that her little SF bank, New Resources Bank, has gotten, "tons" (her word) of new accounts in the last few weeks.  

    That's good news (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 04:02:29 PM EST
    Probably the best economy related news lately.

    Some young peeps from Google... (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 04:19:03 PM EST
    ...called her a few weeks back, asked her to help pub the Nov. 5 transfer day, said they were bringing New Resource their personal accounts.  I don't know how many people we're talking about, but I think Gen Y may well tilt the bank scale heavily, or at least I hope so.

    You ever get the impression (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 04:29:05 PM EST
    that Occupy right now is like the receding waterline that happens just before a tsunami rolls in and scours the beach? ;-)

    I don't know why, but that image keeps popping into my mind...


    I can see the tsunami coming (none / 0) (#85)
    by brodie on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 04:37:35 PM EST
    if the Rs sweep into power next year and start really rolling back all those socialistic and financially burdensome entitlement programs.  All the more possible if it happens as the result of another shady election outcome.  It could happen.

    next year? (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 04:45:07 PM EST
    Maybe have a look around you now.

    Pretty quiet where I am (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by brodie on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 07:47:05 PM EST
    in the scenic foothills an hour from the big city, except for the sounds of excited young kids anticipating a good Halloween's haul.

    If I know the American people well there will need to be a further time of growing frustration until one or two more galvanizing events -- eg stolen election plus Repub anti-New Deal legislating -- send even my fellow complacent suburbanites into the streets with the pitchforks and torches, but not before.  Right now we're just in phase one.


    Earthquake (none / 0) (#93)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:31:05 PM EST
    Well, you need an earthquake first.  Not all quakes create tsunamis.  

    Stellaaa (none / 0) (#94)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:17:28 AM EST
    I've appreciated your comments on OWS.  I am not sure where OWS is headed, and I think it's silly for anyone to claim they know.

    If OWS can be more than a dirty hippie movement for months to come, then I think it will have achieved a lot of what it has to.  Will that happen, I dunno.


    Scares me a little (5.00 / 3) (#84)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 04:33:54 PM EST
    I hope the credit unions never become like the banks.

    But my husband just switched his biz stuff to Boeing Employees Credit Union (anybody can join) and they said they've gotten thousands too.


    Beyond Income Inequality (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:25:29 PM EST
    The problem is not just income inequality, the problem is that the middle class myth is not sustainable and there is no effort, or vision on how it can be revived.  Income inequality is endemic in capitalism.  How else does it exist if it does not have the hordes of the permanently unemployed and unemployable?  

    The myth was that the middle class would stay the size it is and would grow.  In truth the myth died around 1978, since then we had all kinds of tricks to keep the expanding middle class myth going.  Well, the bag of tricks is done.  

    The middle class was happy as long as they were standing on the 20%-30% in poverty.  But, oops, guess what?  

    When labor organizes and exerts (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 01:00:32 PM EST
    its pressure on companies making billions, the middle class is created.  Problem now is that corporations say they only want to answer to shareholders and they have us all agreeing upon the importance of that because we all falsely believe that that B.S. ideology is going to make us all rich.  And when we believe the myth that Wall Street is creating our retirement and we all became shareholders we become complicit in destroying labor.  If those companies go bankrupt though we are all very very far from the most primary shareholders who will be paid first.  If there is anything left we can fight over that.

    As long as this country believes in the myth of Wall Street and only answering to shareholders, we will have this kind of existence.  If a corporation must answer to organized labor though they will all sob that it is damaging people's 401k's even though those really are nothing more than a ponzi scheme.


    Class Consciousness (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 01:05:05 PM EST
    If this is a baby step into class consciousness, the basic element of political awareness, I will  take it.  

    But seriously, I hate to be so cynical, what took so long?   I know, I know.  


    As you said... (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 01:12:57 PM EST
    the illusions...living on the credit card, amassing debt, avoiding serious illness all hid a lot of ills.

    It had to get worse before it starts to get better.  More and more formerly middle class Americans every day are getting the taste of the worse the forgotten classes have known all along.  The blinders are coming off.


    It's more than just that, kdog (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 01:48:46 PM EST
    Although what you are talking about is a real deal.

    Most people are too busy living life to pay attention to the details of policy and political funding and all of that.  They have families to support and bills to pay and have kind of a default position that assumes somebody is paying attention and taking care of business.  Their business.  We know that wasn't true.

    People have been jolted off the hamster wheel.  They've looked up and see that they haven't gotten a raise lately, but food costs more than ever.  And that nice couple down the street was just foreclosed on.  

    Moreover, suddenly it started getting really close to home when friends and family can't find a job, but still have a mortgage to pay.


    I hear ya... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 02:25:36 PM EST
    and we are paying for that sin...the sin of omission.  We the people have neglected our responsibility for our government, and are paying dearly...hopefully we're on track to correct this grievous error on our part.

    It's a full time job staying afloat, I get it...but it is no excuse, we better damn make time to pay attention and act accordingly, by voting right and by protesting and by taking more responisibility for our actions.  We are our own worst enemy sometimes, simply by going with the flow.


    The importance of the conversation change (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 01:09:32 PM EST
    is huge. We have to remember that a good chunk of the 99% are people that habitually close their ears to anything that sounds like a liberal economic message. The message "you are being robbed" is the one most likely to get through.

    We have one alternative (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 01:21:24 PM EST
    Jobs for the sake of jobs.  Technology plus population growth mean lost jobs forever if we simply sit and wait for the magical "free market" to correct everything.

    The simple truth is this: if you are going to allow for the freedom of making wealth, if you are going to allow for an almost unlimited ceiling, then you MUST ESTABLISH A HUMANE AND GENEROUS FLOOR THAT PROVIDES EMPLOYMENT.  Or you are going to have increasing chaos, with increasing millions of unemployed and disadvantaged and angry and hopeless.

    Period.  And this is only logic talking within me, viewing my society as rationally as I can.

    A humane and generous floor that provides work.  It's not that hard to figure out, it's hard to implement within the hardened heart of our economic system.  

    But it's all we have.

    Forget raise the roof...RAISE THE FLOOR!!!

    It's stuff like this (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by scribe on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 04:00:45 PM EST
    that give people more respect for what Occupy is saying.  And in the middle of the snowstorm, another encampment pops up.

    Staying outside for a message in the Maine winter gets people to respect both the messenger and the message (or at least listen to it seriously).

    Resonate in DC (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:19:08 AM EST
    Obama could not only save himself but he could probably give himself a larger majority in 2012 - but he can only do that with action - by starting to produce something, anything, progressive that it was expected he would produce but hasn't - and the votes he needs next year would immediately follow.

    Obama can have independents and liberals and progressives all across the country rewarding him for results instead of turning their backs on empty promises and one of the largest landslides in history in 2012 with just a few simple moves.

    Creating and pushing an actual, real, universal single payer health care bill and rolling back the bailout of the insurance industry for example might do it all by itself, for example.

    Although he could probably sew it right up it for himself by also starting torture and war crimes trials for Bush and Cheney, while withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan and breaking up the big Wall Street investment banks and prosecuting some of the people who destroyed the economy, like Goldman Sachs's Lloyd Blankfeinz and Magnetar's Alec Litowitz, while firing Tim Geithner.

    He's got a little more than a year, after all. Plenty of time.


    Now, how can you help him win in 2012, and avoid a republican administration?

    First, and most important, remember that fearmongering never worked very well for republicans either, so give up on any idea that selling fear of republicans is going to win support for Obama. All that tactic will do is what it's doing now - drive even more voters into staying home.

    Pick an issue or a set of issues. Draw a line. State clearly to Obama that "On election day 2012 you have our votes. Guaranteed. Without question. As long as you do 'THIS' before then."

    It then becomes an eyeball to eyeball poker game right down to election day. You must have the determination to not back down out of fear - and it must be made as clear as a club on the head starting NOW to Obama that there will be no backing down, that "THIS" is the price you will charge for your votes. You must also from today onwards completely ignore all fearmongering about the other party, and instead turn that around and use fear of losing to motivate Obama.

    You have the power to change things. You also have the power to either use the power you have, or to throw it away.

    It's not up to Obama. It's up to you.

    It will probably take a million or so people to do this, so you must start today, or nothing will change.

    -- How To Help Obama Win A Second Term

    I believe that 55% is a little more than a million people....

    Obama (5.00 / 7) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:02:19 AM EST
    has a credibility problem though. We all know by now that Campaign Obama makes all kinds of promises he has no intention of keeping once elected.

    Yep. He's a congenital liar, imo. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:36:06 AM EST
    But he wants to win next years (I think). And anyone who wants him to win next year can help him do that by holding their votes hostage and telling him what it will take to win those votes.

    It may seem a paradoxical thing for Obama supporters to contemplate, but it's reality.

    It's refusing to be ruled by fear, and instead ruling Obama and the Democratic Part with fear.


    Personally, I'd prefer to see the entire two party sham system torn down by Occupy, and that may be the outcome of it.


    The only way to deal with a lying a$$ candidate (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:39:23 AM EST
    is to be clear that the vote is dependent on a result.  Not on a promise of a result.

    That'ss what I said. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:44:58 AM EST
    I know (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:52:06 AM EST
    just reiterating because that point could lost in further discussion of the details.

    Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:53:51 AM EST
    erm... "party" (none / 0) (#34)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:38:01 AM EST
    Someday I'll learn to proofread....

    I am not interested in (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by scribe on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 02:49:21 PM EST
    helping Obama win a second term.

    The quoted piece is merely a slightly more sophisticated version of the "Hope" and "Change" posters from 2007-8.  What the quoted piece is trying to do is create a cheering chorus who may subscribe to the illusion it's seeking to foist on them, i.e., that Obama listens and will do things if you "now make him do it".  We've now had three years to see he listens to Wall Street and the Pentagon only.

    The central question of this election has been and remains whether a President who did jack sh*t to unscrew the economy, prosecute the guilty and put people to work in a time of 18 percent unemployment deserves a second term.  The answer to that remains "no".

    Re-electing Obama means ratifying (putting the Good Voter Seal of Approval on) his performance over the past three years.  And he will take a re-election as a sign that The People Approve and therefore no one need revisit the issues of 2008-2012.

    Just like Bush took his stolen election of 2004 as a ratification of his policies of tax cuts, torture, wiretapping and endless war.  To his credit, Bush was more honest about it, and said so directly.

    I have no fondness for any of the Rethuglican challengers and I share that feeling with many.  Obama will try to use that disdain as a ploy of "vote for me because the alternative is much, much worse".  And we'll get instance after instance of what a criminal, drunken, groping, crazed clown (to choose from just today's headlines) Brand Republican is.  Of course, when you choose the lesser of two evils, you're still choosing evil.  

    And I don't give a sh*t - Obama's covered for, empowered and enriched more criminals than possibly anyone in the history of the country.  Let the REpublicans take power - they'll only serve to run things further into a ditch and make for a bigger victory later.

    Obama can go f*ck himself.


    The quoted piece (none / 0) (#81)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 04:07:15 PM EST
    is mostly sarcasm. I wrote it aimed at the dkos cheering squads originally.

    So? (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by scribe on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 05:33:19 PM EST
    Makes no difference - too many people will be sucked in by that kind of BS.  You wrote it in sarcasm, O's campaign will write it in earnest.

    No they won't (none / 0) (#89)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 05:46:53 PM EST
    They hated it. Have a look at the comments there.

    So? (none / 0) (#88)
    by scribe on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 05:33:42 PM EST
    Makes no difference - too many people will be sucked in by that kind of BS.  You wrote it in sarcasm, O's campaign will write it in earnest.

    Has there every been anything approaching (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:59:33 AM EST
    "income equality" in the U.S.?

    How do you define "income equality "? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:21:02 AM EST
    There are always inequalities in something.  Some people are more gifted intellectually, or in physical beauty or financially.  Literal equality is not the point.  The point is the accelerated rate that resources have been taken from the 99% to give to the .1%

    Moral hazard is usually what keeps (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:11:07 PM EST
    rewards and payments in balance in a capitalistic society.  We have moral hazard for us though and none for the 1%.

    Equality is the buzzword, but (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by observed on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:26:37 AM EST
    income equity is the sense of it.
    People are making oodles of money, just because they have oodles of money; furthermore, their oodling is at the expense of the rest of us.

    Oh, well said (none / 0) (#29)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:29:29 AM EST
    That's it in a nutshell.  I like your response way better than mine.

    How much is income (none / 0) (#30)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:29:39 AM EST
    inequality?  Do you have a number?  

    For me, the difference is in the political (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by observed on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:32:54 AM EST
    economy. I don't really care if Bill Gates makes oodles. I do care that a small number of wealthy people dominate the political process, using their leverage to amend the tax laws ever further in their own favor.
    It's pure corruption.

    Your economy falls apart (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:09:43 PM EST
    The engines dies, and people start demonstrating on a large scale.  I know these concepts confound you, and I have no cure for what ails your comprehension.

    Exhibit A (none / 0) (#33)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:36:57 AM EST
    That the conversation is changing.  Some people are determined to hold on to their existing approach when attempting to shut down the conversation.

    Thank you for volunteering to show how shallow that argument is.


    Ok, (none / 0) (#41)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:04:10 PM EST
    legislate something using oodles as a measure.  How do you change something when no one will agree on what how much oodles are.  I tell ya, its like asking a progressive to define racism.  It's not happening.  Define oodles.  

    Missing the point... (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:09:49 PM EST
    we don't have a problem with making oodles, however you wish to define oodles, 8 figures or 9 or 10....we have a problem with making oodles by either breaking the law or buying favorable law.

    In a phrase, just do it honest.  Do you need a  definition of honest?


    He might need a "measure" of honest, LOL (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:15:45 PM EST
    I'm in for oodles (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:24:58 PM EST
    of honest.  Where do I get that?

    Hmm. Whether done honestly (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by brodie on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:29:00 PM EST
    or not it does bother me that in recent times some people have been able to accumulate vast fortunes in the tens of billions of dollars.  And now with the recent Court decision can all the more easily buy pols and elections.  Obviously I'm in favor of a much higher income tax rate on the millionaires and billionaires, including capital gains and inheritance.  Prefer the rates we had back in the sixties less whatever easy loopholes were available then.

    Soaking the rich... (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:55:39 PM EST
    within this government framework is a pointless excercise imo...it will simply be funneled back to the 1%.

    If and when our government is disinfected, then we can talk about tax rates.


    I don't believe I have ever seen where (none / 0) (#46)
    by coast on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:18:06 PM EST
    there has been a distiction made where the 1% was broken into groups of those who earned their money legitimately and those who earned it by other means.  The 1% has always been labled as one group.

    So why not point out those that make it (none / 0) (#48)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:22:35 PM EST
    either by breaking the law or buying favorable law?  Surely it can't be all the 1%.  I would guess there are plenty in the 99% who get along the same way.  Name some names.  

    That's what OWS is doing.... (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:39:12 PM EST
    bringing attention to the crime scene down the street.

    Matt Taibbi has done nothing but name names for 3 years...no one at the DOJ seems to care.  Or check out "Inside Job", lots of names...private and public sector.


    I think you will find the (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:46:38 PM EST
    names and the problem is that 99% of congress and the executive branch, and even the DOJ, is in the 1%.  

    Exactly... (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:53:48 PM EST
    they are on the payroll of the 1%, providing protection racket services for campaign funding and cushy jobs once they leave "public service".

    Nothing will change until our entire government is disinfected.


    The solution is very simple (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by observed on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 03:20:54 PM EST
    Tax the rich. More. Duh.

    While that is a nice first step (none / 0) (#77)
    by coast on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 03:30:59 PM EST
    it unfortunately falls far short of what is needed to solve the issues at hand.

    Frantically trying (none / 0) (#49)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:24:33 PM EST
    to hold on to status quo.  Show me why the current law good for the 99%.  Name some names.

    No not trying to hold on to the status quo (none / 0) (#53)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:29:29 PM EST
    I would love to get rid of corporate lobbying, union lobbying or lobbying by any group.  

    No bailouts of any kind for businesses or banks.  

    Heck everyone should be allowed to give as much as they want to campaigns along as it in no more than $50 dollars at a time, hand written out with pen on a check by the actual person making the donation.  No donations by any groups at all.  
    How is that for a measurement?  


    You're trying to hold on to the conversation ... (none / 0) (#67)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 01:33:54 PM EST
    ... as you know it.  As you've always tried.  You've always tried to use the conversation itself as a gotcha, as if that validated your opinion.  

    As you are doing right here,  right now.  You focus on minutae until you get to the point where you can say something off the wall and semi uncontroversial(as you did right here) as a way of exiting sideways the escalators you yourself created.

    It's just a tactic.

    I've learned that it's an exercise in futility to actually engage you with real logic.  Commenter after commenter has tried it.  

    Like I said, Exhibit A. Just an observation.  I'm observing that alot of the effect OWS has is subliminal or otherwise unobvious.  I'll pay attention to see when/how/if the ripple reaches you.  Just as I'm watching when/how/if the ripple reaches others.

    I know it's reached me.


    Logic, please point it out. (none / 0) (#69)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 01:57:42 PM EST
    oodles of it.  Oodles of ripples.  

    You just can't help (none / 0) (#70)
    by sj on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 01:59:39 PM EST
    being yourself.  I understand.  This is so typical a response I think it might be a parody.

    Aspects of that behavior sound like a form ... (none / 0) (#95)
    by cymro on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:36:06 AM EST
    ... Asperger Syndrome. But I'm not professionally qualified to judge.

    Yes, that's the problem I have (none / 0) (#75)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 03:08:30 PM EST
    with the word 'inequality'. Of course there is always inequality. Nothing inherently wrong with that. Equity is the word. Fairness. Not being robbed.

    I don't think the gulf has ever been (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:55:58 PM EST
    this big.

    Also there is the sense, deservedly so, that the 99% is being taken advantage of in an unfair system.  I don't mind if the rich get richer in a fair system, without ripping me off. But today they are allowed to manipulate every possible thing to their advantage.


    Bingo.... (5.00 / 5) (#62)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 01:01:30 PM EST
    try and get back dollar one from a bankrupt insurance company like Goldman did from AIG.

    Try and get interest free loans from the fed, then turn around and loan it out at 9%.

    Try to claim you're "too big to fail" and get an instant infusion of cashish when you're on the verge of bankruptcy.

    Different rules different fools is the problem...isn't it always.