Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wealth Inequality in America

It's not what you think it is:

The Dystopian Dream for America, brought to us by conservative and libertarian ideology.

 The conservative/libertarian ideal is to shrink government so that it will drown in a bathtub. 

No Medicare, no Medicaid, kill Obamacare, and other safety nets for the poorest of the poor.  Only charities and vouchers for a country of 311 million people. 

Oh, and a bazooka and AK-47 in every pot.  

BTW,  no birth control for you, lady, it's immoral!    

Is this their "vision" for America?


Infidel753 said...

Only charities and vouchers for a country of 311 million people.

They want the state to get out of the business of providing a social safety net, so that the needy will be thrown on the mercy of churches, which will thereby be empowered to preach at, moralize at, and otherwise torment gay people, sexually-active unmarried women, and anyone else frowned upon by their bronze-age taboos.

Rational Nation USA said...

Gee Shaw, this.sounds all to familiar. You, in lumping anyone who is a true conservative, or a reasonable small Libertarian into one big pot are doing precisely what progressives accuse conservative of doing. Which of course is lumping you ALL progressoves into one pot of Marxist or Leninist ideology.

I must say I'm rather enjoying this. I'm now going to reread Marx and Engels.

Cheerio old chap...

Shaw Kenawe said...

You mean libertarians and conservatives LIKE government? Rand Paul, for example, wants to get rid of the Department of Education. He also didn't see why private businesses couldn't turn away customers on the basis of their skin color. That's a great libertarian idea, isn't it.

Grover Norquist made a large number of GOP House members vow to NEVER, NEVER, NEVER raise taxes. EVER.

How does a country pay down its deficit with just cutting programs?

Look at Europe and see how austerity turned out there.

Major FAIL.

Anonymous said...

"Take government and drown it in the bathtub"

The Republican mantra.

I'm sure the founding fathers would find that a traitorous statement.

Great countries take care of their sick, elderly, children and others unable to take care of themselves.

Republicans want to take America back to a pre safety net society. Really! Either they don't care about humans, or they have no idea what a pre safety net America was like.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anon, there's a photo of that pre-safety net America in this post.

skudrunner said...

And what does the leader do for Americans. Millions are unemployed or underemployed. Companies are moving jobs over seas. The leader closes tours to our WH during Spring Break so he can use that money, not to spur industry but to campaign about gun control. He gets his tax increase and when he has to enact his idea of sequestration, he just wants more taxes. When he is given the option to decide how to cut spending on what he chooses, he backs away because he would rather blame the republicans that make any decisions. If more people were employed, he would have more taxes but that goes against his tax the "rich" and blame everyone else for his failure.

This is not surprising since during the height of the recession, he spent all his time pushing for Obamacare to aid the minority of Americans at the expense of the vast majority instead of working to help the economy and All Americans.

Yes wealth distribution is unequal but how does stealing from wealthy help the poor, it never has. What people need are jobs and he is far to concerned with his agenda to care about the majority of the country.

Keep them down and keep them democrats, it has worked so far.
Is he ever going to work to make the country more prosperous for all or just jet around playing golf and campaigning. Unless the law is changed, he cannot run for president again but don't tell BHO because he would have nothing to do.

Infidel753 said...

RN, What Shaw is describing is hardly a "fringe" position on the right. The Ryan budget is mainstream Republican ideology by any reasonable standard -- certainly by the support it gets from Republican legislators. There isn't some more moderate conservative mainstream that's being smeared by association with this stuff. This is the conservative mainstream.

By contrast, very few people on the American left embrace much of the actual policy platform of Marx, much less Lenin.

Shaw Kenawe said...


You're not very well informed are you. All you've done here is regurgitate stale, partisan talking points that you've not backed up with a jot of evidence.

But in the interests of educating you, I'll leave you with this to read:

"...since 1973 national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per household has increased 46 percent in real terms, but median income per household has only increased 15 percent. Where did the other 31 percent go? It went to the wealthy.

... the gap between economic growth and median incomes has a lot to do with rising inequality.

... it remains striking how little of growth has trickled down to the typical family.

Supply Side economics is the cornerstone of Republican economic theory and has driven U.S. economic policy since the Ronald Reagan presidency. This is how Investorpedia describes it:

Supply-side economics is better known to some as "Reaganomics", or the "trickle-down" policy espoused by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan. He popularized the controversial idea that greater tax cuts for investors and entrepreneurs provide incentives to save and invest and produce economic benefits that trickle down into the overall economy.

In other words, if government economic policy focuses on making the rich richer, the benefits will "trickle down" to everyone else. As supply siders are fond of saying, "A rising tide lifts all boats." Since Supply Side economics came to dominate American economic policy during the Reagan administration, the rising economic tide has certainly lifted a lot of yachts, but at the same time it has left most of the row boats stuck in the mud.

The past quarter century of Republican economics has proven that the trickle down theory is just a convenient excuse to justify an economic policy favoring the rich, with the benefits trickling up to make the very wealthy even wealthier."

Our dire economic predicament and income equality started with the Reagan years and Mr. Obama has nothing to do with it.

Shaw Kenawe said...


"A huge share of the nation's economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244.


The superrich have grabbed the bulk of the past three decades' gains.

During the 20th century, the United States experienced two major trends in income distribution. The first, termed the "Great Compression" by economists Claudia Goldin of Harvard and Robert Margo of Boston University, was egalitarian. From 1940 to 1973, incomes became more equal. The share taken by the very richest Americans (i.e., the top 1 percent and the top 0.1 percent) shrank. The second trend, termed the "Great Divergence" by economist Paul Krugman of Princeton (and the New York Times op-ed page), was inegalitarian. From 1979 to the present, incomes have become less equal. The share taken by the very richest Americans increased."

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Recent debates about whether public- or private-sector workers earn more have obscured a larger truth: all workers have suffered from decades of stagnating wages despite large gains in productivity. The current public discussion illogically pits state and local government employees against private workers, when both groups have failed to sufficiently benefit from the economic fruits of their labors. This paper examines trends in the compensation of public (state and local government) and private-sector employees relative to the growth of productivity over the past two decades.

Wealth Inequality Destroys US Ideals

Since the national rise of Ronald Reagan three decades ago, the United States has been on a deadly course for a Republic, with wealth rapidly concentrating at the top and average Americans sinking or struggling to stay afloat."

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Income Gaps Between Very Rich and Everyone Else More Than Tripled In Last Three Decades, New Data Show
Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Arloc Sherman and Chad Stone

The gaps in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and 2007 (the period for which these data are available), according to data the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued last week. Taken together with prior research, the new data suggest greater income concentration at the top of the income scale than at any time since 1928."

Rational Nation USA said...

No shaw, I did not say they like government. What I said was you lumped everyone who is a libertarian or conservative into the same basket. The most negative one you possibly could. Which for a person of your intellegence is surprising. You seem not to differentiate between big L libertarians and small L libertarians. Nor do you recognise apparently that many conservatives realize we need a combination of revenue increases as well as spending cuts. Many conservatives and libertarians realize the current rEpublican power structure is every bit as statist as the Obama administration is.

Your extreme partisianship apparently does not allow you to recognize the preceeding. Or perhaps it is because you and the progressive movement lack any desire to find common ground by Amy means.


Shaw Kenawe said...

RN, I'm not aware of any prominent GOP/Libertarian who is in favor of a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases--that's President Obama's proposal. And John Boner has said absolutely NO! because the upper 1% already got its tax increase by having the Bush tax cuts for that segment of the population end.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw, you and so many of the left seem not to understand. Which is of course to be expected when hen your issues are so driven by partisanship and pure ideology.

Even when there is partial agreement the left is never satisfied. So tell me again why I, who has found areas to support some of.your agenda or any conservative or libertarian should bother. For the progressive it either 100% your way or the highway.

Think about the implications

As of now I'll take the highway. By the progressives choice compromise is impossible.


Shaw Kenawe said...

RN, my comment @11:25 does not apply to you. I thought you would understand that I was referring to conservative/libertarian US LEGISLATORS, because it is THEY who make decisions on whether or not to support revenue increases along with cuts in spending, not you. I fully understand that you support that position, but you don't serve in the House or Senate, so you can't influence the issue.

And for your information, I am no more of an ideologue than you are. There are plenty of posts on your blog where you slam liberals and their ideas, and I've read them. Plus you're a great admirer of conservative blogs and their posts.

If you believe I should be a fence-sitter on my beliefs to show "balance," you will be disappointed.

While I don't agree with everything Democratic/Liberal politicians espouse, I do find a more welcoming, compassionate, and non-crazy atmosphere in that party than I do in the GOP.

There's a reason so few minorities find a home in the Republican Party.

Just look at the recent CPAC convention. They did not invite GOProud, a conservative group of gays and lesbians. And they snubbed Governor Christie because he cooperated with President Obama during Hurricane Sandy. And where was one of Romney's top choices for vp, Portman? He had the nerve to come out for equality in marriage? That made him toxic in the GOP.

Why would I or anyone find anything to admire in the present GOP?

I agree with the Libertarians' stand on social issues, but their idea of tiny government or extremely limited government in the third most populous country on the planet is just not practical. I dislike their slavish devotion to Ayn Rand's philosophy.

Shaw Kenawe said...

BTW, Gov. Walker of Wisconsin is coming around to acknowledging that opposition to equality of marriage is a losing position. More and more GOPers understand that.

The problem with the GOP is that they are not leaders on these issues. They begrudgingly follow and then join their Liberal opponents. But they are not leaders.

That's because they use religion instead of the Constitution to guide them in their positions on social issues.

Anonymous said...

RN got confused, because even though he says he's Libertarian, he is just a Republican, and his statements back that up.

S.W. Anderson said...

"Yes wealth distribution is unequal but how does stealing from wealthy help the poor . . ."?

The better question, in light of how things have progressed since the so-called Reagan revolution, is, how does stealing from everyone but the rich help any people but the rich?

The past 30 years have been a learning experience for millions of Americans with no living memory of the Great Depression and what led up to it. The answer to my better question is, it doesn't.

Taxing the rich in proportion to their benefits received and ability to make a fair-share contribution to the common good is only stealing in minds of ignorant, selfish people.

But to answer Skudrunner's ignorant, selfish question, four years after the Great Society programs launched, the number living in poverty in America had been reduced by nearly half. Just four years!

And yet, during that time, no wealthy American was impoverished by the burden of taxation. The rich got richer, upper middle class people moved up to the ranks of the wealthy even as poor and working-class people made it into the middle class for the first time. And in doing that, they became net contributors to the common good instead of drags on the common good.

During those four years, roughly a million people received education and training to make them employable and to help them find and land jobs. Just four years!

Like John F. Kennedy (Irish, don't ya know) said, "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."

Kennedy was right. He knew instinctively as well as intellectually what Molly Ivins liked to say: "We all do better when we all do better."

Shaw Kenawe said...

S.W. Anderson, excellent answer to skudrunner's regurgitated talking points.

Let's see if skudrunner can refute any of your facts without returning to talking points. Because it is indisputable that since the onset of Reagan's trickle-down b.s. the middle class and the poor have lost and the already richest of the rich are still winning.

Rational Nation USA said...

"If you believe I should be a fence-sitter on my beliefs to show "balance," you will be disappointed."

And as I said, and your response clearly confirms, compromise with progressives is impossible.

"And for your information, I am no more of an ideologue than you are..."

Really? And by what evidence? Perhaps when you criticize the progressives and the democratic party (did I get right to your satisfaction)as much as I do the rEpublican party I'll believe your statement.

"Portman? He had the nerve to come out for equality in marriage? That made him toxic in the GOP."

Change comes hard for most people Shaw, even progressives if you understand what I'm saying. Portman should be applauded and encouraged for recognizing his mistake.

But no, I realize you progressives, with all your BS about understanding and tolerance are really only talking bullshit. There is no tolerance and understanding about human so called "failures", doing so only works for you id it fits your template.

I have had to live in the world of business, working with and compromising with literally hundreds of people over my 40 years in business to manage effectively. That has meant I HAVE HAD TO COMPROMISE MY PREFERENCES TO ACCOMPLISH ACHIEVING THE PRIME OBJECTIVE. And yes this has meant understanding and recognizing the value and the contributions of UNIONS. As well as respecting the talent and concerns the membership has brought to the table.

So, please forgive me when I simply can not help but laugh at the progressives ideological and academic view of reality.

I've been in the trenches with democrats, rEpublicans, libertarians, socialists, Marxists, virulent statists, and I have learned from them all. Can you say the same? From your posts and comments it would appear your perceived superiority of pure theory and academia guides your life. In reality it really is the practical application of both that works.

Continue with the progressive brethren to demean and chastise the intelligent, hard working, reasonable, and rational conservatives and libertarians and we will never subscribe to YOUR Tyranny.

Have a good day, and tell your aNonymous and ignorant shadow for me to stuff it.

Cheerio and I'll be posting soon on the hypocrisy of the progressives.

Shaw Kenawe said...

SK: "If you believe I should be a fence-sitter on my beliefs to show "balance," you will be disappointed."

RN: "And as I said, and your response clearly confirms, compromise with progressives is impossible."

RN, that response from you shows why it is difficult to have a discussion. Standing firm on one's beliefs has nothing to do with compromising to attain legislation to achieve them.

You show by your answer that you don't understand that.

And I've yet to read anything by you that is negative about Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Do you not understand that your allegiance to Objectivism has NOTHING to do with you ability to compromise on achieving it?

Apparently not.

You seem to have a need to prove that everyone but YOU is partisan.

Have you looked at yourself and your partisanship on libertarianism? And, BTW, I don't recall your ever, ever telling our friend Silverfiddle that he needs to be more balanced. He's as much of a devotee to his beliefs as I am to mine, but you have no tolerance for liberals and progressives who stay true to their beliefs.

Also, exactly what about my stand on issues do you believe I should have a more "balanced" position?

LGBT rights? Voting rights? A woman's right to choose? Background checks for gun purchases? Climate change? Those are, among others, things I won't compromise on.

Fiscal issues are different, and I have more flexibility on what we should do to rein in spending, starting with the Defense Department.

Edward Ott said...

Fabtastic post. before you know it Liber8 will be a very real thing.

Rational Nation USA said...

Again Shaw you are incorrect in your perception of what I understand. Just confirms however the saying " a person's perception is their reality", of course recognizing this helps in maintaining a balanced perspective.

Anonymous said...

"Continue with the progressive brethren to demean and chastise the intelligent, hard working, reasonable, and rational conservatives and libertarians and we will never subscribe to YOUR Tyranny."
Now there's a statement that shows respect, compromise and understanding of all viewpoints, and typical Republican dictatorial hogwash. Tell us again how reasonable you are. Sounds just like Rush.

Rational Nation USA said...

Oh, I almost forgot, I admire much of Rand's philosophy and freely CHOOSE as an independent individual to live by the principles of Objectivism as best as I can. As I understand the concept of rational self interest I am far more capable of rational compromise than either the hide bound progressive or statist conservative.

Happy St. Paddy's day!

Rational Nation USA said...

Oh, another thing. You obviously have not grasped my position on the MIC, or the DoD budget. Again Shaw you, like your progressive brethren are so busy deciding just how to fit those who don't agree 100% with your agenda into your template you completely miss the point, and opportunity.

What the hell, such is the life...

Shaw Kenawe said...

So from what you've written, RN, I have to believe that YOUR perception of my position on issues is also YOUR reality, but not necessarily the what is mine.

That cuts both ways, my friend.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw, I believe you might be starting to grasp just a bit of what our, and the nation's conundrum is.

Good evening my friend, you, unlike aNom are a worthy debater. I may differ 55% of the time with your views, but who knows, maybe in time I will bring you around. ;-)

Rational Nation USA said...

aNon, I'll tell you myself this time, Stuff It. And, since you are an unworthy opponent I've given my final response to you.

Toodles Chuckles...

Anonymous said...

I don't expect an honest response from you, but will point out when you are being dishonest compared to what you have written on your blog, or other people's blogs, and when the facts contradict what you say, which is most of the time. You never defend what you say, just insult the person repeating your own words. So explain with facts why you keep insisting that both parties are equally to blame for our 17 trillion dollar debt, or why we should abandon our people by killing off government and the programs that have served 100's of millions of Americans well for 100 years. "Stuff it" how original and a typical response from you. You are afraid to make clear and simple statements on what you believe, which is why (as you claim) most don't have a clue what you are talking about.

Rational Nation USA said...

My statements are clear if one takes the time to actually think about them withoit filters or being worried about how they don't fit the progressive template.

Rational Nation USA said...

Oops, I guess I gave you a bonus response.


Dave Miller said...

RN, you stated many times your view that both parties have blame in where we find ourselves.

Of course that is true and Shaw has stated many times that she is not 100% happy with President Obama, even pointing out and allowing other liberal commenters to voice their displeasure.

We are by no means a monolithic group, as you seem to imply with your comments.

I think you'd be hard pressed to find many of the conservative blogs that we all read that were critical of President Bush while he was in office, as they were dedicated to following the company line.

The simple fact that we in fact are openly critical of Obama argues for a different understanding.

Now whether or not all us progressives are interested in is capitulation of the GOP, which many conservatives, principled or otherwise, and libertarians claim, there is much to be said.

It was the progressive president who put entitlement cuts up for the "grand bargain" much to the chagrin of his more liberal base.

It was a progressive president who has presided over one of the largest period of governmental spending cutbacks in our history.

It is also a progressive president who does not seem much interested in cutting back the military and in fact is acting much like the prior resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

And what does he get?

Les, he gets a GOP where every candidate for president said a 10 to 1 ration of cuts to revenue increases was not enough.

He now has a "negotiating partner" who says there will be no more revenue increases, loophole closings, or new taxes of any kind.

Here's the link in case you missed it yesterday...

Who is holding who hostage?

You in your most libertarian self, are much closer to this view of our problem than you care to admit.

It is not President Obama, who has offered up cuts in Medicare and Social Security who is demanding capitulation, it's the GOP and the great majority of their leaders, beholden to the Rand Paul Tea Party Libertarians.

Dave Miller said...

Now as we turn to government spending, Les please explain how it is the progressives who want capitulation from principled conservatives and libertarians when the Ryan Budget, which purports to balance the budget in 10 years, will take us back to 1948 government spending levels?

What can we surmise from a budget that has as its baseline spending levels a year when there was no Medicare, NASA or Federal Highway System?

I give it to Ryan, at least he is honest. He truly believes gov't has no function in the daily lives of people and people that support his budget, must, by definition believe likewise.


Shaw Kenawe said...


By presenting his budget as "serious" Ryan has proved he he is anything but.

He wants to get the country going by comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted?

Rational Nation USA said...

Have I posted support of the Ryan recent budget proposal at RN USA? I thought not. And I thank you for actually having read, at least in part, and understanding, at least in part where I am coming from. Perhaps there will come point in time when adults on both side of the debate rule the day. Unfortunately I may not live long enough to witness that day.

Thanks again Dave...

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Shaw, you've fallen prey to the same lack of deep-seeded thinking that characterizes all progressives (and, yes, a great many conservatives also). You're looking strictly at static categories and not at the actual flesh and blood human beings who comprise them....For example, did you know that according to the IRS's own data, 58% of the people in the bottom quintile (according to income) in 1996 were out of it by 2005 and that the income of that quintile as a whole (again, the actual human beings and not the static category) went up 91%? Or that more than half of the people in the top 1% of wage earners of were no longer in that group during the same time frame and that their income actually went down? Look, I'm not necessarily indicting you for not being aware of this (hardly anybody is) but I'm also hoping that as a open-minded individual you're going to concede that this is a hell of a lot more complicated now that you do know it.............As for Mr. Ryan's budget (which I have criticized as well - mostly for his treatment of the Pentagon as a sacred cow), it raises federal spending 40% over the next 11 years and, while, yes, it does introduce a premium support option to Medicare, you should probably also know that Democrats such as John Breaux, Ron Wyden, and Alice Rivlin have themselves made some similar overtures. Yes, wealthy seniors will probably have to pay more but this whole line of the President's that ALL seniors are going to have to pay an additional $6,400 out of pocket is bullcrap and HE knows it.............Of course we could always go with Nancy Pelosi's plan for Medicare being Medicare. That'll no doubt work as well.

w-dervish said...

Ayn Rand was a sociopathic hypocrite and her philosophy was nothing more than a transparent attempt to justify greed. RN is sorely mistaken if he thinks he can "bring around" any true progressive to this evil ideology.

As for the "deep-seeded" thinking a prior commenter refers to - I think this commenter has fallen prey to the libertarian deep-seated thinking that the rich reaping most of the benefit of our economic system isn't a bad thing.

Rational Nation USA said...

Well look who has arrived Will. Ole Whirling Dervish of all people. And we thought we had lost him. But here he is ounce again, back like the plague.

So how ya been w- dervish?