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Mon Dec 16, 2013, 10:33 AM

“We Are Not All in This Together”

We Are Not All in This Together
By SHAMUS KHAN



..................................

Let’s say you’re fortunate enough to be in the top 1 percent of American families; at a minimum you make almost $400,000 a year. Things aren’t just good; they seem to keep getting better. While the median American worker received about a 5 percent wage increase since 1979, your raise was above 150 percent. From your perch, even when you look at people right below you in the top 5 percent, you find that the rate of your wage growth is much greater than theirs….

If you’re an average American, you don’t see this at all. It’s been more than 30 years, and you’ve barely seen a drop trickle down.

This helps us better understand why it is that the rich and the rest see the world differently, and why it’s difficult to develop political movements based on economic solidarity. We can think of elites as selfish, power-hungry monsters, or we can think of them as being like others: products of their particular experience and likely to overgeneralize from it. Elites understand their own world well enough. Yes, they underestimate the advantages that helped them along the way and overestimate their own contributions to their status. But they are not wrong to think that for them there is more mobility and growth today than there was a generation ago. What they do not see (or care to see) is that for others, stagnation is the new normal…

… We are not in this together. We need to get back to what made America great, when the many and not the few were winning. To do so we must stop conflating moral arguments with economic ones. Instead of operating under the fiction that we will all benefit from a proposed change in economic direction, let’s be honest. If a few of us are better off, then many are not. If many are better off, then the few will be constrained. Which world would you rather live in? To me the answer is obvious.


http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/we-are-not-all-in-this-together/?_r=0
via:
http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/12/16/monday-morning-open-thread-first-truth-then-reconciliation/

9 replies, 2500 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply “We Are Not All in This Together” (Original post)
kpete Dec 2013 OP
el_bryanto Dec 2013 #1
Alittleliberal Dec 2013 #2
jsr Dec 2013 #3
GeorgeGist Dec 2013 #4
kpete Dec 2013 #7
LineNew Reply ,
blkmusclmachine Dec 2013 #5
Saviolo Dec 2013 #6
Veilex Dec 2013 #8
hfojvt Dec 2013 #9

Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 10:37 AM

1. Interesting chart -and the argument is persuasive

America's economic system is broken, and I don't know all the answers, but one of them has to be finding a way to get the wealthy to pay more for the vast privileges they enjoy.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 11:41 AM

2. This idea that Taxes are bad is poison

They need to pay more, we have 24% of the worlds wealth and only 4% of the population. We should have the strongest middle class in the world and 0% poverty. That is what this country is capable of. I'm sick and fucking tired of settling for mediocrity.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 11:42 AM

3. Very powerful article.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 12:11 PM

4. Phuck Reagan ...

and all the whores who road him.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 12:54 PM

7. GeorgeGist

i find that sentiment
quite mutual

peace,
kp

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 12:30 PM

5. ,

 

,

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 12:52 PM

6. But they're just going to come back with...

... that storied old chestnut about how those in the top 1% work/worked -so much harder- to get where they are. Why should we punish their success? Why should it be up to the hard working successful job creators to pay for those lazy people beneath who didn't go to school, didn't work hard, and are just slacking?

It's all bullshit, of course, but it's a hard image to fight. They were born on third base and insist they hit a triple. Truth is, social mobility is all but gone now. If you were born in the middle class or lower, you're either staying there or sinking. How do we fight all of this perception?

I'm at a loss. The message has been so deeply ingrained in the public's consciousness by the wealthy-led and owned media. Anyone who stands up to that message is a class warrior (though I don't see how that's a dirty word, really!). It's a deeply Sisyphean task.

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Response to Saviolo (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 01:05 PM

8. "Why should we punish their success?"

 

I'd simply turn this one on its head: "You're absolutely right! Hard working successful job creators shouldn't pay for those lazy workers who get by with practically no work at all... so I say, fire all those lazy good for nothing CEOs and executives! Make them get an actual college degree and a job where they must do actual work!"

Does one of two things:
1. Sends conservatives into sputtering fits or
2. Brings out that dull light of stupidity in their eyes as they try to figure out what you just said.

Either way, it makes my day a little better.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 01:44 PM

9. using numbers from 1960

I don't see the same downward slope for the top 1%

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023937994

1960 - 10.03
1965 - 10.89
1970 - 9.03
1975 - 8.87
1980 - 10.02

that's a jagged line going up and down, but staying mostly flat.

And instead of constantly going up and up since 1980, it has actually flattened and declined since 2000.

2000 - 21.52
2005 - 21.92
2010 - 19.86

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