3.11.2011

Our Political Culture at a Glance

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In the wake of Wisconsin's repugnicans voting to abolish collective bargaining to "save money," the chart below puts that action, and many others, into perspective. I got this via Facebook, which tracked it to the Daily Kos , which tracked it to its source: Center for American Progress and an article written by Donna Cooper on February 22, 2011. Please share this information.

Addendum: "Just 400 Americans -- 400 -- have more wealth than half of all Americans combined." --Michael Moore, via Politifact Wisconsin


7 comments:

Bernard Klevickas said...

Thank you Joanne for posting this.

Stephanie Sachs said...

Numbers are an effective way of cutting out the rhetoric. The top 400 weathiest people in this country have the networth of the bottom 100 million.

Tamar Zinn said...

So why aren't more people outraged?

Joanne Mattera said...

Tamar,
Why aren't more people outraged? This chart is the first time I've seen a comparison of what the wealthy have and what they want to take away from those who don't have. As Stephanie Sachs (and Michael Moore) point out: a minuscule percentage of people have a monumental percentage of the wealth. Some, like George Soros and Bill and Melinda Gates give a lot of it away, but the inequity is stupefying. And, as usual, there's nothing, nowhere, no one supporting artists in any significant way. (And it seems that the artists who least need the monetary awards are the ones who receive them.)

Nancy Natale said...

These numbers are truly disgusting. Instead of priorities, we get grandstanding and bullshitting. The rich and their gladhanders are wiping out the middle class and trampling the poor into dust. Why are people gullible enough to elect these despicable charlatans? It's a sad future for our country as it turns into a plutocracy.

Tamar said...

My comment was, of course, rhetorical.
It is not news for many of us on the left that the income disparity in this country has been growing for the past 30 years. It is not news that the Republicans are directly allied with corporate interests. It is not news that a broad swath of working people are swayed by irrelevant issues raised by the right and consistently vote against their own economic interests. So many people who vote for republicans simply refuse to accept that such an income disparity exists because they have been told that the alternative to American capitalism is socialism. And that scares the shit out of them.


Here's what is new with this round of Republican governors and state legislators:
they exaggerate budgetary concerns as an excuse to use anti-democratic procedures to push through anti-labor, anti-middle class legislation that actually does nothing to improve the fiscal health of the states because it is combined with blatant give-aways to corporations and the wealthy (as detailed in your chart); they are using fiscal woes and "emergency" procedures to defund and dismantle social programs that have widespread support and to intrude on local governments. Perhaps the only good that may come out of this is that what they are doing is even to extreme for many of their supporters.

I am disgusted that leading democratic politicians have not voiced unambiguous support for all the people protesting the actions of the right wingers. I am disgusted that the democrats run away from the class warfare that the right wing has started and refuse to take them on.

While it's wonderful that all of us who are literate and informed nod in agreement at how outrageous things are, change will only come when there is a demand for it from the ground up--when we all are out in the streets, when we demand to take back our democracy with as much fervor as the Egyptians.

Phew-- so as you see, I was just holding back a bit in my earlier comment.

Joanne Mattera said...

Tamar,
Don't hold back! I agree that the Dem leaders should be speaking out. And, frankly, the President should not be so conciliatory. He should be fighting them tooth and nail--the same way they are fighting him (and us).