WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama should stop talking about the middle class because it turns people against rich Americans, who should be embraced as the Michael Jordans of the U.S. economy, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Monday.
Declaring that the use of the phrase “middle class” is “misguided and wrong and even dangerous,” Kyl argued in a Senate floor speech that Obama is “spreading economic resentment [that] weakens American values” and ignoring “the uniquely meritocratic basis of our society.”
“We have a president who talks incessantly about class, particularly the middle class,” Kyl said.
“I just think the whole discussion of class is wrong. It’s not what we do here in America,” said Kyl, the Senate minority whip. He added, “I don’t think there’s anything called ‘middle class values’ that are different from the values of other people in this country. Tell me what’s different about the values of someone who the president identifies as middle class?”
Democrats have long argued that the nation’s tax system favors the wealthy, and with the economic downturn, inequality has reached levels not seen since the roaring ’20s.
Funny how now that the middle class is collectively getting pissed about all the tax inequity and loopholes there are for the wealthy, the right doesn’t want to talk about the middle class any more.
Hell, if shit keeps going the way it is, they won’t have to worry, there won’t be a middle class, and then all us poor peons can worship and celebrate the rich for their amazing ability to … be rich?
Watch out, Americans: Your thrifty, socialist neighbors to the north have stealthily become richer than you.
Over the past five years, the average net worth of Canadian households has exceeded that of American households. So for the the first time in history, Canadians are wealthier than Americans — by more than $40,000, on average. In 2011, the average net worth of a Canadian household was $363,202, compared to $319,970 in the U.S., according to Environics Analytics WealthScapes data published in the Globe and Mail. (‘Average net worth’ measures the total combined value of a household’s liquid and real estate assets, minus debt.)
The figure takes into account the relative weakness of the U.S. economy right now, as well as the recent strength of the Canadian dollar, which is now almost on par with the U.S. dollar, the Globe and Mail points out. These figures also ignore public-sector debt, which accounts for a higher proportion of GDP in the U.S than in Canada. And according to the latest jobs numbers, Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 7.2%, while the United States’ remained stagnant at 8.2%.
Bloomberg’s Max Abelson, who’s carved out a fantastic beat providing Wall Street types with lengths of hangman’s rope, has anotherfantastic story today, this time about the tragic lives of bankers dealing with smaller bonus checks. (Spoiler alert: some of them have to do their dishes by hand.)
It’s a harrowing tale of discounted salmon and supermarket circulars, and you can and should read the whole thing to understand exactly why we need to set about one-fifth of New York City on fire. But just to give you a taste of the rage you will feel, here are five of our favorite moments:
[Law professor M. Todd Henderson] wrote two years ago that his family was “just getting by” on more than $250,000 a year […] “Yes, terminal diseases are worse than getting the flu,” he said. “But you suffer when you get the flu.”
“They have a circular that they leave in front of the buildings in our neighborhood,” said [Wall Street headhunter Daniel] Arbeeny, 49 […] “We sit there, and I look through all of them to find out where it’s worth going.”
“I can’t imagine what I’m going to do,” [Marketing Director Andrew] Schiff said. “I’m crammed into 1,200 square feet. I don’t have a dishwasher. We do all our dishes by hand.”
Arbeeny said his “income has gone down tremendously.” On a recent Sunday, he drove to Fairway Market in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn to buy discounted salmon for $5.99 a pound.
“People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress,” said Alan Dlugash, apartner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP in New York who specializes in financial planning for the wealthy.
The New York Times - Attacks from Democrats and Republicans over his career in the leveraged buyout business and his reluctance to release his tax returns have underscored another central fact about Mr. Romney: The wealth that has helped underwrite his career in politics remains shrouded in considerable secrecy, which now poses a major political risk on the campaign trail.
Read More - Then while you’re at it, read about how Mitt Romney used the tax code to redistribute wealth from taxpayers to his investors and partners.
by Veronique Greenwood | blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats
As income rises, the frequency of fast food visits rise as well, at least until income hits $60,000 a year; sit-down restaurant visits just keep on rising. (The y axis is frequency of visits)
Obesity rates in the United States are highest among the poor, and high up on most lists of reasons why, you’ll find the truism that fast food is cheap food, and the poor, who can’t afford healthier fare, are its main consumers. A new study suggests, however, that the people eating the most fast food are middle class, with incomes as high as $60,000 a year. Using a national database of about 5,000 people, researchers at UC Davis found that the frequency of people’s visits to fast-food restaurants increased with rising household income until $60,000, when frequency started to go down (though, interestingly, people making more than $100,000 still went to fast food more than those making $20,000). Visits to sit-down restaurants, on the other hand, increased with rising income and just kept on growing.
The research indicates that ascribing a fast-food habit to the poor alone ignores the rest of the population’s predilections and may be a distraction from other causes of obesity in Americans of all income levels. As the scientists point out, restaurant meals in general are much higher in fat than home-cooked meals, yet people with larger incomes eat out far more frequently than the poor, while maintaining lower obesity rates. Restaurants are only part of the picture. In fact, given that a straight diet of fast food is beyond the means of many poor families, perhaps rock-bottom cheap, high-calorie foods sold in grocery stores are more of a problem than McDonald’s.
Image courtesy of Leigh and Kim and Population Health Management
The Fed strives for a target interest rate, and thus the government regulates the amount of currency in the private sector to avoid inflation. Progressive taxes are then used to pull more money out of the private sector from those with the most, and in theory should be matched with government spending to create employment. Employment leads to economic growth, which leads to the increased wealth across society.
You can’t resolve massive wealth inequality without redistribution of wealth. The redistribution has already happened, from the majority of workers up to the most wealthy. That’s what happens when worker wages decline and executive pay and capital gains skyrocket.
- reddit user TinfoilFury
Why is it easier for you to believe that 150 million people are lazy and stupid than 400 people are greedy and malicious?
Because the holy church of Fox News said so.
By Lawrence Mishel - Economic Policy Institute
It is widely acknowledged that wealth declined substantially between 2007 and 2009 as the housing bubble burst and stock prices fell. This wealth shrinkage was especially hard on the middle class and those groups (such as African Americans) whose house is their primary source of wealth. It is far less appreciated that this is a long-term trend, and that wealth is now lower for the typical household than it was a generation ago in 1983, while the wealth at the upper end expanded a great deal.
The disparity of changes in wealth over the last generation is portrayed in thefigure, which shows the shares of the wealth gains for various wealth classes. All of the gains in wealth accrued to the upper fifth, with 40.2 percent of the gains going to the upper 1 percent and 41.5 percent going to the next wealthiest 4 percent of households. This translated to gains of $4.5 million per household in the richest 1 percent and a gain of roughly $1.2 million per household in the next richest 4 percent of households.
In other words, the richest 5 percent of households obtained roughly 82 percent of all the nation’s gains in wealth between 1983 and 2009. The bottom 60 percent of households actually had less wealth in 2009 than in 1983, meaning they did not participate at all in the growth of wealth over this period.