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Opinion

Opinion

Income gap between rich, poor growing

July 27, 2010

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Instead of focusing on the politics behind the firing and subsequent redemption of Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod, we should consider what she was trying to tell us when she addressed the NAACP.

Sherrod became the latest hot-topic story after a conservative blogger posted a video that was edited to make it appear she went out of her way to not offer help to a white farmer when she worked for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund decades ago. Sherrod was summarily asked to resign and then, in a New York minute, was vindicated when the full video of her speech revealed she had been instrumental in saving the man’s farm.

Given her work and experience, we need to hear Sherrod out.

There is a disturbing and widening gulf between rich and poor in America. And it would be even wider except for the fact that so many middle-income families have borrowed their way to a comfortable lifestyle. They are just a paycheck, a divorce or a heath crisis away from financial ruin.

Sherrod said that while working with the white farmer, she realized that the social war we’ve been having isn’t about race but economic inequity.

“Y’all, it’s about poor versus those who have,” Sherrod said in her speech. “It’s really about those who have versus those who don’t, you know. And they could be black, and they could be white, they could be Hispanic. And it made me realize then that I needed to work to help poor people — those who don’t have access the way others have.”

Rich get richer

Over the last several decades, more and more Americans have come to this realization. The number of people who believe they are among the have-nots has doubled from 17 percent in 1988 to 34 percent in 2007, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. The economic data back up this perception. Income gains over the last few decades have been heavily concentrated at the very top of the economic ladder.

A 2007 report by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy found that the top 20 private-equity and hedge fund managers made more in 10 minutes than average-paid U.S. workers earned in a year. Top executives at hedge funds averaged $12.6 million a week, or $210,700 an hour based on a 60-hour week, compared with the $29,500 the average worker made in 2006, according to researchers.

Move forward to today and the wake of the financial crisis, and the public still sees the economic schism getting wider. In a Pew poll conducted this month, an overwhelming majority of respondents said recent government policies to boost the economy have largely helped big banks and corporations and the wealthy, while providing little or no help for the poor, the middle class or small businesses.

Between 1979 and 2007, the wealthiest households saw a substantial jump in after-tax income compared with middle- and lower-income households, according to the liberal-oriented Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which summarized data from the Congressional Budget Office.

The average income for the top 1 percent of earners rose by 281 percent after adjusting for inflation, or $973,100 per household. The less wealthy saw increases too, but not in the triple digits. The middle fifth of households saw an increase of 25 percent, or $11,200. The bottom fifth saw their incomes increase 16 percent, or $2,400 per household.

“There is no difference between us,” Sherrod told the NAACP audience. “The only difference is that the folks with money want to stay in power and whether it’s health care or whatever it is, they’ll do what they need to do to keep that power, you know. It’s always about money, y’all.”

Get beyond talk

Fifty-five percent of all working adults said that since the recession began in 2007, they have experienced a period of unemployment or a drop in pay, or been forced to work part-time, according to a report released last month by the Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends Project.

As President Obama noted in his inaugural address: “The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.”

So when will we stop the verbal warfare, race-baiting and character assassinations, and concentrate on finding the right mix of public policy and personal responsibility to close the income gap?

Comments

independant1 4 years, 6 months ago

The gap. Is it government's duty to make sure income is sliding scale with no gaps and no extremes? (target the 1.4% at each extreme and whittle away) Then professional's, the rich must be targeted, that's doctors, pro athletes, business owners, politicians (ever seen a successfull pol who is poor?)

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

Is it government's duty to make sure income is sliding scale with no gaps and no extremes?

To those on the left, it is the government's job to nanny every bit of our lives including how much money we are allowed to make.

whats_going_on 4 years, 6 months ago

To those on the left, it is the government's job to nanny every bit of our lives including how much money we are allowed to make.

...you do know that people don't actually think that, don't you? People can make money, if they earn it...go for it, I hope to be one some day. However, what people DONT like are those who make huge amounts of money at other's expense and build huge corporations around personal greed.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

"This upper-crust of extremely wealthy families are hell-bent on destroying the democratic vision of a strong middle-class"

No To Oligarchy | The Nation

July 22, 2010

The American people are hurting. As a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, homes, life savings and their ability to get a higher education. Today, some 22 percent of our children live in poverty, and millions more have become dependent on food stamps for their food.

And while the Great Wall Street Recession has devastated the middle class, the truth is that working families have been experiencing a decline for decades. During the Bush years alone, from 2000-2008, median family income dropped by nearly $2,200 and millions lost their health insurance.

Today, because of stagnating wages and higher costs for basic necessities, the average two-wage-earner family has less disposable income than a one-wage-earner family did a generation ago. The average American today is underpaid, overworked and stressed out as to what the future will bring for his or her children. For many, the American dream has become a nightmare.

But, not everybody is hurting. While the middle class disappears and poverty increases the wealthiest people in our country are not only doing extremely well, they are using their wealth and political power to protect and expand their very privileged status at the expense of everyone else.

This upper-crust of extremely wealthy families are hell-bent on destroying the democratic vision of a strong middle-class which has made the United States the envy of the world. In its place they are determined to create an oligarchy in which a small number of families control the economic and political life of our country.

More on this story: http://www.thenation.com/article/37889/no-oligarchy

Scott Drummond 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree. It is high time the rich and powerful quit preying on the middle class.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

But Scott, They need to zap the middle to buy of the poor (get their votes). The rich are held harmless.

Look at the battle over restoring a 39% tax rate above $300K? We have a graduated tax system through about $250K and then it is flat. If it is worth taking double the marginal rate at $100K why not double again at each $100K.

Why do we allow the very rich to shield income with capital gains which would be income to anyone lower down the income scale. 10% last year and close to zero this year.

Middle pays for the "ham sandwiches" for the poor while the rich get richer. Only the top few percent of the income scale are seeing real increases.

Why, Mr. Obama and large hoard of his followers on this list? list?

independant1 4 years, 6 months ago

It is folly to beleive central economic planning is better than allowing economy to run it's natural course. It's not government's job to play Robinhood. Whatever became of the concept of the "invisible hand" of government?

bad_dog 4 years, 6 months ago

What "invisible hand" are you referring to? The economist, Adam Smith?

independant1 4 years, 6 months ago

Adam Smith is not a bad citation.

Where I come from if government is here to help you you might get that fly removed from your forehead with a hatchet. The market economy requires some regulation but the market economy does not been to be micromanaged by gov't.

independant1 4 years, 6 months ago

Adam Smith is not a bad citation.

Where I come from if government is here to help you you might get that fly removed from your forehead with a hatchet. The market economy requires some regulation but the market economy does not been to be micromanaged by gov't.

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

"Income gap between rich, poor growing"

And - so what? Why is it that those who "believe they are among the have-nots" measure themselves by what someone else has? The rich getting richer does not take anything away from the rest of us. If your neighbor buys a new car, does that make yours older? If he buys a bigger house, does it make yours smaller? No, it does not - except, of course, in comparison. It's no surprise that more people think they're worse off - with such class-jealous blathering as this in the papers.

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 6 months ago

Correct. And while incomes will vary, everyone's standard of living has increased dramatically in the past, say, 20 years.

whats_going_on 4 years, 6 months ago

perhaps by "have nots" they are referring to those who live nearly paycheck to paycheck (and NOT because they arent working hard enough or because they don't spend within their means)

rbwaa 4 years, 6 months ago

Bottom line, the lowest paid workers work just as hard as the highest paid workers but are not fairly compensated for their work and that is what makes the rich get richer. The income for the highest paid workers is obscene compared to what the poor make. It is a fallacy that the poor just sit back and voluntarily make less or purposely don't work.

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

"the lowest paid workers work just as hard as the highest paid workers but are not fairly compensated for their work"

Oh yeah, that guy saying 'Hi, welcome to Walmart' works just as hard as the store manager. Just as I'm sure he has all the same education, training, and experience - not to mention responsibility.

You can get millions of people that are capable of operating the machinery to burn copies of Windows to DVD and to apply the shrink wrap to the box, to work in the warehouse and shipping departments. A somewhat smaller number can write the code. And only one had the idea. Get over it.

tomatogrower 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, those people should make more money, but the products wouldn't get out without the shrinkwrappers. And why shouldn't they be paid enough to buy Windows, or at least to rent an apartment without taking a second job. Excuse my "in the old days", but I remember a time when a person could get a respectable job and make a decent living. That was before rent, utilities, and food skyrocketed, and corporations took their jobs out of the country. Let's say the investors in a company were making 100 million dollars. If they took a quarter of that and raised the pay of their workers, then they would still be filthy rich, and their workers would make a better living. That would be "trickle down". Now people think you can never have enough money. If you have a profit of 100 million this year, it better be 150 million next year, or you are considered a failure.
I use to work in a factory, before I went into my own business. We used to have meetings where they would tell us how much our company was growing and even give us the figures on how much profits the company had made. Then they would give us a 5 cent/hour raise and a turkey at Christmas. My workers share in the profits and the losses. Yes, I earn more than they do, but I make sure they can earn a decent living. No, I'm never going to own 3-4 houses, with a servant staff at each house, and 50 cars, and a nanny for every kid, but I can at least sleep at night with out taking a pill.

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Geez, where to start;

If Microsoft had a profit of $100M, that would be about $0.011 (that's about one penny) per share. Actually, their profit is more like $4 Billion - which is less than 50 cents per share. But they don't pay dividends, so the investors make nada unless they sell the stock for a profit. Which is taxed.

Something tells me the people who package and ship Windows DVDs make enough to rent an apartment. But who, exactly, owes them anything? Since you're talking about the good old days, my father was 32 before he moved into the first house he owned (and still lives in). Although he rented it until he was 39 before he could safely afford the mortgage. And that house was over 20 years old at the time. When was it decided that a kid fresh out of college with a bachelor's degree should be able to afford that brand new house and a couple of kids his first year as a graduate? When was it decided that someone should be able to support a home and a family for saying "You want fries with that" or "Hello, welcome to Walmart"?

Nice of you to be charitable. Have you given any thought at all to what happens the day your business closes, and these employees you're taking care of are left to compete in the real world?

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 6 months ago

"In a Pew poll conducted this month, an overwhelming majority of respondents said recent government policies to boost the economy have largely helped big banks and corporations and the wealthy, while providing little or no help for the poor, the middle class or small businesses."

Trickle down economics, yo. Seriously, the "have nots" wouldn't be nearly so p***ed at the "haves" if they saw the way the money being spent as "responsible". Say what? Here's a clue; $5,000 shoes, $10,000 suits and $25,000 designer dresses ain't it. Take a look at MTV's "Teen Cribs" sometime. These are the kids of people that are obscenely wealthy. They have exotic car collections, indoor architect designed pools and ice skating rinks, movie theaters complete with popcorn, candy and soda stands and closets designed exclusively for cheerleader uniforms and pompoms. Now you know why I used the words "obscenely wealthy". On the flip side are the names of some very wealthy people I respect; Bill Gates, George Soros and Warren Buffet are a few. Despite the fact they come from families with no history of great wealth they view money the same way that most people who come from "old money" view it; as a responsibility. They take responsibility for how their money is spent and what ripples it creates when it is spent. They invest in education (and I don't mean sending millions to the KU Endowment fund for free basketball tickets), small businesses, green technology and self sustainability. As a consequence you won't find these people in the latest issue of People magazine. So, do I hate the rich? Undoubtedly. Do I despise the wealthy? No. There's a heck of a difference.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 6 months ago

"It’s always about money, y’all.”

Indeed, it is. I made the money and I'd like to keep it. I invested in my education and have worked to make the money I make. Why should someone else who hasn't invested in themselves and hasn't worked take my money? Why should anyone other than an earner - in this case, me - determine how valuable my time is? That's what people like Richard and his pseudo-progressive, class warfare people would like to do.

avoice 4 years, 6 months ago

Maybe because you are thankful for the help you had along the way to get the right education and the people who helped you obtain your opportunities. Maybe you would want to see others have the same opportunities and would want to give back. Think of it as recycling humanity. There is no self-made person in the history of humanity. If someone, somewhere, had never taken a chance on you, you would not be a success today.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 6 months ago

I am not entirely against taxation to pay for core services that are clearly ones citizens have delegated to the government. However, that is a very limited list and the notion that taxation should be used to make income distribution "more fair" is ridiculous and harmful to the economy.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, you don't get to determine your wages unless you own your own business.

And, the ratio between CEO/average worker pay has risen from 30/1 in 1950 to 300-500/1 today. Do you really think that CEO's are working 300-500 as long or as hard as average workers?

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Depends on your definition. Maybe you should consider the responsibility factor.

If a line worker at a GM plant screws up, that's one car that has to be repaired under warranty. If his foreman screws up, an entire shift's production may be defective, or everybody on the line might get idled for the day when the line stops moving. If the plant manager screws up, it could result in an entire plant shutting down, causing a huge effect on an entire community. If the chairman screws up, then it affects the livelihood of literally millions of workers, the communities they live and work in, those entire budget of several states, quite possibly the economy of the entire country. (Or isn't that the excuse for buying the company with our tax dollars?) So yes, given the level of responsibility, actually it's quite a bargain that they get paid only 500 times as much as a line worker.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

If CEO compensation were directly related to results (in both directions), it would be a better system.

But it's simply not - BP's CEO just stepped down, received $1.6 million severance, and will receive a $600,000 pound pension.

Where are the negative consequences for him as a result of BP's screw up?

And, if you argue he's not responsible for it, then he also shouldn't get credit for any success - you can't have it both ways.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 6 months ago

Every person has the ability to determine their own wage. One doesn't have to own one's own business to determine how much one values one's own time. This ability to determine one's own value has slowly been encroached upon and, I would argue, will continue to be encroached upon as long as people continue to look at wages as you do.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

That's just not true at all.

Wages are set by employers, not employees.

The only place I'm aware of that employees get some sort of say in their wages is when there are unions involved, which right-wing folks generally don't like at all.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 6 months ago

You miss the point. In a free market economy, you are selling your time to the highest bidder. If you work at a business and you are unhappy with your compensation, you can enter the labor market and try to better your compensation. Thus wages are set by the market. It is in union shops and other centrally planned labor markets in which this is not true. Our government is slowly moving to change this reality through nonsense like the minimum wage and pay czars, but it is still largely true.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Your first post, that I was responding to, said "Why should anyone other than an earner, in this case, me, determine how valuable my time is?"

Even if it is the market, that's not you.

Also, given massive unemployment, layoffs, outsourcing of jobs, etc. I'd say employers hold the upper hand in the "market" right now.

Most people are just glad to have a job at all - I doubt they're feeling that anyone is "bidding" for their time.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 6 months ago

I give up. You clearly choose to see yourself - and others - as helpless pawns that need the protection of the government to even out the unfairness in life. The notion that your time is valuable and that you can determine your own value is lost on you (and many others). I don't see it this way.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Good for you.

I don't see myself or others as helpless pawns - I think we all have quite a bit of power to make choices.

However, it is also obvious to me that employers generally hold the upper hand if unions aren't involved.

Unless, of course, we have extremely low unemployment, and businesses need workers badly, which is not at all the current situation.

grammaddy 4 years, 6 months ago

Race isn't the biggest issue, class is.

whats_going_on 4 years, 6 months ago

your fallacy here is believing that everyone who isn't a rich jack*ass like yourself is lazy and parties all the time.

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Sad story.

Now, how is that the wealthy's fault? Do they owe you something?

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

It's a question of public policy and what's best for the country as a whole.

Do we think that increasing the gap between rich and poor, destroying the middle class, and decoupling compensation from results at the top levels is good for the country?

I would say, no.

Grundoon Luna 4 years, 6 months ago

Boy, those hedge fund managers really earned their pay - N O T! Some people have a very overdeveloped sense of avarice.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm a little lost with this post. Most hedge fund managers actually do earn their pay. For example, I doubt you could make an argument that Buffett and Soros make too much money compared with what they have earned for other people. Are there some overcompensated individuals? Sure, but that's between the individual and the investors. Who are you to determine if someone has an "overdeveloped sense of avarice?"

Scott Drummond 4 years, 6 months ago

I see Tony Hayward is getting a nice payout to go away quietly.

Let's review shall we?

He was responsible for the negligent operation of BP in our Gulf and displayed a shocking degree of contempt for the horrendous damage his company has done to our natural resources.

What right have we to begrudge him his $1.6 million payout? We, afterall, are only the poor suckers who get to live with the damage he is dancing away from.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, but he had to fly around in his own private jumbo jet, and had to spend all that time away from home in luxury hotels.

And sometimes teevee reporters asked hard questions about why his company killed everything in the Gulf of Mexico.

Have you no sympathy for this man's plight?

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, and he's also getting a $600,000 pound/year pension.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

Michelle, Michelle, Michelle!!

Haven't you got the memo? Poor people are poor because Gawd hates them. And rich people are rich because Gawd just made them ever so extra special, and Gawd just loves them and spoils them to death so they can be beside him in heaven, while all the poor people go to hell, far far away from Gawd and his special favorite former people.

Gawd is just that way, and you shouldn't question Gawd's work.

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Amen. It's only because of their jack-booted heels on the throats of the proletariat. Just ask Herr Klowne.

independant1 4 years, 6 months ago

A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money. W. C. Fields

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, average productivity has risen, and wages haven't reflected that with a comparable increase.

And, your analysis is flawed, and leaves out an obvious option: Paying average workers more, and CEO's less, and allowing prices to remain the same or lowering them.

There is an excellent software company in NC - their CEO makes about $1/2 million/year (much less than many CEO's, but enough to live very comfortably), pays and treats his employees well. The company is successful, has a very low employee turnover rate and high employee satisfaction, a 20+ year CEO.

That's the obvious win-win situation, but it's unfortunately quite rare these days.

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Productivity has increased due to technology, paid for by investors, not because the poor workers are toiling harder.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Do you have a source for that claim?

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

I never said everyone should be paid the same.

I question the 300-500/1 ratio based on any way of analyzing wages.

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Then see my reply to your earlier post.

whats_going_on 4 years, 6 months ago

Rich CEO's and the like get richer when they could be paying their employees more...even the ones lowest on the totem pole, instead of using it as their own payout. (laugh...like thats going to happen).

Huge corporations and insurance companies could lower premiums so it could be affordable, but they wont, because they want their huge bonuses.

Credit card companies could lessen the burden on people by taking away huge fees, but they wont, because they want their money.

etc etc....

Celebrities and sports stars who make billions are just the product of everyone in the world becoming obsessed with their lives...so no one is to blame but those who buy into it. Hey...think the huge publicity around Lohan is ridiculous? STOP buying People magazine. Think the Yankee's players get paid too much? QUIT watching pro baseball. Think Compton and his minions have gotten out of hand? QUIT going to their locations or renting from them. It's simple.

I can't hate people who are wealthy, who are also HONEST and believe that they hold the power (money) to help those who are in need, because they've earned it. Those people are still going to make millions, and they'll still be able to buy nice things. A 3 million dollar car they keep in their garage and have butlers to wipe with a diaper every day? Maybe not, but be sensible...is that needed?

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

"Rich CEO's and the like get richer when they could be paying their employees more"

And you could accept a lower standard of living and give half your income to charity. Why not start tomorrow?

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 6 months ago

This sounds like the stoned ramblings of a KU freshman after having his mind blown whilst taking English 101 and Econ 101.

"Dude, if only rich people could like... buy cheaper cars and give that money to the people, man."

Scott Drummond 4 years, 6 months ago

Silly Rock, everyone knows it's george's fault.

Danimal 4 years, 6 months ago

Time to eat the rich, I'll bet they're delicious.

mom_of_three 4 years, 6 months ago

In regard to the post about the CEO making 300x more than their average worker.
Here is what I see happening - a company can not give a raise to the majority of its workers because it did not make enough profit/money/whatever. Sorry workers, no raise because we are in financial difficulties. However, the CEO, VP's and certain other high ranked folks do get raises. Why, because they are upper management - the very people who made the decisions which made the company NOT make a profit. That doesn't seem fair, does it.

mom_of_three 4 years, 6 months ago

Or could it be that the company has not given raises in several years and it has nothing to do with Obama and the current government.
It could be that the execs have no clue how to run a company.

mom_of_three 4 years, 6 months ago

And it still does not answer the question as to why the guys who make more money get raises when the workers who do not make 6 figures do not.

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, the CEO's could always use Obama logic - "Sure, the company isn't profitable, but it would have been even worse with someone else in charge."

After all, the folks around here seem to have swallowed THAT one hook, line, and sinker.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

According to executives testifying in front of Congress, union wages and benefits make up about 10 % of overall costs for auto manufacturers.

And, this widening of the gap has been occurring for some time - it didn't suddenly start when Obama was elected.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

I didn't blame Bush.

It's been happening for longer than that.

And, my point that you ignored is that union wages/benefits are an extremely small portion of auto manufacturer's costs.

Only the top 5% of income earners have seen enough increase in income to match housing costs since 1975.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

As I recall, the auto manufacturers went running to the administration for help due to their poor decisions/business sense.

What was in the other 90% that could have been changed?

Why do the guys at the top not suffer from their bad decisions, while the guys in the middle and bottom do?

If CEO's want the credit and reward for success, then they should share in the blame and suffering of failure, don't you think?

emaw 4 years, 6 months ago

so why don't you figure out how to become the CEO?

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

So it seems ok to you that people who make poor decisions are rewarded, and folks who do their job every day lose their jobs?

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

Look at the battle over restoring a 39% tax rate above $300K? We have a graduated tax system through about $250K and then it is flat. If it is worth taking double the marginal rate at $100K why not double again at each $100K.

Why do we allow the very rich to shield income with capital gains which would be income to anyone lower down the income scale. 10% last year and close to zero this year.

Middle pays for the "ham sandwiches" for the poor while the rich get richer. Only the top few percent of the income scale are seeing real increases.

Why, Mr. Obama and large hoard of his followers on this list? list?

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

Who are the “haves” and who the “have nots”

Are people who worked all their lives (hard) at a regular job and by sacrifices saved some money to supplement social security “haves” who should pay a tax penalty for their efforts?

Are people receiving a panoply of public assistance payments “have nots” who should get even more?

Sound like a political sound bite to rally support for policies that hurt the working people, favor the non productive elements of the society and hold harmless the very well off elites that run this “farm”.

“All the animals are equal only some are more equal”!

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

The poor work (often just to survive). The wealthy elite commit fraud and get away with it.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

Is thta your definition? Who determines fraud?

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

If anybody ever really wanted to think this one over, consider this: If the billions upon billions of dollars that are said to be "for the poor" really were "for the poor," we wouldn't have this insidious abject poverty that we have.

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

See if you can't become a pretty good thief before you go out and apply for that job. With one you win. With the other you lose.

Ask

a...n...y...b...o...d...y

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

Who determines fraud?

George: READ THE ARTICLE.

Move forward to today and the wake of the financial crisis, and the public still sees the economic schism getting wider. In a Pew poll conducted this month, an overwhelming majority of respondents said recent government policies to boost the economy have largely helped big banks and corporations and the wealthy, while providing little or no help for the poor, the middle class or small businesses.

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Um - since your reading comprehension seems a little off, that's what the respondents to the poll believe, it's not an objective measurement.

And you only have to read the comments to the message boards on the award-winning LJW to see that's what people believe.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Do you disagree?

Banks that received billions of dollars in bailout money compensated their executives handsomely, and didn't lend the money, as it was assumed they would.

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

If you wanna know how I handle the schmucks, I send them $10.00 a month, that's it, no more. I'm happy to pay off my debts in 70 or 700 years!! And I don't ask my creditors if they like it or not.

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

We've been beaten down into Chicken Little's in this country. Nobody has to take this kind of crap. Get BIG again, America. Stand up and stand for something again.

Amy Heeter 4 years, 6 months ago

What would you like me to say? I don't think this is a revelation.

Amy Heeter 4 years, 6 months ago

Actually I think Henny Penny may be a better bird for the purpose of example.

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

These younger generations need to know that whenever somebody throws the guauntlet down they need to throw it right back.

Amy Heeter 4 years, 6 months ago

" In times of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

Only moments ago I ran across some headlines (somewhere else) to the effect that they "can't find" billions of dollars "lost in Iraq."

You know, I'm at the edge already, and this just pushes me.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, it was about $9 billion.

It's interesting with all of the rage against social programs, that right-wing folks aren't upset about money that's simply unaccounted for at all.

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

My father used to like to say, "The only thing that guy needs is a good kick in the a** to get his attention."

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

Not worth breaking out of the strait jacket in the morning.

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

There's stealing, and that's what they do.

There's stealing it back, and that's what I do.

IndusRiver 4 years, 6 months ago

P...R...O...U...D
TO BE AN AMERICAN.

I'm outta here.

notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Pray tell, what is there to keep you from being a baker, a farmer, a carpenter today?

independant1 4 years, 6 months ago

There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war or famine, the rich get richer and poor get poorer. The poor even help arrange it. (Will Rogers)

independant1 4 years, 6 months ago

Exceptional post, I profer our youth (that's utes in NJ) should be required to experience life outside USA in poorer country. It can give one perspective and appreciation for how good we have it here. and The minion want to know, "how was the beer?"

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 5 months ago

Although this is a very old thread there is one thing I'd like to add. One of my all time favorite quotes was by Tom Arnold on the day he married Roseanne Barr. At one point during the reception he held up a glass and said, "Here's to us, the middle class nightmare. White trash with money!" Since then I've always said that one of my ambitions in life was to become white trash with money. We know how to have fun when we spend it!

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