Senate Income Inequality in the U.S.: Causes, Effects, Solutions

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jedi Merkurian, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Because it'd be stupid to be conservative if you descend from slaves.
  2. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Then you did misunderstand, Jabba, because this was Merk's original statement, based on the CaffertyFile link:

    I don?t post this link to start a partisan political argument, but I?m genuinely stumped at how the poorest people continue to vote for those who, on one hand, tout themselves as ?the party of fiscal responsibility,? and on the other, have displayed a sneering disdain for the poor. What does it say that most of the 10 poorest states are Republican?

    Even setting aside Cafferty's selective inclusion in his original list when he threw out results that didn't agree with his opinion....The poorest people don't vote in this manner, so Merk's statement is either incorrect, or an improperly vague generalization. My issue is that this statement, as well as Cafferty's link, simply categorized states based on overall voting results. Because this statement becomes meaningless when one begins to break down the claim to any kind of specific analysis. That is, if a state went red, then it's "republican," no matter if it was 51%-49% or 90%-10% split...(although no state has a split as high as 90%) You could literally have a state like North Carolina where the political party split is 49.9% democratic, vs 49.5% republican, and it's listed as a "blue" state, so it escaped inclusion in Cafferty's list. Way to disenfranchise half the state's population just to illustrate a generalization...

    Or Mississippi, for example, is listed as the lowest state for being "poor" (although that's my other secondary issue, because "wealth" was not defined by Cafferty or Merk.) but the GOP areas of Mississippi are the wealthiest relative to the state. Maybe the GOP areas have a higher voter turnout respective to the democratic areas? What's the make-up of Mississippi's state government? There's a mixture of both political parties which influences state policies. Is there some sort of "GOPness" to policy that defines Mississippi?

    Even if you're looking at Mississippi's "wealth," er, to say something...Mississippi still has an unemployment rate that is 2% points better than California, and 3% points better than Nevada, which are 2 blue states under Cafferty's criteria. Again, Mississippi's overall salary range may be lower than California's, but more of Mississippi's population is employed. California is more of a state of "Have's vs the have not's"...Mississippi is more of an "everyone shares equally" kind of state. Which is better in comparison? That's something that each person is going to have a personal opinion on. If you really want to look at the economic policies in a specific geographical area, actually examine them, don't make assumptions. Maybe Mississippi's agriculture based economy doesn't allow for such huge income swings, in comparison to Wall Street or Silicone Valley, even though you you could have thousands of farmers who make a decent living in relation to everyone else in the state? I don't know. But it's much more detailed than sitting back and saying, "but it's because Mississippi is red, and California is blue..." and ignoring everything else.


  3. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    I just looked this up out of curiosity, and Mississipi has the 3th largest income inequality gap in the U.S.A., California is number 8 on that list. So, I'm not sure what you're implying in your above post.
  4. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Mr44

    You ignored my post. I don?t take it personally of course, but it does conflict with what you keep going on and on about.

    I did a very quick google search and found that 22 of the 30 wealthiest counties in the country have been voting Democratic. A majority of white voters who earn under $50,000 per year are voting Republican. Non-college educated white voters voted for McCain by 18 points. McCain won Tennessee by 15 percentage points, one of the few states where he did better than Bush in 2004, and whites earning under 50k voted for McCain by 20 points. And Oregon didn?t vote 1.4% for Obama, he won by 16 points. Illinois hasn?t been close, less than a 10 point win for the Democrats, since 1988.

    A general assumption has been made, but there is a lot of evidence to back it up. There are a lot of middle/lower income white voters who are conservative and vote Republican, particularly in the South. IMO Jabba?s point largely stands and certainly a fair starting off point for a discussion as to why. Generally speaking, I think it largely has to do with that they are mostly conservative on social issues, and also feel that the Democrats support minority issues (AA, illegal immigration, gay issues) at the expense of their wishes and when they speak up, they are immediately accused of bigotry.

    Jabba

    I understand what you are saying, but I cannot accept that the solution is to then discriminate against others.

    It?s easy for a politician to support AA. Their kids will very likely benefit from a type of AA called nepotism, both in hiring and in choice of college.

    But if you?re a middle-class white person who doesn?t get into a top school while a minority kid does despite you having a much higher GPA and test scores, and/or watches a minority get a job over you despite having less educational qualifications and experience...wouldn?t you at least wonder WTF is going on?
  5. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I think the nation is paying, and will continue to pay a heavy price for abandoning affirmative action so quickly, without trying it even for a full generation.

    I'm glad when schools consider other factors besides GPA and test scores in admission, and I believe promoting a diverse student body can improve the educational experience as a whole for all students. Nobody who is qualified will be denied a good education or job, even if they don't get their first choice of school or employer.

    I've never met a person who has claimed to have not been accepted to a university or failed to get a job offer because the slot or position went to an "unqualified" minority candidate.
  6. darthdrago Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2003
    star 4
    That's because you haven't met me.

    I was accepted to the University of California at Berkeley with only a 3.4 GPA (that was my GPA when I applied--my average had actually sunk to 3.2 by the time I received the acceptance), when the average undergraduate GPA at UC Berkeley is 4.0+. I knew at least four girls in my high school senior class, all possessing 4.0+ GPAs, who had applied to Berkeley and were rejected. Out of those four girls, three were Asian and one was white. I'm a half-Hispanic/Latino, half-white male. And, one of those Chinese girls came from a single-parent home (she lived with her mother & her sister).

    Now, this girl's mother wasn't hurting for money (her parents were divorced and her dad pitched in for the tuition at our private school), but you'd think that a one-parent, ethnic household would have college Affirmative Action counselors salivating. Not so. I had no business being accepted at Berkeley: I was told by a Berkeley admissions counselor that my chances were slim; I only played in one sport; had just a few AP/Honors classes; and I no academic club memberships or awards or other extracurricular activities that admissions counselors love. However, the Chinese girl had all of the above (her GPA was 4.2 IIRC). She was eventually admitted to Berkeley after making an appeal, while I attended a different University of California school. (I never actually planned to attend Berkeley, because I never dreamed I could be admitted, so I made other plans.)

    Jabba, you can keep making the case that AA is needed for reasons of "income equality", but it's fair to say that most folks on both the Left and the Right are aware that AA as a larger concept has really veered toward becoming a race issue instead. So tossing in Affirmative Action in this current argument about income equality is tangential at best.
  7. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    You have not demonstrated that any particular Asian student lost her spot to you, and I'm not sure I understand this: "it's fair to say that most folks on both the Left and the Right are aware that AA as a larger concept has really veered toward becoming a race issue instead." What do you mean "veered toward becoming a race issue"? Hasn't it always been that?

    If you want a pure test score meritocracy, you get that at Stuyvesant in NY City, with a high school body that is more than 70% Asian. That's a fine experiment in placement score absolutism, for whatever it's worth, but do we really want that everywhere?

    DeathStar1977 brought affirmative action into the discussion with the comment that whites are justified in resenting affirmative action. I disagree with that. I don't believe that resentment has any reasonable basis whatsoever.
  8. darthdrago Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2003
    star 4
    You're right, I can't say with any certainty that Berkeley's admitting me automatically pushes out a better-qualified Asian student. But if there are only n spaces for incoming undergraduates to be admitted, and if I (an under-qualified Hispanic from a two-parent middle class household) get one of those spaces and a perfectly qualified Asian female (who came from a single-parent middle class household) does not, then is really THAT much of a stretch of logic to think that my admission didn't take away a more logical admission of someone else, somewhere else, regardless of their race or income?

    I'm simply arguing that it doesn't make sense to give an undergraduate spot at a top university to an under-qualified student over an better-qualified one, when you know there are plenty of them out there. What I should have mentioned earlier was that when I met with the admissions counselor, she'd told me that my chances were slim, but I never told her my ethnic background nor my parents' income status. She was simply looking at my academic credentials alone. Is that what your Bed-Stuy high school example is insinuating? That academic credentials alone are being used in university admissions?

    I apologize if I'm derailing the thread away from income equality, but I figure it was inevitable move since the major parties' solutions to rectifying said inequality always seems to drag race back into the discussion. (The occupy-Wall Street movement apparently an exception...)
  9. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    The Supreme Court is actually predicted to take up Affirmative Action in College this year, as I put in the new Supreme Court thread.

    But the big thing these days is not race in college admissions, it's gender. If college admissions didn't take gender into account, then most colleges would be dominated by women. Colleges have been letting men in that otherwise wouldn't be qualified, in order to have a more balanced ratio between men and women attending college.
  10. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Mr44 You ignored my post. I don?t take it personally of course, but it does conflict with what you keep going on and on about.

    It doesn't conflict at all, it's just not relevant. How many of those people were independents who jump back and forth between both parities? Or who just voted for Obama because of the expectation surrounding that particular election? Would that spread have been the same if Clinton ran against McCain, since both were establishment candidates, and both had ties to the issues which defined that election? Sure, you can point to exit polls for a single election, but there is no cross-poll which indicates how those same people vote in state elections, or what issues they identify with. Again, if you're illustrating anything, it actually supports my posts more than anything. It's folly to look at a single snapshot and then make broad assumptions without looking at the reasons why. If the next election comes up, and Obama looses, do all those "well educated voters" all suddenly become firm GOP ones? Or is it that one candidate simply received more votes than the other, or that the issues of an election cycle influence voting patterns? (which should be obvious)

    A general assumption has been made, but there is a lot of evidence to back it up. There are a lot of middle/lower income white voters who are conservative and vote Republican, particularly in the South. IMO Jabba?s point largely stands and certainly a fair starting off point for a discussion as to why. Generally speaking, I think it largely has to do with that they are mostly conservative on social issues, and also feel that the Democrats support minority issues (AA, illegal immigration, gay issues) at the expense of their wishes and when they speak up, they are immediately accused of bigotry.

    And there is just as much evidence to back up any other claims. I can change your entire post around to say the exact same thing. There are a lot of middle/lower income voters who think they are liberal and vote democratic, particularly in the "collective mind" Northeast. IMO, Mr44's point largely stands and is certainly a fair starting off point for a discussion as to why. (Generally speaking, I think it largely has to do with that the social pack/peer pressure reality that forces a voting heard mentality for the democratic voting block at the expense of their wishes, and also feel that many democrats are just as wealthy as republican voters, but use class warfare as a wedge issue to pander to votes.) Except for a few concentrated areas for both sides, there are dozens and dozens exceptions to your rule because of the way state elections are conducted. And so far, no one has actually provided any kind of breakdown of policies that define what makes a state blue vs red.

    This is why this topic is so silly. It's degenerated into a type of boogey man story that democratic party voters tell their children to keep them voting in the same way as they do..."Remember little Benjamin, only poor, dumb people vote GOP, and you don't want to be poor and dumb, right?" Of course, the very next day as little Ben wakes up safe and sound in the knowledge that he's "elite," he can feel good about himself as he's driven to the polo field and then onto the club for lunch. He may or may not give the immigrant waitress a little extra tip, because after all, he's looking out for them. Does that all seem stereotypical? Of course, which is the entire point.

    To put it another way in a nutshell, Donald Trump and George Soros have more in common, despite their respective political affiliations, than the 20 year old who works at the small town Dairy Queen in Arkansas, and the 20 year old who has to compete for the 1 job at the KFC in Jefferson Park, Los Angeles, have differences. But what does that matter? Arkansas is red. California is blue. Right?


  11. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    But here is the other problem - when such inequities arise, the Left in this country argues that it is not a problem. Worse, those who question it are accused of racism. That leads many to believe that the deck is being stacked against them.

    But when darthdrago, with a 3.4 GPA, is admitted to UC Berkeley over Asians who have 4.0 GPAs, then people will ask questions. And the way that the Left answered those questions when the first cases happened and to date, had lead many people to believe they were defending the indefensible. Now, a lot of people want AA gone.

    It also leads many to suspect that other things, like gay marriage would result in similar inequalities. And for all intents and purposes, many believe that they will be de facto second-class citizens. Why? Because they've already seen affirmative action do so in college admissions and in employment.
  12. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Mr44

    I think you're just obfuscating the original point...yes, there are a lot of lower/middle income voters who vote Democrat, no one is denying that, but that there are also a lot of lower/middle income voters (particularly white voters) who support Republicans, especially in the South. This is particularly relevant when Republicans are overtly strongly advocating policies that benefit the wealthiest Americans and large corporations, but a lot of their supporters don't fit that profile, in fact are the opposite, and the discussion is as to why.

    There are a lot of middle/lower income voters who think they are liberal and vote democratic, particularly in the "collective mind" Northeast

    Exactly! Because the point was that Democrats supposedly advocate policies/programs for the middle class, whereas Republicans supposedly advocate policies for the wealthiest/large corporations.

    There is no denying that there is a plethora of lower/middle income voters who support Republicans. The answer isn't to deny this, it's simply, why? I even threw out a reason as to this.

    And I do wonder what you mean by 'collective mind of the Northeast'.

    Jabba

    You make a very sound argument, particularly regarding GPA/test scores not being the be-all-end-all. But there has to be a better way.

    JS

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but I don't see how gay marriage even remotely relates, except that those who oppose it are accused of bigotry by some people. Even then, just because someone may act like an idiot, it doesn't mean that they don't have rights. [face_beatup]

  13. Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    What is it you always say, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander"?

    Though I guess that would only apply if gay people forbade you from marrying and kept you out of the military and refused to allow you to adopt and denied you hospital visitation rights to your significant other and otherwise demonized and vilified you for who you were attracted to.
  14. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Smuggler, for someone who hates gays and the 'gay agenda' so much, you sure do spend an inordinate amount of time discussing this issue. Especially in threads where it doesn't apply.
  15. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I think you're just obfuscating the original point...yes, there are a lot of lower/middle income voters who vote Democrat, no one is denying that, but that there are also a lot of lower/middle income voters (particularly white voters) who support Republicans, especially in the South. This is particularly relevant when Republicans are overtly strongly advocating policies that benefit the wealthiest Americans and large corporations, but a lot of their supporters don't fit that profile, in fact are the opposite, and the discussion is as to why....Exactly! Because the point was that Democrats supposedly advocate policies/programs for the middle class, whereas Republicans supposedly advocate policies for the wealthiest/large corporations.

    DS, with all due respect, I think you're now just throwing everything in the pot to see what ends up making the stew precisely because the original point was so muddled. Again, this was the sum total of the original claim:

    "I don?t post this link to start a partisan political argument, but I?m genuinely stumped at how the poorest people continue to vote for those who, on one hand, tout themselves as ?the party of fiscal responsibility,? and on the other, have displayed a sneering disdain for the poor." (a really ham-fisted, factually misleading, blog was then supplied)

    That's been the extent of it. And since there has been no mention of any kind of specific policy differences, or a contract of state laws between supposed "blue" states vs "red" states, I don't see where you can make any kind of definitive statement. Are financial regulations in Nevada somehow different than regulations in Georgia, and you're using that fact as the basis for the differences? And actually the percentage spread is similar in both states, so Nevada literally has hundreds of thousands of GOP voters, and Georgia has has just as many democratic voters. Nothing like this has been brought up, and the only difference you've put forth is that Nevada is "blue" and Georgia is "red," and this is supposed to mean something..

    You, yourself, haven't even acknowledged that the state designator may only be the difference between a few percentage points, so a red state may still have millions of blue voters, and vice versa. Or that state office may be split among both parties. (For example-New Jersey, which has a Republican Governor and Lt Governor, but democratic party representatives.) Mississippi, the state we've been examining, is like that. Mississippi's state government is represented by a (R) Governor, but the majority of Mississippi's state representatives are democratic. (Btw, the ratio is 68 D's to 54 R's) So what factor exactly makes Mississippi "red" to be included in Cafferty's original "poor and stupid" blog? The republican Governor? The majority democratic house? Which is it?

    You also haven't mentioned that there is a relative difference in cost of living across the country. Or that the distribution of industries may result in regional pay differences. But according to the criteria you're using, none of that matters, for as long one party wins out over the other, the entire state is supposed to take on the characteristics of the winning party. However, I will say that the first part of your post just mirrored my own point-which is that there are too many examples spread all across the country that end up making blanket statements worthless. Sure, there are many poor people who vote republican? So what? Does this matter in relation to the poor people in Los Angeles, or Detroit, or Pittsburgh, or Cleveland, or Chicago, who all have just as few opportunities in economically depressed environments for different reasons, and are probably cutting their own nose off to spite their face by collectively voting democratic? All this combined is what makes the original claim so blindly partisan. In essence, you're using the democratic party's opinion of the republicans to frame an argument, and you're ignoring any kind of factual impact, or just not stopping to realize unproductive that is.




  16. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    I?d also go a step farther on the whole red-blue state argument and say that there is probably a big difference between the average Republican in NJ (Christie) or Cali (Arnold) and the average Democrat in Mississippi, i.e Gene Taylor, who was more conservative than both Christie and Arnold. But continuing this would go even more on a tangent

    Anyway, let?s look at the original snippet you are using:

    "I don?t post this link to start a partisan political argument, but I?m genuinely stumped at how the poorest people continue to vote for those who, on one hand, tout themselves as ?the party of fiscal responsibility,? and on the other, have displayed a sneering disdain for the poor."

    If this had said ?I?m generally stumped at how the poorest, and to an extent middle class, vote for those on one hand tout themselves as fiscally responsibly and have a sneering disdain towards them?, then, sure, it would make a little more sense. But you?re trying on one hand to throw out the statement on a technicality, and on the other confusing the issue by addressing something separate.

    So I guess there are two issues:

    1) Why do so many lower/middle income voters vote Republican if their policies are supposedly favorable to the rich? Again, there is no denying that there are millions of voters on the lower end of the income scale (let alone middle class) that vote Republican. A straight answer can be given here instead of trying to confuse the issue.

    2) Does the poverty rate accurately reflect the true standard of living if the cost of living varies by region? I don?t know if this is taken into account regarding the poverty rate.

    Does this matter in relation to the poor people in Los Angeles, or Detroit, or Pittsburgh, or Cleveland, or Chicago, who all have just as few opportunities in economically depressed environments for different reasons, and are probably cutting their own nose off to spite their face by collectively voting democratic?

    Sure it matters. And that is a fair question, why do you think that they are making mistake by voting Democratic?

    All this combined is what makes the original claim so blindly partisan. All this combined is what makes the original claim so blindly partisan. In essence, you're using the democratic party's opinion of the republicans to frame an argument, and you're ignoring any kind of factual impact, or just not stopping to realize unproductive that is.

    I and others have produced plenty of evidence that supports the notion that there are a great many people of lower-middle incomes that vote Republican. You keep pointing out the obvious that it?s not a 100% direct correllation between supporting Republicans for President and such that causes poverty, but other than that I just see a kitchen-sink throwing of a bunch of statements that I can't figure out if they are intended to deny the factual statement that there are millions and millions of lower-middle income voters that support the Republican party.

    Again, it?s a relatively straight-forward question, even if it was supposedly asked in a partisan and/or poorly worded manner. So I?ll ask it in a straight-forward manner that is hopefully not too partisan and doesn?t hurt anyone?s feelings. [face_mischief] If you feel this is unproductive, feel free not to answer...

    Republicans have been alleged to protect the interests of the rich and big corporations (they vehemently refuse to raise taxes on the top 1% or so, and want to reduce corporate taxes) at the expense of the poor and the middle class, yet many million lower/middle income voters still vote Republican. Is the characterization accurate and if so, why would they vote for them?
  17. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Mississippi is the poorest, unhealthiest and among the most Republican states in the country.

    16% of the population has no health insurance, nearly 20% is on food assistance, nearly 20% is on Medicaid. Indeed, costs of living are lower in parts of Mississippi than in parts of Chicago, but not at a relative difference that alleviates the oppressive level of poverty there.

    Yet they have a single Democratic congressman in the U.S. house of representatives, an African American, unsurprisingly, in a state with a 37% African American population.

    It's easy to guess that race dominates politics in Mississippi and easily explains why white rural poor in Mississippi vote Republican. Driving a wedge between the interests of poor whites and blacks has been the genius of the Republican party in the post civil-rights movement era.
  18. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    I'd add that the whole tone of the debate since the economic collapse feeds into your theory.

    We had a huge financial crisis, and for some reason major blame is being directed at unions, particularly public employee unions, particularly ones that don't support Republicans. So in addition to that, the solution is to cut Medicaid and privatize Medicare. Taxes on the top income brackets cannot be touched, even during an economic crisis, instead we need to cut several hundred thousand gov't jobs and reduce gov't services and spending (except on defense). This is all at the insistence of people who played such a large part in putting us in this place to begin with. Makes sense. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, good editorial about the wealth gap:

    http://news.salon.com/2011/10/11/what_caused_the_wealth_gap/

  19. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Income inequality breeds social instability and political unrest, particularly when the pain of an economic downturn is distributed so unequally.

    To date, the Great Recession has sparked two anti-establishment political movements, the Tea Party and the 99 percenters/Occupy Wallstreeters.

    The Tea Party movement is a lower white middle class primarily southern and/or rural movement that has coalesced around an anti-immigrant, anti-poor, and anti-government, and in particular anti-Obama message. They've succeeded in putting a fair number of people into Congress loosely affiliated under the Tea Party banner as well as achieve political victories such as the anti-immigration law in Alabama. The key message seems to be that poor black people and illegal Mexicans are dragging the country down, and the Federal government is responsible for letting it happen.

    The 99 percenters are coalescing around the core issue of income inequality itself, also with a certain level of blaming the government for getting us into this situation.

    It's an interesting scenario when the people wielding the pitchforks don't agree on where to point them and split into opposing camps. Is it possible that the Tea Party will take to the streets again? Maybe we'll have pitched street battles between 99 percenters and Tea Partiers, a la the final years of the Weimar Republic.

    Does it Godwin this thread to suggest that the 2008 Tea Party victory is reminiscent of the NSDAP winning a fifth of the popular vote in 1930 Germany? To what extent are Americans capable of embracing fascism (e.g. Alabama's heartwarming anti-immigration law) as a response to fear of Mexicans and more generally fear of the left?

    The anti-immigrant movement still has plenty of traction in western Europe. I've seen it up close and personal in Austria with the FPO. The anti-austerity protests continue in Greece. There was no way the U.S., in its present state of relative decline, could avoid this kind of unrest.

  20. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    Another interesting difference is the backing of the two movements. The Tea Party currently has some billionaire backers, most notably the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch. To date, the 99 Percent movement don't have anyone supporting them. While some billionaires have made statements in the past in line with their goals (most notably Bill Gates and Warren Buffet) to the best of my knowledge there's no direct support of the men and women protesting, not even buying Vegan pizza for all of them out there in the cold.

    On the one hand, it means no astroturfing. On the other, it means that they're less coherent than the Tea Party, and it means that they might not have the staying power of the Tea Party.
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    True the Tea Party was easily integrated into the ongoing propaganda machine of Fox News if not actually invented by it.

    I see Fox News as a foreign-owned espionage unit aimed at sabotaging the viability of the Unites States as a nation. Rupert Murdoch clearly hates America. Why would he have any loyalty to it? His personal goal is to placate the masses into ignoring the appropriation of the world's wealth by the stateless super-rich. Everything that comes out of Fox News supports that overarching theme.

    Ironically, Warren Buffet may get some credit for launching the 99 percenter movement with his comments about his own tax rate. Maybe he thinks that will save him and his offspring from the guillotine when the masses come for the heads of billionaires. At least with his charitable efforts and public statements about income tax you can tell that he understands the implications of a mounting Pitchfork Level.

    Still, no one hero worships billionaires more than average Americans. Look at the death of Steve Jobs. Hell, I've quoted him in my signature, but only because he seems to have caught on to the Calvin & Hobbes maxim that television is the opiate of the masses.
  22. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    I've always maintained that the 'tea party' is largely the right-wing under a different brand name. I think it was largely annexed by the Republican party to distance themselves from the Bush years so they can attack spending/debt as if they had nothing to do with it. After watching some interviews with tp leaders, I get a sense of unease of allying themselves with people they feel has betrayed their principles, but like the politicians they denounce, they've developed a sense of pragmatism (or selling out, depending on one's POV).

    I wholeheartedly agree with the hero-worship of billionaires, but I do think it's a huge stretch to 'Godwin' this thread. On Fox some blogger is supposedly starting 'the other 53%', based on the notion that they are the ones who pay taxes. You know, because 47% doesn't pay any taxes (not true) and I guess it's because they are lazy or something. Said blogger claims to have three jobs, all of which I think are inter-connected and revolve around complaining about politics which is not exactly back breaking work...but don't let that stop him from becoming self-righteous.

    Another bit of stupidity was when one of the Republican candidates said he wants 'everyone to be rich'. Not only is that virtually impossible, it strongly deviates from the old notion (that was realistic) where having a strong middle class was ideal. Now it's get rich or be a loser. All of these people that politicians claim to support (teachers, police, etc.) usually aren't rich by virtue of their jobs, and not only that many politicians are trying to screw them, either by attacking their unions, cutting gov't jobs, or both.

    The irony is that the Tea Party and the 99%ers have a common cause to be angry about, that the banks/Wall Street were bailed out by our government, yet they fight any sort of reform or any notion to assist, even minimally, with dealing with our debt problem (i.e. a slight tax increase and/or financial transaction tax). But of course you can't criticize a private institution without being a communist/socialist (a commentator on Fox called Warren Buffet a socialist), nor is being anything less than anti-government on every issue. I think to an extent that the 'tea party' was integrated, as you say, to point them in the direction of the other issues that you mention. I think a lot of them do have legitimate beefs with how our gov't is conducted. But largely, again, it's just a conservative movement under a new brand name seeking to get conservative Republicans elected.



  23. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    No astroturfing, huh? Gee, then what do you call paying people to show up at the Occupy DC protests? Or Occupy Chicago?

    Which of the other occupations have rent-a-mobs as well?

    And where is the money to pay these rent-a-mobs coming from?
  24. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I call that fighting stupidity with fire. Also, you make it seem as if this is a widespread practice. Oh, I know, this is the point where you whine again that they're basically the same now. Or that, "This isn't fair!" Or some other whiney whine crap you've done for the couple of years.

    That's all you need to know. One man saying one thing. Wow. Halt the presses, Smuggy.
  25. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Alright 44, ya got me. I said something biased. Busted. Guilty as charged. Caught me red-handed, you did. And in so doing, you've now put me in such odious company as the entire human race. No one is free of biases, from some d00d on teh interwebz all the way up to our Supreme Court Justices (otherwise, why would we talk about "left/right-leaning" Justices). No one. Anybody who tells you otherwise is lying through their teeth.

    Now, we can either choose to recognize our own (and others') biases, be willing to see past them and discuss differing points-of-view, and maybe even *GASP!!* re-consider our positions, or we can just shout "oh noes!1!! teh bias!1!!" and shut down discourse.