There is little that I - or anyone else for that matter - can add to the very grim picture that emerges from this story and others like it.
It's not news. We've know about this trend for some time now. The recent Census data simply confirmed it.
As I've written before, this kind of story goes to the very heart of the question, "What kind of nation do we want to be?" This is the question Republican candidates ask when they declare that our "Kenyan-born anti-business socialist president is leading the country in the wrong direction."
But, as with most of the right-wing propaganda these days, they have taken a serious and legitimate question and turned it on its head. The kind of country we are becoming is the kind described in the AP article referenced above. Despite the GOP rhetoric, it isn't class warfare to suggest that basic fairness and equality are values the nation should be working toward, rather than the perpetuation of a wealthy aristocracy.
Economics reporter Chris Farrell was on Minnesota Public Radio yesterday morning. Among other insights, he shed some light on the reasons that wealth inequality creates long-term problems in the economy.
He also had this to say:
We're a society that believes in equality of opportunity... Historically we get upset when the perception is that a group of people are excluded from opportunity because the [income] inequality has put them in a situation in which they cannot advance themselves.
John F. Kennedy's metaphor was the right one: "A rising tide lifts all boats"...That's a very simple definition of a good society. What we've had in the 2000's and the 90's is...a rising tide lifts all yachts...There are very few people who will define that as a good society.
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