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With nearly 10 percent unemployment, and much higher real unemployment, news like this is hard for the rest of the nation to take.

The wealthiest members of Congress grew richer in 2009 even as the economy struggled to recover from a deep recession.

The 50 wealthiest lawmakers were worth almost $1.4 billion in 2009, about $85.1 million more than 12 months earlier, according to The Hill’s annual review of lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms....

While the economy struggled through a recession during much of 2009 and the nation’s unemployment rate soared to 10 percent, the stock market rebounded, helping lawmakers with large investments. The S&P 500 rose by about 28 percent in 2009.

In large part, I think the story is less about these guys making out like bandits, but that the people in their circles, social and political, are making out like bandits. It's one of they ways in which too many of our lawmakers are seriously under-exposed to the realities in which the vast majority of their constituents live. Their colleagues and their friends haven't been hit by the recession, cuz the stock market is doing just fine.

If the recession was also hitting the investor class, if the people in the social circles many of these lawmakers travel were upside down on their mortgages and were losing their jobs, worried about whether their unemployment will continue and how they'll make their COBRA payments--or what they'll possibly live on in their old age if the catfood commission prevails--it might have changed their priorties in responding to this recession.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:46 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The ultra wealthy are driving our entire national (22+ / 0-)

    discourse.

    Until we grasp the hall of mirrors quality this has - and it's resulting distortion of all political discussion - we will be ineffective in combatting it.

    The plutocracy IS our enemy. It IS the source of almost all our problems.

    I, personally, don't know how they're defeated or neutralized or coopted, but I do know I haven't heard a real strategy anywhere on this site.

    •  The Wealthy Corporate Owners (9+ / 0-)

      are using their money and influence and have pretty much bought out our Federal Government.

      I think most people in America all agree that the Federal Government sucks right now - they are so far removed from the people they are supposed to represent.

      Why?

      Because they are being controlled by the Corporate Elite.

      Some people in this country blame the Government itself, others, like most here at DK's blame the CORPORATE INFLUENCE that has taken over the Federal Government.

      That is why people are so frustrated with this Administration and this Congress, it does not appear that they have really the AVERAGE American's best interest at heart, but rather a further trickle up of wealth.  I think most feel as though their retirement funds (401K's, IRA's, etc.) were raided by a small portion of the elite and I tend to agree.  How can you beat a fast computer in trading?

      You can't.  It's rigged and just enough of Congress has been bought and paid for.....to ensure their continued power.

      -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

      by MarciaJ720 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:08:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm missing something (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Peace Missile

        Marcia, you make some good points but I am overall, not following you.

        Government removed...yes.

        Government controlled by corporate elite?  Not sure.  Frank-Dodd got passed and the corporate elite spent gazillions trying to stop it or blunt it.  

        Corporate Influence...yes.  No question.  I would add Labor Influence to the list as well.  Lets be fair.  UAW, CWA, USW, etc all spend buckets of money in Illinois and that state is one of our bastions, now isn't it?

        Our 401ks got raided by the elite?  Not sure about that.  Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and others lost a lot more than you and me.  Collectively, they probably lost more than the GDP of Rhode Island or Wyoming.  We need to discern between a complete market collapse and some sort of hidden skimming that nobody can find or prove.  We can beat the Right with facts.  We hurt our own story by blaming 'they' 'them' and 'rich elite'.

        Cheers!

        •  "big labor" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          roadbear, anarchyintheusa

          BWAAAAAA HA HA HA HAHA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Our labor movement is weaker than the one in Mexico.  We have the smallest percent of unionized workforce of any industrial nation--and over half of our union membership consists of government employees.

          The wealthiest 0.5% of the population that owns almost one-third of the entire nation's wealth, is the cause of most of our problems.  They own everything, including Congress.

          "Big labor"?  Don't make me laugh. They're a pissant compared to the corporados.

    •  of the people, by the people, for the people? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anarchyintheusa

      Pffffft.  There are no unemployed truck drivers serving in Congress, from either party.

      The rich fucks own Congress and both parties--just like they own everything else.

  •  Wonder when we can officially (9+ / 0-)

    announce our plutocracy?

  •  Easy to see why policies favoring Wall St (10+ / 0-)

    would be the focus of the legislation passing thru Congress.
    it's not so much that they're underexposed to the realities of their constituents, it's that they're there to look out for themselves.

    •  Who are their constituents? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RantNRaven, eXtina, anarchyintheusa
      This is the big problem.  The Congresspeople see their constituents as the lobbyists and large donors, plus their (wealthy) friends back home.  Not the voters.

      They saee carefully screened groups of constituents, sometimes host a meeting with some angry people, but then retreat back to DC to the comfort of their cocoon.

      Why does Meg Whitman want China to win the race for green tech dominance?

      by Mimikatz on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:34:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wall Street's doing great as per yesterday's (9+ / 0-)

    NYT FP:

    The typical New Yorker is less likely to be unemployed or facing foreclosure or bankruptcy than the average American. Homes in the metropolitan area have held their value better than in most other big cities as more people are moving to the region than deserting it. Tourists continue to flock to the city, filling hotel rooms at the highest rate in the country, and at rising prices.

    Wall Street — still the engine that powers the city — roared back faster than expected, eliminated far fewer jobs than had been forecast, resumed paying out big bonuses and has begun to hire again. Despite a faltering stock market and recent signals that the national economy is losing steam, economists expect New York to remain on the rebound.

    "We have been feeling on more solid footing the last six months," said Marcia Van Wagner, the city’s assistant comptroller for budget. "If there’s no major shock, I think we’re going to have a slow, relatively steady recovery."

     

    K Street and Wall Street are both doing fine, thank you, so all of the other streets in the country can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:50:48 AM PDT

    •  Seen the Dow today? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      At last check, it was up about 250 points.  This morning when I was driving lil litho to school they were expecting a drop today.

      •  One day doesn't matter. (0+ / 0-)

        Well, a couple of days in history do. The start of the Great Depression, for example.

        But, generally, the market fluctuates. It's average this year as opposed to last year -- and, more tellingly, as opposed to 2007 -- is far more revealing than the changes for one day.

        What the huge swings tell us is that the investor class is still nervous.

        Corporations are people; money is speech.
        1984 - George Orwell

        by Frank Palmer on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:30:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Y'know, the funny thing is... (5+ / 0-)

    If the recession was also hitting the investor class...

    It has and it is (though certainly not nearly as hard as the working class).  It's not spoken about in polite company or A-list cocktail parties, though.

    "When reality is your enemy, insanity is your refuge." -- blue aardvark

    by Richard Cranium on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:50:54 AM PDT

    •  Yes, the recession is driving (9+ / 0-)

      small investors out of the market...getting rid of the riff-raff. Those would be people who are never going to see one of "those" cocktail parties, anyway.

    •  depends on how you define (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vacantlook

      the investor class

      Who Belongs To The ''Investor Class''?
      John Zogby, 02.12.09, 12:00 AM EST

      The invisible stockholder next door.
       
      For a number of years, Zogby International has been asking people if they consider themselves a member of the Investor Class. Thirty-eight percent of a November 2008 online sample of more than 24,000 voters so identified themselves, a number that shows how big an impact the stock and bond markets have on average citizens.

      We have a detailed profile of the people who perceive themselves as investors, telling us both who they are and what they believe. Since we don't set any criteria for the Investor Class, we are measuring a state of mind.

      BuzzAmong people who don't see themselves as belonging to the Investor Class, 58% do own a 401K. Technically, they are investors. They just don't see that as who they are, and probably don't factor those considerations into how they look at the world.

      Because they represent millions of people, those 38% who identify as investors are a varied group. Many are what I call the Invisible Investor Next Door, people with limited portfolios whose goals include maintaining their lifestyle, having a secure retirement and saving for their children's educations.

      No matter their wealth or goals, there are differences in the demographics and beliefs of folks who do and do not identify as investors. But there are also many similarities.

      Let's look at the data from our large November poll to compare the two groups, first for demographics. Those who identify with the Investor Class are more likely than noninvestors to:

      --Be married (70% vs. 55%)
      --Have a valid passport (65% vs. 42%)
      --Be a current or former gun owner (49% vs. 38%)
      --Own a home worth more than $250,000 (50% vs. 30%)
      --Have a family income of more than $100,000 (41% vs. 16%)
      --Be male (53% vs. 43%)
      --Be white (79% vs. 70%)
      --Have a college degree (56% vs. 38%)
      --Say they are white-collar workers (64% vs. 41%)

      http://www.forbes.com/...

      •  Ok, I hit on 8 of those 9 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RantNRaven, happymisanthropy

        and the one I miss on, gun ownership, characterizes only a minority of investors.

        Yet even the fact I own a 401(k) isn't enough for me to call myself an investor.

        I'm a salaried worker, and a professional.  I'm not an investor, and I'm certainly not rich.

        •  Perceptions. (0+ / 0-)

          Pretty generally, people who make most of their money from working and a small -- but significant -- amount from investments support favoring investors over workers.

          It's the rational background for Bush's "Ownership Society." Only a few of us will ever get our living based on our property; if enough of us got a little bit from our propperty, 'property owners first' would be a popular meme.

          Corporations are people; money is speech.
          1984 - George Orwell

          by Frank Palmer on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:36:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  this is wingnut horseshit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anarchyintheusa

        Ever since Reagan, the apologists for the super-rich have tried to declare that we live in an era of "people's capitalism" where "everyone can be a stockholder" and "we all own the corporations".

        it's horse shit.  The ownership of stock, like the ownership of everything else, is heavily concentrated among the top--and the share owned by the super-wealthy has grown steadily, just like their share of all other forms of wealth.  The wealthiest 0.5% of US households own more than half of all corporate stock.  The 401(k)'s, the Employee Stock Ownership Plans, the Mutual Funds---all are piddly compared to the stock shares held by the super-rich. Your handful of shares, even if you are among the minority of the US population that owns any, doesn't mean diddley-doo compared to the thousands of shares owned by those who control the voting majority.

        The whole "we own the corporations" thingie, is pure bullshit.  They own us.  All of us.

  •  i may be a freak (14+ / 0-)

    but i actually love rococo art. if we're going to return to monarchy and the divine right of kings and such, i hope we at least get some more great rococo art.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:51:14 AM PDT

  •  Doesn't that also help people with 401k's? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, eXtina

    Or is this just a "hate the rich more than we love people with 401k's" sort of situation?

    Or do you count everyone with a 401k as member of the rich "investor class"?

    Just trying to get clear on how wide I need to spread my outrage-net.

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:51:26 AM PDT

    •  People with 401k's (15+ / 0-)

      are the suckers that the rich make their money off.

      Hate to break it to you but the whole point of 401k's was not to build nest eggs for the people who own them but to enrich those who manage them.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:03:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True I think Chile (5+ / 0-)

        Is actually going to have to go in and prop up a lot of people who can't retire due to their private SS accounts not earning enough due to the market and the managers ripping them off with fees.

        •  The Pinochet privatization scheme (4+ / 0-)

          Wall Street touts it as a great accomplishment and want the same thing here.  Hear it on CNBC all the time.  Yet here we are seeing the end result of it.  They're going back to a Social Security system because the privatization scheme completely failed.

          Basically for every $100 you put in, some middleman manager is skimming let's say $5 out for himself.  Well if you're making 10% on that $95 you're basically keeping pace with inflation.  At the end of that year you only have $104.50 or a gain of $4.50 on $100.  It's a fucking racket.  And that's a big IF.  If the manager takes more than $5 you're losing money.  If the account only gains 5% you're losing money.  Your account may grow but only because you keep feeding it money.  For that you might as well open up a Christmas Club account that earns 1% and manage it yourself.  At least yo never lose money.    

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:16:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Indeed, and who ever heard of "financial planners (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RantNRaven, melpomene1

            " until the insurance industry created them in the '70s when they saw another way to squeeze money out of people.  I worked for one of the major companies at the time and we were sent out to dazzle clients with our laptops and amazing hope-and-dream-generating software.  When I realized why I needed so many showers I quit and took a position with more social and soul-redeeming qualities.

            •  I was in training with a big (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              melpomene1, barkingcat

              financial planning outfit in the 90s.  I was studying for my series 7 and 63 which interested me but they also made you get your insurance license along with it and I realized they were more interested in insurance, annuities and other products than anything else.  Then I found out how much they made on them...unbelievable the profit margin.

              During training we had to learn the spiel verbatim and push certain products.  I hated that.  What I wanted to do was to help the folks like me who didn't have much but wanted to do the best they could with what they had.  Nope.  I found out really quick that wasn't allowed.  Sell them whatever will profit the company most.

              I was so discouraged after that....I quit.   The financial industry wants to help no one but themselves and their rich friends.....not the majority of the people.  They just want to rob everyone.

              "What, Me Worry?"...King George Walker Alfred Eusless Newman Bush

              by RantNRaven on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 09:01:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  so whats the solution? (0+ / 0-)

            Savings accounts are earning .27%.  Treasury bills are earning 2.3% but you have to pay a flat issuance fee so unless you are buying a lot, this is a net loser.

            So we're all ears.  Where should Joe-Stiff workingman put his extra dough?  

            As an aside, nobody seems to complain when the market is on fire and the 401ks are producing 15% annualized returns.  If you direct your investment account to any number of reliable blue chips, they are paying between 2 and 6% dividends.

            I guess I grasp your rage but not exactly what you propose for your fellow man to do with his money.  Help??

            •  the solution is higher wages (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hollowdweller, schnecke21

              They have been going down steadily ever since the 70's.

              Joe-Stiff workingman doesn't HAVE any "extra dough"--because Joseph Billionnaire Moneybags has been cutting Joe's pay and benefits for thirty years, before moving Joe's job to China.

              •  BINGO! n/t (0+ / 0-)

                This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                by DisNoir36 on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 05:30:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You didn't answer me (0+ / 0-)

                Let me get this straight.  You want to legislate higher wages?

                Joe-Stiff doesn't work for minimum wage.  I have a couple who drive trucks and install equipment for me.  Every one of them is making $15/hr plus.

                Maybe I wasn't clear or you missed the question (intentionally?).  I'm was asking where my guys are supposed to put the couple hundred bucks they and their wives save each month.

                I'm darn sure not going to give raises because they are getting a defacto 37% raise by my continuing to pay this sweet new healthcare tarriff.

        •  401k's get double fees (3+ / 0-)

          First, the mutual funds you pick from charge fees for managing the fund.

          Then the 401k company that administers your 401k account for you charge more than a bank does.

          However, most people will never know because their statements only state:

          Beginning Balance
          + any contributions
          + or - any gains or losses
          = Current Balance

          But those fees are transactions if you are one who is able to log onto your account and actually record the fees they charge.  But again, most do not do this.

          My husband has worked for 3 different companies in the last 14 years (2 went bankrupt) and all 3 had 401k's.  None has he ever walked away with more than he put in (in fact, less) and each one I logged on each and every month to record these fees.  It has been thousands of dollars now and he hasn't put that much in but over the years it has added up.

          -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

          by MarciaJ720 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:19:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wider (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah

      I am assuming the author has no savings, or would rather her own savings not grow while others have to suffer. Same for her parents. Having one's lifetime of investments decline 40% in  one year then grow half way back the followi9ng year is just not fair.

      Is it inappropriate to ask the author where in the income distribution she and her family reside or is this a matter or journalistic prerogative?  

    •  most people don't have 401(k)'s (0+ / 0-)

      Most people don't own a house.

      Most people don't have any significant savings.

      Of course, the audience here at DKos is not "most people"---in general, political activists (from both sides) tend to be in higher income brackets than most people. That is why DKosers are so often utterly out of touch with the majority of people in the US--example, when we argued vociferously here that we needed health care reform so people wouldn't lose their retirement savings or 401(k)'s or houses if they had a medical emergency----quite oblivious of the fact that most people in the US have none of those things, and the HCR bill does nothing at all whatsoever in any way to help any of them.

      Our ivory tower isn't as tall (or as barricaded) as the rightwing's, but most of us here live in one just the same.

  •  And yet... we will be diagnosed with (12+ / 0-)

    "wealth envy" by those who, in spite of being in comparable (or worse) personal economic circumstances, have been seduced by a defunct idealization of "The American Dream" to vote against their own interests...

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:52:02 AM PDT

  •  This is why they don't "get it". (15+ / 0-)
    This is why they don't realize that the economy in this country is still in crisis.  That "recovery" is essentially non-existant to a vast majority of Americans.

    They look around at their own situation, and their friends, and their co-workers...and all of them have rebounded.  They simply don't have a handle on having to live day-to-day not simply while struggling, but also still seeing the people they know and care about continue to struggle.

    Let's hope the Wall Street Journal article today about the Obama admin considering a new wave of infrustructure projects is true...

    •  Haley Barbour (R-MS-Idiot) had the temerity (11+ / 0-)

      to suggest yesterday that Mississippi hasn't been hurt much during the economic downturn.

      He's cut billions out of the state budget, but that doesn't result in hurt to Mississippians?

      Not only is he fucking clueless, he's completely fucking clueless. Conservatives are genetically wired to be unable to see government spending as benefiting anybody, ever. So it doesn't even register to him that thousands of teachers have been laid off.

      Un-fucking-believable.

      •  Granted, it's hard to tell regression, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chrississippi, litho, RantNRaven

        when you go from "poor" to "fuckin' poor."

        In South Carolina, it's a little more of a drop. We went from "Almost just below national average" to "God help us all we're going to start eating ourselves."

        "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

        by sapper on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:17:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, Conservatives (3+ / 0-)

        see the Government as a convenient ATM for their businesses.

        Get the Government job contract and you got it made (see Blackwater, KBR, Halliburton, etc.).

        -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

        by MarciaJ720 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:23:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, *his* pals haven't been hurt that bad (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chrississippi, judyms9

        In fact, from what I've read, they're the ones who have gotten the bulk of the federal hurricane relief to the state!

      •  and will get re-elected (0+ / 0-)

        and again, that's the problem.

        there are so many politicians who are PUBLICLY demonstrating their divorce from reality and 90+ % of them will be re-elected.

        I don't have any good ideas either.

        big badda boom : GRB 080913

        by squarewheel on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:41:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm with you but I do have a question (0+ / 0-)

        If a state is supposed to have a balanced budget and I think we can all concur that deficit spending is a no-no....what is a governor to do?

        I'm not talking about Barbour particularly.  I'm just asking in general.  Virginia's two governors recently (Kaine and McDonnell:  D, R respectively) both cut lots of stuff to get the state on an even keel.  Yes, people lost their state jobs.  What was the alternative?  States cannot print money like the US Treasury.  California wouldn't trim its spendy ways.  They might not be fucking clueless as you noted but they are fucking bankrupt.

        ???

        •  I don't agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          schnecke21

          The whole brouhaha about "balanced budget" is bullshit.

          And the solution is simple----raise taxes.  Government services cost, and if we want them, we have to PAY for them.

          And yes---I'm looking at all the rich fucks who have had their taxes cut by their pals in DC.  The rich have had a party for three decades.  it's time for them to pay their bar tab.

          And a note to all you wingnut tax-cutters-----now that you've cut taxes to the bone, my library here is closing down two days a week, by bus service here is raising fares 20% and cutting service routes, and there's serious talk about laying off teachers and closing down some schools.

          So thanks for nothing.

          •  Why do I get the feeling (0+ / 0-)

            That every plan you have involves taking from somebody other than you?

            In 1933, we said, lets go take it from the rich bastards.  (this was good and I'm glad we did).  In the 60's we launched a whole wheelbarrow load of social spending.  Again, we hit the wealthy hard to pay for it.  Half the people you meet aren't paying any federal taxes.  As a middle class guy, this begins to bother me a bit.

            I know in my heart of hearts that there simply aren't enough rich people to cover the new interstate extension, fund more hours and new librarians, buy your town some new buses and drivers, etc.  Don't forget, we will be paying more and more for some of the social programs we launched from the 30's and 60's which can no longer self sustain.

    •  LIke the Senator who was supposed to vote (2+ / 0-)

      on bank fees and ATM fees but had never used an ATM fee more than maybe 3 times in his entire life

  •  Even if they lose their jobs in Congress (12+ / 0-)
    ...they'll have something to fall back on.

    I feel like my job search is going to be eternal.  

  •  To them, health of economy = DOW (8+ / 0-)

    As long as the investor class is doing ok, they think everybody is doing ok.

    So ... you don't make most of your money from investments?

    You don't count.

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:54:48 AM PDT

    •  Point of accuracy (0+ / 0-)

      You know that Calpers is one of the biggest investment firms, right?  Sure, lots of people know this.  Probably evil rodents, the lot of them.

      ...except that Calpers is the State of California public employee pension system.  Teachers, librarians, state troopers.  You are daggone right that the 'investor class' should be looked after.  My dad is a pensioner and his public servant investment account is balls-deep in wall street.  As well it should have been because thats where those nice gains of the 80's and 90's came from.  Is he rich?  nope.  Investor class?  no again.  But you can't show me how things are good in this country when Wall Street is down.  So either we all get on board with the concept that a few assholes are going to get rich with the market so we can all do better...or we do all we can to put the chains on the street and then bitch up a storm when jobs don't get created.

      •  Except it ain't true ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... either we all get on board with the concept that a few assholes are going to get rich with the market so we can all do better ...

        I am a member of the investment class in the same sense as your dad. FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS my investments have gone nowhere, done nothing. I would have been better off parking them in a CD at my local credit union. Safer too.

        We could all get on board with your fantasy concept, except that your concept is a fantasy. We're not all doing better. Only the rich are getting richer.

        I don't mind if a few assholes at the top get stinking rich. I really don't care, as long as the "investor class" fraction of my portfolio is doing ok. The problem is, it's not. The stinking rich bastards skimming 100% of the cream off the top while the rest of us drown.

        The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

        by Positronicus on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 12:39:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  our entire frame is wrong (0+ / 0-)

          Too many people here seem to think that the primary task of "the investor class" is to create nice-paying jobs for all of us.  It's not. The business interests aren't in business to give us jobs.  They're in business to make money--and it's not us they are in business to make money for.  The business interests are entirely happy to move every well-paying job in the country to China or Mexico, where the business interests can fatten their own bank accounts while paying people two cups of rice per day.

          The business interests don't care about any of us.  They don't care if we can't afford the rent, or if we eat cat food every day, or if we can't afford to treat our chronic illness, or if we've been unemployed for half a year. We are not PEOPLE to the business interests--we are equipment, just something else that they have to pay for if they want to keep making money for themselves. We are an expense, nothing more--the same as a computer terminal or a tow-motor or an office chair. They buy as as cheaply as they possibly can, squeeze as much out of us as they can until we wear out or we break down or we go obsolete, and then they throw us away and buy a new one.  And when they buy a new one, they don't care what color it is or what language it speaks or where it came from--all they care is "can it make me more money than that one over there can".

          This whole idea that "the business owners and investors have our best interests at heart", is idiotically stupid. It baffles me that anyone can even still say it with a straight face, much less swallow it whole.

  •  S&P topped out over 1500 in 2007. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, PsychoSavannah

    It's bumping around 1100 now.

    I just wanted to point out that investors are pretty much aware there has been an "event".  

    BREAKING: Alan Simpson not just an gaffe-prone old fart, but a demigod empowered to cut social security, disband Congress, override President. Shazzam.

    by Inland on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:55:08 AM PDT

  •  Class (10+ / 0-)

    For years, we've been told that class and entrenched wealth are an old world problem, and that anybody can succeed in America.

    In reality, its just that we are newer, and it took time to get a class structure put in place.  It also helped that we had essentially infinite land.  It happened in the late 1800s, and now its happened again.  This time, it doesn't seem that those in power are willing to stop it.

  •  Not just "lawmakers" who are clueless. (9+ / 0-)

    If the recession was also hitting the investor class media , if the people in the social circles many of these lawmakers  pundits travel were upside down on their mortgages and were losing their jobs, worried about whether their unemployment will continue and how they'll make their COBRA payments--or what they'll possibly live on in their old age if the catfood commission prevails--it might have changed their priorties in responding to this recession.

  •  new report: CEO Pay and the Great Recession (11+ / 0-)

    CEO pay in 2009 more than doubled the CEO pay average for the decade of the 1990s, more than quadrupled the CEO pay average for the 1980s, and ran approximately eight times the CEO average for all the decades of the mid-20th century.

    American workers, by contrast, are taking home less in real weekly wages than they took home in the 1970s.
    ...

    In 2009, the CEOs who slashed their payrolls the deepest took home 42 percent more compensation than the year’s chief executive pay average for S&P 500 companies. Most careful analysts of the high-finance meltdown that ushered in the Great Recession have concluded that excessive executive compensation played a prime causal role. Outrageously high rewards gave executives an incentive to behave outrageously, to take the sorts of reckless risks that would eventually endanger our entire economy.

    This report report goes into much more detail and is worth a read.

    •  And this is the kind of thing VOTERS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RantNRaven

      respond to....voters on both sides of the aisle, by the way.

      Remind people you talk to that rules have to be put in place to keep the USA from becoming fucking FRANCE (a good buzzword for repubs) before the revolution.  Having these facts at hand and showing the income gap is important.  When it's on a chart, people get it better.  

      This income inequality thing was THE cause of the great depression....too few people with too much money....it gets stuck into banks and the stock market, where it does nothing FOR the economy.  Money has to circulate to be of any worth at all.

      Remind people that their credit card CAN be paid off now....it not a life sentence anymore!  So many do not know the new rules.

      Remind people that the new FinReg closes some of the giant holes the banks/investment houses used to steal all our tax money a couple of years ago.

      People get this....they really do.  Use it while GOTV and in conversations with friends and family.

  •  They grow fat and happy (4+ / 0-)

    while the American people continue to suffer.

    A Vote for a GOP Candidate is a Vote for Hate.

    by cyeko on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:00:29 AM PDT

  •  Can see Boehner now.....'I haven't met anyone who (8+ / 0-)

    has been negatively impacted by the economy...and I travel all over the country.....Watch this drive'

  •  Keep the heat on Joan (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, mcmom, melpomene1, judyms9

    This is an incredibly good wedge issue for democrats. It would be like shooting ducks in a barrel because most of these republicans are completely up front about their contempt for Social Security.

    Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

    by Bailey Savings and Loan on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:05:07 AM PDT

  •  It's Systemic, Planned, and Being Codified (6+ / 0-)

    Bill Moyers succinctly exposed it in his farewell to us:

    The question is, what to do about it? Stay "unenthusiastic"? Stay home in November?

    Or rouse ourselves, get up and vote, then fight like hell against this trend while still holding a majority in Congress.

    "If God dropped acid, would he see people?"—Steven Wright

    by skeezixwolfnagle on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:06:48 AM PDT

  •  Elections are opportunity to fire politicians (5+ / 0-)

    whether they deserve it or not. Just like the boss does it. I think in this election many deserve to be fired.

    All hope abandon ye who enter here.

    by this much on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:08:03 AM PDT

  •  Not that the rich aren't getting richer but this: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, Inspector Javert

    While the economy struggled through a recession during much of 2009 and the nation’s unemployment rate soared to 10 percent, the stock market rebounded, helping lawmakers with large investments. The S&P 500 rose by about 28 percent in 2009

    The 28% gain over that period is really only impressive  if you bought into the market at the very bottom, a feat of timing that no one is capable of. Here is a historic chart of the S=P 500:
     title=
           We still have quite a way to go to get back to the point we were at before the crash, a fact which those nearing retirement age like myself are well aware. A more accurate gauge of what is happening would be the total share of the National Wealth owned by the upper 1% of the American people. The percentage owned by that 1% has grown steadily since the reagan years.

    "Education is dangerous - Every educated person is a future enemy" Hermann Goering (NRSC?)

    by irate on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:08:26 AM PDT

  •  Too bad we can't tie their salaries (10+ / 0-)
    to the performance of the economy.
    •  per 'Yes Minister'.......This would be the thin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Haningchadus14

      end of the wedge.

    •  "Invisible Hand," Shimvisble Bland . . . . (0+ / 0-)

      I wanna hear some capitalist apologist like Lawrence Kudlow put down the coke explain THAT one . . .

    •  You could (0+ / 0-)

      tie Bernake's salary to the performance of the economy.  Or congress'.  

      I'm just a small business owner.  All I know is that my health insurance for myt employees went up 37% because they say they are preparing for implementation of nationalized healthcare.  I know my local council jacked real estate taxes because they say we need a new school that has a big auditorium.  The local paper says that the school will have a performaning arts center and create jobs.  

      I just fired a guy who didn't do anything wrong because I can't pay the healthcare bill, the tax levy on my building and warehouse, and keep my head above water.  I can't change the economic environment.  All I can do is react to it.  Am I greatly different from the bigshot CEO's?

      •  yes, you are greatly different (0+ / 0-)

        You are not larger, richer and more powerful than national governments.

        The corporados, are.

        By the way, the "bigshot CEO" has it WORSE than you.  YOU are the business OWNER.  You weren't hired, and you can't be fired.  The corporate CEO, on the other hand, is just an employee.  He's not the real corporado--he just was HIRED by the real corporados.  The CEO is nothing but a glorified janitor--a little better paid, perhaps, but nevertheless just a hired hack, just an employee like the janitor. Just some shmuck who is hired to run the business so the REAL owners don't have to get their hands dirty doing it themselves.

        When you think "super-rich", don't think CEO's----think the people who HIRE them. The REAL super-rich don't have jobs.  They don't NEED a job and they don't NEED to work for their living, dahling. They're too good for that.

        As for small businesses, they are nothing but krill.  Nearly all of them die in a few years, and the fortunate few who survive, do so only at the sufference of the Big Boys who really matter. Any time some corporados decides to buy you out or drive you under, you will disappear, just like the dozens of small businesses that are driven under every time a WalMart opens somewhere. The only role of small businesses is to feed the bigger fish.

    •  the super-rich don't get salaries (0+ / 0-)

      They live off interest and dividends--what the IRS, with wonderful honesty, classes as "unearned income".

      The super-rich don't NEED jobs, dahling. They're too good to work.

  •  Joan -- How have we come to agree so strongly? (10+ / 0-)

    Just goes to show. Some things are not a matter of points on the political spectrum. They just simply are.

    It's one of they ways in which too many of our lawmakers are seriously under-exposed to the realities in which the vast majority of their constituents live.

    I wish I knew how many times I've been told that TARP and bailouts and too big to fail averted a bigger disaster and I should be glad that it did.

    Lot of POV in that position.

    From where I sit, the disaster couldn't be any bigger. I can't get work, I can't take care of my family, and we're losing pretty much everything we've ever had -- not to mention gaining sever worry about my daughters' future.

    I know I'm not alone. There are millions more like me.

    So the question: would a broader collapse really have been worse?

    Yes, it would have affected more people, but for how long? Big broad disasters have a way of focusing people's attention. Would so many people have been left to twist in the wind?

    I tend to doubt it.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:09:50 AM PDT

    •  That question will be debated forever n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orphanpower, dinotrac
    •  The Republicans (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RantNRaven, melpomene1, judyms9

      feel that the poor must pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and that we are not all interconnected and interdependent as a society.

      UNTIL...the entire banking system nearly collapsed.

      Suddenly, we are all interconnected and interdependent.
      We had no choice but to dump vast amounts of money into our highly corrupt banking/investment banking system. Otherwise the entire American monetary system was going to go down.
      That is how they sold TARP to most everyone.
      The government handed over billions to bail out the banks.
      But the Republicans don't want to hand over a dime to struggling jobless Americans.

      "How can I tell you everything that is in my heart. Impossible to begin. Enough. No. Begin." Maira Kalman from The Principles of Uncertainty

      by orphanpower on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:27:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Democrats aren't handing me any dimes, either (4+ / 0-)

        I can live with that, I guess, but...

        It's hard not to be bitter about the sense of urgency for rescuing the people who killed the economy and the indifference to the needs of their victims.

        Actually -- I take back the "any dimes". Our kids qualified for the federal school lunch program this year.

        Better than nothing.
        Not a job, though.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:31:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pass (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glitterscale, Brooke In Seattle

    some of that "just fine" this way then.

    Thank you.

    When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? Eleanor Roosevelt

    by IndyRobin on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:09:51 AM PDT

  •  What is interesting (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, sapper, Hannibal, RantNRaven

    Is the tea party folks are sort of mad about the same thing but they don't realize that the very hands off ideas they've been sold as the solution are part of the problem.

    If the GOP gain control again, and it gets worse will they wise up?

    Or will they like now despite 8 years of Republican control putting us into a hole be somehow convinced that it is liberals who are responsible??

    One think I think hurts democrats is that as was mentioned so many are beholden to Wall Street or subscribe to trickle down that they are not "pure" enough to convincingly push any worker class populist rhetoric.

    •  I've made headway in South (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      judyms9

      Fucking Carolina, of all places, with blaming the republicans and DEREGULATION for the meltdown.  Many of them know it, many of them know less regulation is not the way to go.

      BUT, hatred for liberals gets in the way.

      So, I boil it down to their personal situation and explain how rules the dems HAVE put into place will help them, directly.  Credit card reform is a great tool in my basket....I use it every time I talk to someone.  And I always remind them that the current liberals in congress are not the wild-eyed monsters they have been told.  They are calm and deliberate and working within the capitalist framework.  I also tell them that hard-core liberals, like those on DKOS, hate the congress.  I remind them that health insurance reform is still all private industry.  No socialism at all, not an ounce.  That shuts them right up, and they actually listen to what I say

    •  I don't blame the teaparty folks one bit. (0+ / 0-)

      It's easy to trash them, but their anger is equivalent to that anger the democratic party harnessed in the 1930s and kept FDR in office.

      Most of the teabaggers out there are really hurting. Certainly there are those libertarians out there among the teabagger masses, running the show, but most of the teabaggers have been kicked in the butt by life.

      I'm not going to be mad at them, or crack easy jokes on them at their expense. They could easily be any one of us.

      "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

      by sapper on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:37:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Way to be in touch with the working person (5+ / 0-)

    Lords of the manor.

  •  The rich get richer (7+ / 0-)

    everyone else suffers.

    I see it first hand, EVERY DAMN DAY.  MacMansions are still being built, expensive restaurants are still packed.  People are still driving in Escalades and spending ridiculous money at spas.  CEO's of health insurance companies are still spending over a $1 million on furniture for their multi million $$ homes with pools that have waterfalls and pool houses that are bigger than most people's homes.  They are still putting flat screen TV's in every room including the toilet room.  

    NOTHING HAS CHANGED for them.  The people who were in the top 6% and were seeking to move up to the top 5% got hurt because the ones at the very top who have the money were able to take advantage of them.  Those who have cash are making money hand over fist.  Everyone else is left with the bill.  

    Basically it goes like this, for every million the uber rich make, some poor schlub or poor schlubs are losing a million.    

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:11:17 AM PDT

    •  as Big Bill Haywood put it--- (0+ / 0-)

      "If someone gets a dollar that he didn't work for, that means someone else worked for a dollar that he didn't get."

      All that fabulous wealth that the super-rich waste every day------who do you think produced it all?  Do you think the super-rich have ever gotten their hands dirty in a workplace actually making or providing anything?

  •  It isn't just lawmakers (6+ / 0-)

    I posted this link in my diary, which nobody is reading, but it's worth looking at. Unemployment, it seems, is very, very, good for the people who create it.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:12:32 AM PDT

  •  This is enemy action... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, mcmom, jgalquist

    Petitions have not helped to resolve our problems.
    Demonstrations go unreported and are largely ignored.
    Our political system is failing to effectuate all but the least amount of economic support for individuals.  

    The enemy is the State and electeds and their sanction of banks that do not lend to small businesses, and support for large corporations that do not hire. It is time to treat the state, wealthy elites, corporate leaders and all electeds as enemies of the people.

    We don't have money. Thus, our only solution is organization and indomitable activism through assembling vast numbers of people.

    Door-to-door, one at a time, OFA proposes far more effective leadership and effectiveness in joining together vast numbers of people. (...certainly, far more than the 2%ers who admit they are Tea Partiers or Republican radicals who have alienated all but the most bigoted and fearful white minorities.)

    We can corral elected Democrats as a majority if we are willing to put in the time to do so. Canvass, register and support efforts for Democrats! GOTV! Person-to-person works! GOTV! It's the only thing that matters!

    ...'06, '08, and ...'10? 'It was a trifecta of the peoples' outrage against Republicanism!'

    by ezdidit on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:13:51 AM PDT

    •  Required Reading: "Three Times Is Enemy Action" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RantNRaven

      Written two years ago by Mark Sumner, Three Times Is Enemy Action explains how fraud was perpetrated upon us over thirty years, sanctioned by the elected elites we trusted to govern us. Electeds detest voters and constituents. They resent having to depend on the vagaries of our voting patterns. We are the vast unwashed, 310 million Americans variously massed in the bleachers, on the blogs, hooting, hollering and even drinking beer in public.

      Their problem is that they think their sh*t doesn't stink.

      Copy/paste the article, print it out into a six-pager and hand it to the wealthy. Give it to their bartenders, barbers and chauffeurs. Give it to their property managers and building superintendents. Send one to Obama! And to John Boehner.

      When they know that we know how they have ripped us off, they should become just a little bit more insecure.

      If impeachment is off the table, Social Security is off the table, Madame Speaker.

      ...'06, '08, and ...'10? 'It was a trifecta of the peoples' outrage against Republicanism!'

      by ezdidit on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:34:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Almost every time I buy gasoline at a convenience (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RantNRaven, schnecke21

    store, I see a charity can there by the cash register.  Someone is needing an operation, or has huge medical bills after an accident (one was an infant with burn injuries)--and please put your coins in this jar to help.

    Politicians, TV "personalities," judges, etc. don't pump their own gas and pay cash for it.  They don't see these ubiquitous pleas for help.

    I have an idea--maybe folks here can help me with it.  Perhaps we could each take photographs of these charity cans, and create a montage, and send it to our legislators.  If anyone would like to do this, please e-mail those pictures to me at

    nancyw (at) b l u e m a r b l e (dot) n e t

    To say that my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

    by Dar Nirron on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:14:27 AM PDT

  •  I remember when the late Senator (6+ / 0-)

    Frank Church had to borrow money to put a new roof on his house in Bethesda. He served for 24 years, did not get rich while in the Senate, and Bethine once remarked that she had to really watch their budget, which was difficult as they entertained other senators (both parties) and dignitaries in their home. What a difference in values after Reagan became president, and big money bought themselves representatives and senators. And now, with the SCOTUS decision, it can only get worse.

    I think, therefore I am. I think.

    by mcmom on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:15:12 AM PDT

  •  Was income inequality the cause of the '07 crash? (6+ / 0-)

    Very interesting speculations about that, with some hard data backing them up, in this piece Monday on the Takeaway.  Interviews include Louise Story, business reporter for the New York Times, and Ray Brescia of the Albany Law School and author of "The Cost of Inequality."

    It's exactly the framing we need for the debate on extending Bush's tax cuts, but also to steal the populist thunder from the Tea Party.

    •  This is one of the few bright spots for me; that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho, RantNRaven, Cyndiannp

      there exists today some real---and completely justified---rage at our inequitable system, and that the few remaining Democrats from the Democratic Wing of our party take the reins and start calling the ball.

      In the meantime, we're suffering through the death pangs of DLCism . . .

  •  An inconvenient truth ... (5+ / 0-)

    7 of the top 10 are Dems:

    1. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.): $188.6 million
    1. Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.): $160.1 million
    1. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.): $152.3 million
    1. Sen. Jay Rockefeller ( D-W.Va.): $83.7 million
    1. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas): $73.8 million
    1. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.); $70.2 million
    1. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.): $56.5 million
    1. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.): $53.5 million
    1. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.): $49.7 million
    1. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.): $46.1 million
    •  Herb Kohl (0+ / 0-)
      As the article mentioned, senators/reps are only required to provide estimates of the value of their assets and liabilities as being in certain ranges. That can produce some screwy results. For example, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) owns the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. The bucks alone are said to be worth over $250 MM.
    •  Bill Nelson (0+ / 0-)

      Note that these figures exclude both the value of their future pensions, as well as the value of their home or homes.

      For some, that can be significant. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), for example, has a house on 77 acres of oceanfront land near Melbourne, Florida. I can't even begin to imagine what that is worth.

    •  no surprise there (0+ / 0-)

      The corporados own the Dem Party's ass just as much as they own Repug Party ass.

      I did a diary about it a while ago:

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      We DKosers like to believe that the Repugs are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the corporados, and we poor Dems fight valiantly with our small contributor network.

      It just ain't so.

  •  willful exploitation, not beneficent ignorance (4+ / 0-)

    This is central to the problem.

    If the recession was also hitting the investor class, if the people in the social circles many of these lawmakers travel were upside down on their mortgages and were losing their jobs, worried about whether their unemployment will continue and how they'll make their COBRA payments--or what they'll possibly live on in their old age if the catfood commission prevails--it might have changed their priorties in responding to this recession.

    Only I wouldn't chalk it up to beneficent ignorance--I believe it is willful exploitation.

    Find your own voice--the personal is political.

    by In her own Voice on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:21:46 AM PDT

  •  We can change it Constitutionally (0+ / 0-)
    If one bother's to read the Constitution,it , in no way is it ambiguous, describes how we can again throw off the bond's of tyranny, should they rise again in our Nation.
    But with corporations now considered "persons", except when tax time comes, the unwashed masses are too brainwashed watching FOX news, or it's mind numbing offshoot television reality crap.
    The American people, who should get their lazy butts out and vote, just whine. When a stranger or even a friend cries about the right, i ask them if they voted, if they answer no, i tell them to go tell someone who cares.
    To let these whores of Wall Street control the peoples so called governmentis a disgrace on us, not the corporate pimps.
    •  Changing the constitution (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RantNRaven, WhiningRepug

      opens up Pandora's box.  We can change it piecemeal, as in an amendment, or change it wholesale with a constitutional convention.  The latter invites Beckites, Palinites, Anglites.  Can you imagine what they would do to a constitution?

      The former is extremely difficult, but has been done.  But people have to agree which has been damn difficult for US people to agree on anything lately.

  •  Is this is a story? (0+ / 0-)

    People that have money were able to withstand a downturn in the market, people that don't have money were not.  

    Seems like common sense.

  •  Some of them respond to their class (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RantNRaven, emilysdad, WhiningRepug

    Others, like Rockefeller, think inheritances should be taxed.

    Corporations are people; money is speech.
    1984 - George Orwell

    by Frank Palmer on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:25:56 AM PDT

  •  The same here and elswhere (0+ / 0-)

    The leaders make the poor decisions and escape real accountability like those felt by others less fortunate.

    The misfortune of the masses is that such poor quality assumes leadership.

    I KNOW what I'm saying, so rather than tell me or twist it otherwise, just ASK and I will explain, assuming good faith until shown the contrary.

    by citizen53 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:28:22 AM PDT

  •  Let's face it....the rich are in control (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    Not since the late 19th century and early 20th have the cabal of the wealthy come together to control the economy and the country. Congress is made up of mostly wealthy people, lobbyists mostly represent wealthy interests, the media are controlled by wealthy, and even the most influential 'news reporters' are wealthy. A large chunk of our radio stations are controlled by rich, right wing demagogues and propagandists for guess who - the wealthy -  and on and on. These people stand the most to lose (in their minds) if taxes go up. In the end, most love the Bush tax cuts, do not care about social spending or safety nets, will jump on any fear-inspiring causes that appeals to the public to maintain the status quo, and will fight against any progressive moves in this nation. It might take another 20 years to break this cabal just like it did in the 30s and 40s.        

    •  Well All the Media Are Corporate, They All (0+ / 0-)

      share the corporate interests, and they have their own special constitutional right to promote them and fight all others.

      Give corporations total freedom and gee I wonder what they're going to do?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:32:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The wealthy have always been in control. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LongMarchComrad

      Always.

      Nothing new.

      This is not a book (Atlas Shrugged) to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown, with great force. - Dorothy Parker

      by edwardssl on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:50:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not to Worry, the Tea Party Will Rescue Them (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, lostinamerica, judyms9

    so they don't have to suffer this badly.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:30:24 AM PDT

  •  I'm normally the one screaming about... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LongMarchComrad, emilysdad

    ...issues like this.

    But this article is very misleading.

    The recession began in 2007.

    Saying their wealth increased in 2009 completely misses the fact that it took an even greater hit in 2008. If you're going to use the stock market as your measure, you should note that it is nowhere near the previous highs.

    So yes, maybe they're doing better than most people, but saying they haven't "been hit by the recession" is not true.

    •  huh (0+ / 0-)

      So yes, maybe they're doing better than most people, but saying they haven't "been hit by the recession" is not true.

      anything to back that up?

      •  duh (0+ / 0-)

        you can find your way to Daily Kos but can't enter 'Warren Buffett losses' into google?  

        I don't like the repugs any more than you do but for goodness sake, fight the right with truth and wisdom.  Thats really all you need.

        We seem to be completely F-ed in terms of basic math sometimes and its frustrating.  Income and wealth are two different things.  My income is total crap because I am partly commissioned and the eco. sux.  My wealth includes some equity in my house, a beat up jet ski, some small stock investments, and a piece of land I bought with my dad.  Weathly people do not necessairly have big incomes.  Vice versa.

        Wealth is usually after-tax accumulation.  So in Buffett's case, he lost a billion bucks because part of his wealth (mostly in stocks and in mutual funds) lost value as the market fell.  

        Hit me back if this isn't clear.  I'm just trying to explain that wealthy people took a much bigger hit than you did because their wealth was tied to land and stock markets.  Unless they had it in mattresses, they lost a lot.

    •  with all due respect (0+ / 0-)

      The rich fucks have had a free ride since 1980---their share of wealth has gone up, steadily, that entire time.

      And if the recession that their own greed caused hit them in the wallet, good. None of the bastards are sleeping under bridges or eating cat food. And if they can't limp by on a measly $300 million a year instead of $400 million, then they can jump out a window and end it all. GBCW.  (shrug)

      So spare me this "the rich got hit too boo hoo hoo" sob story. My sympathy level for them is . . . zero.

  •  This is why nothing changes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vacantlook

    and never will, until our elected representatives are forced to suffer like the rest of us.

    I'm not worried about your state of mind, 'cause, you're not the revolutionary kind - Gomez

    by jhecht on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:44:13 AM PDT

  •  STUPID Partisanship Leads to Our Failure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RantNRaven, judyms9

    I left this comment with The Hill, don't know if the moderator will allow it:

    If people weren't so PARTISAN and STUPID - they would recognize the SOLUTION ...

    it's not about Dems or Reps, it's about TAXING our MOST RICH. You don't like how much money they have? Tax the shit out of them. Remember, after WWII, our top marginal tax rate hit 91%. Today it is around 35%. Of course, they're rich. We let them keep too much of their money!

    Remember that Bill Clinton and John Kerry made this call years ago - to their credit. "Why should we be giving them TAX CUTS," they said.

    So, why are we?

    First, let the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the top 3% expire as planned. And, maybe raise this a bit in a year or two as well.

    Second, stop getting duped by partisan politics. It's not Dem v. Rep - it's the Middle Class v. the MOST RICH.

  •  The law I would like to see passed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RantNRaven, schnecke21

    is where the legislators have to come face to face with what they do:

    1. if we have 10% unemployed, 10 percent of them are sent home (lottery).  Anything over 6% unemployment would trigger this provision.
    1. if our 401ks are decimated, theirs are reduced by like amounts.
    1. if foreclosures occur at the current rate, their homes are threatened at the same rate (again by lottery)
    1. If our pay gets reduced, theirs gets reduced.
    1. if we lose our health insurance, they get the same fate (again by lottery).

    I also think we need to build a dormitory of sorts for the legislators, complete with meeting rooms and laundry and gym facilities so that people with less money can afford to serve.  (And to compete with C street house!)

  •  Stock market crash (0+ / 0-)

    As Atrios says, that's the only thing that might get their attention.

  •  The only way to get their attention... (0+ / 0-)

    is to take our problems to them and make it their problem. If they don't see the devastation going on around them, we have to bring the devastation to their doorstep. That may mean ideas like having homeless and/or unemployed people sitting outside their offices with signs saying something like "I haven't had a job in two years, I've lost my home and I'm hungry." And actions like this have to be continuous and sustained. It's high time to bring out the shaming. We have to make this real for them.

    Bad politicians are elected by those who don't vote.

    by mooremusings on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 09:54:34 AM PDT

  •  Might be that the lawmakers are (0+ / 0-)

    enabling them........
    Jim Hightower's latest WALL STREET'S CONNECTED LOBBYISTSTuesday, August 31, 2010  

    Old Congress critters never die, they just fade away. Into lobbying firms, that is.

    Take former House speaker Dennis Hastert, former House majority leaders Dick Armey and Dick Gephardt, and former Senate leaders Bob Dole and Trent Lott. The names of these one-time legislative powerhouses aren't mentioned in the news anymore, so perhaps you would assume that they've retired back to the old home place, or even passed away. But, no – they're very much alive and still plying the legislative arts. Only they now do it for million-dollar paychecks as lobbyists for Wall Street financial giants and other corporate interests.

    In an effort to slow down this shameless cashing-in on public service, the watchdog group, Public Citizen, contacted 47 current lawmakers who are retiring this year. The group asked them to pledge not to take a lobbying job for two years with any corporation that had lobbied them. Not a single one took the pledge. To see who the 47 are, and to get behind stricter lobbying rules, contact Public Citizen at www.citizen.org/revolvingdoor.

    http://www.jimhightower.com//node/7234

  •  Luckily, I have a Senator (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mooremusings

    who needs to be dragged away by his aide from lengthy conversations with hotel maids and airport baggage handlers. I personally saw him drop everything at a $1,000 a ticket fundraiser in a private home to chat with one of the servers who said she'd like to meet him.

    Also, both halves of my country are represented by congresspersons who are A. not wealthy and B. extremely accessible. I expect I'll be seeing both mingling with the mostly inner-city black crowd at the picnic on Labor Day.

    Sherrod Brown, Marcia Fudge, and Dennis Kucinich do not fit the mold of representatives with rich friends who think everyone's doing OK.

    De-orangify Congress: Justin Coussoule for Oh-08 http://www.coussouleforcongress.com/

    by anastasia p on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 10:25:25 AM PDT

  •  Well, if people would stop re-electing (0+ / 0-)

    the foxes, there would be more chickens in the henhouse, farm-metaphorically speaking ....

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