An unlikely source—the Wall Street Journal —has profiled in disturbing detail California’s widening gap not “just between rich and poor but also between rich and middle class.” According to the paper, upper income families in California—defined as “the upper 10 percent”—now earn 12 times as much as lower income families. And the average California family’s income fell by 11 percent between 2007 and 2010.
As a result, only a minority of Californians now can now call themselves “middle class.”
The One Percent’s favorite daily newspaper has even explained how budget cuts threaten to sabotage California’s economic recovery by “saddl[ing] California with an undereducated, less competitive-workforce.”
Budget cuts, which will grow far worse “if voters don’t approve Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax increase in November,” have already:
• Cut funding for employment and training centers to below 2007 levels, despite the fact that [the] number of unemployed Californians has more than doubled.
• Reduced enrollment at state university campuses by 40,000 students.
• Forced the L.A. Unified School District to eliminate adult education programs—including training for such skilled industrial jobs as welder and machinist—which previously served 97,000 people a year.
“A particular problem,” the Journal reported, “[is] in Los Angeles, where 13 percent of adults have less than a ninth-grade education, the highest share of poorly educated workers among the nation’s 31 largest metropolitan areas.”
The Wall Street Journal outlines the problem, but offers no solutions. Perhaps that’s because the only real solution—making the rich pay their fair share of taxes—would take money out of the pockets of the One Percent.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2004:
The most obvious victims of the brutal treatment of prisoners at American military jails are the men, women and children who have been humiliated, sexually assaulted, beaten, tortured and even killed. But, as in all wars, the Bush administration's assault on the Geneva Conventions has caused collateral damage -in this case, to the legal offices of the executive branch and the military.
To get around the inconvenience of the Geneva Conventions, the administration twisted the roles of the legal counsels of the White House, the Pentagon and the Justice Department beyond recognition. Once charged with giving unvarnished advice about whether political policies remained within the law, the Bush administration's legal counsels have been turned into the sort of cynical corporate lawyers who figure out how to make something illegal seem kosher - or at least how to minimize the danger of being held to account. [...]
When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the initial list of interrogation methods for Guantánamo Bay in late 2002—methods that clearly violated the Geneva Conventions and anti-torture statutes—there were no protests from the legal counsels for the secretary of defense, the attorney general, the president, the Central Intelligence Agency or any of the civilian secretaries of the armed services. That's not surprising, because some of those very officials were instrumental in devising the Strangelovian logic that lay behind Mr. Rumsfeld's order. Their legal briefs dutifully argued that the president could suspend the Geneva Conventions when he chose, that he could even sanction torture and that torture could be redefined so narrowly that it could seem legal.