Finally the subject of income inequality has "trickled" into the national conversation, and we're hearing some robust pundit talk about it post-President Obama's speech this week. While this is not the first time he has talked about it, the prominence of his speech coinciding with the WSJ's attack on Elizabeth Warren may have forced national media to stop ignoring it.
It was addressed on This Week with George Stephanopoulos with the usual panelists and surprisingly all but one agreed that income distribution is a national, if not worldwide, problem.
Michael Eric Dyson of course spoke out eloquently against income inequality, shooting down Mary Matalin's "argument" that corporations should police themselves. "You can't expect private sector to adjust for its own bias when it has prevented people from flourishing." Thanks Mary, your idea is so shopworn there's even a cliche for that, fox guarding the henhouse.
But less expected may have been Matthew Dowd who spoke strongly against income inequality and said there is no "collective" solution (i.e. not strictly government based or private sector based).
Mary Matalin stared at Dyson quizzically and asked "wait, you're trying to tell me that if rich people get more money, it means poor people get less? How does that even work"? Clueless, indeed, who obviously has not read or heard a word about this very well known phenomenon, and indeed is the first lesson in Econ 101 - the pie is the pie and doesn't get any bigger. Just the distribution of the slices changes. In fact, it's so commonly known there's an aphorism for it, Mary. I mean, I can understand willfully refusing to believe it, but never having heard of it? Maybe you don't belong on a national stage if you're not even familiar with the subject matter.
James Carville mentioned a statistic I have not heard before which released in a study this week. One third of bank tellers are on public assistance. This report got a one line mention in an Evening Blues diary, unlike constant coverage of fast food worker pay. Bank teller has never been a high paid job, but the person could rely on a decent paycheck. Skilled employees working in the industry that has vacuumed up all the vast wealth and riches for its CEO's, VP's and directors, but can't pay their lowest employees a living wage.
Big banks eating up taxpayer subsidies isn’t a new story. We heard a lot about the hundreds of billions of dollars doled out to Wall Street in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). But a new study finds that we’re also subsidizing their profits by keeping their low-wage workforce out of poverty.I think everyone should be paid a living wage, but given that banks who are largely responsible for the financial devastation caused in 2008 and are still sucking up millions and millions from the government while raking in ungodly profits, makes the sting that much worse.
Almost a third of the country’s half-million bank tellers rely on some form of public assistance to get by, according to a report due out Wednesday.
Researchers say taxpayers are doling out nearly $900 million a year to supplement the wages of bank tellers, which amounts to a public subsidy for multibillion-dollar banks. The workers collect $105 million in food stamps, $250 million through the earned income tax credit and $534 million by way of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to the University of California at Berkeley’s Labor Center.
Carville proposed that banks who have been deemed too big to fail, get assistance in all forms from the government, should by law be required to pay their employees a living wage. Well yes, that's a start and would certainly get the conversation started. How does this conversation not even get touched in the Carville-Matalin household?
And LOL @ Matalin saying "Elizabeth Warren" is a Liberal, like it's a dirty word and she's made some great discovery.
Finally, the topic is starting to break through. The conversation starts at 3:00 mark. You can see a bigger video here, http://abcnews.go.com/... , I'm just happy to be able to embed at this point.