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Pure scientists, pure engineers and real economists love numbers. They love statistics. They know that given a specific input, known degrees of freedoms, and processes the output is deterministic. They are digital. Things either work or they don’t.

Most people aren’t scientists, engineers or economists. They are analog. An old LP with a scratch will still play. The Doppler effect on sound from a moving object means the same sound has a different frequency to the listener. External noise can change the interpretation of a signal (for the purist digital data is usually accompanied by built-in correction).

The assumption is that if citizens know the data they will make the right choices. Unfortunately that is not the case. It is not the case because as analogs, external noise masks the actual condition and message.

Paul Krugman wrote an article this week in which he seemed relieved that progressives have stopped apologizing for their efforts on behalf of the poor. He said progressives have started trumpeting them instead. He said that conservatives find themselves on the defensive.

Are conservatives really on the defensive or are they retooling their message? The latter is more likely. Why? Most Americans are analogs and conservatives know that. Most progressives have not yet internalized what that means. Noise will always affect an unshielded valid signal.

More on income inequality and conservative noise below the fold.

Conservatives will continue to use noise because it is effective. They will modify their wedge issues appropriately.

Most people know the numbers. Red states take more from the government than they take in. Poverty rates in red states are higher. Yet Mitt Romney was able to win 40 percent of the union vote and 38 percent of those making under $50,000.

Conservatives did not use real numbers and statistics to curb the war on poverty. They used anger. Anger is a lot more powerful than sympathy. They used two types of anger. They created an anger of being stolen from. They also created that stereotypical lazy black welfare queen to also play on carnal racism.

Conservatives will be ready as progressives move on the offensive with their war on poverty, income inequality and wealth disparity message. The formulation of the message has begun. It will have similar racial overtones. The economic message however will be adjusted to the realities progressives will highlight.

Nobody wants to be like the poor. Nobody wants to believe they can become poor. Sometimes one’s dignity requires placating one’s socio-economic condition. These behaviors work well for conservatives.

Conservatives have begun spinning Johnson’s Great Society as a failure and the cause for the economic condition. They will "racialize" the message to work on that carnal fear still residing in many. It will be different however. Instead of them taking something from you, it will be progressives think you are like those people who cannot fend for themselves.

In my very conservative town, I have seen acquaintances going through hard times. Their expensive homes are near foreclosure. They have no health insurance. They are struggling because the new job does not pay the wages their managerial jobs paid. Yet, they feel okay because they are able to convince themselves they are not poor or like those other poor folks.

War on poverty, income inequality and wealth disparity is not the winning message. It is a message asking the powers to be nice. It is a message saying that it is theirs to give. While the actual numbers and statistics of these messages give thickness and body to the soup, it does not give flavor, the winning message.

The winning message must be "worth." It is that simple. Progressives must push individual and personal worth. With worth comes real dignity. With worth comes the ability to demand.

By promoting trickle down type messages conservatives always promote that that guy up there is more worthy than you. If he does well you will. That message must be turned into the welfare king message. The king takes it all and gives the scraps to the less worthy. Progressives must turn the message on its head.

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Comment Preferences

  •  it is all about value, not (self-)worth since the (17+ / 0-)

    GOP will harp on this message as redistributive when it is the community's collective worth (a.k.a. wealth) that reproduces and mediates individual worth as relative rather than absolute class value, otherwise it becomes the 'baggers' false consciousness about hypothetical "others" (immigrants, the poor) ready to steal stuff and devalue individual "worth"

    War on poverty, income inequality and wealth disparity is not the winning message. It is a message asking the powers to be nice. It is a message saying that it is theirs to give. While the actual numbers and statistics of these messages give thickness and body to the soup, it does not give flavor, the winning message.

    The winning message must be "worth." It is that simple. Progressives must push individual and personal worth. With worth comes real dignity. With worth comes the ability to demand.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:05:48 PM PST

  •  That chart (14+ / 0-)

    Needs to be updated, given that the 1% have taken 95% of all economic gains since the start of the Great Recession.

    Living is easy with eyes closed...

    by skybluewater on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:07:10 PM PST

    •  Actually in 2008/2009... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlexDrew, eyo

      ...rich share of income plunged, just like it did in 2002.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:59:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If nothing else, it needs to be explained (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Notreadytobenice

      on the surface, one would expect that changes to the net share of income to average out to zero when everyone is considered.

      Using the most recent data shown, adding up all the negative lines (whatever they might be) nets an aggregate change of about -80 while the two upper lines provide an combined net change of +160.

      So, overall the change is about +80.  If the graph was pointing out the overall income changed, that would make sense, but not when referring to the various shares of net income, because there really can't be any other way than if one person's relatively share goes up, another person's has to go down by the corresponding amount.

      •  divide, don't subtract (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        (Actually, divide and then subtract 100%.)

        If there were just two groups, and the income shares went from 20%/80% to 40%/60%, that would be a 100% increase for the first group, and a 25% decrease for the second.

        Of course, consistent with your point, one could just as well say that one share increased by 20 points and the other decreased by 20 points. They're correct answers to different questions.

        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

        by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:00:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK thanks that makes sense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HudsonValleyMark

          however, I'm still thinking that simply giving the actual share would be a better approach.  It would show more information for sure (for example, the current graphic makes it appear that everybody started out at the same level in 1979, which of course was NOT the case), and the trends should still be the same.

          •  The whole premise of the diary is wrong. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy, Calidrissp, T Maysle
            War on poverty, income inequality and wealth disparity is not the winning message.
             It is so blatantly off key, makes me wonder if this Third Way diarist is trying to destroy progressive message on purpose to help Hillary.  

            Johnson's war on poverty did fail, and a war on poverty is Luntz framing.   If you listen to Warran and DeBlazio, they are waging war to strengthen and protect the middle class.  Elizabeth calls them "ordinary people".    If you expand the middle class, you can bring "poor" people from the bottom up into the American Dream.   If you wage a war on poverty, you ask the middle class to pay for it with money they don't have just to keep some people from starving.  Which is the better message?

            In addition, the ruling elite do not want you to touch the money and power.   They are quite happy with the status quo.   If you want gay marriage and legal pot, fine; but the politicians and corporations are not about to let people get their hands on the real power and money.   If they do, it will be redistributed "down" to the middle class.  

            What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

            by dkmich on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:44:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not sure about that, for example John Edwards (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dkmich

              was never able to get or much traction on this issue (even before he turned out to be a complete ass).

              IMHO what "we" need is a stealth candidate who campaigns on all the usual BS, and then when in office turns out to actually be willing to expend some political capital on economic issues in a way that benefit the bottom half.

              •  Because he talked about the haves and (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy, Calidrissp, T Maysle

                the haves not.   The middle class is not either of them, and they are sick and tired of not being represented.        

                This isn't about feeding Wall Street, and it isn't about feeding the poor.   It is about bringing back and expanding the American dream.    Nobody dreams about being poor,   and the dreams of greed from the 80s is pretty well dead.  

                What made America great was the size and scope of its middle class.   People, middle class Americans, could buy a home and support a family on one income - not requiring a college degree.   After 50 years of free trade and trickle down, the middle class and the country have been strip mined.  They are hanging on to their jobs and lives by their finger nails, watching it all disappear.  You start telling them they have to now pay to feed poor people, and they're going to get pissed and vote for the Republicans.   How many times does the pendulum have to swing from one extreme to the other before we realize that the majority is the freaking middle.

                What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                by dkmich on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:07:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  In that case, it almost sounds like Mitt Romney (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dkmich

                  (or more specifically, his "on the record" rhetoric) is what you're looking for - i.e., the bottom 5% are taken care of adequately by the "safety net" so the key is to take care of the shrinking middle class.

                  Unfortunately he was totally clueless how to accomplish that.  Not sure if anybody has any really good solutions (that are remotely workable), unfortunately.

                  •  No, not at all... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Roadbed Guy, Calidrissp, T Maysle

                    If you expand the safety net, you make the "welfare" population bigger.  By expanding the middle class, you reduce the number of poor people.  You elevate them out of it by creating good middle class jobs that pay a good middle class wage - 40K w/o ot.  

                    Romney didn't give a damn about the middle class.   It was code for the 1%.   If he cared, he wouldn't have advocated letting the autos die and all of their jobs with them.  

                    I am not suggesting that we don't take care of the poor.  I am suggesting that welfare is not a platform to run on.  The  safety net needs to be there, but we shouldn't have the demand for it that we do.    

                    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                    by dkmich on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:51:08 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I really need to proof what I write. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Roadbed Guy

                      I am sorry for all of the grammatical twists and turns.  

                      What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                      by dkmich on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:52:31 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  As somebody who is grammatically massively (0+ / 0-)

                        challenged, I totally appreciate grammatical twists and turns.

                        Except I didn't even notice any in your post.

                        Which means that (EGAD!!) we might be on the same page here - were you educated in Kansas, too??

                    •  Well sure, Mitt Romney (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dkmich

                      first of all totally wasn't sincere about boostering the middle class.

                      And secondly, even if he were, his voodoo-economics-on-steroids/crack approach wouldn't have helped them, for sure.

                      I guess the key question is "just how do you create the $40K middle class jobs?" in a world where in most cases the job can be done readily by somebody who's willing to do so for 1/2 or 1/3rd of that in some other country?  Especially some other country that doesn't give a fuck about other issues, such as the environment??

                      •  tariffs, tax off shoring... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Roadbed Guy, Calidrissp

                        If they want access to our markets, they'll pay for it.   And we'd better do it while we still have people with money to make a market.  China's middle class is growing leaps and bounds.  It is the new and emerging market place.   If we don't do something soon, we'll be Bangladesh.    I am not opposed to China's growth, but I am opposed to it at our expense.    The corporations need to be forced to make it where they sell it or pay a huge tax for bringing it in.   This is why TPP needs to die and die quickly.   We have to reverse what is going on- not settle for Third Way lies.

                        China's burgeoning middle class has been well documented in recent years.
                        They're more flush with cash than they were 13 years ago when a scant 4% of China's population was considered middle class.
                        Today, two-thirds of the country's population hails from the demographic, according to the Diplomat, an online current affairs magazine that focuses on the Asia-Pacific region.

                        Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/...
                        Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

                        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                        by dkmich on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:42:22 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  This sounds good in practice. . .. (0+ / 0-)
                          The corporations need to be forced to make it where they sell it or pay a huge tax for bringing it in.
                          but in reality, it's tricky.  For example let's say a corporation wants to sell bananas or pineapples - to make them in the USA they'd probably have to built a gigantic, energy-wasting indoor facility (kinda the reverse of the indoor ski hill in Dubai, perhaps).  And a banana would then cost $10 each (no, not for a bunch, EACH).  Not sure if anybody wants that.

                          I guess, to get things started, I'd be satisfied to take a baby step and get out of having the Wall Street Banksters control * everything * and see how things shake out from there.  Kinda like in the Clinton years when off-shoring was in high gear, but the effects of financial deregulation hadn't fully kicked in.

                          Another "no-brainer" IMO would be to have worker's representatives simply to sit in on management decisions, such as occurs in Germany.  Then, instead of offshoring decisions being presented as a "done deal" 2 weeks before they happen, everybody would have a heads-up 18 months in advance . .. .  (which is actually a big deal both from the POV of companies having to publically justify moving an already profitable factory offshore simply to make MORE profits and - if there actually are legitimate profitabilty issues - to gain worker input into helping to resolve them to keep production local).

                          •  Are we talking raw product or processed? (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't know how well it works on raw products like food.  I know that is why the oil companies want to export crude instead of refined.  

                            Oil companies and their shills in politics are pressuring the federal government to repeal a 38-year-old ban on exporting crude oil, as Grist’s John Upton noted last week. The industry is working up a lawsuit to try to get it overturned, and the American Petroleum Institute is telling anyone who will listen how bad the ban is. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who’s likely to soon chair the Senate Energy Committee, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the committee’s ranking member, have suggested that we “relook at” the rule and repeal it, respectively. Last month a Washington Post editorial called for removing the ban.  http://grist.org/...
                            I think it is complicated, but I think we can figure it out.  Afterall, founding fathers used tariffs to fund the country until lobbyists got personal taxes passed.  It was the first shifting of wealth from the people to business.  

                            What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                            by dkmich on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 07:10:47 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Has there really been a 38 year ban on (0+ / 0-)

                            exporting crude oil?

                            If so, that opens even more cans of worms about that train explosion in Quebec that was supposedly taking Bakken crude to a refinery in New Brunswick, Canada . .. . (or, horror or horrors, is Canada now part of the USA??).

            •  I think you missed the point (not all your fault) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dkmich, Calidrissp

              Basically, the diary seems to argue that framing a war on "income inequality" will fail politically in much the same way, and for the same reasons, that framing a new war on poverty would. I think that is true.

              Unfortunately, the diary is cryptic about (1) who needs to be told this (is it a critique of Warren and DiBlasio? I didn't think so, but who knows?), and (2) what the framing should be (for me, at least, "worth" isn't self-explanatory).

              Strengthening and benefiting (not just protecting) the middle class is completely consistent with what the diarist says here, and is pretty much how he began the diary to which he links:

              It is time for the middle class to stop accepting crumbs for their labor and innovation. It is time for the middle class to demand, not ask, for programs that recover ill-gotten gains from a system that by design penalizes work and glorifies capital.

              "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

              by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:18:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for clarifying. I didn't get that at all. (0+ / 0-)

                Obviously, I totally disagree with him and not the first time.  In my opinion his politics are "centrist".   He buys the status quo and participates in left bashing - ponies you know.  

                What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                by dkmich on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:45:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  you recced that diary yourself (0+ / 0-)

                  Are you sure you "totally disagree with him"?

                  "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                  by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 07:58:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Apparently, I was and am more than confused by it (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't agree with a war on poverty.   I do agree with a war on the 1%.   As Warren says, this is about "ordinary" people.

                    A war on poverty is not a winner.  Been there, done that, created Reagan Democrats - nobody wants a rerun.  On the other hand, people are sick of Third Way neoliberals like Obama and Clinton too.  Bill threw us under the bus, and Barack keeps backing it up to roll over us again.     NAFTA, TPP, deregulate the banks, endless Bush wars, too big to fail banks and not a one of them in jail, no relief from the drug wars, a defense budget bigger than Christie with no cuts in sight, and now a plea to spend money on a war on poverty while Democrats are pushing cuts to Social Security and Medicare???   How nuts is that.

                    Warren and DeBlazio have the issues and the message.  

                    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                    by dkmich on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 09:25:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  narrowly... (0+ / 0-)

            The graph is bewildering, especially without a legend — but there is something to be said for showing that a group's income share doubled, or more than doubled, over a given period. That could easily be lost in a graph that shows only income shares themselves.

            Not to turn the comment thread into a discussion of infographic design!

            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

            by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:06:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  You talking numbers and facts; not feelings or (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikejay611, emal, Bob Duck, eyo

      beliefs. That's the point of the diary.

      We always rely on numbers the other side relies on a belief system and seems to be winning the argument.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:57:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That belief system has been pounded in for 40 (0+ / 0-)

        years, and if there's anything the right wing does, it's "pound" the media.

        Below I put forth a simple narrative that fits the current situation. It's the one the WH, Krugman, etc. have used, to some degree, but which has not been pounded into the media narrative in sufficient density to drown out the right wing narrative.

        I think we're a lot closer to winning this battle than we realize, but we haven't really made the conceptual leap that it's an existential imperative that we simply shout down and shut out the right wing narrative.
        There's a lot of slop and laziness in our communicators, for various reasons.

        It's not enough to get people with jobs and retirement, etc. to feel sorry for the poor.
        They have to see that their fate is intertwined. If we don't have a rising middle class, then we have a growing poor class. This is a function of inequality. It's a condition being imposed by the wealthy, who are extracting our national wealth.
         Now we've seen enough formerly comfortably middle class people tossed into poverty, that we're near a tipping point. White suburban people now know what black inner city people have known for 40 years: what it's like to be stuck without enough jobs to go around.

        We're near the tipping point, and the blinders have come off. We just have to keep hammering this fairly simple narrative until we break the media.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:09:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Is there a legend for this nice graph? (0+ / 0-)

      GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

      by SGWM on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:40:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here you (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zinman, tubacat, eyo, SGWM

        Go.

        Living is easy with eyes closed...

        by skybluewater on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:58:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you. The chart makes no sense at all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eyo

        as displayed in this diary. I can live with the 7 years old problem, but to not even have legend that explains the colors makes the chart useless.

        Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
        Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

        by BentLiberal on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:26:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Graphs like this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eyo

          have made the rounds a lot lately. It was not so difficult for me to guess what was being presented. I kind of knew intuitively that the !%ers were represented by the uppermost of the lines, and so on down. Common sense helps sometimes. Breathe, oxygen is good.

          "The will must be stronger than the skill." M. Ali

          by awhitestl on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 12:26:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was not so difficult (0+ / 0-)

            for me to guess either. Doesn't change the basic point though -- the graph was 7 years old and lacked a legend.

            In a diary taking Conservatives to task for "not using real numbers" it's an ironic omission. Not the end of the world of course, but sloppy.

            Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
            Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

            by BentLiberal on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 11:57:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Actually this is not what Frank Luntz, (6+ / 0-)

    the gop guru is saying, from recent Atlantic Monthly interview:

    It was what Luntz heard from the American people that scared him. They were contentious and argumentative. They didn't listen to each other as they once had. They weren't interested in hearing other points of view. They were divided one against the other, black vs. white, men vs. women, young vs. old, rich vs. poor. "They want to impose their opinions rather than express them," is the way he describes what he saw. "And they're picking up their leads from here in Washington." Haven't political disagreements always been contentious, I ask? "Not like this," he says. "Not like this."
    Luntz knew that he, a maker of political messages and attacks and advertisements, had helped create this negativity, and it haunted him. But it was Obama he principally blamed. The people in his focus groups, he perceived, had absorbed the president's message of class divisions, haves and have-nots, of redistribution. It was a message Luntz believed to be profoundly wrong, but one so powerful he had no slogans, no arguments with which to beat it back. In reelecting Obama, the people had spoken. And the people, he believed, were wrong. Having spent his career telling politicians what the people wanted to hear, Luntz now believed the people had been corrupted and were beyond saving. Obama had ruined the electorate, set them at each other's throats, and there was no way to turn back.
    •  And this is what we need to emphasize on... (18+ / 0-)

      We need to replace the word "Poor" with "Working People" because everyone considers themselves a "Working Person" but very few consider themselves "Poor".  Simplify the graphs to show what percent of the pie "Working People" get and what percent of their wages go to taxes compared to the rich people.  Simplify and use words people can identify with.

      We need to make it more emotional.  They (the Republicans) LIED to you!"  

      They said that businesses cost you less money but they LIED!"  "How can a business have the same costs AND make a profit AND still cost you less for the same product or services?  They lied!"

      "They said the the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would pay for themselves.  They LIED!"

      "They said we didn't need to have laws for the rich companies because businesses would never lie and cheat; it would be bad for business.  They LIED!  Look at how many companies keep getting caught laundering money, stealing people's houses, fraud and so on.  They don't regulate themselves, they rip people like you and me off.  They LIE!"

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:35:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are two separate categories of "poor"-- (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wasatch, eyo

        the "working poor" who are working age and poor, in spite of their efforts.  

        And there are the "non-working poor."

        Non-working poor include "the elderly--retired."

        Surely you aren't suggesting that the Dem Party simply throw this cohort under the bus.

        With all the talk for several years about a Grand Bargain and proposed cuts to "entitlements," that's the last thing that we need to do, IMHO.

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:30:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As someone who is elderly and retired, (3+ / 0-)

          I would not resent being grouped in with workers; matter of fact I would feel more a sense of inclusion than being culled out and put in a separate category, poor or not - because I DID work, for decades before I retired, and I still identify with workers.  I have never and will never identify with the idle rich, much less the nouveau riche or the wealthy.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:12:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would not resent it, either. It should not be (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eyo, Buckeye Nut Schell

            an insult to anyone to be accurately classified, IMHO.

            This is done in discussions of economic and social policy by policy wonks, everyday.

            That is the purpose of the classification--not to make a "value judgment."

            Maybe the concern here is about being labeled as deserving or undeserving poor.

            But I thought that this was a "conservative" meme.  Therefore, it is of no concern to me (and frankly, not to social and economic scientists--as mentioned above).

            And these two labels have nothing to do with the idle rich, that I can see.

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            hiddennplainsight

            by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:20:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The point is that no one likes to be called poor.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musiccitymollie

              It's a pride thing.  It doesn't matter if they really are poor or not.  I'm overweight but I do not like to be called fat or even overweight for that matter.  Just because it is true does not mean I want it pointed out or to associate myself with that label.

              People do not like being called poor and most people who technically fit into that category do not consider themselves poor.  A message does not resonate if someone does not identify with the it and especially if a person downright rejects the message (whether they are working against their own interests or not).  

              Working class or working people is more accurate anyways because the vast majority of people being screwed by the 1% are people who are now working, who want to work or who have worked for the majority of their lives and have paid their dues.  "Poor" conjures up visions of hand outs and lazy.  Nobody wants to be associated with that.

              "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

              by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:06:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hey, we'll have to "agree to disagree" on this-- (3+ / 0-)
                "Poor" conjures up visions of hand outs and lazy.  Nobody wants to be associated with that.
                You just made my point from earlier in this thread--disdain for "the poor" is a mainly a conservative meme.

                I say we (progressives or liberals) need to reframe or redefine the word "poor."

                Just like the word "liberal," it should never have been allowed to have a "negative connotation."

                I have fought the denigration of "the poor" for almost  3-1/2 decades, and will continue to do so.

                Although recently retired, I volunteer my professional services once a week at an all volunteer clinic or mental health professionals, Social Workers, physicians, etc.

                Recently, I was able to obtain a whole slew of social services for a retired "Tea Partier," who was "just above" the official FPL, but under 133%, and therefore qualified for several programs for "the poor."

                (BTW, this is done for all our clients, obviously.  I just thought that readers might be interested to know that some on the "far right" gladly accept government "handouts.")

                I assure you, he didn't 'bat an eye' at the necessary references that I made to the Federal Poverty Level during the intake interview.

                And why would he?

                I was able to get him into several programs--one federal program saves him over $100 per month, for the rest of his life.  Mostly they were federal government programs, but one (with his local telephone company) was a private program--saved him $25 a month.  We also enrolled him in LIHEAP, and got him an "emergency" cell phone, which was important because even with the $25 per month "break" on his landline, he is not sure that he can afford his phone, much longer.

                The truth is that the resentment mostly comes from "not being able to receive help."

                For this reason, some polls show that "the working poor" have a dimmer view of "welfare" than more affluent Americans.

                Not a surprise--it is this group who has often "missed out on" receiving government help (SNAP, TANF, etc.) because their annual household income exceeded the "arbitrary" income cutoff by $1, or $5, $10, etc.

                [Greek] Ptochos (poor) is from a verb meaning “to shrink, cower, or cringe,” as beggars often did in that day.

                It would behoove the progressive community, IMHO, to resist enabling conservatives to demonize "the poor" by reinforcing their memes.

                I certainly respect that you have a different opinion.  My own life's work simply gives me a different perspective.

                But that's what blogging is all about, right?--sharing ideas and perspectives.

                ;-)

                Mollie

                "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                hiddennplainsight

                by musiccitymollie on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 11:36:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  This isn't the first time that I have had... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  musiccitymollie

                  the pleasure of having a discussion with you where we disagree.  I love how you have the ability to be so polite and congenial that you make a person feel good about themselves even in disagreement.  Do not undervalue that skill. It is shared with the very best people I know.

                  I do not disagree with anything that you say except the use of the word "poor".  It is wrapped in negative connotations.  "How was the service?"  "Poor".  "How are you feeling?"  "Poor"  "What would you like to be when you grow up?"  "Anything but poor!"  Unlike the word liberal where there are many positive, well defined, good associations with the word, the word "Poor" is inherently a poor choice (pun intended).  People have pride and they do not want to be considered "poor" regardless of how much money they have.  Unlike the word, "liberal", no one had to create a marketing campaign to make the word poor unfavorable.

                  I do not look at people who are "Poor" with distaste or judgement.  I understand that if it were not but for the grace of God (and last month's paycheck) I could easily be right there myself.  I may even be delusional enough to think that I am not among the poor but considering my debt ration and my meager savings, I could be wrong.  But I would rather consider my self fortunate enough to be in the working class.  I am fortunate enough to have a job and a home and some possessions that keep me from that classification.  Many people strive to become more aligned with liberal values which we all encourage that but we fight to keep people from becoming poor.  The war on poverty is meant to keep people from becoming that classification because it is an undesirable thing to be.  

                  I applaud all that you do in this war on poverty to help people who need help (even the right wingers) and I admire your convictions.  I spend a lot of time talking about solutions and not nearly enough time actually doing things about it.  You are a doer and I wish there were a lot more of you out there (and I wish I was one of them).

                  "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                  by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:14:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you for the kind words. The looks of relief (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Buckeye Nut Schell, Oh Mary Oh

                    (and sometimes hugs) makes what little I do, a joy--no sacrifice at all.

                    Your thinking may be more in sync with public, in general--and you certainly didn't come across as harsh, or judgmental, in your choice of words.

                    You quoted one of my favorite axioms, "There But By The Grace Of God, Go I."

                    I am not a even a Social Security early-retirement age person yet (but closing in), but having been brought up by parents who were two generations older, so to speak--IOW, in their mid-40's when I was born, I was "raised on that quote," LOL!

                    And I am grateful for it.  They were so right!

                    My first-hand experience has been that, for good or ill, most folks believe that they are among "the deserving."

                    Maybe it's a form of rationalization, so that they don't have to feel "inferior" because they receive help.

                    Whatever it is, it's probably a good thing, if it bolsters one's self-esteem under very difficult, not to mention sometimes demeaning circumstances.

                    At any rate, I thank you for your patience, and your ability to engage [even when in disagreement] in such a pleasant manner.

                    After all, I think it's rather obvious that we share the same goals.

                    ;-)

                    Mollie

                    "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                    hiddennplainsight

                    by musiccitymollie on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:32:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  One of my favorite writers, Kahlil Gibrand ... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      musiccitymollie

                      once wrote:

                      “You often say ; I would give , but only to the deserving, The trees in your orchard say not so , nor the flocks in your pasture.

                      Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and nights is worthy of all else from you.

                      And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.

                      See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver , and an insturument of giving.

                      For in truth it is life that gives unto life-while you , who deem yourself a giver , is but a witness.”

                      I believe this whole heartedly.  

                      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:42:06 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  What do you think seniors DID when younger? Worked (0+ / 0-)

          Only the rich are idle.

          •  Sorry, have not idea what your point is. I just (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eyo

            recently retired--worked for over thirty years.

            Where have I argued that seniors--poor or otherwise--never worked?

            Or that they are "idle."  I certainly am not.

            For that matter, many rich people are not idle after their "formal" retirement.

            My point is that economists and social scientists often must use these categorical distinctions--I had to in my own profession.

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            hiddennplainsight

            by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:54:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  We're all in this together. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buckeye Nut Schell

          When the President talks about the middle class, he's talking about the poor.

          We have to have a robust, sustainable middle class. Otherwise there's no place for the "working poor" to climb to.

          Otherwise we have a growing "poor" class, and that puts a strain on the social safety net.

          That is felt most acutely for the "non-working poor".

          That also hurts the profits of the investment class. It makes it hard for entrepeneurs and venture capitalists. That reinforces the tendency of the Romney types to use gimmicks to extract wealth from companies and move it offshore.

          We should highlight the obscenity of poverty in this country, but we need to do it in the context of the overall health of the system.

          The gop have been desperately using every gimmick they can to suppress the recovery on main street. That's the real reason they're cutting food stamps and ending UI benefits. It hurts the economy. That improves their chances in the 2014 cycle.

          They're trying to hang on until they get control, then they'll unleash the stimulus, rigged to benefit the 1%, of course, for another round of wealth extraction.
          They'll maintain the status quo and continue to feed off the "working poor" (see "Walmart". predatory consumer debt, gas prices, etc.).

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:22:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  agreed. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eyo, Buckeye Nut Schell

        What percentage of people want to be labeled "poor"?
        Language is important.

      •  Exactly. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eyo, Buckeye Nut Schell

        I got into an FB argument with a woman who kept saying "lower class" instead of "working people" or "poor people." Even though she claims to be a liberal progressive. Right-o.

        "The will must be stronger than the skill." M. Ali

        by awhitestl on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 12:38:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You don't need to replace the "word" , (0+ / 0-)

        you need to replace the strategy.

        Occupy, Warren. DeBlazio, and most of America call it the war on the middle class.  They are losing their jobs, savings, income, homes, and futures.  They don't want poverty programs, they want justice.    If you return and expand the middle class - the American Dream -  instead of feeding and sheltering the poor, you create a movement to redistribute the wealth.   If you wage a war on poverty, you distract and derail attention from income inequality to a federal program that repeats Johnson's war on poverty and creates a whole new generation of Reagan Democrats.   Do you honestly think anybody is Washington is going to fund a war on poverty?   How will they pay the ransom demand?   Certainly not with cuts to defense.  

        Under Johnson and Reagan, the middle class got fed up with the rich stealing their money and the Democrats giving it all away to poor people.   Clinton's brainy idea was a "new kind of Democrat".   He abandoned the poor, unions, and middle class to join forces with Wall Street, and we haven't had a real Democratic Party since.   Why is this diarist writing this Third Way propaganda and undermining the message?  Must be a Hillary supporter paving the way.  

        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

        by dkmich on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:56:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I couldn't disagree more... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kkjohnson

          The difference is that the diarist is not talking about abandoning the poor (at least from what I got out of it) but rather reclassifying them and working to give them the opportunities they want and need.

          Talking about giving money to the poor is a losing message even to the vast majority of the poorest people  because they do not want to be given anything except an opportunity.  They do not want to be considered poor and they do not want to be perceived as wanting handouts.  They want a good paying job where they can afford to support themselves and their family and maybe have a little left over to have some fun once in a while.  They want to be food secure and have nice clothes and a nice place to live.  They do not want to be given those things, they want the opportunity to earn those things.  

          The Third Way was just another way to funnel all of the money to the rich in a manner that sounded palatable to the masses.  

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:20:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  How about this: (0+ / 0-)

        Are you better off than you were 15 years ago?

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 12:19:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The issue is economic security. Over 50% of (12+ / 0-)

      Americans experience economic insecurity at this point in time.  People who work full time, whether at one or two (or three) jobs should not be poor.  The problem is that the wages are too damn low.  Wages have not kept up with inflation.  Work does not pay enough for people to "make a living" because of the failure of wages to rise with inflation and the fact that all of the recent productivity gains have gone to the top 5%, really to the top .1%.  A large part of why is our tax  policies which let investors keep a larger share of their income than workers.  We  need to revamp the tax code and raise the minimum wage.  Make work pay.

      This is a pretty simple message to explain.

      Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

      by Mimikatz on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:52:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NinetyWt

        We can start that revamp by eliminating most deductions like mortgage payments and kids.

        Why on earth should anyone pay less tax because of a choice in lifestyle?

        •  I hope that statement is snark. (6+ / 0-)

          "With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarky". - V.P. Joe Biden

          by Taxmancometh on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:27:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not at all (0+ / 0-)

            Mortgage interest deductions primarily benefit the wealthy and no one ever has to have kids.   Why on earth should two people hi make the same income pay different taxes  based on their choice to have kids?

            •  That's a real recipe for a blowout in the (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              auapplemac, mikejay611, chuck utzman

              midterm elections--in favor of Repubs!

              There are many tax expenditures geared toward "the wealthy."

              But the mortgage interest deduction is not one of them!

              If the law is as it was several years ago--eliminate the mortgage deduction for a second home--that favors "the wealthy."

              Or rewrite the deduction to "broaden it."

              Or allow the deduction to apply only to low to mid-level range homes--and/or exclude or limit the deduction for all "McMansions."

              But why on earth eliminate the deduction altogether, when the housing market is so lousy--except for investors!

              BTW, the ONLY reason that this is being discussed, is to "offset" drastically dropping the marginal tax rates for "the wealthy!"

              Mollie

              "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


              hiddennplainsight

              by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:41:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  To continue your argument: when home building lags (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mikejay611, musiccitymollie

                so do the jobs that come with that segment. Those jobs are mostly lower and middle class.

                When those jobs go, as with any major segment, there is a domino effect that continues to the lunch wagons, small businesses etc that support the building industry.

                That'll work!

                It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

                by auapplemac on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:04:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  cheaper housing (0+ / 0-)

                means more affordable housing?  How is that lousy?

            •  Think of it as paying for what you use. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Zinman

              Read the new thread regarding water shortages.  Why should those who use more resources pay less taxes?

            •  Bc kids are the futures wealth. Well raised kids (0+ / 0-)

              are the hope of the country's future.  So we support those with public policy, including tax policy.

              Its simple if look beyond your own nose.

              •  How many kids = population overload? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Calidrissp

                Really, there are too many people on the Earth right now at our current consumption and pollution rates. It would be nice if "we" were more efficient in the conservation of our earth/air/water resources, but we are not getting there soon enough to cancel our population and pollution expansions.

                Bottom line is that "we" need to control "our" pollution and consumption to a sustainable level, but we are nowhere close to that goal. It is unlikely that our existing social policies can achieve these goals world-wide due largely to political strife, ignorance and inertia.

                Such is the enigma, and that is the challenge we must face and solve, or we will perish as the species which is currently the dominate sentient force on Earth.

                And so it goes.

                Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now 400ppm. That is "Climate Cluster Chaos". (hat tip to JeffW for CCC)

                by Zinman on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:46:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Who determines (0+ / 0-)

                well raised?

                •  Been trying to answer that since Socrates. If you (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BriarRose

                  can do so in a comment, you're a better person than I. :)

                  •  The (0+ / 0-)

                    conceit of the left never fails to amuse me.  It's equal to the fear from the right.  

                    •  WTF does this mean? Apparently u don't know Socrat (0+ / 0-)

                      es was executed by Athens for 'corrupting the youth', a trumped by and utterly bs charge based on his ohgawd! encouraging them to ask questions!.

                      In a larger sense, tho, he was executed for a difference of opinion about how to raise children.

                      And the debate of what is 'well-raised' or your 'who determines' (which really is a silly question bc in all but the most outrageous situations parents obviously do since they raise them - and its their Constitutional right), has raged since before then and for the 2300 years since Socrates.  If no easy answer has been acknowledged in that time, you're not going to fit one in a comment.

                      Now, what that has to do with 'conceit of the left' is anybody's guess.

            •  Because we value families and the future. (0+ / 0-)

              Your statement typifies the GOP Tea Party meme.   I got mine, the hell with you and your kids.   Bet you're against single payer too.

              What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

              by dkmich on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:58:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  LOL (6+ / 0-)

      Luntz is lying. Again. Don't even think about believing that sad-sack crap.

      He doesn't give a shit about division in America.

      If he did, he'd be donating his ill-gotten riches to undo what's he's done. Not wah-wah-ing while sitting on a stack of bank receipts.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:09:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  mind games a possibility (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eyo
      •  He's just mad his got the short end of this stick, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eyo

        if Ds choose to use it.  The New Aristocracy has been ripping all of the rest of us off for decades.  People know it.  They were placated with 'trickle down' myths and diverted with 'at you're not a n------', but it has become too blatant.  

        Its 'in the water'.  (Literally.  See, WV.  but that's another diary. :))  

        The knowledge of it is so ingrained and pervasive that even the Teabaggers claim it as their motivation.

        The only question is whether Ds will use the tools they've been given.

    •  I'll believe this version of Luntz (0+ / 0-)

      When he calls up and offers me a 7-figure job.

      If Luntz is "haunted," I'm a Rotarian.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 12:17:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "The big leak is at the top" (16+ / 0-)

    I think that saying captures the quantitative truth of our message. It also captures the sense that the rich play the same role that the "welfare cheats" are alleged to play, draining resources from the productive economy. It also acknowledges that there is a leak at the bottom too. When you canvass people, you pretty much have to acknowledge that because they are full of anecdotes from personal experience. They just don't see the big leak- it isn't in their neighborhood.

    Michael Weissman UID 197542

    by docmidwest on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:09:44 PM PST

  •  An interesting diary that offers food for thought (15+ / 0-)

    It's quite true that a negative message doesn't motivate people to vote. Remember Ronnie Raygun and "the shining city on the hill"?  Once I asked a coworker why he liked Raygun.  He said, "Because America is standing tall."

    "Standing tall"? Does that mean spreading the myth of American exceptionalism? Saying that we're better than the British, the French, the Germans, and everyone else?  Whatever it means, it clearly motivated people (not me, you understand) to vote twice for RR, who in my opinion is the second stupidest president we've ever had.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:17:25 PM PST

  •  This is unhealthy to say the least (21+ / 0-)

    The tensions being created in society will get worse until something snaps.  And it will be ugly.

    The wealthy can spin it all they want but they will not succeed.

    The increasing inequality is now out of control and I don't see anything that will turn it around.

    The two party system framework dictates that one party has to be part of the solution or they are both going to be swept away after the snap.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:19:30 PM PST

    •  It's all in the numbers (6+ / 0-)

      Not enough are suffering yet.  Wait until the majority of boomers retire.   I am already seeing the oldest boomers moving left.

      •  Boomers have been "on the left." (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eyo

        It's their "entitlements," that they are on the cusp on filing for, that have been the "target" of fiscal hawks for the past several years.

        It's time for the rest of society to catch up!

        ;-)

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:47:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not so... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BriarRose, Sir Roderick, Shockwave, eyo
          Boomers have been "on the left."
          I work with several retirement age self professed former hippies that are now near retirement, and are Fox News watching, Limbaugh listening, Obama hating jackasses. See the reason they are feeling the squeeze on their retirement nest eggs has everything to do with what's happened since BHO took office. Nothing to do with the fact that they were stupid enough to vote for Shrub. Twice...

          No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Adelaide Proctor -7.25/-5.64

          by mikejay611 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:24:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In 'liberal' Seattle (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikejay611, Shockwave, eyo

            boomers may call themselves leftists but routinely vote against funding public transportation and schools AND whine that housing is not increasing fast enough  and there are too many homeless in their neighborhoods.

            I know scientists who profess to  be environmentalists who buy beach front property and build private walls and drive solo in SUVs to work.  

            Rememebr the old spiritual: Everyone talking bout heaven aint a goin there.

            Lots of lip service out there.

            •  Amen... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shockwave, eyo

              No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Adelaide Proctor -7.25/-5.64

              by mikejay611 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:58:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  BR and mikejay611--please read my comment below. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                eyo

                I have no "bone to pick" with either of you, except that I disagreed with the "mortgage deduction"--which has been used by Americans of all income levels, for decades.

                For instance, a person could live in a "lean-to" that has a morgage on it, and if one's overall itemized deduction meets the percentage for the filing year--be eligible to use the "mortgage deduction."

                A lower income individual might meet this overall annual deduction due to catastrophic medical bills, for instance.

                So it it not a tax expenditure that applies only to "the wealthy."

                That was my only point.

                And I have no idea what you mean by "Lots of lip service out there."

                I've made a factual point.  

                Check it out, please, before calling it "lip service."

                ;-)

                Mollie

                "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                hiddennplainsight

                by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:14:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  We'll have to "agree, to disagree." ;-) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lily O Lady

            I'm not a hippie or former hippie, but a recent (early-age) retiree, married to a relatively soon-to-be (early-age) retiree who's always been a "leftie."

            Obviously, some Boomers are conservatives--never meant to imply that there were none.  I assumed that we were discussing the Democratic Party Base, and progressives, in general.

            And, yes, I believe that the leftward trend is partly because of the threat to retirement benefits (Social Security and Medicare) that has been posed since the Bowles-Simpson Chairman's Mark was released in December of 2010.

            I have commented on this many times--providing scores of links.  I don't have time this evening to repost all my previous comments about the Fiscal Commission, but here's a link to the Bowles-Simpson proposal, "The Moment Of Truth."

            If you don't believe that the "Grand Bargain" is for real, please take time to read their proposal.

            And take note, especially, of the section entitled "Social Security," Section V, Page 48.

            Several of the cuts called for were in the Administration's 2014 Budget.

            I "hope" that they decide NOT to continue down this path.

            Apparently, some Dem lawmakers who are standing for election this year are very worried--and trying to stop this runaway train!

            Below, I've linked to a recent article from "The Hill," on this topic:

            Democrats plead with Obama to abandon Social Security cut

             By Alexander Bolton - 01/11/14 12:00 PM EST

            Democratic senators are pleading with President Obama to abandon his proposal to trim Social Security benefits before it becomes a liability for them in the midterm elections.

            The president proposed a new formula for calculating benefits in his budget last year, in hopes that the olive branch to Republicans would persuade them to back tax increases in a broader fiscal deal.

            But Democratic lawmakers say Obama should shelve the idea now that they are facing a difficult midterm election where they need to turn out the liberal base to preserve their Senate majority.

            “I’m not sure why we should be making concessions when the Republicans show absolutely no willingness to do the same,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

            Democrats acknowledge it may be awkward for Obama to rescind his proposal, but say it would unwise of him to repeat the offer in the budget that is due out next month.

            “I think it’s difficult for the president to pull it back after he already floated it but I would love to see it shelved until Republicans show they’re actually going to do something on their side of the ledger,” Murphy said.

            Obama proposed nearly $1 trillion in spending cuts in his budget, including a switch to using the Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI), which liberal policy experts estimate could cost seniors thousands of dollars in benefits over their lifetimes.

            The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank, projected that most future beneficiaries would see a 2 percent reduction in benefits during the course of retirement. . . .

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            hiddennplainsight

            by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:57:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't get all defensive - (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              eyo

              you made a blanket statement that all boomers are "on the left", and I work with some of the most awful people (recently got into a real battle with one who has openly admitted to drug experimentation, protesting Vietnam, etc.) that are the people who vote en mass for the republican party ticket. Why? Well part of it is the dream I believe they were sold (trickle down economics) and part of it is my favorite subject: RACE! (welfare queens and illegals stealing all my stuff). I was just positing my experience with it first hand. Every Day. And my original point was also to show that some of the best "lefties" of the Boomer Gen, turned hard right after they had to grow up, which was a while ago... Ted Nugent anyone?

              No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Adelaide Proctor -7.25/-5.64

              by mikejay611 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:06:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've explained my views on mortage interest, and (0+ / 0-)

                entitlement reform/Grand Bargain.

                Fine--you hate Boomers who are Republicans!

                I don't hate anyone, but I'll agree that they are misguided.

                I'm sorry that you've had such negative experiences.  

                Good luck!

                Mollie

                "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                hiddennplainsight

                by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:29:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Never said I hated anyone (0+ / 0-)

                  and gee you throw generalizations and absolutes around a lot for a liberal... Puzzling... I read a pie fight between you and another individual (they were wrong, you were right) where lost of folks here came to your rescue. You don't need to tell me about entitlement reform, and how it hurts people in your age group because my mom is living it every day. You also should not shunt the points that I've made in disagreement to blanket statements you've made aside as if I were too stupid to understand what your point was. I never once disagreed with your overall point. Just the statement that all boomers are moving left, which is false. The reason republicans are still being elected is because of baby boomers. Sorry if that doesn't sit well with you, but it is the truth...

                  No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Adelaide Proctor -7.25/-5.64

                  by mikejay611 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:44:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  It wouldn't be a snap, though. Worse, likely. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glitterscale, Shockwave

      Ugly, as you say.

      I'd rather not have to live through a societal collapse.  

    •  Why do you think they're destroying education? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      Robots don't think and slaves don't complain if they know what's good for them.

  •  Unclear on one thing (0+ / 0-)

    Please define "carnal racism." Previously, I've seen the word used in "carnal knowledge," which has negative connotations--as in, "the perpetrator had carnal knowledge of the victim."

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:19:33 PM PST

    •  as in 'Oversexed blacks breeding to steal your $' (0+ / 0-)

      i.e,, the 'welfare queen' & the myth of black women not working cause they can just have kids and live off their welfare.  

      Which of course, lead immediately in the minds of bigots and neo-bigots to the 'threat of the black buck'.

      It has a very long and dreary history in the US.

  •  Divisiveness is going to fail (9+ / 0-)

    The old tactic of turning one group of poor against another based on race isn't going to work forever. This is a big reason why the GOP is losing ground. By pushing on the income inequality issue in an egalitarian fashion Democrats can force the GOP to rely further on race baiting. This, in turn, reduces their appeal among the young and non-white voters, groups that are growing as a percentage of the electorate. Check and mate.

    There's a difference between a responsible gun owner and one that's been lucky so far.

    by BeerNotWar on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:28:49 PM PST

  •  The .001% are the "takers," not the "makers" (20+ / 0-)

    and this needs to be an unapologetic part of progressive messaging too. Income that might have gone to the 99% has gone to the top to preserve and grow corporate wealth and profits. The details can be complex, but the essence is pretty simple.

    •  These are just facts, make of them... (6+ / 0-)

      ...what you will.  The two names that always come up when someone rants about how "the wealthy deserve their money": Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

      Bill Gates' wealth is founded upon the disk operating system for the first IBM personal computer.  Did Bill write it?  No, Tim Paterson did.  Bill bought DOS from Seattle Computer Products, the company Tim worked for, for $50,000.

      The Apple II, upon which the immense wealth of the late Steve Jobs is founded, was designed by Steve Wozniak.  Did Jobs write the operating system?  Nope, Paul Laughton did.  What was Jobs' contribution?  He thought cooling fans "inelegant" and asked Rod Holt to find a solution.

      It's often said that it's better to be lucky than good.  I suppose luck factors into the list of people you know, the information you stumble across.  So what's "deserving" about any of this?  Remember the line from Unforgiven? "Deserve's got nothing to do with it."

      Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

      by rbird on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:12:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  For every Gates there a hundreds of Rmoneys and (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matthew D Jones, eyo, rbird

        Koch's and all those who inherited and think they hit a double.

        People know it.  But we have to be prepared to make exactly this argument and give counter examples which are well-known and disliked.  In this, the New Aristocracy has done a much better propaganda job of popularizing the myth they want than we have.

    •  It's worse than that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matthew D Jones

      That income has mainly gone to environmentally destructive individual consumption of luxuries. It's all "positional" goods, whose net effect on happiness is negative.

      Michael Weissman UID 197542

      by docmidwest on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:52:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just as an FYI red states take more from the feds (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikejay611

    than they pay in taxes.

    There are other sources of income besides taxes.

    http://www.onrr.gov/

    Some states make substantial contributions this way, especially out west.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:34:48 PM PST

  •  Unreal economists love numbers too. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, happymisanthropy, Bob Duck, eyo
    Pure scientists, pure engineers and real economists love numbers.
    But they only love the unreal ones.

    Impure scientists and impure engineers don't love numbers, though. They just lust after them.

  •  Bottom line is that it is not healthy for 20% of (10+ / 0-)

    Americans to be in the poor house and another 30% a couple paychecks away from there as well.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:36:23 PM PST

  •  I have a waitress pal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glitterscale, mikejay611, eyo

    who thinks her 30 years of food service makes her worth more than a high school kid doing the same job.
    She chides them about how they are not worth this or that.
    18 yr olds with no experience are just not worth much, in her experience.
    To me, they are all worth gold.

  •  Messaging (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    on the cusp, mikejay611, eyo

    Republicans make fear sexy and profitable. "How," you might wonder.
    Fear, to the basest of us is manna from heaven. It must be someone else's fault, and the Republicans claim it is the Democrat's. Through innuendo, red-herrings and outright lies, they keep the fearful enthralled. That is their base. if America ever goes deficit in stupidity, the Republicans are toast.
    Democrats sell righteousness. How do you make Democrat righteousness "sexy" and profitable at the polls?
    Righteousness is somewhat different from fear. While both are based on emotion, fear is the stronger of the two. Righteousness is not as knee-jerk; therefore, it requires added rational. There is no immediacy here. Hence the importance of, not only the message, but the messaging. as well.
    How we present the message is all important.

    You can get anywhere in life if you'll simply take the time to learn how to kiss ass correctly. Unfortunately, you have to live with yourself thereafter. If Republicans and some others here and there have taught us anything: it's that. Best of luck!

    by franklyn on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:45:53 PM PST

    •  I just spoke with a wealthy client. (5+ / 0-)

      She is retired, living in a fancy gated neighborhood, griping about the country that is just doing nothing.
      I asked her if she thought about government of the people, by the people, for the people translated to her that government that republicans insist on shrinking is diminishing her?
      She could not respond.
      I kept on with it.  Why would she want her status diminished? How is that empowering her?
      Again, she said nothing.
      This is what I get in a grocery store aisle.

      •  How do you get people who never pay attention to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        on the cusp, mikejay611, eyo

        politics until it directly affects them to do just that? How important is it, personally, to vote every time we get the chance? Is one day out of every two years too much to vote? Is it too much to take an hour to study an issue just because one wishes to know?
        How do we go about changing this grocery aisle status-quo?

        You can get anywhere in life if you'll simply take the time to learn how to kiss ass correctly. Unfortunately, you have to live with yourself thereafter. If Republicans and some others here and there have taught us anything: it's that. Best of luck!

        by franklyn on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:14:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Grocery store anecdote! (0+ / 0-)

        Huh, just yesterday the clerk said, "Reagan and Clinton made us proud to be Americans, the world looked up to us. Now, nobody likes us." Notice how he just skipped right over both Bushes? wtf? Then he talked about wasting money on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and "why bother voting"? Is this the FNC's doing?

        Oooommm.

        We talked a little more, I think I convinced him to keep voting but the memory hole is deep, and there are many many people down there that need a hand up.

  •  Poor analogy between Analog vs. Digital (9+ / 0-)

    Non-scientists are Pure Digital.

    Scientists/Engineers/etc/ are Analog who work in a Digital and Analog space

    Digital is a sampled curve fit over a finite domain and range of a non-linear Curve [an Analog Curve]. The dimensions are rectilinear.

    Rhiemannian Summations above and Below the curve to give the Numerical Integrational Value an any given point.

    A very black and white approximation.

    People are black in white, when the World is fully Analog.

    Digital is efficient for approximations and curve fitting.

    Scientists live in both worlds.

    Your Chart is that of a non-linear parabolic set of plots that have been converted to a set of linear points between transitions thus jagged straight lines that have extreme changes in slopes.

    More than likely it is a 5th or 7th degree parabolic equation that is being curve fit to a discrete range of y=mx + b linear sets.

    The graph alone proves how blind non-scientific minds think about Geopolitcs, Economic income disparity and much more.

    Instead of seeing a 5th or 7th degree parabolic equation with stepping up and down changes that is curve fitted against a scatter plot of data points defined by their most dense repeated point you get these nice and erroneously fits that don't tell squat other than one reality:

    Income distribution is skewed massively to one portion of the income set: The absurdly wealthy.

  •  "income inequality, wealth disparity" is egghead (12+ / 0-)

    speak. You've already lost half the voters, as we've seen time and again with the 'we will explain it to you' approach of Kerry and many many others over decades.

    The Dems need to go on the attack: Republican Economics are killing us! This nation's in a mess, and it's time to make it right again. Supply-Side is a scam, the results of thirty years are right there in all those closed stores!

    Problem: The Dems, the power center, is fully on board with Supply Side with its Free Trade, Trickle-Down, Deregulation, Privatization. Everyone of these things have been a diaster and a delusion. And we'll hear a Dem now and then disparage Trickle-Down, but not the rest. They believe in it. Or it's the most convenient/profitable thing to support in practice.

    The message has to be 'Take back America from the crooks running things.! The filthy rich are screwing you, and it's time it stop. Restore America."

    But who is going to deliver that message, and get campaign money? Fact is, if a high-visibility third-party person were to come out with that, the voters would flock to them, as both parties are widely held in contempt once you get outside of RedState and DailyKos type places.


    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

    by Jim P on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:51:50 PM PST

    •  This is the question I often pose to Rush-ReTHUG (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, goodpractice, mikejay611, emal, eyo

      loving relatives, "how many of you are more hopeful about you and your children living the American dream than your parents were?  When I get few affirmatives, I say quite  conspiratorially..."rickle-down economics has failed Working America...greedy bastards do not let wealth trickle down, never have and never will.  If I'm not shouted down, I'll add "if they lied to us about wealth trickling down, what other lies have been pushed?" I get some interesting answers.

      Seriously...who thinks so poorly about themselves that they willingly accept economic crumbs dribbling down from an economic elite.  

      While I detest the results, I am in awe of the successful pushing of the trickle-down meme.  It has to be one of the greatest Plutocratic propaganda and group-think efforts in American history.

      Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

      by ranton on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:47:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with going on the attack (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Square Knot, dfarrah, Jim P, ranton, mikejay611, eyo

        is that we control the White House and Senate. For the first two years of BHO's Presidency, we also had the House. Since 1980, the GOP has had the White House for 20 years. By the end of BHO's term, we will have had it for 16 years. In fact, 16 of the last 24.  

        Voters may not keep up with the daily gyrations and nuances the some political junkies do, but they know who is in charge. Why elect Dems if we can't get anything done without overwhelming majorities?

        Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney would browbeat Dems into submission or would go after them on election day. Ask Daschle, Foley or Max Cleland.

        We cannot pretend our party has clean hands the past 30+ years. The Mark Warner types are the Dem leaders as far as policy is concerned because they can't be taken for granted. We have to move their way.

        We have to make Blue States more blue to combat the moderates on economic policy. Chuck Schumer and Durbin would be first on my list.

        •  Yes, we had the HOUSE...but not a super majority (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikejay611, mdriftmeyer, eyo

           And the lack of a super majority basically caused defeat for us numerous times via the filibuster.

          •  And Dem Senate Leadership let the filibuster (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikejay611, ranton, eyo

            rules, clearly much worse than they had always been, stand. if not for Reid's cooperation with the Republican wish to sabotage legislation, the House had passed a large number of American people friendly Bills that just died. While Reid opted for a comity which plainly didn't exist.

            We're left to wonder if Reid had restored the old filibuster rules, would the House have passed the same legislation? Not really sure about that.


            Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

            by Jim P on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:25:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Back to the bullshit narrative about (0+ / 0-)

              how Democrats never really had any power and so it's not their fault? Large majority in the House, 59 seats in the Senate--and a supermajority in the Senate for about 2 1/2 months, which Reid made use of not at all. Horsepuckey.

              Hyper-partisans want recent history to begin in Jan, 2011. What would they do without the Tea Party?

              I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 12:23:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Are you suggesting that the Dem Party needs (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikejay611, ranton

          to move in Warner's direction?

          The same Warner who proposed early last year to eliminate altogether, or greatly reduce, the "Estate Tax."  (Which I posted from the Congressional Quarterly, repeatedly.)

          Frankly, I think we have more than enough fiscal hawks.  

          We need a big dose of populist economic policies and candidates, if we are to win in 2014 and 2016!

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          hiddennplainsight

          by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:05:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I purposefully do not use Party names but the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eyo

          alll-inclusive "they" when I engage.  ReTHUGlcanism and "Republican Lite" have much to answer for considering both the nation and my state.

          I am all too aware that Democrats are not blameless here. For example, did I miss the Democratic Party's overwhelming interest in reinstating Glass-Steagall provisions before 2008?  Did I miss the Democratic Party's sincere attempt to advance protecting pension funds from raiding or punishing job out-sourcing over-seas and incentivize USA production?

          However, while "They" have lap-dogs and members in both parties (it's why I WAS an independent...vote the person not the Party I foolishly thought), the past few years have utterly shown that the ReTHUG Party is a wholly-owned subsidiary.  

          Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

          by ranton on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:13:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not in favor of a 3rd party though. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sir Roderick, eyo

      That's how to elect the Republican, and all die in the ensuing inferno.

      •  Not so sure. Haven't seen a poll since 2009 (0+ / 0-)

        but then half of self-identified, Dem or Repub, wished they had an option. Don't like third party either, but both our parties are trying to be the Whigs. Get one guy/gal with the right rhetoric, and a big enough organization to get past the Duopoly's monopoly on state ballots... people, from what I hear, are really really sick of this shit. The economy, the wars, the corruption, all of it.


        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:40:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But it elects your nightmare. It's that simple. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikejay611

          Bush, for example.

          •  The nightmare is gone and his worst policies (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikejay611, emal, Whatithink, hooper

            get entrenched and expanded. People know neither party is going to go against what the Corporations want.

            Even at this moment, the President and leading Dems are trying to push the TPP down our throats. Which is guaranteed to screw both the Party and the Nation. Why?


            Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

            by Jim P on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:28:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We know the answer to this, the country is (0+ / 0-)

              largely controlled by bankers and other corporations.  But that doesn't mean both parties are equally bad.

              The TPP is awful and we can hope it dies, and work for this.  We killed the FTAA in Quebec in 2001 and the 1999 Seattle WTO round before that.  We seem to be making some progress against the TPP.  Last week Congressional Democrats came forth in objection to the TPP/fast track process and are threatening to halt it.  

              I'd mention that "his (Bush's) worst policies get entrenched & expanded" is just not true, though I understand how it can feel that way sometimes.  We could be invading & torturing, for example, and we would be again under most conceivable Republican administrations.  It can get worse, much worse, as we found out under Bush.

              Obama's trade proposals should be defeated, I agree.  We can do that, I hope, though I wish our opposition was more active.  But in either case 3rd parties just make things worse.

          •  1)That nightmare never got elected. (0+ / 0-)

            2) Right now, you can either have the nightmare right away (Republicans) or you can engage in a slow motion progress toward the nightmare which will get to you in a few years' time (Democrats).

            I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 12:25:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly right. (0+ / 0-)

      And we can start with the narrative of the Wall-St-induced crash that took our houses and our jobs--followed by the bailout.

      That basically sums up the lying, the theft, the forcing people out of work and into poverty, and the corruption in government.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 12:21:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chart is misleading (3+ / 0-)

    Why does it stop in 2007?

    It's because the upper share of income plunged in 2008, just like it did in 2003.

    However, the chart might not send whatever message Mother Jones wants to send. But does it make sense trying to make sense of 2014 politics to show a chart that ends in 2007?

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:58:21 PM PST

  •  DLC Dems don't like the poor, either.... (10+ / 0-)

    Let's not forget Bill Clinton and his DLC cronies abandoning the poor in 1992 with "welfare reform" and the Dems cozying up to Wall Street, especially in his 2nd term, when he repealed the Glass-Steagall act.  

    Obama's is no fan of the poor, either.  

    •  The DLC was set up to trade... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goodpractice, mikejay611, eyo, Calidrissp

      ...the New Deal Coalition for the "sweet center."

      They made two fatal assumptions:

      1) That the GOP would also abandon it's unpleasant appearing base and race for the exact same "sweet center."

      2) That the Financial Elites would inherently see the wisdom in continuing to support the Establishment wings of both Major Parties roughly equally over the long haul.

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:07:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need to tell a story about the numbers. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal, eyo

    The numbers themselves are potent evidence, but they have to be evidence of something. The job of liberals is to tell the story that the numbers back up.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:02:19 PM PST

  •  all of the above (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, hbk, eyo

    It's part of the human condition that we all identify with a community. I think many of the people who vote Republican "against their interest" identify with a community that votes Republican.

    And we all will cling to our community tenaciously. We'll tell ourselves whatever we need to to justify what the tribe tells us to do.

    Demographically, the Republican tribe is a loser in national elections. But if you want to try to wedge them, you need to wedge their tribal affiliation.

    Other than voting for Republicans, how else does their tribe identify? And can we crafts a progressive message that would appeal to that?

    I think a successful approach is to flood the zone. Don't pick one targeted message, craft a bunch of messages that fit the progressive theme and then use them all. So yes, talk about fairness, talk about worth, talk about helping people in hard situations, talk about the greatness of our country, talk about our strength as a community.

    Do it consistently and with passion and you might just break through.

  •  All this is true of traditional voters. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Mike Kahlow, Egalitare, eyo

    Traditional voters don't view themselves as having interests in common with "Cadillac-driving welfare queens."

    It's the the swelling ranks of heretofore non-traditional voters in future elections that really give Republicans cause to panic.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:09:05 PM PST

  •  Economic arguments (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, Mike Kahlow, goodpractice, eyo

    that resonate with the masses require abstract arguments, because as noted by the diarist, most people don't simple absorb and process data very well.

    That is why the GOPs messaging resonates with their base.

    Perhaps what we need to be doing is something similar - providing the facts and figures but making the overarching message something along the lines of:

    "Are you doing as well or better as your parents and grandparents did?  No?  Then perhaps it's time we started doing things the way they do."

    Most people, even the GOP faithful, understand that they are not doing better than the generation that came before them.  They understand this fact on a basic level - no need to process facts and figures.

    Present arguments for progressive changes (such as increases in tax rates, expanding Social Security, etc) on such a basis - an abstract basis that doesn't require the processing of facts and data, but still feels right and pulls at them the same way the GOPs abstract appeals to emotions and primal instincts work.

    Liberals, for all our good points, we just don't seem to understand that many people do not have the patience or willpower to follow along with heady, academic arguments.  Most people simply have the attention spans of gnats and tune out anything that requires actual rational thinking or complex logic to get the point.  This is why we fail at messaging time and again - basically, we're too eggheaded while the GOP messages in a way that doesn't take a lot of thought to get the message.

  •  I guess the Democratic Party would also (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, emal, eyo

    like to ditch the “Income Inequality/Wealth Disparity” message (to please their wealthy/corporate contributors). Makes perfect sense.
    Yea, “Worth”. That’s the ticket (especially when the same jobs can be done for pennies-on-the dollars in overseas slave-labor markets).
    “Income Inequality/Wealth Disparity”? Along with all this talk of pay-ratios (i.e. CEOs are making 400 to 1 to workers). Yep, time to ditch the “Income Inequality/Wealth Disparity” message.

    •  Of course they would (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlexDrew, emal, Mike Taylor

      They've been struggling mightily the last several years trying to tell us why they can't fix the economy or reduce unemployment.

      It's all kabuki in DC.  There are very, very few Dems in that town who actually want to address the problem.  

      If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

      by Betty Pinson on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:51:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Word. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 12:25:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is so crazy, it might work! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou

    Hire frank luntz. I hear he's looking.

    “Hardworking men and women who are busting their tails in full-time jobs shouldn't be left in poverty.” -- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:14:36 PM PST

  •  give it a break (0+ / 0-)

    Americans whine daily about income inequality and then vote for a demo or a repub and both are controlled by either corp America or the 1%ers.

    In a republic one only has to look at the  knowledge of the voters to see clearly the income gap.

    Besides capitalism by its very nature is designed to create an income gap.

    •  RedState is -----------> ? (0+ / 0-)

      You appear to be lost.

      In a republic one only has to look at the  knowledge of the voters to see clearly the income gap.
      Or maybe you're looking in the other direction? That might be more likely.
      and then vote for a demo or a repub and both are controlled by either corp America or the 1%ers.
      Ah, the "they're both the same" argument.

      You do know this site is dedicated to electing more and better Democrats?

    •  Nice. IOW "They built that!" n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:59:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Meh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal

    Sounds like another excuse from politicians who are too cowardly to do their jobs.

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:50:01 PM PST

  •  Progressives must turn the message on its head. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DownstateDemocrat

    Actually if they're successful, Progressives would be returning the national economic discussion back to reality, and away from the nonsensical economic 'trickle down' bullshit the rightwing corporatist's have been spewing since the 70s.

  •  One thing the right is successful at, and have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodpractice, emal, Australian2

    been for yeas, is pitting the middle class, even lower middle class, against the poor or working poor.

    The middle class in this country doesn't hate the obscenely rich as much as they hate the poor among them....even if the poor is their own grown children, their own family or neighbors or whatever.

    I am middle class and I hear it constantly.... "Well if they would just work harder.....", "If they would get an education....", "If they would just stay off drugs....", "If they would quit taking from the government...." etc etc

    What the middle class don't realize is they are but one paycheck, or one unfortunate event, or one illness, or one set back, from being in the same predicament as the folks they are hating on so much.  

    It is really sad because they never look above them and wonder why the top is not kinder but rather they step on those below them, even if those below them are actually helping them up.  

    The middle class needs to wake up and understand that they might have to contribute a dollar to help those below them.  The rich must pay too and we all should fight for that., no doubt about it....but the middle class revolt at the mere mention that they might also have to pay just a bit.

    That is what is going on with the ACA.  Heaven forbid their premium might go up 40 bucks and a poor family will get health care.  No sir, we can't have that!!!  Even if they make 100,000 per year.  

    We ALL have to help one another and the poorest among us work the very hardest of all already.  

  •  This part is not true (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HudsonValleyMark
    Most people know the numbers. Red states take more from the government than they take in.
    While you make some points that are clearly worthy of discussion and that could possibly point us in a better direction in terms of strategy and messaging, to assume that "most" people know and or understand how badly fucked up wealth and income distribution are is incorrect.  Most people don't "know" these things. And even if they may have casually heard or read these facts at some point, they probably didn't stick. And maybe they are wingnut true believers who don't believe even when it is presented to them.

    So, I am all in favor of critically analyzing messaging and strategy, but we would be starting from an incorrect position if we assumed that it was widely understood, for example, that minimum wage would be upwards of $15 an hour if it had kept pace with its level in 1968.

    Overall, keep up the good work. But be careful basing your positions on (incorrect) assumptions.  

    Maybe you meant "most people reading this on dkos know the numbers…"

    Power to the Peaceful!

    by misterwade on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:13:39 PM PST

    •  I think that must have been the meaning (0+ / 0-)

      "Most people here know the numbers" would have made sense. Most people don't know or care about these numbers. It doesn't seem to me that the diary actually assumes that they do.

      "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

      by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:47:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The message is easy (0+ / 0-)

    The republicans and corporate democrats have basically made the population believe it is those other serfs over there that are causing all the problems in this country...other serfs meaning, homosexuals, old, young, poor, unionized, lazy unemployed, pensioners, other races, immigrants,illegal aliens, feminazis, uneducated, ...etc etc......but notice who is never the problem....the wealthy corporate welfare kings and plutocrats.

    No their demand has been for decades that, we must give them all the wealth and unfettered access to design the rules and laws/regulations for which they will abide and follow and they in turn promise everyone will do better. And when the scam doesn't work, they state...it's because of the groups I mentioned above and the fact we haven't given them quite enough wealth yet and that we masses must suffer and sacrifice for them in order to see the benefits..That's the beauty of their rigged game...it's a feature

    Basically they need to be called out on the carpet for us giving them everything and having the gumption to blame everyone else as to why they have all the benefits but that we have received NONE of the gains. Trickle down fail.

    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. Elizabeth Warren Progressive Wing of political spectrum.

    by emal on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:21:33 PM PST

  •  And they are subtly spreading the meme that ALL (0+ / 0-)

    taxes--even if it's to pay for roads and military--are nothing but theft.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:24:41 PM PST

  •  Time for a Workers Revolution! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Duck, BriarRose

    1. Time to end unemployment in this country with a 32 hour work week. There are simply not enough jobs for a 40 hour work week anymore. American workers combined with machines are just too productive. Time to accept reality!

    2. Up to six weeks of-- paid vacation-- should be   guaranteed to every full-time American worker. That should be Federally mandated. People need time to also enjoy their lives when they're not working. It should be a right just as it is in Germany.

    3. Time to stop demonizing government workers. Firing government workers doesn't produce growth, it causes wage depression because too many former government workers are now competing for private jobs with other people.

    4. Time to bring back the tax on stock transactions that ended in the late 1960s. The elimination of that tax on Wall Street has probably cost the Federal government over ten trillion dollars in lost revenue.

    But none of this is ever going to happen unless people get off their posteriors and vote for people who want to make this happen! A government of the people, by the people, and for people is still the key to everything!

    Marcel

  •  Is there an updated chart? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Anger is on our side, if we will use it: who do yo (0+ / 0-)

    u think is - and has been for 30 years - stealing your middle class future, the guy with a penny or the one billions?

    That they will understand.  And by directly accusing the New Aristocracy of stealing from the rest of us, we also affirm our inherent worth over mere money, i.e., them.

    Sure, thugs will cry 'redistribution' and 'class warfare'.  To which we need only reply: no, its restitution.  For their decades of theft from the middle class.

    But, I doubt most Ds will have the guts to give voice to the truth and winning message.

  •  It is liberalism's central problem. (0+ / 0-)

    People on the left got there by thinking through the issues. People in the middle are usually too busy just trying to get by to have time to sort through all the disinformation and find the truth, so they are easily manipulated by emotions.

    Liberalism assumes that if we educate people, the facts will allow them to make good decisions, but too many people just don't work that way. They don't have the time or the inclination.

    We don't have to create any monsters to scare people. We just need to open people's eyes to the truth, and make sure it scares the crap out of them. We need people to fear the reality that is facing them, not the fake boogy-men the right gives them. When they know how they have been shafted, their just anger is something we can then direct in a constructive way.

    Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

    by rhonan on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 09:58:58 PM PST

  •  The message that will win: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calidrissp

    The inequality is a consequence of the evisceration of the middle class.
    The 1% have been extracting the wealth of the country.
    They've been "redistributing".
    The effects are seen most clearly among the poor.

    Wall Street, etc. (incl. private equity) has become, due to deregulation and corruption of government, a massive tumor on the American economy.
    What was supposed to be a critical organ of the system, pumping capital to where it is needed, has become a parasitic organ.

    When you have a declining middle class, you have a growing poor class.

    At a certain point, the middle class is weakened , by consumer debt, to the point that demand declines.
    This starts a process of atrophy in the whole economic system.
    We need to "care about the poor" not just because they're human, one of us, and we might be in their shoes someday, etc.
    We need to care because their plight is a symptom of the ill health of our whole economic system.

    At the same time that unfettered greed is bringing down the system, we have the 1% funding an assault on the institutions of government that can repair the system.

    This is putting greater and greater strain on the social safety net.
    What we need is a restoral of the middle class. We need a new open field of economic growth similar to the advent of the interstate highway system in the 50's.

    Unless there's room in the middle class, there's no empty rungs for the poor to climb up out of poverty on.

    The American public have been educated in economics by the most recent Great Recession, although there's been the right wing noise and diversion.
    The message I've outlined is simple enough for everyone to understand and appreciate.
    The problem is about getting it to be the dominant narrative.
    Before OWS, the only narrative was "austerity". OWS got income inequality into the public mind. Tentatively. Now they're trying to drive it out. drown it out.

    It's just a matter of out-harassing the media until they give in and let the right narrative go forth.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:53:26 AM PST

    •  The 1% (0+ / 0-)

      are NOT the problem.  The real problem lies with the 6% who are the educated elite liberal class.  They STILL insist they are middle class.

    •  Out-harassing the media is not enough (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David54

      Harassing the media to let the right narrative go forth is very difficult if their jobs depend on presenting the narrative of their owners, the one percent, to fracture a well-known aphorism. We need to do an end run around the MSM, such as is done on internet blogs like this one and community organizing, and yes, to keep harrassing the MSM, to counteract the narrative heard by most of the people most of the time (sorry - can't help myself).

  •  not just "the poor," but regular people (0+ / 0-)

    "the poor" can always be made to be the other. But the middle class is a different thing. that should be the primary focus of economic messaging - the 1% is ruining it for the middle class.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:17:11 AM PST

  •  until the so called (0+ / 0-)

    progressives aren't afraid to call themselves liberals i will be suspicious of their so called change of heart in dealing with the cons whom they seem to have more in common with than the common man, but that's why they are progressives and not liberals.

  •  So I assume that Democratic politicians (0+ / 0-)

    should be distancing themselves from the ACA, since most of it so far is the Medicaid expansion.

  •  Wealth Concentration ! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    We should stop using the term "inequality." Instead, we should use the words "wealth concentration" since that is what we are really describing, and it doesn't give the impression of being anti-capitalist. One can be capitalist and still be concerned about the excessive concentration of wealth; but the opposite of inequality is what? It smacks of socialism, the dreaded red beast, when no one is arguing for true equality.

    Capitalists would say the current inequality smacks of socialism, cronyism, favoritism, all via the government venue. Libertarians would say the problem comes via democratic skew. Socialists would say any undemocracy can be overcome with scientific dialect.

    American Heart Association: Diet Soda can cause type 2 Diabetes. "Circulation" July 23, 2007. Read it for yourself.

    by jeffrey789 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 12:49:42 PM PST

  •  Repeated misuse of 'carnal.' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    You repeatedly misuse the word "carnal."  It refers to sexual matters and pretty much only sexual matters.  I think you want to say "primitive" or something of that ilk.  Wiktionary refers to "worldly" or "earthly" or "temporal" as well, none of which seem to apply.  People pretty much only ever use the word in the phrase "carnal appetites"--primitive sexual appetites.

    Anyway, the use of the word "carnal" in this post seems bizarre.  Even if some subsidiary meaning could apply, the word is so tied to matters of sex that no one would see the word except in a sexual light.

  •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, Americans know they are poor, at least in comparison to what they were before. They know what they've lost. They're not in denial over that--with the possible exception of the upper middle class (lawyers, doctors, dentists).

    That's why public opinion has been shifting away from Reaganomics. That's why politicians are even considering talking about income inequality.

    However your main point stands:  wonkish reliance on graphs and numbers and charts ain't gonna cut it.

    There's plenty of anger out there that a progressive could use. Are we willing to?

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 12:16:35 PM PST

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