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A new Pew Research Center/USA Today poll echoes Quinnipiac in finding that voters want to see the minimum wage increased and unemployment aid extended; once again, even Republicans support raising the minimum wage, 53 percent to 43 percent. Republicans are just about exactly flipped on unemployment aid: 43 percent want to see it extended while 54 percent don't. Democrats are overwhelmingly in favor of both policies, as are strong majorities of independents.

But the survey also highlights a fundamental difference in how Republicans and Democrats see economic inequality and poverty: Republicans actually believe that rich people are rich because they worked harder and poor people are poor because they didn't work hard enough:

A child raised in the bottom fifth of the income scale through much of the southern United States has around a 5 percent chance of rising to the top fifth—4 percent in Atlanta and 4.3 percent in Charlotte—while a low-income child has a 9.6 percent chance of rising in Los Angeles and 11.2 percent in San Francisco. Do Republicans think poor kids in California are just twice as likely to be hardworking as poor kids in Georgia and North Carolina? Or might there be something else going on? Not to mention, even an 11.2 percent chance of going from low-income to high-income is pretty damn low if what we're looking at is an issue of merit. Those numbers are in line with Pew's earlier finding that 43 percent of Americans born in the bottom fifth of the income ladder never move up, and a full 70 percent never reach the middle. The "this is about advantages and inequality, not individual merit" hypothesis gains strength when you learn that rich kids with below-average test scores are more likely to graduate from college than poor kids with above-average test scores.

Rich people are rich because they worked harder, my ass. This is a convenient belief if you're wealthy, but in the vast majority of cases, reality it is not. And on that mistaken—and often self-interested—belief rests a long list of Republican policy positions that are increasing inequality and poverty, year by year by year.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 08:51 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (169+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III, Vatexia, Polly Syllabic, LibrErica, blueoasis, blueyescryinintherain, Glacial Erratic, ericlewis0, Simul Iustus et Peccator, la motocycliste, millwood, hnichols, ratcityreprobate, Shockwave, TracieLynn, elwior, bleeding blue, concernedamerican, RhodeIslandAspie, greengemini, Most Awesome Nana, kenwards, Laurel in CA, Habitat Vic, kbman, belinda ridgewood, allergywoman, SuWho, Sylv, Capt Crunch, billybam, BlueMississippi, kerplunk, Youffraita, Yellow Canary, JeffW, middleagedhousewife, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, blueoregon, MuskokaGord, Front Toward Enemy, kevinpdx, livingthedream, Involuntary Exile, ontheleftcoast, Eileen B, Onomastic, MartyM, TomP, kissfan, wader, Bluesee, mconvente, jobobo, mattc129, NM Ray, Gowrie Gal, Lily O Lady, SherwoodB, anodnhajo, Sun Tzu, Odysseus, TexDem, YucatanMan, pileta, LamontCranston, paulex, Matt Z, brainwave, Wreck Smurfy, susanWAstate, Spanky, Aaa T Tudeattack, MKinTN, Dolphin99, DerAmi, Loudoun County Dem, Dodgerdog1, gloriana, WisVoter, petulans, a2nite, EricS, kck, wxorknot, MJ via Chicago, cardboardurinal, redlum jak, xaxnar, letsgetreal, lynneinfla, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Eric Nelson, Laconic Lib, antooo, LookingUp, dotdash2u, richardvjohnson, StateofEuphoria, enemy of the people, bunsk, IndieGuy, papercut, ewmorr, Chaddiwicker, jck, GeorgeXVIII, Bule Betawi, Siri, marina, Donkey Hotey, fugwb, peachcreek, camlbacker, ColoTim, RUNDOWN, hamjudo, Calamity Jean, codairem, Trendar, yoduuuh do or do not, cv lurking gf, occupystephanie, wuod kwatch, slowbutsure, fhcec, WhizKid331, Gary Norton, rapala, juliesie, Brian82, bluehammer, sidnora, tegrat, maybeeso in michigan, cpresley, Darth Stateworker, P E Outlier, Mr MadAsHell, plf515, Mark Mywurtz, high uintas, Desert Scientist, Desert Rose, jbsoul, exMnLiberal, splashy, goodpractice, OrganizedCrime, BeninSC, fumie, gofigure, daeros, VTCC73, Oh Mary Oh, Psyche, NBBooks, Arkenstark, Karen Hedwig Backman, seashell5, SphericalXS, travelerxxx, gharlane, lastamendment, twocrows1023, JerryNA, Lilredhead, cpr4life, chantedor
    •  Empathy leads to certain conclusions (8+ / 0-)

      If one has no empathy for the poor, it is likely that they will think that the poor only gets what they deserve.

      On the other hand, those who have empathy for the rich will assume that they also have what they deserve.

      Yet, the most important determinant to one's future is likely to be inheritance, for both rich and poor.

      War is costly. Peace is priceless!

      by frostbite on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:06:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i.e., Prosperity Gospel (0+ / 0-)
      •  One secret of the wealthy. (4+ / 0-)

        They know that old saw about educating yourself and working hard is a myth, a myth that serves the wealthy well, because the wealthy realize that you get wealthy by getting other folks to do your work for you.  The sooner you get to the place where you command others to work in your place, the sooner you will reach the top.  Take Bill Gates.  
          As I recall, Gates' father was a successful lawyer with money and contacts.  When Gates was in Harvard, he paid classmates to write papers for him.  Then he dropped out.  It was his father who put him in touch with the right people at IBM...  I don't begrudge Gates his fortune.  He knew what his advantages were and what he had to do to leverage them, but let's not kid ourselves about what those factors really were.  

    •  Poor people are infected with highly contagious (3+ / 0-)

      All rich people are admirable, even outright scumbags like
      Bernie Madoff or Donald Trump.


      Bow, bow ye lower middle classes!
      Bow, bow ye tradesman, bow ye masses!

    •  I was going to attribute it to a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      deficit of sociological imagination

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 01:24:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't worry ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, Trendar

      Everyone in those statistics who personally fall on hard times ... quickly switch columns.

      And those stats have changed quite a bit in recent memory.

      Waking up
      from the "American Dream" can be a shock.

      “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

      by RUNDOWN on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 02:05:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is it possible (6+ / 0-)

      that having no experience of need, and having parents who don't bother teaching that lesson, they simply never get their empathy switch turned on?

      My favorite lack of empathy (or a clue) story: during the Dean presidential campaign, I was out on the street collecting signatures of his nominating petition. This was in NYC, in February, it was brutally cold out, and I am not a young person.

      For some reason, the coordinator sent me out on the Upper East Side, one of the wealthiest, and possibly the most conservative, areas of the city. Though I though I might have better luck elsewhere, I went where I was told, and it was, indeed, awful. I can usually tell  Democrats on sight (yes, that's profiling, but always in a good cause), but in this neighborhood, everyone I asked, ”excuse me, are you a registered Democrat?" Turned out to be very nice, but...not a citizen. They were all Europeans.

      So I tried not profiling, and got what I expected: ignored. The guys in the suits and the ladies with the bouffant hairdos and French pumps walked by me as though I wasn't there. But I was there, i wasn't getting sigs, and I was freezing. So when one guy responded to my question ( while never looking at me and never stopping), "No, I work for a living", I lost it. I work a blue-collar job, and I guarantee this guy had no idea what real,work is. And I told him so, or at least his retreating back.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 03:58:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, they are screwed up (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10, high uintas, sidnora

        but it's too kind to them to say that it's because they have advantages.
        I've never been in need.

        But I know others are.

        And I know plenty of people who work their butts off and are still poor.

        The rich know them too, they just ignore them. They have gardeners or housekeepers or nannies or doormen.

        The problem isn't that they are rich. The problem is that they are ASSHOLES.

        •  Heh. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I happen to know for a fact that this

          having parents who don't bother teaching that lesson,
          doesn't apply to you.

          I also have known rich people who had once been poor and never forgot what it was like. Not many, mind you, but a few.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 07:16:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I also have known (0+ / 0-)
            rich people who had once been poor and never forgot what it was like. Not many, mind you, but a few.
            Far more rich people who were once poor fall into the category of my father who came from poverty.  He grew up during the depression and was poor even before it began.  

            Then, yes, he worked hard and, simultaneously, hardened his heart.  
            He didn't take care of his mother.  
            He barely acknowledged his father.  
            He acted with contempt toward his brother who remained poor all his life.  
            And he had absolutely no use for anyone who couldn't help him in his climb out of poverty or didn't stand with him in his disdain toward those who were less well off than he was.

            And, yes, he voted Republican right up until very late in life when, miracle of miracles, he voted for Clinton.  I only learned that fact after he had died - - when my cousin told me.

      •  actually you have only part of it and backwards (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bayhuntr, Lilredhead

        in regards to empathy.

        we are naturally empathetic towards others, because we are a social creature who mainly thrives in a groups for survival.

        The most rich kids have the empathy drilled out of them, with brainwashing, that they are superior to everyone else in every way and that they have a separate rule system that they live by that the rest of us don't.

        This is reenforced with private schools, the in list(not getting in on merits of skill), not having to earn what they have. etc  
        (I bought my first car with my money from after school jobs bagging groceries and working at car wash "$325 1985 chevy malibu wagon in 92'"  all expenses, were my responsibility, I could not ask or get any help from mom or anyone else.)

        And not having to go without, only makes that brainwashing easier to succeed because your rewarding them by not making them go without.(rewarding bad behavior brainwashes the person into thinking bad behavior is acceptable.)

        Personally think they need to make said rich kids go to public schools using the same criteria as everyone else location and all, and their parents are banned from interfering in the school so they can't create favoritism for the rich kids. Money talks, why the parents need to be banned.

        top of my list of my douche bags list no particular order is
        the koch brothers.
        wallmart Waltons
        sachs family
        Bush junior
        entire leadership and shareholders of exxon, cheveron, BP  you get the point too many to list.

    •  Do all Republicans lack empathy (0+ / 0-)

      or do they fear the plague of poverty and feel they have to worship at the altar of wealth to inoculate themselves?

      Sometimes I get the feeling that Rs are afraid to look at the abyss they are standing on the edge of so their politics is a form of whistling thru the graveyard.

      And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

      by high uintas on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:53:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Republican and conservative politics are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas

        the politics of fear. The major motivator of conservative voters is fear. And the GOP plays on that like a Stradivarius, with Roger Ailes and his "news" organization playing the part of Paganini.

        To paraphrase Roberta, they're "strumming terror with their fingers/ Singing the fear with their words/ Killing them softly with their song".

        The last time the Republicans were this radical, they were working to elect former slaves to Congress. What a difference a century and a half makes!

        by jayjaybear on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 08:23:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not what I am seeing (0+ / 0-)

          Follow the dark money of Koch brothers and how they are using it to get rid of or undermined  republican champions of justice and a more balanced system. In other words the progressive republicans are getting ousted by the extreme financial elite.  

          dig deeper below the surface and avoid the mainstream media like the plague other than getting headlines for research online.

          but then the new Verison lawsuit fucked that up, by ruining net neutrality.

    •  Compassionate Conservative (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What ever happened to that phrase, or was it just that no one at all could say it without snickering?  The prop-upganda isn't bullet proof.

  •  Capital - the love that dare not speak its name (47+ / 0-)

    It’s interesting that in a system that calls itself “capitalism”, the primacy of capital is always completely ignored and all success and failure must be ascribed to how hard people “worked”.

    It’s almost like Rochefoucauld’s observation about “the tribute vice pays to virtue”.

     "Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate."

    Bertrand Russell

  •  So how do they explain these statistics? (17+ / 0-)

    The answer is, they don't bother. When you have FAITH, when you truly BELIEVE, facts and statistics do not matter.

    Faith and belief are everything.

    Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them - Thomas Jefferson 30 July, 1816

    by Roiling Snake Ball on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:17:13 AM PST

  •  Kids in California have greater opportunities (11+ / 0-)

    to work than kids in NC and GA have.

    Opportunities to work must be available if anyone is to actually work "harder".

    Having spent the holidays in an Alabama town where there really aren't more than a few jobs available in which one could work more than 30 hours a week and in which there aren't that many jobs, people can work as hard as they want, but they won't get anywhere if the opportunities are limited to that degree.

    If you've got nothing to do, hard work is irrelevant.

    •  And the schools do not teach useful skills. (3+ / 0-)


      "I hesitate to agree with Ted Nugent...."

      by waterstreet2013 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:17:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  actually (0+ / 0-)

      expanding on opportunities.

      The payout for service rendered needs to be equal or better than work rendered.

      40 hours nets you at minnimum wage vs  2 hours work netting you 5-40 or more times minnimum wage.

      so it is less to do with how hard you actually work vs how much you actually get payed for doing what ever work you are doing.

      Why do you think so many are getting in on identity theft and white collar crime  and the financial crash 2008 etc?  The payout is astronomical vs amount of work actually done. The the so called opportunities.
      why does  "Ferengi Alliance" come to mind from "deep space 9".......

      opportunity?  Not so much that as others giving you the chance to thrive. We are in a society that you can't just move west in order to get opportunity.(unclaimed assets and resources)

      The people that hold the assets hostage, have to share what they stole for anyone else to have any chance to work hard, you need assets(access to resources) to work hard or "opertunity" if you want to over simplify it.

      True wealth is the resources of earth there is only so much to go around,  if you have 40-60% of all the resources claimed by .00001% of the population then there is no opportunity  because you don't have access to the limited resources claimed by select few.

      lets reword "opportunity" to "access to assets/ resources/services"?

      I know lack of "access to resources/assets/services" is the reason I am stuck on disability today. I was a workaholic. people hated me because I made them look bad, when I was outperforming them, while they were standing around. Shit needed to be done so I was doing it without having to have supervision over me. I believe in earning my way(meaning work as hard as I can).  Yet who got ahead? NOT ME.

      I am unwilling to steal my "access to resources".

  •  If I can paraphrase the late Ann Richards... (20+ / 0-)

    The Republicans think that they've hit triples because they've been born on third base.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:43:07 AM PST

    •  WOW - that's a keeper! nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, Calamity Jean, JeffW
    •  I have to amend... (11+ / 0-)

      your statement.  

      "The Republicans think that the rich hit triples because they were born on third base."  

      Remember, the Republican base is largely made up of poor white people in the Deep South and West.  There are not enough rich people to get these nihilists elected to offices around the country without the help of the poor (the economic sense), naive whites.  

      "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

      by cardboardurinal on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:06:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The poor get snookered with this stuff: (5+ / 0-)
        1. I voted Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I've decided to marry my German shepherd.

        2. I voted Democrat because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn't.

        3. I voted Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.

        4. I voted Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

        5. I voted Democrat because I am way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves. I am also thankful that we have a 911 service that get (sic) police to your house in order to identify your body after a home invasion.

        6. I voted Democrat because I am not concerned about millions of babies being aborted as long as we keep all death row inmates alive and comfy.

        7. I voted Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits, and we should take away the social security of those who paid into it.

        8. I voted Democrat because I believe that businesses should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrats see fit.

        9. I voted Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

        10. I voted Democrat because I think that it's better to pay billions of dollars for their oil to people who hate us, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle, gopher, or fish.

        I'm not saying the target audience for this is Paul Krugman.

        It's a "Straight Line" pitch to emotions and visualization. Every item conceals a lie one way or another. Left to its own devices, it works.

        "I hesitate to agree with Ted Nugent...."

        by waterstreet2013 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:24:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the Repubs (0+ / 0-)

        have convinced many poor whites that the rich have indeed hit triples instead of being given third base as a birthright.

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 05:28:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, per Wikiquote, it wasn't Ann Richards (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      OK, Ann Richards was wonderful and said some wonderful things.

      But the quote was originally by Barry Switzer. See here

  •  To a degree, the "just work hard" memo... (14+ / 0-)

    is a form of emotional protection because not too many people want to face how easily their livelihoods can be taken away no matter how good or hard they work.

    And I'm sure part of it is a way to explain away their failures that their "hard work" hasn't enriched them and explains the failures of "those other people."

    Oddly, many of the guys who fall for this are sports fans and they're constantly complaining about so-and-so getting all this money ... I suspect part of it (other than those who so authoritarian they stand by management all the time) is that they know it's more than "hard work" as to why someone is getting the money they're getting.

  •  "So how do they explain these statistics?" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, JeffW, Calamity Jean

    Simple. Lies. Lies from Satan. If it contradicts their Belief that the Rich are all things Good, fuck reality. We know this already.

  •  As Frank Zappa would say (17+ / 0-)

    Here's the crux of the biscuit.

    This is one of the key message/perception battles we have to win.

    The right have been extremely successful selling this BS to Americans.

    The result has been a bonanza for the rich. They've cashed in big on this lie.

    The disappearance of unions.
    The acceptance in rampant inequality.
    Condemnation of the poor.
    Cutting off unemployment benefits.

    The entire austerity perception is based on this Calvinist bizarro view of economics.

    Right now the rich are destroying our country. They're sucking the life out of it. They're un-American.

    That message needs to be pounded home daily.

  •  As with most things, there is an element of truth (8+ / 0-)

    But as usual they generalize it way too far.

    Some rich people indeed worked very hard to get where they are.  Professionals who make a good salary but not executive-level salaries are one example.  Small business owners are another.  Heck, even corproate execs tend to work very hard to rise through the ladder.

    But to then generalize that and try to paint all the wealthy one way and all the poor another way is ridiculous.  It's even more ridiculous to try to justify the disparity of earnings being because the rich "work harder".

    I've worked under execs who worked 60-70 hr weeks.  They worked very hard.  But some of the people working for them also worked very, very long hours, and will never make anywhere close to the kind of money the execs make.  It's not just about workig hard, or working long.  The compensation levels are completely skewed.

    •  While that... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nailbanger, JeffW, Mr MadAsHell

      is true, a lot of these "hard working" executives had many more advantages to get them into the positions they hold.  It is not to say that they don't work hard, but they would have had to work much harder if they had to work from the bottom.

      "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

      by cardboardurinal on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:08:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And what do they have to do when they get home (4+ / 0-)

        Because without high income, your day is only half over when you get off work.  
        Poorer people have to their own cooking, cleaning, washing.  They have to maintain their cars, their homes and their appliances themselves.
        Does the siding need painted?  I doubt if Lloyd Blankfein has held a paintbrush in thirty years.  Change the oil in the mini van? Puhleeze.  Scrub the toilets, mow the lawn or change the cat litter? No way
        The poor have to do their own taxes, mend their clothes, and in a million ways use their time and labor that would only cost the ceo a minute percentage of their income.
        And sometimes, the company picks up the cost anyway:  company car = company car maintenance.

        "Searches with nonspecific warrants were ‘the single immediate cause of the American Revolution.’” Justice Wm. Brennan, referring to the 4th Amendment

        by Nailbanger on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 03:32:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And what (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      are they working very hard at?

      Establishing policies, banking and business practices that are taking money from the bottom to give it to the top, generating the confusion that wants are needs and encouraging mindless consumption, grinding out misogynistic and violent 'entertainment', etc.

      I don't care how 'hard' CEOs and business professionals work when, at its core, the work destroys society and democracy.

  •  I used to know a lady... (8+ / 0-)

    ...who worked a hundred hours a week, and then still did free things for her church, and even paid to do a radio show once a week (which is how I knew her -  I worked at the station and helped her produce it).  How she found time to sleep and eat, I'm not sure.

    And, I'm pretty sure she was living in her car.  

    Granted, she wasn't very educated, so the jobs she had weren't the best, but damn if she wasn't working hard.  And she was anything but rich.

    And a lot of the richest people I know don't work hard at all.  Pretty much all a lot of the highest-paid people in my workplace do are go to meetings and drink coffee and eat snacks while everybody else does the actual work.   What you get paid depends on the level of job you have... not actual "hard work."  And some of that is based on education level... and I've got three degrees and don't consider having gotten them all that hard of work;  it's just jumping through the hoops.   I know idiots with Ph.D's.  And a lot of that education isn't based on your work, necessarily, it's based on your advantages.  With what colleges cost now, you'd have to work a burger-flipping job a hell of a long time to pay for tuition if you didn't get some extra help... which is why so many people are crippled with student loan debt.

    I'm not devaluing hard work for its own sake, it won't hurt anybody, but everybody who works hard isn't rich, and everybody who's rich isn't necessarily a hard worker.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:16:51 AM PST

  •  If true, then time for a HUGE estate tax hike! (9+ / 0-)

    So, from the last election, it is alleged that rich Republicans don't need ANY help whatsoever, that whatever they've got, "they built it".

    Now, we know that rich Republicans' wealth is ONLY due to the fact that they work harder.

    We also know, at least since 2008, that rich Republicans are quite worried about the deficit and death.

    Well, gentlemen, since you don't need help and care about the debt left to future generations, it is now time for you to put your money where your mouth is and push for a HUGE estate tax hike!

  •  Being born into a wealthy family is hard work (9+ / 0-)

    Remember, the fat cats we bailed out earned their money the old fashioned way, they inherited it.


    Regulate banks, not vaginas

    by MinistryOfTruth on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:22:11 AM PST

  •  It's also a convenient belief (5+ / 0-)

    for the delusional imbeciles who are hell-bent on keeping taxes at an infinitesimal level.

    "If taxes were just a bit lower, then I would jump up the ladder!" says the idiotic low-income Republican.

    Meanwhile, the country club Republicans intentionally depress wages so that they can afford their $10,000,000+ bonus.

    Republicans are truly deluded.

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:32:16 AM PST

    •  Unfortunately... (0+ / 0-)

      it is not just Republicans, remember, President Obama considered Jaime Daimon for Treasury Secretary.  I doubt a Democratic President would appoint a Republican to Treasury.  
      These assholes, across party lines, are Neo-Liberals.  If we focus on the rich Republicans we miss the point.

      "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

      by cardboardurinal on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:12:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is how I think their logic works (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, JeffW

    If you start out in the lower fifth of wealth, your only real hope of climbing out of it is working hard.

    Now, of course, if there is insufficient opportunity, even that won't work.,

    But they just want to harp forever about point #1 and feel all proud about their own perceived accomplishments.

    So, the ones that do have some success just tend get all big headed and bloviate and express zero gratitude.

    My Dad is a perfect example.  A truly responsible and dependable and caring person.  He literally has kept his own brother alive through cancer by doing all the paperwork (medicare), getting all the medicine, everything.

    But then he wants to talk about "The deficit" and how we need to "tighten our belts".  The disconnect just blows my mind.  I have to just walk away.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:33:51 AM PST

  •  George W. Bush (4+ / 0-)

    The Example that proves all of the Rules don't apply!

    My wife, daughter and granddaughters should have more privacy in their doctor's office than I have buying another rifle or shotgun.

    by NM Ray on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:38:49 AM PST

    •  Hey! Prezidentin' is hard work. He was working (0+ / 0-)

      hard catapulting the propaganda right out there. Now watch this drive . . .

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:30:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't confuse me with the facts! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotdash2u, JeffW

    the only data republicans believe is the data which support their assumptions!

  •  It's like that lottery winner... (6+ / 0-)

    who yells at his friends and neighbors for being poor because all they have to is play and they can be as rich as he is.  Therefore, it's their fault they're poor because anyone can be rich.

  •  Hmmm... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Were the respondents to this poll voters or politicians?

    Republican voters – especially those who watch FOX News – seem to believe what they are led or outright told to believe.

    I think this is supported by the fact that so many voters living under the poverty line in red states have continued to vote for Republican policies despite the fact that their lives have not improved. They don't seem to get, that, if knocking on one door repeatedly gets no results, they should try knocking on a different door.

  •  I think there are exceptions to both (0+ / 0-)

    I know people who have worked their ass off and became successful through their efforts - I know trust funders.....

    I know people who have worked just as hard as those successful - maybe not as smart but equally as hard and don't get anywhere.

    ...and I know lazy bastards who don't want to do anything and have nothing either.

    The key is to work hard and smart...a little luck never hurt either.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:51:45 AM PST

    •  Firefighters work hard and they're never (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skod, JeffW, Square Knot

      going to be rich. Teachers, too. There are many people who work very hard at jobs that will never make them rich, but they make civilization possible. Republicans are very good at overlooking this.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:33:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Inheritance and being a lifetime member of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Lily O Lady, JeffW

    Lucky Sperm Club is a beautiful thing!

    "It's only the giving, that makes what you are." - Ian Anderson

    by LamontCranston on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:00:45 AM PST

  •  Every chance I get (5+ / 0-)

    I disabuse people of the notion that effort inevitably leads to success as measured by wealth (since that's how I assume we're defining success in a capitalist society).

    Effort is a minor player in the equation of wealth accumulation.  The majority of factors leading to financial success occur before you are even born (race, gender, parental income and education, geography, etc.).  None of which are in your control.

    Conservatives love to point to the long shot success stories as a road map for the poor.  One-in-a-million rags to riches stories are poignant and inspirational exactly because of their rarity.  Making policy and establishing a society based on everyone hitting the Powerball is ludicrous on the face of it.  Outliers are outliers because they do not and can not reflect the reality faced by the majority.

  •  Well republicans are born on 3rd base (0+ / 0-)

    but believe they hit a triple.

  •  we never see the numbers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, JeffW

    for the likelihood of someone going from the top 5 % to the bottom 5 %.  Basically, it doesn't happen in the absence of mental health issues.

    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

    by BPARTR on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:07:10 AM PST

  •  what is "hard work"? (10+ / 0-)

    is it merely logging a lot of hours on the clock?
    Is it staying with a project until it reaches a successful outcome, even if that never happens?
    Is it the physical effort involved in performing one's paid duties?
    Is it enduring a nightmare boss/job/coworker/work environment?

    I can think of a lot of different types of 'hard work', and most of them do not carry any kind of implicit promise of fabulous wealth. Mostly they just provide physical degradation and drudgery. The hardest work I ever did (as a job) was digging a three hundred foot trench. It took all summer. I got paid crap. My back has never been the same. Likewise, I have written, recorded, and produced albums of original music that have been generally well received, but I could never muster the cash or clout to get a record company exec to come see my bands or listen to my music. Those labors of love took years of persistence, talent, effort, diplomacy...and I might have pocketed $.50 per unit sold.

    When Republicans talk about the virtues of hard work, they generally mean "a job, usually inherited, that involves sitting, with a fabulous compensation package and zero accountability".

    Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

    by kamarvt on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:45:29 AM PST

    •  Repblican virtues of hard work? (0+ / 0-)

      I think that you could add to your meaning some aspect of never having to face failure, always failing upward.  Sorta like the creatures who get into ivy league schools where people are never allowed to fail (see "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell), people like Geithner, or Powell, who regardless of the damage they do to our nation are always rewarded.

  •  It's easy to become rich (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, Lily O Lady, JeffW

    just choose your parents wisely.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:27:19 PM PST

  •  I have a hard time with the words "the poor." (4+ / 0-)

    "Poor" is a synonym for "bad." (As in, "poor sportsmanship" or "a poor showing.") And it's too general.

    What we're talking about is people who, regardless of their efforts:

    --Lack the same opportunity from Day 1
    --Lack the same safety net for mistakes and business risks (Drunky McCokespoon became president after blowing up 2 companies)
    --Lack the same support in raising a family (Kids can bankrupt a person with no safety net. A rich person can just get a nanny.)
    --Can work several jobs but never get ahead
    --Can get sick and never get decent treatment
    --Can have one medical accident and be indebted and/or disabled forever.

    Many people think of the untreated mentally ill, addicts and undocumented immigrants who are paid shit and treated like shit by employers when they think of the "poor." But no, we're also talking about people who work (or desperately want to) at regular part-time jobs but can't make it, or who have lost fulltime jobs, or whose businesses have gone under.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:37:25 PM PST

  •  They don't need to explain because we should.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, JeffW grateful

    Paul Krugman calls it the "Hereditary Principle"

    This actually represents a break with the previous defense of the rich. Until now, the official line has been that what we need are incentives — that jaawwb creeaytohrs won’t do their thing unless we dangle the carrot of immense wealth in front of them. But now we’re supposed to think that it’s not the prospect of future wealth, but wealth in being, that’s what is really so wonderful.
        But this is how it’s going. If the right continues to make political gains, coming next is a reaffirmation of the hereditary principle.

    - emphasis added

  •  Belief in Inequality is a Core Conservative Value (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarthMeow504, JeffW

    Upon re-reading Bob Altemeyer's work and John W. Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience, one of the things that comes up repeatedly is that conservatives who score high on the Right Wing Authoritarian scale believe  that efforts to support equality, on any basis, are personally threatening. And conservative politics is nothing if not authoritarian these days.

    RWA followers see the world as a scary place, in black and white terms. They want to believe that some people have more because they deserve it, and those who don't, don't. They regard any effort to do something about that as a threat to their own place in the world, a change in the established order they accept as it is. They believe their leaders, who tend to be high SDO types, when they tell them it is a bad thing.

    Their high SDO leaders, also high on the RWA scale, believe the world is a savage place where only the fittest survive - them. They believe they are entitled to anything they can beg, borrow, or steal as their just reward for their superior abilities. Damn right they're going to fight equality!

    It's one big reason they have rewritten history to 'explain' the Declaration of Independence and the Consititution in ways that deemphasize majority rule and "all men are created equal" because they rightfully recognize that as a danger to their world view.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:47:29 PM PST

    •  I often write that US conservative (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, JeffW

      politics is a random assembly of groups and movements that have little in common outside of authoritarian leadership. "Pro-life." Firearms. Gay marriage. Etc. Completely unrelated outside of well moneyed persons telling people where they place in the pantheon of "rules."

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 01:37:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  John Dean makes that point in his book (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Modern conservatism is made up of multiple factions held together largely by only one thing - shared enemies. Without them, they'd be at each other's throats.

        Dean puts a lot of effort into trying to define just what conservatism is; he ultimately gives up. It keeps redefining itself, and the latest iteration is unabashedly authoritarian.

        For my own part, I suspect Dean can't define the core principles of conservatism because he can't reconcile them with his own feelings about what they amount to in theory and in practice.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 01:59:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Seems a bit arbitrary to choose California... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis the model, since the best upward mobility was found elsewhere.

    It might surprise some to look at the map in the linked diary, and see that the best upward mobility seems to be in some very conservative areas, particularly in the western plains and mountain states.

    Also, for those that did not see the linked diary, the researchers analyzed some of the possible factors that might be leading to lack of upward mobility. Some hints at that "something else" that is going on from the linked diary:

    The researchers concluded that larger tax credits for the poor and higher taxes on the affluent seemed to improve income mobility only slightly. The economists also found only modest or no correlation between mobility and the number of local colleges and their tuition rates or between mobility and the amount of extreme wealth in a region.

    But the researchers identified four broad factors that appeared to affect income mobility, including the size and dispersion of the local middle class. All else being equal, upward mobility tended to be higher in metropolitan areas where poor families were more dispersed among mixed-income neighborhoods.

    Income mobility was also higher in areas with more two-parent households, better elementary schools and high schools, and more civic engagement, including membership in religious and community groups.

  •  republicans are richer they work harder (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    republicans continue to engage in a self-indulgent mythology they have built for their house of cards.  the tragedy is there is a large segment of our population, lacking a capacity for critical thinking, that actually believes them.

    •  Not just republicans. (0+ / 0-)

      Take a look at the DLC Democrats, people like Obama who identify with the wealthy and act like the enablers of alcoholics; selling out workers and buying into the lie that our economy is recovering when the wealthy, and the wealthy only, are raking in the money.

      •  democrats too (0+ / 0-)

        of course you are right to a point, but you really have to look at an obstructionist congress made of mostly republicans who are responsible for a situation that isn't improving.  who is it that are actually attacking the less fortunate?

        •  Of course. (0+ / 0-)

          But that does not excuse the benign neglect practiced by Obama and other Democrats.

          All it says to me is that in 2014 I will need to vote as a progressive first and Democrat second.  I have had enough of holding my nose and without a progressive candidate will probably not vote at all.

          •  of course benign neglect? (0+ / 0-)

            there isn't much the president can do but you are correct about some of the democrats. i agree with you to be a progressive first.  without progressives, i don't know where this country would be and i understand labor unions are looking to back more progressive candidates instead of backing someone who claims to be a democrat.

  •  The rich ARE the REAL parasites. (5+ / 0-)
    "There are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, 'You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it.' No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle."

    Abraham Lincoln
    --October 15, 1858 Debate at Alton

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 03:28:23 PM PST

  •  The hardest-workers are the ones who do the shit- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    work that the rest of us don't want to do.

    And, they often need several shitwork jobs just to make ends meet.

  •  Obviously a CEO who is paid 400x what... (3+ / 0-)

    ...a 40-hour-a-week schlubb is working... working 16,000 hours a week. :)

  •  Once again (3+ / 0-)

    the left has to get better at "sloganizing" messaging.

    Instead of making a heady, complex economic argument with facts and figures, you have to condense the argument into a sentence or two.  IE:

    "Capitalism only works if it works from the bottom up, not the top down."

    And then, once you condense the message - just like the rightwingnuts, repeat it in an echo chamber about a gazillion times.

    Until we learn how to do that, the right will continue to win on messaging with the simpletons who do not have or refuse to use any critical thinking or deductive reasoning skills, simply because they've learned to simplify messaging and take full advantage of the echo chamber they've carefully built.

  •  The difference between the modern rich (0+ / 0-)

    and the ancient aristocracy, is the aristocracy had some semblance of a sense of obligation to those who grew their food and made their stuff. A king owed it to his people to provide them with a lifestyle comparable to their own. Otherwise, he couldn't count on them to, well, not revolt and ruin his chances of staying king among other things.

    Seems we lost that along the time bankers stopped stabbing one another when they got too greedy.

    Or, maybe that's just nostalgia blowing a few brief instances out of proportion..either way..the situation as it is now has lead to a lot of unhappy endings with the wealthy class in the past.

    Nicht durch Zorn, sondern durch Lachen tödtet man. ~Nietzsche

    by somewierdguy on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:30:02 PM PST

  •  why? accepting this as some quality that defines (0+ / 0-)

    republicanism, or is something to be expected by cruel people or people who lack empathy or are stupid is not instructive. this difference is not because they're republicans or because people who believe that crap end up voting republicans.

    this huge difference is because they live in an alternate reality.

    the difference is because dems don't listen to RW talk radio and fox and republicans depend on it.

    those four that they score so high on have been pounded into the republican reality every day in almost the exact wording for over 20 years from 1200 radio stations. it sunk in.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:32:59 PM PST

  •  There's a Yiddish saying (3+ / 0-)
    If hard work was so wonderful, the rich would keep it all for themselves
  •  Great diary (0+ / 0-)

    And everyone should click and read the link to the poll results you posted.  This one:

    voters want to see the minimum wage increased and unemployment aid extended
  •  Dawn to Dusk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Square Knot, not a lamb

    If you live in a third world country and work dawn to dusk, that means you work rings around almost any American, except maybe farmers.  So you would never ever make one inch of progress, and get no off days, etc.  Afterall, you might have to walk 3 miles to bring home 5 gallons of water.  Your thirsty kids don't get a day off from needing food and drink. Republicans need to do more traveling and not stay in fancy hotels.

  •  Home Healthcare Workers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Square Knot, jbsoul

    I know someone who has been a HHA for 30 years. She graduated high school with good grades, but never considered herself college material. For as long as I have known her, she has worked at or just above minimum wage. She has always worked multiple jobs simultaneously. I don't mean two jobs, I mean 3 - 4 jobs. She has always worked nights and rarely enjoys what we would call a weekend. Right now, she does nights (12 hour shifts) 5 days a week for clients who are total care (incontinent). Additionally, she has 4 other clients that she cares for during the day at 2 - 4 hours a piece, 2 - 3 x/week.

    My friend has made it a priority to maintain a car. One of her other co-workers, during the recent Polar Vortex snows we've had in the Northeast, arose at 3 am to catch 3 buses to arrive on time at 7 am for her 12 hour shift caring for an incontinent patient. This for barely $9.25/ hour. So in 24 hours, this woman will have spent cooking, cleaning bathing  someone for 12 hours and nearly 6 hours travelling on public transit before falling into her own bed for a few hours of sleep.

    I wonder how many of us, let alone the wealthy, looked outside and turned over and decided to stay home? Who among us would ride 3 buses in the dark and cold for the 'privilege' of cleaning someone's waste?
    Every time I hear about how hard work people will get ahead, I feel nauseated. I doubt David Brooks, et. al. would last more than an hour in these women's shoes.

    The right is not trumpeting hard work--they don't know hard work. They are demonizing people for being born poor, raised in impoverished communities, educated in failing schools and stuck in low wage jobs.

    If every minimum wage worker went on strike for a day, do you think the rich would notice?

    "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."

    by never forget 2000 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:45:18 PM PST

  •  I just don't understand that lie. (0+ / 0-)

    It sure has legs and it is a pernicious and dangerous lie that I fear will end up crippling our social cohesion.  When the poor and working class wake up to the fact that the wealthy have not earned their remuneration why would they ever want to support a government that has abandoned them?  And, I blame the DLC Democrats for this just as I do the generic republican mind set.

    So, let me rant - I hear about teaching "critical thinking" all the time, and to me that is just stale Aristotelian logic with a veneer of gullibility - treating competing ideas as initially equivalent.  In truth, and especially when such thinking has never worked for natural philosophy (Science) all it seems to me is that "critical thinking" is a dogwhistle for those who want the freedom to deny science by promoting truthiness.   Why else would promoters of creationism also say they promote critical thinking?  Why not teach habits of Skeptical Thought instead, especially to K-12 when children are developmentally gullible?  Oh, I know - healthy skepticism negates any consideration that all ideas are equal, that arguments from authority are bullshit until proven otherwise, and the first thing to do is question the motivation of those giving you received wisdom.  You can't have children learning that.

    So, with a population of people unable to accomplish operational thought, dumbed down by appeals to "critical thinking" I sure can see how the lie that the wealthy have earned their economic position in society can get widespread traction.

  •  Yep! Those rich people work their butts off ... (0+ / 0-)

    except for those who don't.

    I've only had contact with the filthy rich once - I did not particularly like them, but I'm willing to believe that some rich people earned their wealth.  However, the people I'm talking about inherited it.  They picked their parents well!

  •  In the end, we should avoid generalizing (0+ / 0-)

    about the rich, just as the Republicans should stop over-generalizing about the poor (and, increasingly, the middle class).

    The fundamental policy issue remains the growing inequality, fostered by economic policies that are built on the lie that tax cuts for the rich stimulate the economy.  Workers are not sharing in productivity gains, nor profits.  To make headway on this issue, we need to take the focus off the people, i.e., "rich," "poor," etc. and focus on the growing and ruinous dysfunctional economic system.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:58:03 PM PST

  •  rich people work harder (0+ / 0-)

    they work harder at trying to convince everyone they work harder when we all know they are not the ones that keep the economic engine moving they are only along for the ride.
    if anything they are complicit with the gop in keeping the 99% from reaching their goal of the american dream by not allowing real workers to earn a living wage that is commensurate with their work ethic.
    thanks rich people for nothing!

    save america defeat all republicans and conservatives

  •  Appalled (0+ / 0-)

    I  am simply Appalled at the attitudes and beliefs here sometimes.  I can come here and see some serious thought that is deep at times and highly critical overall.  Simply browbeating certain people or income levels is completely Absurd.  There are so many anecdotal comments pigeonholing top without having a better understanding of their , it's pathetic.  I bust my butt to develop what I do and pay my people top level income.  I am part of a group of  private equity investors as a developer   In addition to my business and my associates  would never conduct themselves in a manner proscribed as these comments.  I'm truly disappointed in the  attitudes here.  It's one thing to identify and isolate cause and effect relationships but is another and equally offensive to stereotype a class of people one way.  Some would call it racist in other parts.  If you rail against 1 percenters  I would imagine you know none.

  •  Three comfortable ladies on their way to (0+ / 0-)

    play golf yesterday, waiting at a red light, observe a bag lady pushing her cart of worldly possessions.  One says, "There but for the grace of God."  Another chimes in, "I wonder if she'd rather be on her way to play golf?  I am grateful every day I'm not in her shoes."  The first lady says, "Me, too.  I never take it for granted."

    Two of us in the car had experienced poverty in our previous lives.  The third was oblivious as to what we were talking about.

  •  The only reason (0+ / 0-)

    The only reason the GOP says these things, I think is because they feel they must justify their wealth. Those that are not wealthy GOP believe this statements so they can justify why they aren't wealthy.

    Most of the wealthy GOP have no concept of being poor, good example romney. It's above their intellect. They likely even know yet not admit the people who keep this country running and them in their wealth is the average American worker....not the wealthy.

  •  Rich (0+ / 0-)

    But hard work is NO guarantee of success. For sure advantages are a big help.

  •  29% of Democrats think circumstance isn't the (0+ / 0-)

    major issue. We have a lot of educating to do.

  •  Donald Trump, Koch Brothers, Rockafellars, Bushes (0+ / 0-)

    Every one of these rich people and their families have had the benefit of every advantage available from good educations, introductions to the right people and in most cases protected entry level jobs where they could learn how to manage the family business.  Of course, some of these heirs were more successful than other.  The Rockafellars became bankers, governors, senators etc.  The "Donald" saw his casino go bankrupt and is reduced to a pandering celebrity seeker.  Hardly the kind of son to make his real estate owning father proud.    Still, even he hasn't been reduced to the rank of the middle class; despite his financial problems.   No way that hard work alone can account for these families' wealth.

  •  Empathy or Not? (0+ / 0-)

    I suggest reading The Social Conquest of Earth be E. O. Wilson.  As I understand it, we are experiencing the inevitable tension between the desire to be selfish and the need to support others (our society).  Both of these demands are hard-wired as well as influenced by our environment (its very complicated), but they are an essential aspect of what drives us succeed as humans.  I think these polls reflect the range of the expression of these urges within our society and the gene pool that has evolved to date.

    So the main thing we can learn from this is that we should not look at it from the perspective of right/wrong or good/bad or us/them.  We are all "them", and the entire range of behaviors is needed to maintain our existence (at least its got us to 7 Billion people).  I suspect that given the environmental stresses created by global warming and population growth, we need more "social support" and too much selfishness is ultimately destructive.  However, I am not sure how we find the balance or try sort out the best path forward.  I think we all just keep doing what we think is best and society will lurch and stumble into the future.

  •  If being born wealthy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is not the biggest factor in determining future wealth, then why are all those "self-made millionaires" excoriating "death taxes" that would result in making it necessary for their kids to self-make a little tiny bit also.    

    Isn't it interesting that liberal philanthropist Warren Buffett plans to give 99% of his wealth to the Gates Foundation instead of to his children.  Buffett said in his letter to the Gates Foundation: "I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing."

    And if education is the greatest equalizer why is it that so many of these same super wealthy Conservatives fight financing for public education at all levels insuring that it becomes more and more expensive instead of fighting to make it free for all people to access?

  •  Republicans LIE (0+ / 0-)

    Some of those fact checking organizations have done studies and they all come to the same conclusion.. Republicans LIE 300% more than democrats.

    Democrats are are from perfect but they is a much higher chance that you will get the truth out of one than you would have with republicans.

    They always lie and claim that they are 'self made men' but the truth is that they were helped every step of the way by well connected families or friends.

    People who started out poor rarely ever strike it rich and if they do, it usually comes down to being in the right place at the right time with a good idea.

    Like the guy who invented the electric car in the late 1800's, he would have been richer than Croesus except for the fact that Standard oil found massive amounts of oil in 1912 and that was the end of electric cars. The owner of Standard Oil then bought the patent when the guy was ruined and stored it away to make sure no one else could cut into his monopoly of providing fuel for vehicles.

    The rich are evil, just plain evil and that is how they get ahead by scheming, plotting and corruption.

  •  Best Rebuttle Ever to those who love the rich! (0+ / 0-)

    Hard work?
    So all those people working a 40+ hour work week in slave labor conditions both here and overseas in sweatshops, etc. don't work hard?!?  That's why they live in squalor and poverty and can't afford to feed themselves?  That's the lie the rich want you to digest to maintain the status quo.  Money doesn't disappear into thin air, it is siphoned into the pockets of the rich through greed and corrupt regulations.  Then it is hidden in overseas accounts that are tax free.  Sort of like a monetary 'ice age'.

    Then there are all those college graduates with advanced degrees and high honors and gpa's that can't even find work outside of walmart.  Didn't work hard?!?  You must be retarded to swallow that bile!  I know that's a lie because I am one of those, graduated with a degree in mathematical theory with straight A's, valedictorian, etc.    My reward?  Student loans.  Thanks!  American dream?   Dead.

    Properity gospel?  These are some of the biggest fools of all!
    Tell them to read the parable of the rich man and the beggar in the bible.  According to Jesus, the poor homeless beggar ended up in heaven while the rich man landed his behind in hell.  Take that, you rich hypocrites!!!  Jesus is Lord and He loves the poor, oppressed, and downtrodden by society!

    Good morning.  Welcome to reality!

  •  So I guess that billionaires (0+ / 0-)

    must work 1,000 times harder than millionaires...

    our teachers' union - the first, and often only, line of defense for your children's education

    by FeldMP on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 07:30:25 PM PST

  •  That's what happened in 1932. (0+ / 0-)

    Everyone (even the poor, mostly) believed that only LAZY people could not find a job.  Then, in 1929-1931, TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT of Americans suddenly "got lazy" at the same time.  That was what elected FDR.

    He saved us from home grown fascism, then from Hitler.

  •  There is a silver lining in this cloud (0+ / 0-)

    I think most everyone here has taken this poll as just another example of the crude thinking and bad behavior of "Republicans". But look closer: 60 percent of Independents and fully 42 percent of Republicans agree that "the economic system unfairly favors the wealthy".  There is a real opening here for a truly progressive Democratic party - I mean progressive on economic issues.

    As I read it: a great many of those Republican voters regularly bashed here on DKos are ordinary, hard-working people who believe in the basic promise of American life: that honest work brings economic security.  They want to believe the system is basically fair, that a person who does an honest day's toil gets an honest day's pay, etc.  They want to believe that individual effort really does make a difference, because hey, if it didn't then we're all screwed, right? What's the point of trying at all?  And this, in my estimation, is one reason you see the typical numbers on the poll for Republican responses to things like how much individual effort matters, etc. But in spite of this, 42 of Republicans percent believe the system is rigged against them.  

    Time to stop complaining about Republicans who lack empathy, etc, and start teaching.  Arm yourselves with the facts, Kossacks, and start to change the minds of that 42% about where their real interest lies.  They already understand the system is rigged in favor of the rich; so now it's time to teach them just how much.  Teach them what we already claim to know: that it is not immigrants, blacks, liberals, gays, etc that are stealing their economic security, it is the Man.

    It is time to really push the Democratic party in an economically progressive direction.  


    A Headset to go to work and handled one crazy phone call after the other.  Believe me, those $9.25 an hour jobs all over Florida are one step above Prison.  In Prison, you get your three meals a day, and there is a toilet right in your cell, so you don't have to ask permission to take off your headset and go to the Bathroom while a camera is watching your every move.  

    I am going back to my old job this week as an old-fashioned Secretary to an old-fashioned boss with quaint things like shorthand and typing, phones and setting up meetings, faxing and filing, and I will be happier than a pig in a poke without those headsets and cameras on me.  

    Believe me when I tell you that we may turn the tide and go back to having jobs once more, but they are never going to be the types of jobs my Grandfather had when he packed his lunch everyday, took a bus to a Philadelphia factory and when he retired in his 35th year, they gave him a gold watch and a party.

    Most Republicans who came up in a wealthier household than I did do not work harder.  They got their money the old-fashioned way.  Daddy and Mommy put them through school and now they get a six figure salary and weekends and holidays off.  They certainly don't wear a headset and make $9.25 an hour.

  •  I PROMISE you ... I work harder than Jamie Dimond! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm relatively sure that you do, too.  Now, it IS possible, I grant you, that, maybe, 10 or 20 years ago, Jamie worked harder than either of us.  Who cares??  Business today is ALL about "what have you done for me lately?", and I can't ever recall being rewarded on any job for anything I did more than 2 or 3 years ago, if they even look back that long!

    As a measure of Mr. D's RECENT job performance, I'll mention that JPMChase  was fined $15 BILLION dollars over the last year or two, but they gave JD a $17 Million Dollar bonus, and recently announced that he'll get a raise in salary this year, while wages at the company I work at (one of the vanishingly few in the US that still MAKES THINGS, instead of just moving piles of money around, which, apparently, is Jamie's "special" skill) are STILL frozen.

    So why, exactly, is Dimond worth Billions, while you and I scrape to get by?  Anybody?  Anybody?  Beuhler?

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:24:40 AM PST

  •  The 5 causes of poverty (0+ / 0-)

    1) Handicap or mental illness (for which there is already a safety net in place)

    2) Lack of education or willingness to be educated

    3) Drugs or alcohol addiction

    4) No baby daddy

    5) Criminal activity (see 3 and 4)

    All except the first have to do with...wait for it..: Personal Responsibility.

    Sorry folks, it is NOT because some rich republicans took "money" from numbers 2 through fact, it seems that more money is flowing the other way, and lining the pockets of "Community Organizers"...

  •  The rich people are fat and lazy! (0+ / 0-)

    "Rich people are rich because they worked harder, my ass."  --  Right on!  In my 60+ years of experience, the rich people are the most lazy, fat, spoiled brats on Earth!  
    It is only their own self-conceit and self-justifications saying that they deserve it!  The ego-maniacs need to eat a large dose of humble pie!

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