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Sen. Sherrod Brown talks with supporter
Voters want Sherrod Brown policies, not Third Way policies.
Americans want the government to take steps to reduce income inequality—and they definitely don't see Republicans doing that. According to a new CNN/ORC International poll, 66 percent of registered voters agree with the statement "The government should work to substantially reduce the income gap between the rich and the poor," with 42 percent saying they agree strongly.
"That sentiment may put Republicans in a difficult position, because nearly seven in 10 of those surveyed believe GOP policies favor the rich compared to the 30% of respondents who said Democratic policies benefit the wealthy," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
In fact, opinion over who Democratic policies favor is fairly evenly divided: 30 percent say Democrats favor the rich, 30 percent say they favor the poor, and 36 percent say they favor the middle class.

The problem, as we see election after election, is that polling on the issues isn't necessarily reflected in voting in predictable ways. Republicans are not paying enough of a price for being out of step with Americans on this issue. But Democrats should take it to heart. Third Way is not going to show the way on issues of economic inequality. Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren are.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:07 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Damned Socialists! (17+ / 0-)

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:10:55 AM PST

    •  You just don't understand (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM, gjohnsit, jbsoul, Laconic Lib

      All the hardships rich people have to suffer with every....single...day!!!!!

      •  monopoly anyone (0+ / 0-)

        Capitalism demands, its very agenda is income inequality just as the game of monopoly demands it.

        In a nation of individualism, systemic thinking is  almost nonexistent.

        Example of this phenomena: American voters blame politicians for their woes when in fact politicians are only a mirror reflection of the American voters.

        Example 95% of problem are systemic: Americans ie as most of the world, have that backwards and believe 95% of problems are individuals.

        Example Americans think if they can solve each individual mental illness problem they can solve the gun murder rate problem.

    •  All you commies, moochers and hobos.. (4+ / 0-)

      can't stand  any one of you any longer.....I'm off to Somalia...see ya!!!
      Oppss!! I forgot  my AK47...

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

      by tuma on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:47:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is progress when more people (14+ / 0-)

    open their eyes and see.   We have to keep working to unmask the illusion of Horatio Alger and open peoples' eyes to the reality of their own lives.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:28:43 AM PST

  •  The thirty percent (9+ / 0-)

    who believe that the GOP does not favor the rich...
     are either rich
    or think that they are soon to become rich....
    because they watch Fox News.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:44:50 AM PST

  •  If You Tell Americans or Democrats What Policies (17+ / 0-)

    historically minimized inequality, they all run screaming from the room.

    There hasn't been a mainstream progressive voice or message since the Beatles were still together.

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

    by Gooserock on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:55:58 AM PST

  •  If people keep waiting for the government to (4+ / 0-)

    make it happen, then it will never happen.

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:59:34 AM PST

  •  Sherrod Brown vs Food Stamps (5+ / 0-)

    Didn't Sherrod Brown just "show the way on income inequality" by voting for the Farm Bill that cut about $400 a year from each Food Stamps recipient's nutrition?

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:02:16 AM PST

    •  So did Warren and Sanders, what's your point? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbsoul

      Seriously, other than "It ain't gonna happen"?

      What will you do about it? What do you suggest others do about it?

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:09:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was a bad move all around (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbsoul

        and one more glaring example of how ThirdWay Dem leadership in the WH and Congress is destroying our party.

        Shit can't be tolerated anymore.  These fools need to develop a better strategy for dealing with the GOP in Congress, a strategy that doesn't come from PR fluffers, lobbyists and corporate hacks.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:03:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Point Is Brown (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbsoul

        This diary specifically is promoting Brown as a leader against income equality. Yet he voted to cut Food Stamps.

        That's my point. What's yours? That cutting Food Stamps is leadership on income equality?

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:00:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I know, right? (5+ / 0-)

      Bothers me too. I sweated blood to get that man elected. Don't know what to think now.

      I need to call or email his office again and bitch but obviously pressuring him to vote against it didn't do any good so I'll probably get a line of mumbling shit from his flunkies. Sigh.

      Makes you wanna holler.

      Still, he has a solid Progressive record. I don't know what the hell to think about this. It's really indefensible.

    •  Government (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unfangus

      is compromise.

    •  But it's not each recipient (4+ / 0-)

      It's an oddly-structured cut that only affects certain recipients, and accepts them harshly. Everyone else keeps their current benefits. It has to do with whether a given state can afford and chooses to pay SNAP receiving households that don't directly pay for their own heat at least $20 in HEAP subsidies each year. Many states can't, even if they wanted to, because it has to be paid from federal LIHEAP funds, and those are limited by law and quite modest. Basically, the inability to pay up to $20 per household per YEAR in HEAP benefits means that these same households stand to lose hundreds per year in SNAP benefits. It's simply insane. But it won't affect everybody.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:40:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That just gave me a great idea (0+ / 0-)

        What you mention above is just another example of crappy public policy, crafted by people who intend to profit from it and lie to DC Dem leaders by making them think they can sell it to the public.

        IMO, most of our problems with DC in general and DC Dems in particular is that our government and party are being run by a bunch of 20 yr old legislative staffers and former leg staffers who have crossed over to corporate lobbying jobs.  Dem elected officials know less and less about what's going on vis a vis legislation and public policy because they're spending literally every waking moment raising money for their political campaigns.

        Why not create a pool of progressive Dem citizen activists with brains, ethics and life experience who would be willing to donate their time and skills to go to DC and replace these staffers?  Who would be willing to donate their time and efforts to go to DC for a year or 6 months to work in a Dem Congressperson's office with no expectation of cashing in as a lobbyist or being bought by dinners or other perks?

        The work is somewhat hard, but not that difficult to learn, especially for those who already have a lifetime of experience and follow politics closely.

        It would be a great opportunity for any political activist or concerned citizen who is willing to tolerate low or no pay in exchange for 1 yr. of public service in a Dem Congressperson's office.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:20:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of these staffers are the sons and daughters (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Betty Pinson

          nephews and nieces, etc., of major donors and lobbyists, I'm guessing, or put there at the demand "request" or "suggestion" or "advice" of lobbyists in exchange for...major campaign donations their heartfelt gratitude!

          ALEC and such basically runs over half of congress.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:29:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, replacing some of them (0+ / 0-)

            with good people who don't have a personal/career agenda and are willing to promote Main Street ideas and POV in the halls of Congress is a good idea.

            Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

            by Betty Pinson on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:34:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We could recruit a pool of Main Street people (0+ / 0-)

              and give them training in the nuts and bolts of Congress, while asking them to commit to limited service.  Get Dem members of Congress and even the WH to agree to hire them to work in their offices.

              Citzen-Staffers.

              Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

              by Betty Pinson on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:41:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  A great idea (0+ / 0-)

              But how to implement given current incentive structures in politics? We're talking about a major transformation of how politics is done. I can see a few like Warren and Sanders hiring such people, but they probably already have. The problem is how to get a less, shall we say, pure-minded pol to do same?

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:40:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  i believe warren voted no /nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib
    •  That was virtually a no-alternative move (0+ / 0-)

      Sure, they could have held up the Farm Bill FOREVER because the Republican planted their flag at must-do food assistant cuts of some kind. No bill was ever going to pass with none. And holding up the Farm Bill currently is hurting Republicans. Holding it up indefinitely for something that was impossible to get would have hurt Democrats.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:19:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Then they should vote for it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    Well their voting sure does not demonstrate it.  Nor do most bother to demonstrate.

  •  The Repug base couldn't care less about inequality (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    starduster, OHdog, Laconic Lib

    The 66% is probably Dems and independents.

    In the recesses of their minds inequality is what people deserve for being non-white or freeloading 47%.

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

    by Shockwave on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:21:22 AM PST

  •  Eliminate Gerrymandering and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    merrywidow, OHdog

    you eliminate the GOP.

    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by cyeko on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:23:17 AM PST

  •  It's simple and hard at the same time (6+ / 0-)

    If you want government to make your life better - don't vote for people who tell you government isn't the answer, it's the problem. Demand you get your fair share of what tax money is supposed to provide everyone - not just 'business'.

    Until politicians start losing elections on this, until they get challenged in primaries over this, it'll be same old, same old.

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

    by xaxnar on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:25:06 AM PST

  •  Maybe getting rid of the existing policies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    that favor more wealth accumulation to those who already have plenty ould be a good place to start.

    "The Trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." attributed to Lily Tomlin

    by uniqity on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:26:01 AM PST

  •  Perhaps (4+ / 0-)

    But even more than that they want everyone to be a rugged self-reliant from the bootstraps individualist like Bill O'Reilly who never in his life took a single dime from government or made any use of government services such as roads, bridges, loans, loan guarantees, loan subsidies, food safety regulations, etc., that they didn't pay for on the spot and in full.

    I.e. Americans want to be like magical unicorn ponies.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:32:56 AM PST

  •  See Norther Europe. Higher taxes on the rich (6+ / 0-)

    so the state can provide almost free health care and education and those economies are doing better than ours too.

    now there may not be as many gazillionaires, but the rest of the people don't starve or die from lack of care and they can afford college and there are trains and public transportation.

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:33:41 AM PST

  •  Germany. Stronger labor unions and higher (8+ / 0-)

    taxes and good manufacturing economy but again, the rich may not be able to get stinking rich at the expense of others

    it is a CHOICE we need to make

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:34:36 AM PST

  •  Laura, truer words never spoken: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Laconic Lib
    Republicans are not paying enough of a price for being out of step with Americans on this issue. But Democrats should take it to heart.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:34:41 AM PST

  •  The problem is we don't market these issues (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango, a2nite

    There are all kinds of effective cudgels we could use in marketing but we never really take it to the voters. I believe Obama has been particularly ineffective at this. He brings up an issue in a great presentation and then doesn't use his bully pulpit to pound away and becomes very unfocused.

    I can't speak for those seeking legislative office but I suspect that it's the same for most of those candidates as well.

  •  President Sherrod Brown? (6+ / 0-)

    Dare I dream?
    A president fighting fighting for the little guy.

    It's been a while...

  •  That's a really balanced view (0+ / 0-)

    "30 percent say Democrats favor the rich, 30 percent say they favor the poor, and 36 percent say they favor the middle class."

    If opinion reflects agenda (we would hope, but not necessarily true) then the Dems appear to be pushing a financial balance of roughly 30-40-30.  Which is a good balance compared to what we have now.

    I would say ideally Democrats would be viewed in a 10-80-10 ratio.  But, that's probably 1000 years in the future.

    What's the difference between the Federal government and organized crime? One's legally sanctioned.

    by FrankenPC on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:42:07 AM PST

  •  Diary (4+ / 0-)
    But Democrats should take it to heart. Third Way is not going to show the way on issues of economic inequality
    But we seem to have a Third Way President , we as democrats should take something , and its not just HEART

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:45:21 AM PST

  •  The problem with all such poll questions is that (0+ / 0-)

    it tells you  nothing about how much of a priority americans think this should be for the government. These numbers mean nothing for democrats if americans don't see addressing this disparity as a priority.

  •  CNN said this is the same response for 40 years (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, AlexDrew, WillR

    That quote from the CNN polling director makes absolutely no sense in light of this following paragraph:

    Opinion on the income gap appears to have changed little since the Reagan era. In 1983, 68% of Americans favored government action to narrow the divide. Today, that number stands at 66%.
    Americans have been answering this question in the same numbers for 40 years..
    "That sentiment may put Republicans in a difficult position, because nearly seven in 10 of those surveyed believe GOP policies favor the rich compared to the 30% of respondents who said Democratic policies benefit the wealthy," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
    How does it put the GOP in a more difficult position now than 1 year before Reagan was elected to a second term in a landslide election???

    kinda dopey analysis on his part..

  •  Yes. Yes, I do. (0+ / 0-)

    But, I want to be a bit more specific.  

    I want some controls over how publicly held corporations compensate executives, such that executives can only enrich themselves by enriching the employees to at least some extent, at the same time.

    If they get stock, we get stock.
    If they get bonuses, we get bonuses.
    If they get salaries, we get salaries  

    There need to be some minimum thresholds in place, so that employee compensation is tied to executive compensation.  

    I also think there need to be some controls over how thoroughly executives can enrich themselves on publicly held corporations that are underwater.

  •  To push a class warfare agenda (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    socialismorbarbarism

    You need to adopt some of the language of war and embrace the idea of conflict over diplomacy as a means.  There has to be a more militant fringe that pushes the debate leftward.

  •  Questionable headline. (0+ / 0-)

    Seems to me there's potentially a very wide gap between the government working to substantially reduce the gap and the government making it happen.

    Maybe it's all semantics, maybe not.

    I don't see the government making it happen so much as allowing it to happen by fixing many of the things that smack ordinary Americans in the face, including a tax system that thinks it's OK for middle-class workers (such as are left) to subsidize the poor with a sizable hunk of their earnings but unseemly to ask that the rich do likewise.

    The places I can see direct government intervention making a big difference?

    1. Fix health care.  Not health insurance, that was more or less handled by ACA.  Health care -- the stuff that all those providers, umm, provide.

    2. Buy American.  Yeah, I know.  It's provincial. It's small minded. But -- those government funds come out of our pockets.  It's our money. We fund the government. Is it too much to ask that government gives us this small consideration?

    3.  Buy electric cars. Buy bio-diesel fuel. Provide a reliable market for sustainable energy in a way that leads to increasing infrastructure.  That'll make it a whole lot easier for the rest of us to follow suit.

    That may not sound like an inequity kind of issue, but it is:
    again, somebody has to provide the infrastructure (and we're buying American, remember?), but also -- some of the alternative energy sources don't require massive refineries and the like to be attractive.  That frees ordinary Americans -- at least some -- from the tyranny of big energy.

    4.  Undo the changes that make bankruptcy harder for ordinary Americans than for businesses.

    5. Figure out why a college education costs so damn much.

    6. Promote well-paid occupations that don't require that expensive college education.

    7. And I'll bet there are a zillion others.

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

    by dinotrac on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:00:55 AM PST

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

      These soft, generalized questions could mean so many things to different people.

      For me, it means I want the government to promote American jobs.  I would not mind some protectionism if that's what it takes to make people start buying American.  But even an ad campaign by the government would be a good start.  But, also, let's have tax breaks for re-starting industries lost to overseas manufacturers.

      And let's repatriate foreign profits with low tax rates if they are used to fund start-ups in these industries.

      Inequity will never be solved by taking from the rich and giving to the poor.  We can restructure tax laws so the rich are paying more for the services government provides.  And that reduces inequity by bringing the rich down closer to average earners.

      But the only way the bring the lower income people up higher is to provide good, private sector jobs.  And that means taking back industries that left America over the last several decades.

      •  In my view, we would restructure taxes to the (0+ / 0-)

        greatest extent to eliminate differences between "them" and "us".

        I still bridle at those who referred to Mitt Romney as a good citizen for paying 13-14% of his income in income tax.

        And this is not a knock on Romney for that.  In the current tax structure, that probably does represent rich guy good citizenry, but...

        low income earners start out -- start out -- paying 15.3% on their earnings in payroll taxes alone. Spread the tax load out more equally and low and middle income earners could carry at least a slightly lower load, and that means more money in their pockets at the same time it means a little less in the pockets of rich folks. That's a direct impact on inequality.

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

        by dinotrac on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:24:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, payroll taxes could be more equitable (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AlexDrew

          and the wealthy should be paying it on more of their income.  There shouldn't be as low a cut-off on it as there is.

          My one problem with all this talk of increased income inequality is the fact that a good portion of the seeming increase in inequality can be attributed differences in demographics.

          Single-earner households are twice as prevalent nowadays than they were 30-40 years ago.  Income, as measured by household, takes a dive in almost any single-earner scenario.  If you look at the upper earner brackets, much higher percentages of those are two-earner households.  Those facts are distorting the picture somewhat and making the "inequality" gap seem larger.

          And, I disagree with you here:

          In my view, we would restructure taxes to the greatest extent to eliminate differences between "them" and "us".
          You really want the government to eliminate ALL differences in income?  Really?
          •  Are you sure about the greater prevalence of (0+ / 0-)

            single-earner households when compared to 30-40 years ago?

            I was a child a little further back than that, and I lived in a single-earner household as my mom father was killed when I was 5, but I remember most of my friends having a mom who didn't work outside of the house.  The recent economic downturn has messed around with things a bit, but I would bet that two-earner households are actually more common now than they were when I was a child.

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

            by dinotrac on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:12:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Single parent households have tripled in 50 years (0+ / 0-)

              Fathers disappear from households across America - Big increase in single mothers  

              In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.
              The spiral continues each year. Married couples with children have an average income of $80,000, compared with $24,000 for single mothers.
              And, if you look at income data, 3/4 of households in the top quintile are married.  And over 60% in the bottom quintile are not.  I would find the link for that, but I am out of time...
              •  Yes, but you also (0+ / 0-)

                have to factor in how many households that used to only have one income had to send the other parent/adult into the workforce to keep up. A small minority 40 years ago v. near-universality now?

                "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                by bryduck on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:21:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's a very different thing. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WillR

                Two-Parent hasn't always meant two earners.

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

                by dinotrac on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:24:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not as much different as you would think (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dinotrac

                  More and more married couples have increasingly both worked over the last 50 years.  The trend has moved away from a single earner in a married household.

                  So, both parents still work, but now they are considered separate for computation of "household income".  The averages drop precipitously.

                  You cannot get a true picture of income over time without factoring that in.  However, I have not found a good source for those calculations.

                  •  I think we're saying something similar but (0+ / 0-)

                    tripping over -- not sure what.

                    If I recall (and I apologize for not going back to check to be sure), you were saying that part of the inequality increase over the last 30-40 years is the increase in single-earner families.

                    My point was that dual income families weren't so prevalent at the beginning of that period as they grew to be.  Still lots of stay-at-home moms. So, over that period, while there may be substantially more single-PARENT families, the increase in single-EARNER families likely isn't as large.

                    One more thing to consider -- even single parent families aren't necessarily true single earner families.  Many of those families receive child support payments.  Not all, but that again would reduce the impact that an increasing number of single-parent families exert on income inequality.

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

                    by dinotrac on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:01:42 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, but (0+ / 0-)

                      Yes.. I agree we are dancing around the same data here...  Both the change in earners per household and single parent households need to be considered when looking at the change in income over the years.

                      Here's some historical data for 20 years that is telling:

                      Median Income by Number of Earners

                                     No Earners         One Earner            Two Earners
                      1990            18,046              39,746                 67,365
                      1995            18,613              39,161                 71,029
                      2000            19,284              42,565                 78,780
                      2005            18,167              41,928                 79,243
                      2010            18,484              41,711                 80,884

                      So, where did that extra income come from in the two-earner families?

                      Women!

                      The increases women have seen in the workplace have shot two-income families much higher than their single income counterparts.

                      Elizabeth Warren covered this some years back in a book about the trap of two-income families.  Her findings were that two-income families are devastated when they break up - much more so than single income families.  But in getting to that point, she also documented how much women factor in the the income increases in 2 earner families - they account for all of it.

                      It is these two-income families that are distorting the income inequality issue.  These families, many professionals with both working, make up the upper income workers and their income is the only one growing (along with the uber rich, of course).

                      When contrasted with the growing single earner households, the "gap" becomes stark.  You can't just look at incomes alone.. the demographics play a large role in the current state of income inequality.

                      To your last point.  I don't know if child support is included when examining "income".  I also do not know if government assistance is counted as income.  If neither are, that would further distort income inequality.

                      •  Indeed it does come from women. (0+ / 0-)

                        Not sure that two-income families distort anything except for trying to match median income numbers to increases in individual earnings. Dual earner families do indeed allow more families to enjoy a higher standard of living, although the bang for the buck is open to question because of the costs of two earners: need for child care, etc.

                        But that would actually make two earner families more easily comparable to single parent families, wouldn't it?
                        Both kinds of families incur costs that a family with stay-at-home parents don't need to shell out.

                        And we won't even get into families like mine, which, when the economy is good (and it isn't now) is a two-income family with at least 1, sometimes 2, stay-at-home (work-at-home) parents and no need for child-care because our remaining child at home is a teenager.

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

                        by dinotrac on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:51:32 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

  •  The answer to your observation. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    socialismorbarbarism
    " . . . polling on the issues isn't necessarily reflected in voting in predictable ways."
    Is cognitive dissonance.  A coherent push for programs, laws, and regulation that would act to repudiate 37 years of bias towards wealth and against labor would require . . . coherent thought.  The "culture wars," consumerist PR, and appeals to greed, all train people to compartmentalize thought in ways that isolate us from each other or allow the deliberately ignorant to compartmentalize public equality from those actions taken to destroy it.

    We would need to have political discussions about keeping costs and risk private, regulating trade to compensate for exploitable labor and public risk that is not allowed here (tariffs), employing a progressive tax structure, and a myriad of other actions since 1976 that have benefited private enterprise to the detriment of labor and the public commonwealth.

    Those discussions cannot be had today when there are merely two faces (parties) in the same pro-corporate coalition.

  •  and the solution is easy (2+ / 0-)

    roll back tax rates, policies, etc., to pre Reagan. Reaganomics is a total and proven failure. Reaganomics is nothing more than a was for the upper crust to get richer, no matter what the cost. America runs on a thriving middle class, and Reaganomics all but killed that.

    My argument is to reinstate the policies and tax rates that were in effect when America was most prosperous and that is post war Eisenhower. This was when the middle class wage earners could make enough money to have a comfortable single income household, tax rates on the super rich were high, and there were few loopholes for big businesses.

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:14:41 AM PST

  •  Income Inequality (0+ / 0-)

    If Americans REALLY want to address income inequality, they first must understand that THIS version of the GOP MUST be destroyed at the polls. They have  to be completely discredited! In my view, that requires hammering away at on a solid point ( while the GOP brays about Obamacare):

    The GOP risked the entire US economy to win an election. When millions of people were losing their jobs, their homes, their retirement nest eggs, Republicans decided that THEIR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY  was to make term president--no matter HOW MUCH it hurt Joe America. They abandoned their country and its people for he sake of politics. This decision took place ( an exclusive steak house) before Obama was inaugurated in 2009-- right in the middle of the greatest economic crisis since 1929!!

    And THAT is the way it has to be put out to the public because that's exactly what they did!! Im tired of playing nice. Democrats and progressives and independents have all the ammunition they need to sink he GOP! WHY they didnt use it, I'll never know. I comment very frequently on various online news sites and major newspapers across the country. That is EXACTLY the kind of language I use, even to the extend of questioning the GOP's patriotism, give the many times they put this country at serious risk.

    It's time to tell it like it is.  Republicans get VERY upset with me when I post such things and then document them. That is what American voters need to do: hammer away at their total obstruction the midst of crisis for political gain. That isn't nor "Loyal Opposition" behavior. And Republicans do not merely have a "different vision" for America. Their goal is to make us 2 societies--- the moneyed and corporate elite.....   and the Joe America.

    So I CHALLENGE Daily Kos and ALL voters to start speaking out on media sites. Give'em HELL!

  •  If only people voted (0+ / 0-)

    according to their best interests.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:26:54 AM PST

  •  Sherrod Brown policies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bryduck

    You mean, like voting to cut $8.7 billion from SNAP and boosting wasteful farm subsidies?

    https://www.senate.gov/...

    •  No, no--you don't understand! (0+ / 0-)

      This was the best deal they could make!
      < /supporter of unnecessary legislation>

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:22:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  level playing field (0+ / 0-)

    what americans want is a level playing field.  millionaire politicians, wealthy conservatives, and corporations have no interest in serving the public good.  our government is only as good as the people we elect to serve us.  we are at war now against those whose self interests are greater than the common good.  we are going nowhere unless we remove the influence of money from our electoral process.  that is the best place to start.

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