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http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-labor-union-decline




IN 2008, A LIBERAL Democrat was elected president. Landslide votes gave Democrats huge congressional majorities. Eight years of war and scandal and George W. Bush had stigmatized the Republican Party almost beyond redemption. A global financial crisis had discredited the disciples of free-market fundamentalism, and Americans were ready for serious change.

Or so it seemed. But two years later, Wall Street is back to earning record profits, and conservatives are triumphant. To understand why this happened, it's not enough to examine polls and tea parties and the makeup of Barack Obama's economic team. You have to understand how we fell so short, and what we rightfully should have expected from Obama's election. And you have to understand two crucial things about American politics.
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The first is this: Income inequality has grown dramatically since the mid-'70s—far more in the US than in most advanced countries—and the gap is only partly related to college grads outperforming high-school grads. Rather, the bulk of our growing inequality has been a product of skyrocketing incomes among the richest 1 percent and—even more dramatically—among the top 0.1 percent. It has, in other words, been CEOs and Wall Street traders at the very tippy-top who are hoovering up vast sums of money from everyone, even those who by ordinary standards are pretty well off.

Second, American politicians don't care much about voters with moderate incomes. Princeton political scientist Larry Bartels studied the voting behavior of US senators in the early '90s and discovered that they respond far more to the desires of high-income groups than to anyone else. By itself, that's not a surprise. He also found that Republicans don't respond at all to the desires of voters with modest incomes. Maybe that's not a surprise, either. But this should be: Bartels found that Democratic senators don't respond to the desires of these voters, either. At all.

Click here for more infographics on America's plutocracy.It doesn't take a multivariate correlation to conclude that these two things are tightly related: If politicians care almost exclusively about the concerns of the rich, it makes sense that over the past decades they've enacted policies that have ended up benefiting the rich. And if you're not rich yourself, this is a problem. First and foremost, it's an economic problem because it's siphoned vast sums of money from the pockets of most Americans into those of the ultrawealthy. At the same time, relentless concentration of wealth and power among the rich is deeply corrosive in a democracy, and this makes it a profoundly political problem as well.

How did we get here? In the past, after all, liberal politicians did make it their business to advocate for the working and middle classes, and they worked that advocacy through the Democratic Party. But they largely stopped doing this in the '70s, leaving the interests of corporations and the wealthy nearly unopposed. The story of how this happened is the key to understanding why the Obama era lasted less than two years.

The strength of unions in postwar America benefited nonunion workers, too. Unions made the American economy work for the middle class.ABOUT A YEAR ago, the Pew Research Center looked looked at the sources reporters used for stories on the economy. The White House and members of Congress were often quoted, of course. Business leaders. Academics. Ordinary citizens. If you're under 40, you may not notice anything amiss. Who else is missing, then? Well: "Representatives of organized labor unions," Pew found, "were sources in a mere 2% of all the economy stories studied."

It wasn't always this way. Union leaders like John L. Lewis, George Meany, and Walter Reuther were routine sources for reporters from the '30s through the '70s. And why not? They made news. The contracts they signed were templates for entire industries. They had the power to bring commerce to a halt. They raised living standards for millions, they made and broke presidents, and they formed the backbone of one of America's two great political parties.

They did far more than that, though. As historian Kim Phillips-Fein puts it, "The strength of unions in postwar America had a profound impact on all people who worked for a living, even those who did not belong to a union themselves." (Emphasis mine.) Wages went up, even at nonunion companies. Health benefits expanded, private pensions rose, and vacations became more common. It was unions that made the American economy work for the middle class, and it was their later decline that turned the economy upside-down and made it into a playground for the business and financial classes.

Technically, American labor began its ebb in the early '50s. But as late as 1970, private-sector union density was still more than 25 percent, and the absolute number of union members was at its highest point in history. American unions had plenty of problems, ranging from unremitting hostility in the South to unimaginative leadership almost everywhere else, but it wasn't until the rise of the New Left in the '60s that these problems began to metastasize.

The problems were political, not economic. Organized labor requires government support to thrive—things like the right to organize workplaces, rules that prevent retaliation against union leaders, and requirements that management negotiate in good faith—and in America, that support traditionally came from the Democratic Party. The relationship was symbiotic: Unions provided money and ground game campaign organization, and in return Democrats supported economic policies like minimum-wage laws and expanded health care that helped not just union members per se—since they'd already won good wages and benefits at the bargaining table—but the interests of the working and middle classes writ large.

But despite its roots in organized labor, the New Left wasn't much interested in all this. As the Port Huron Statement, the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society, famously noted, the students who formed the nucleus of the movement had been "bred in at least modest comfort." They were animated not by workplace safety or the cost of living, but first by civil rights and antiwar sentiment, and later by feminism, the sexual revolution, and environmentalism. They wore their hair long, they used drugs, and they were loathed by the mandarins of organized labor.

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related....

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph







sources and more details........click on the link....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Turns out, the recession was the best thing that ever happened for the fed reserve and the uber wealthy....


Not transfer of wealth to the poor...


Transfer of wealth to the elite barrons....


Ya'all republicans and tea partiers were duped big time.
 

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Turns out, the recession was the best thing that ever happened for the fed reserve and the uber wealthy....


Not transfer of wealth to the poor...


Transfer of wealth to the elite barrons....


Ya'all republicans and tea partiers were duped big time.
The ones getting duped are the ones that use Mother Jones as a source for economic news and analysis.

Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The ones getting duped are the ones that use Mother Jones as a source for economic news and analysis.

Steven
why?

The article attacks both parties.

Still not Right enough?

Did you read the sources?


What's your take on the no-bid power plant perspective sales opp?
That's what I really want to know, bty...
 

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Inside Job

 

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I don't understand the term " transfer of wealth". How does that work? I must be missing something because all I've ever done was work for my paychecks. Never had any paychecks " transfered" to me. Why do all the graphs stop at 06/07? Did the sources stop keeping and collecting data after 2007?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't understand the term " transfer of wealth". How does that work? I must be missing something because all I've ever done was work for my paychecks. Never had any paychecks " transfered" to me. Why do all the graphs stop at 06/07? Did the sources stop keeping and collecting data after 2007?
Transfer of wealth was the term created by your party to direct anger toward the poor getting welfare and Obama IF he cut taxes for the middle class and raised them for the upper 2 percent.


Too bad it was all a lie.
 

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Turns out, the recession was the best thing that ever happened for the fed reserve and the uber wealthy....
That's what I keep saying, Obama isn't no socialist... Bush cracked the door to the treasury and Obama kicked it wide open. There are no new social programs, and the ones already in place are going away. It's the last time they can play the bust/boom game with the economy... stocks are the last bubble and it is a very tight bubble right now.. people were duped, but it wasn't just the republicans.. :laughing:

Obama, socialist? Bush, conservative? :laughing::laughing:
 

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That's what I keep saying, Obama isn't no socialist... Bush cracked the door to the treasury and Obama kicked it wide open. There are no new social programs, and the ones already in place are going away. It's the last time they can play the bust/boom game with the economy... stocks are the last bubble and it is a very tight bubble right now.. people were duped, but it wasn't just the republicans.. :laughing:

Obama, socialist? Bush, conservative? :laughing::laughing:
:agree:
It won't be long now...

Hey dune...do you know this closely echoes what Beck has been talking about for...oh about the last 3 years? Welcome to the 'dark side'. :laughing:
 

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I realize the left obsesses over the income gap, and can make graphs from here to the moon to prove the gap exists. What the graphs don't show is cause and effect. Are the rich getting richer at the expense of the middle class? These graphs don't prove it. Even if the rich get richer at the same time that the middle class stagnates, those numbers don't show a cause and effect. The middle class is stagnating because the job market is stagnating, and has been since the late 90's. The sea change in the world job market is without a doubt having a negative impact on middle class income. But just because Bill Gates makes billions doesn't mean you and I make less. These arguments like Mother Jones makes are simply leftist class warfare meant to stoke jealous anger. Nothing more. :down:
 

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Elaborate....

Define....
Brother... I have told you and others that "you have no clue what it is you are asking and fighting for". There is a reason that article makes so much sense to you. There is a reason you find comfort in the way they attack to right and left, equally. Mother Jones, in American history, is the founder of the new American socialist party. I've put the site up -and quotes from the site, many times... in order to show sameness in the Progressive party. In fact... you would have a hard time differentiating between the two beliefs.

"You have no clue what it is you are asking and fighting for"

The lack of self-awareness by some on the left... is astounding.
 

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I realize the left obsesses over the income gap, and can make graphs from here to the moon to prove the gap exists. What the graphs don't show is cause and effect. Are the rich getting richer at the expense of the middle class? These graphs don't prove it. Even if the rich get richer at the same time that the middle class stagnates, those numbers don't show a cause and effect. The middle class is stagnating because the job market is stagnating, and has been since the late 90's. The sea change in the world job market is without a doubt having a negative impact on middle class income. But just because Bill Gates makes billions doesn't mean you and I make less. These arguments like Mother Jones makes are simply leftist class warfare meant to stoke jealous anger. Nothing more. :down:
:agree: Tex, for an older guy you swing a mean hammer:thumbsup:

We need our government and unions to quit blaming the rich for their woes, need to start working (very hard) at ways to get the rich to invest in MANUFACTURING jobs here, then the rest should fix its self :lookinup:
 

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Elaborate....

Define....
Brother... I have told you and others that "you have no clue what it is you are asking and fighting for". There is a reason that article makes so much sense to you. There is a reason you find comfort in the way they attack to right and left, equally. Mother Jones, in American history, was the founder of the new American Socialist Party. I've put the site up -and quotes from the site, many times... in order to show sameness in the Progressive party. In fact... you would have a hard time differentiating between the two beliefs. The reason for this, is that, the Progressive party is the "relabeling" of the socialist party. Our president advertises himself as a progressive.

"You have no clue what it is you are asking and fighting for"

The lack of self-awareness by some on the left... is astounding.
 

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Transfer of wealth was the term created by your party to direct anger toward the poor getting welfare and Obama IF he cut taxes for the middle class and raised them for the upper 2 percent.


Too bad it was all a lie.
My party? I don't have a " my party".
 

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I realize the left obsesses over the income gap, and can make graphs from here to the moon to prove the gap exists. What the graphs don't show is cause and effect. Are the rich getting richer at the expense of the middle class? These graphs don't prove it. Even if the rich get richer at the same time that the middle class stagnates, those numbers don't show a cause and effect. The middle class is stagnating because the job market is stagnating, and has been since the late 90's. The sea change in the world job market is without a doubt having a negative impact on middle class income. But just because Bill Gates makes billions doesn't mean you and I make less. These arguments like Mother Jones makes are simply leftist class warfare meant to stoke jealous anger. Nothing more. :down:
:laughing: Damn Tex, your so far in denial it is sad. :(

For the last few decades, the uber rich have been hoovering up the wealth faster than it can be created. It's documented, it's obvious. Sure, the middle class is stagnated, because the uber rich squeeze every penny of profit with outsourcing, lobbyist who make and break politicians, and tax dodging schemes. I know you think it's class warfare against the rich, but brother, it's class warfare against the middle. The uber rich use the lower class to drive their policy. Think about this: What new entitlement program has come along in the last 30 years? What is the first thing to get cut when **** gets tight? The lower class is hoping Obama will hand them some wealth, bad news, Obama isn't one of them. You and I both know the lower class has been sinking right along with the middle class, but they, unlike the middle class, don't have anything to lose by going along with "Hope and Change", that's why they are the activist, it pays a little cash here and there but never seems to result in anything that actually helps them. The majority of voters who vote democrat.. to "get free ****", but what free **** have they gotten from their efforts? Nothing new.

You can say what you want, when the uber rich opened the treasury doors, it was not the middle or lower class that got paid, it was the same people who always get paid.
 
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