Though rooted in America’s religious past, today’s attitudes about the poor are rarely doctrinal. Rather, they are largely unconscious, having been absorbed into the popular culture. The problem is that such easy dismissal of struggling Americans is at odds with reality.
Republicans may feign a nostalgia for the 1950s, but they are actually more nostalgic for the Gilded Age. For decades, they have worked hard to undo the Progressive Era reforms that curbed inequality. In the process, they have created a second Gilded Age.
Americans want what 21st century politics has so far not delivered: real options for challenging concentrated wealth. That’s one conclusion we can draw from new research polling out of Berkeley that gave Americans a choice of seven policy options on federal taxes.
The wealthy elite has always been uncomfortable with democracies because of the populist policies that result from them. If we want change, we need to confront those who engage in “makers and takers” rhetoric and remind them that genuine democracy is good for everyone.
If we want to solve the most pressing issues of our time, we need to change our national political discourse from one that focuses solely on competition, the market, and the individual, to one that focuses on the value of community, civil society, and the public good.
Among developed nations, America ranks number one in child poverty. The cause? Many powerful elected leaders point to unmarried mothers. But the research doesn’t back them up. Look instead, that research suggests, to an unequal economy loaded with low-wage jobs.
Today’s super rich engorge themselves on federal dollars and evade billions in taxes while ordinary Americans work themselves to the bone. Professor of Law and Public Policy Sheila Suess Kennedy maintains it’s high time we rethink who are the ‘makers’ and the ‘takers.’
In the fierce debate over our top-heavy distribution of income and wealth, egalitarians have vanquished both inequality’s deniers and defenders. Now the debate is shifting to the most pivotal question of all, thanks to a new book from the French economist Thomas Piketty.
People who cut food stamp benefits — and gut child labor laws — most all had empathy when they came into the world. So what squeezed the empathy out? At the Economic Policy Institute and elsewhere, analysts and researchers are pointing to inequality.
Fox News may have failed to have an impact on the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election in the United States, but media organizations controlled by Rupert Murdoch celebrated a victory this year in Australia.