Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Like I was sayin' part II

Raw Story is giving above the fold coverage to a Reuters report about how little class mobility there really is in America today. America's rags-to-riches dream an illusion: study is certainly important, but may I present an excerpt from a column I wrote last May:
Americans have always believed, in a way Europeans have not, in class mobility. The world’s tired, poor, huddled masses head for Lady Liberty, work hard, and rise into the middle class or even higher. As a result, America has thought itself to be a less class-based society, and its social policies have done less to favor the poor than those of most European nations. In the American mythos, poverty was largely a consequence of personal failure.

If that myth was ever based in fact, the reality is now clearly otherwise. Indeed, the myth of actual class mobility was interred by no less than the Wall Street Journal, arguably one of the holiest books of the capitalist religion, in a page one story on May 13th.

"Despite the widespread belief that the U.S. remains a more mobile society than Europe, economists and sociologists say that in recent decades the typical child starting out in poverty in continental Europe (or in Canada) has had a better chance at prosperity," the Journal noted. The WSJ also noted that a recent study (by a Federal Reserve economist, no less) showed that, "Only 14% of men born to fathers on the bottom 10% of the wage ladder made it to the top 30%. Only 17% of the men born to fathers on the top 10% fell to the bottom 30%."

If you notice my output dropping off from time to time, that's one reason: the been there, done that, why-isn't-anyone-paying-attention feeling.

Oh, and a long runs of posts devoid of feedback/interaction don't help either....get it?


Blogger vermontraccoon said...

Here in the small Vermont town where I live we are seeing the effect of the widening gap between the Have-everythings and the Have-either gas money -or lunch -this -weeks. We are trying to get a modest affordable housing project built, ("affordable" being a relative term: a family would need about $63K per year to "afford" to but one of the houses). Despite the fact that the plan falls well within zoning regs and guidelines set in the Town Plan, it gets rejected 5-0 by the development review board because the local millionaires equate "renters" with "child-abusing drug addicted criminals". The median home price here is $565,000, the average price even higher. As a result, if you are a worker, you can look forward to a 25-40 mile commute each day if you want to spend less than half your income on rent. According to one local who married a rich woman, if you rent you are "Stupid....why don't you just buy a house?" These dicks live on a different planet. Class warfare is waged in subtle and insidious ways and when the CEO of Exxon/Mobil is pulling down $ 636 million plus perks and "working" in a suite of offices known as the "God Pod" ( I shit you not) is it any wonder these pricks have no clue what it's like to live a real life?

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Bill Arnett said...

Bushco and the Republican Guard have done everything else they can do to destroy our country; this news is just a logical extension of what happens when you put government into the hands of rich assholes who don't give a shit about anyone else.

(Also: I may not comment everyday, but I absolutely read you everyday, so please don't deprive us, your audience, of your thoughts and skill at expressing them.)

7:44 AM  
Blogger vermontraccoon said...

I'm with Bill;
Too busy to post but check the site daily ; have to go check on the beehives....L8R Honorable Blue-San...

9:08 AM  
Blogger <-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

I have to disagree with VR on one count. I think they know exactly what it's like and they understand the only way for them to better their own lot is to squeeze the lot of us. This is such a huge topic that lends itself to conspiracy theory. For me, it's not a conspiracy, it's just people with power acting (usually) independently in their own best interest. I've been reding widely on this topic over the ast year or so, and I still haven't wrapped my brain around it to the point where I can talk coherently about the big picture. The most important thing I've come to realize is how the system is set up to privatize profit and publicly subsidize risk.

I don't know why the Dems are so afraid of the 'C' word. I think it should be the cornerstone of their message. The Republicans only serve the top 10% of people. If the Dems could just get people to realize that a.) They are not in the top 10%, and b.) the rags to riches fairy tale discussed in your article and theone you linked are statistically improbable, they might start voting in their own best interest.

Oh, I remeber, because most of the Dems in office are in the top 10%. Almost makes you want to vote socialist or something.

4:04 PM  

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