Social Question

saint's avatar

Why are the rich blamed for income inequality?

Asked by saint (3970 points ) October 26th, 2011

It is a commen notion that rich people are to blame for the existence of poor people.
Why?
Why aren’t poor people to blame for being poor?

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91 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Hmmmmm, firing thousands of people for the excuse of saving money, then taking that money and paying it to yourself to “reward your success” might have something to do with it.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I am not sure that “rich people are to blame” for the poor is a common notion.

I think rich people believing that they are superior to the poor because they have more money is much more common.

SuperMouse's avatar

I gotta go with @Imadethisupwithnoforethought on this, I don’t see this as a common notion. I also gotta go with @Blackberry here too though. I certainly think the handsomely paid wealthy folks running the corporations that are laying people off and exploiting workers to improve the bottom line have some culpability here. Are the rich in general blamed for income inequality? I don’t see it. I feel no ill will or blame for Mr. Warren Buffett for my current financial situation.

I’m curious @saint how is it that you see the poor as deserving the blame for being poor?

saint's avatar

@SuperMouse Because they are unable or unwilling to produce values that can be traded in a division of labor market place. Who else is to blame for an individual’s failure. You? Me?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@saint Why are you assuming that poor people are automatically failures?

What do you do for a living, anyway? How do you make your money?

wonderingwhy's avatar

@saint being poor does not equal personal failure.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My hackles are going up…

marinelife's avatar

Why are CEOs entitled to huge salaries, golden parachutes and other perks yet corporations are cutting back on health care and pensions and raises for workers are non-existent?

wonderingwhy's avatar

@saint As far as being unable or unwilling… People have to take responsibility for improving their lot in life however not everything is, and in some cases key things are not, within their power to control or even influence.

saint's avatar

@Dutchess_III In case it is your business, I provide a service that at the moment a particular segment of the free market is willing to buy. If, tomorrow, they do not want to buy it, I will have to figure out some other value to sell. And I am pretty sure I will be able to do that. I am not rich by any standard, but making money is not that hard to do.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@wonderingwhy Exactly. Having money opens a lot of doors that are closed to poor people, even those who are intelligent, hard working and motivated to succeed.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

The insistence of applying moral notions of right and wrong to the acquisition and lending of money amuses me.

For thousands of years, lending money to gain profit was a horrible sin in Judeo-Christian religions.

Only the extremely rich in modern capitalistic systems seem to see the acquisition of wealth as evidence of superiority.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow…I’ve never seen anyone who got defensive about being asked what they do for a living!

SuperMouse's avatar

@saint oh I get it the poor are poor because they are lazy! You are sadly misinformed my friend. I certainly hope that if the free market is no longer willing (or able) to buy your service you can switch gears fast enough to keep from becoming one of us lazy slobs!

FYI, I am a student, working 30 hours a week and raising three kids and my lazy ass is poor at the moment. I do harbor a little bit of frustration for the politicians who pulled my financial aid two weeks before the semester started. You know them right? They are the same ones who refuse to work on any kind of jobs bill or to even consider repealing the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy.

mangeons's avatar

@saint Not all people without money are “unable or unwilling” to be successful. Many hardworking, intelligent people, even people with college degrees, work hard to get a job and are unable to find one. Some are parents, some are students, some already have a job and are still barely getting by. Would you call any of these people lazy? Not being able to find a job is not the same thing as being lazy. How is it their fault, exactly?

wonderingwhy's avatar

To the original question. Should the rich be blamed? Perhaps they shouldn’t be blanked with such a statement, being rich in and of itself is not a bad thing. But it’s important to understand that for the most part they’re the ones with the greater ability to change the system and create greater access and opportunities. What I’m getting at is I don’t care so much if you’re rich, but if you’re rich at my expense, yeah that bothers me.

Blackberry's avatar

@saint You’re blowing my mind right now. Do you expect billions of people to simply make their sole purpose in life being valuable to a free market? Do you expect them all to succeed?

saint's avatar

@mangeons Never said it was. All I said was that rich people often seem to blamed for the existence of the poor. Why? Why aren’t the poor held to account. Maybe it is their fault. Maybe not. I never said it was or was not. Just wanted to know what you thought about the premise.
I have learned something about Fluther, for better or worse. It really is not the question that matters, it is the Collective perception of the the person who asks the question that really matters.
Interesting. In fact I just thought of my next question.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hmmmm. He’s defensive about coming right out with what “service” he provides. Could be that it’s easier to make money if your standards aren’t very high. That’s a good question, isn’t it!

SuperMouse's avatar

@saint you absolutely said it was their fault! I quote: “Because they are unable or unwilling to produce values that can be traded in a division of labor market place.” If that isn’t blaming the poor, who is it blaming? Also, you are new to the Collective and I have no perception of you whatsoever, my responses are based solely on the question and your response quoted above.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK, then. Your ‘premise’ is very, very skewed. I was poor for many years. I didn’t blame anyone, not even myself, because I worked my ass off, full time, raising three children alone and just couldn’t seem to get a break, until about a year and a half ago.

saint's avatar

@SuperMouse In my opinion you are confusing blame ( or fault, a moral evaluation) for cause and effect, a metaphysical phenomenon. One is a basis for judgement, the other simply is what it is. For what it is worth.

saint's avatar

@Dutchess_III Good for you. You can and should be proud.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Specific to “blame”. I can’t speak for anyone other than myself but the rich probably aren’t being blamed for being rich, they’re more likely being blamed for being greedy.

Blackberry's avatar

@saint You haven’t projected the best perception, if that wasn’t obvious.

But everyone knows it’s not as black and white as “Rich bad, poor good”. That’s a typical type of morality that has been dealt with by philosophers, psychologists etc.

My initial thought is you have been listening to too much rhetoric. Of course if all one watches is the news and listens to people screaming, it’s easy to think that way, but that doesn’t capture the full reality.

Economics and politics are an extremely intricate web that no one understands in my opinion. But we have these things called ethics, and many aren’t even trying to abide by them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK. Exactly what did you mean by “Because they are unable or unwilling to produce values that can be traded in a division of labor market place.” There is a big difference between “unable” and “unwilling.” What types of people are “unable” to contribute, in your opinion?

augustlan's avatar

Your premise is bad. I don’t “blame the rich”, but I do think they could do a lot more to help the poor get a leg up.

Also, I’ve been dirt poor, upper middle class, and am just slightly above dirt poor again. I’ve been the same exact person in all three phases of my life. My husband has been laid off (through no fault of his own) 3 times in the last four years. He is currently unemployed, and looking very hard for a job. In the two newspapers here, there was exactly one job that he is at all qualified for. Hundreds of other people will be applying for that one job. He has worked very hard for his entire life, and is now 53 years old. Do you think he’s going to get that job? I’m pretty sure he won’t. How is that his fault, or mine?

Dutchess_III's avatar

((((Auggie))))

saint's avatar

@augustlan Please see my comment about assigning blame or fault.

Fly's avatar

I don’t feel that this is a common perception of the rich at all. Rather, I think the rich often fabricate this belief themselves and simply think that other people have this idea that the rich cause all of the problems of the world, almost as if paranoid.

The views that you have on the poor only support my hypothesis. You are economically conservative, no? You are very defensive about your opinions of the poor and seem to be of the opinion that the poor have the abilities and opportunities to alleviate their situation, but choose not to.
It is one thing if the poor are unwilling, which I fully admit to be true of some of the poor, but to quote you, if the poor are “unable…to produce values that can be traded in a division of labor market place,” in what way are they to blame for their inability? More often then not, the poor are ill (mentally and/or physically), disabled, have a lack of important education, unable to find a job despite skills and education, or don’t have the resources to get themselves out of their situation. Regardless of the cause, they are just that- unable, and should therefore be blameless, whether it be “judgement, [or] simply is what it is”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sometimes the poor are poor because they are unwilling to compromise their standards in the pursuit of money. I had options to go “where the money was,” but it would have been at the expense of being around to raise my children. Or, it would have been at the expense of my self esteem and self respect. Some people don’t have those kinds of higher-thinking quandaries.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@saint You might try answering the moderator’s (@augustlan)‘s question with a rephrasing of your answer, rather than telling her to go reread your esoteric nonsense.

saint's avatar

What is it about unwilling or unable that upsets you? There are all sorts of underlying causes for the effects unwilling or unable. I never got into specifics about why people might be unwilling or unable. Only that these are the reasons for poverty. Why is everybody so quick to assume that I asked the question because I believe that it makes a difference exactly why some people can or can not produce tradable values? All I asked is why are the rich so often blamed for for the fact that they cannot or will not?

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@saint because nobody blames the rich. It is a self serving fantasy the rich have concocted in their own minds to justify their poor treatment of the poor and their continued efforts to limit upward mobility.

ratboy's avatar

Why is the market place the center of the moral universe?

Prosb's avatar

This thread is starting to smell like flame-bait to me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think it has been pointed out that the rich are not blamed for economic equality. Maybe you should start from the beginning. What proof do you have that the rich are blamed? Let’s start there.

mangeons's avatar

They’re not so much blamed for the poor being poor, rather they are more often blamed for being greedy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Also, @saint, you’re evading the question. No one has a problem with blaming poor people for their poverty if they are unwilling to get themselves out of it. We don’t understand how you seem to lump those who are unable to into the same category as those who are unwilling.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Well, some of the rich play a part in the “cannot” so that likely has something to do with it. How are the rich being blamed for the “will not” part?

Fly's avatar

@saint Your question in itself is not upsetting. I should add the most people actually have answered either your original question or addressed questions or statements that you have made throughout the thread. It is your clearly slanted statements throughout the thread, such as “making money is not that hard to do” that have derailed people from your question and given people the “collective perception” that they now have about you. Are we simply expected to answer the original question alone and ignore the statements that you have personally made? If that is what you wanted, why bother making those statements in the first place?

gondwanalon's avatar

The main reason that I am not one of the rich is that I’m a coward, afraid to take the required risks. Also I don’t have the skills and talent and luck required. I also don’t want to put in the hard work that is necessary to be rich. I have no one to blame but myself.

SuperMouse's avatar

@saint ok, so you are asking why the rich are so often blamed because the poor cannot or will not “produce values that can be traded in a division of labor market place”? If that is the question, why do you believe they are blaming the rich?

I go back to my first response. I believe that folks such as @augustlan‘s husband might have trouble finding a job because of greedy corporations cutting wages and workers in order to increase their bottom line for their fat cat investors. Do I blame the rich? No. Do I think those who are paid so handsomely to run these corporations have some moral and ethical responsibility not to exploit their laborers – who in many cases are also the consumer of their product? Absolutely.

saint's avatar

@everybody
One thing is clear. You enjoyed giving your input, you did not like the question. Back to the drawing board. Here’s points for the effort anyway. Good thread.

SuperMouse's avatar

@saint of course I’ve enjoyed giving my input, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be on a site such as Fluther. I also enjoy reading the input of others.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Instead of starting all over, why don’t you just answer our questions? They aren’t hard questions, and you might learn something about yourself.

mangeons's avatar

@saint Like people have already stated, it’s not really the question that people didn’t like, rather it’s your attitude and additional comments within the thread. Just because people don’t give answers you agree with doesn’t mean that they hate the question.

Of course I enjoyed giving my input, I like sharing my opinion with others. Otherwise I wouldn’t be posting here.

ETpro's avatar

@saint I do not believe they are. Warren Buffet certainly is not part of the problem. He’s trying to be part of the solution. Nobody who knows their charitable work could accuse Bill and Melinda Gates of hoarding money for themselves and leaving the poor to starve.

But there is no question that some very rich people want to become the permanent oligarchs of the USA and control as much of the country’s wealth as possible. The Koch Brothers, the Waltons and a host of other billionaires (I can post the entire list if you like) fund the 50-state network of right-wing think tanks PR firms and Lobbyists that developed the tax and regulatory policy, the talking points to sell it, and did the lobbying to pass it. For 30 years now, those policies have been in place and the top 1% have doubled their share of the nation’s wealth.

There is no question that Republicans have been pushing the Big Lie that anyone who opposes this reverse Robin Hood effort is committing “class warfare” against the rich. Your question is just one more example of echoing the fantasy that the poor are attacking the rich when the numbers show the exact opposite is the truth. There is class warfare, but the working class is not doing the shooting and looting. And a lot of rich people want the attack on the middle class to stop. The destruction of America’s middle class is a terrible idea for America’s future, and lots of rich people are patriotic enough to know that.

Blackberry's avatar

I should also add that it is extremely frustrating when everyone knows there are easy solutions to some of these problems but they simply can’t do anything about it.

Can anyone give me a cogent argument for letting congress allow unlimited campaign contributions? How asinine is that? People on both sides are whining about spending money and the budget, but people are handing politicians hundreds of millions of dollars. Who do you think is going to win a battle of unlimited contributing?

saint's avatar

@Blackberry
Can’t disagree with you

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Blackberry Perfect example of doors being open to the rich that are closed to the poor. The elections have nothing to do with the ability or integrity of the candidates.

It’s like only those with money can afford to pay for / buy justice….attorney fees are prohibitive to a large portion of society.

Blackberry's avatar

@saint Also, let me try to clarify one more thing.

We all know there are some lazy scumbags out there. We’ve all seen them, and I honestly can’t even speculate the statistics of people who are trying versus those who aren’t. But the problem many people are having with this system is that some things simply aren’t fair for some demographics when they could be easier. That protestor saying minimum wage should be 20 dollars is an idiot, but that is a minority.

Most rational people don’t want 300 million dollar bonuses. We just want to work up towards something comfortable and go on with our lives (and when I say comfortable, I’m not even talking about above 100k). And if we saw some participation by our elected leaders to at least take us seriously and make an attempt to care about this process, we wouldn’t be so angry.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Blackberry At one point in my life, $25,000 was comfortable.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You know…you can’t have a minimum wage that almost never goes up, but all of the costs of living constantly do…the utilities, food, housing. They go up, while the wages remain the same. That’s just wrong.

amujinx's avatar

@Dutchess_III The other problem with minimum wage jobs is they are often just part-time. How can anyone expect people to get by on minimum wage jobs when they can’t get hours at those jobs either?

augustlan's avatar

@amujinx And no benefits, either. So, no health insurance. A minor injury can cause a financial catastrophe!

amujinx's avatar

@augustlan Very true. That’s is one of the main things that those who like to say that jobs are being created again after the 2008 crash are ignoring for the most part; the jobs that were lost were high paying white collar jobs, and the jobs that are replacing them now are minimum wage, no benefits, part-time employment. There hasn’t been a real recovery from the 2008 crash for anyone except the banks that have been bailed out who are now showing profits on par with before the crash.

Ron_C's avatar

People don’t object to rich people, they object to the way their riches are gained. How can you justify turning the banking system into a casino or a CEO looting the company he is supposed to lead?

I want economic justice which means a graduated income tax system and punishment for the people that caused this problem, including former presidents that signed law deregulating the system allowing the economic chaos we now have. I expect Clinton and Bush to be prosecuted, our present attorney general, Treasury secretary, most of the Federal Reserve board, Citibank CEO’s and others to be prosecuted and spend a very long time in jail and pay billions in fines. None of them are less guilty than Bernie Madoff.

plethora's avatar

I have avoided reading the thread because I have a pretty good idea what I would find there and I’ve heard it all before.

I would disagree with your suggestion that it is a common notion that the rich are to blame for the existence of poor people. I have found it to be a common notion only among liberals in this country and Democrats, those Dems in power being among the richest but who deny the same. I doubt you would find many Conservatives or Republicans who believe that to be true.

On the contrary, without the right to make as much money as we are able and willing to make, we would have far more poor than we have now. Check out Mexico. And check out the income distribution there too.

anartist's avatar

There seems to be something wrong with this picture—the rich get richer at a far more accelerated rate than the hard-working middle class. [perhaps it is a tax break problem?]

Ron_C's avatar

@plethora actually we are becoming much like Mexico with a similar income distribution. After thirty years of “trickle down economics” we have a national debt created by the rich and paid by the poor and what’s left of the middle class. You cannot have an economy based solely on moving money around until it accumulates at the top. We previously had manufacturing that created the middle class and made money for the rich. It turns out that profits were better if manufacturing is moved out of the country. That leaves moving money around or working as servants for the rich as occupations available to the poor or moderately educated. What do you expect to have when you have kids graduate from universities with more than $100k in debt? They become bond servants of whoever decides to hire them, or they join the ranks of the poor.

We are becoming a feudal society.

ETpro's avatar

@plethora You are a young man, and thus may be speaking out of simple ignorance. But here are some historical facts that blow that argument out of the water. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, we had a long period of mostly Republican rule in Washington. Tax and regulatory policy was tilted to favor corporations and their wealthy investors. America went through what was called the Gilded Age. By 1928, wealth disparity hit an all time high to that point in US history, with the top 1% holding 40% of the financial wealth. There was only a tiny middle class of merchants and skilled artisand and craftsmen. Most of the American population consiste of the working poor. Casino Capitalism brought the house of cards crashing down in 1929, with the great crash on Wall Street. Sound familiar>

It should, because it all just happened again, except this time the Fed was chartered to fight depressions and injected $16 trillion into the economy and banking system to stop the bleeding before all our major banks failed.

Those of us who were around to know what “The American Dream” refers to know that it covers a time from 1947 until the early 1980s when the entire American population saw their incomes continually rise and their futures look brighter. The top 1% were rich then. The top 1/10th of 1% were very rich. The top 1/100th of 1% were the Rockefellers, Du Ponts, H. L. Hunt, Howard Hughes, the Gettys and others were fabulously wealthy. But we were all advancing together, and that is healthy for America.

The wheels fell off the American Dream with the Reagan Revolution, just as the chart linked above clearly shows. And now some 3 decades later we are seeing the devastation those wrong-headed tax and regulatory policies had. We went through not one but 2 savings and loan taxpayer bailouts. We watched Enron run what was nothing but a criminal enterprise under the protection of deregulation. We saw Bernie Madoff manage to keep a Ponzi scheme alive for over a decade. And finally, we watched a second round of casino capitalism bring the nation to the very brink of a second Great Depression.

And the Republican candidates for president this year all seem determined to double down on the policies that created such economic disparity and destroyed the economy. They all want some form of a flat tax that would amount to yet another massive tax cut for the top 1%. They all have some sort of plan to destroy Social Security and Medicare. The top 1% now have 42% of the nation’s wealth, more even than they grabbed during the Gilded Age. And apparently the right doesn’t think that’s enough.

This isn’t about depriving people of the ability to get rich. We all want to preserve that in hopes we might make it, or one of our children might. But rich men who build great companies move their products to market on roads we all paid to build. They rely on working people to help them every step of the way. This is about preserving the American Dream and passing it on to our children, and theirs.

plethora's avatar

@Ron_C @ETpro

Here you both go ruining my evening. You’re the reasons I didn’t read the thread. But you won’t hear much from me. I’m traveling and Im tired.

Ron, Im under the impression that the natl debt was doubled in the last three years. Did I miss something?

ET, I’m at a financial conference and the solid opinion here seems to be that there is only one reason we have not come out of the “sinking spell” we are in…..this from mid to small bankers all across the country. There is no economic activity, and therefore no borrowing, because businesses have no idea what to expect from the govt in power now. Bankers are not willing to lend for the same reason. It’s called uncertainty and it will kill economic activity in a month….it doesnt take three years.

ETpro's avatar

@plethora Rest well. The “regulations are killing us” rot is simply a Big Lie spun by the oligarchs who intend to profit from pushing wealth inequity ever faster. There isn’t a shred of truth to it. Republicans control the House now and have a filibuster lock on anything getting through the senate. And President Obama has imposed less regulations on business in 2009–2010 than George W. Bush did in 2007–2008. Sorry, but that old dog won’t hunt.

Bankers aren’t lending, and businesses aren’t investing because the cash strapped middle class, the consumers who drove our economy, are broke. US businesses are sitting on $2 trillion in cash right now. They don’t need your loans to invest. But they aren’t going to hire workers, build new plants and buy raw materials when they know the finished products would just rust away in a warehouse. You have a demand side problem. Further fixing the supply side will not fix it, it will make it even worse.

ETpro's avatar

@plethora Oh and as to who doubled the national debt, you have it backwards. Ronald Reagan inherited a national debt of around $1 trillion and tripled it. He’s the all time debt king. Clinton turned the debt curve way down and left the largest budget surplus in US history behind. As you can see from the chart linked above, George W. Bush blew through the surplus in 1 year and doubled the debt he inherited from Clinton. In comparison, Obama’s contribution has pushed the $10.6 trillion debt he inherited from Bush up by 37%. There isn’t much Obama can do about that. Bush handed him an economy in free-fall, and revenue reductions are the lion’s share of the debt increase.

Ron_C's avatar

One last thing for @plethora recent news reports state that the income of the top 1% rose 275% in the last 28 years while the middle income people showed a net loss in buying power. Can we really sustain a democracy under those conditions?

Qingu's avatar

Rich people are blamed for income inequality because rich people—especially rich people in the financial industry—control many of the levers of the so-called “invisible hand” that doles out economic rewards in the marketplace. Or do you think it’s a coincidence that corporate profits in finance have more than doubled since the 70’s? (I’d love to hear your argument that the financial industry has done work that has somehow objectively deserved those profits in a fair marketplace).

The financial industry—which, again, consists of a whole bunch o’ rich people—is also largely to blame for the financial crisis which has sparked the second worst recession in living memory. This recession has led to 10% unemployment (and a lot higher underemployment) which, in turn, has caused a steep increase in poverty.

So yes, I think it’s absolutely fair to blame rich people for manipulating the market to enrich themselves in general, and specifically for irresponsibly playing market games that led to the poverty-increasing Great Recession.

plethora's avatar

@Qingu You are aware that George Soros the very very very wealthy hedge fund manager and democrat is one of Mr Obama’s biggest supporters. It’s also puzzling to me that so many wealthy people are democrats.

Blackberry's avatar

@plethora This isn’t about democrat and republican completely, it’s more about the economic classes and policies.

Qingu's avatar

@plethora I utterly fail to see what your point is.

plethora's avatar

@Qingu You miss a lot. Here’s some radically new reading material for you

SuperMouse's avatar

@plethora you really expect anyone to take Ann Coulter seriously? Maybe some more reliable sources would help your point.

plethora's avatar

@Ron_C People don’t object to rich people, they object to the way their riches are gained. How can you justify turning the banking system into a casino or a CEO looting the company he is supposed to lead?

I want economic justice which means a graduated income tax system and punishment for the people that caused this problem, including former presidents that signed law deregulating the system allowing the economic chaos we now have. I expect Clinton and Bush to be prosecuted, our present attorney general, Treasury secretary, most of the Federal Reserve board, Citibank CEO’s and others to be prosecuted and spend a very long time in jail and pay billions in fines. None of them are less guilty than Bernie Madoff.

I agree wholeheartedly….and I would include Franks and Dodd on that list, especially Franks, who was one of the primary people who undermined the mortgage system.

Qingu's avatar

Yeah… I’m not clicking on an Ann Coulter link.

And it’s Frank, not Franks, your ignorance of which is like a microcosm of your ignorance of the root causes of the financial crisis. Tell me, @plethora, do you even know what a credit default swap is?

amujinx's avatar

@plethora As someone who has actually been to an Occupy event (my local one, not the one in NYC), I can assure you most of the people involved blame Obama and Clinton as well as Bush and Reagan. We know the problem exists from the Democrats too, and we know that Obama is backed by Wall Street more than any current Republican presidential front-runner. We actually do do our research, something I can assure you Coulter does not.

Qingu's avatar

@amujinx, not true.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/us/romney-perry-and-cain-open-wide-financial-lead-over-field.html?pagewanted=all

“It is no secret that the relationship between President Obama and Wall Street has chilled. A striking measure of that is the latest campaign finance reports.

Mitt Romney has raised far more money than Mr. Obama this year from the firms that have been among Wall Street’s top sources of donations for the two candidates.”

And this is during the primaries.

Do better research.

Qingu's avatar

Also: Not everyone on Wall Street is evil. Not all rich people are evil. There are some investment bankers and wealthy individuals who vote for policies that are against their economic interest, or at least what they see as their short term economic interest.

There are some wealthy people who believe that it’s worth it—morally, financially, or both—to pay higher taxes in the short term if it helps bring about long-term stability and higher employment.

amujinx's avatar

@Qingu Hmmmm… My sources said the opposite from that NYTimes article (my sources being RT and Democracy Now!) so I’m guessing both of us need to do better research.

Qingu's avatar

Link to your sources, please?

amujinx's avatar

Democracy Now!
RT

On further looking, they both cite a Washington Post article, which surprises me because they both tend to be fairly left leaning.

Qingu's avatar

Here’s the actual article.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-has-more-cash-from-financial-sector-than-gop-hopefuls-combined-data-show/2011/10/18/gIQAX4rAyL_story.html

Look at the graph. They’re lumping the DNC in with Obama.

Notice you don’t see the RNC’s figures.

Ron_C's avatar

@plethora as for adding Frank and Dodd on the list of offenders; I would probably agree except for the fact that they tried to re-regulate Wall street, separate investment banks from commercial banks, and bring speculation under control. Please note that they were fought all the way by a united Republican party backed with truly evil people like the Koch brothers. So I submit though guilty of misguided policies and laws, Frank and Dodd tried to make amends while the opposition doubled down and are trying to remove all restrain, regulation, and safety nets from the American people. This in my estimation crosses the line from criminal to truly evil. I would call the Kock brothers and supporters the greatest threat to democracy in this country since WW2. They are not only greedy, they’re treasonous.

ETpro's avatar

@plethora I knew something was bugging me last night about the absurd Republican talking point that Obama’s regulations are at the heart of the jobs problem. Then it hit me. The real estate bubble burst in the middle of 2007 and by the end of 2007, we were officially in recession, with 2 straight quarters of shrinking GDP. That’s the definition of recession. Job losses started in earnest in early 2008 and by the end of 2008, we were on track to hot 1,000,000 jobs lost per month. The job losses started well over a year before Obama took office. How did he make George W. Bush do that? Magic?

Obama pushed through a stimulus, which Republicans swear did nothing, and the job losses slowed then we started gaining jobs. We have now had 9 straight quarters of GDP growth instead of the shrinking GDP under Bush. The Dow went from the mid 7000s at the end of the Bush Administration to over $12,000 today. October is set to be its best month in 16 years.

You seriously want us to believe that this all happened because Republican regulations were great under Bush, and Democratic regulations under Obama are hurting the economy? I know you well enough to know you are smart enough to see the obvious contradictions in the Republican Big Lie talking point. I am left wondering if you are just unwilling to devote any critical thought to talking points the vast right-wing noise machine puts out, or are you actually a water carrier for the Republican efforts to further enrich the rich and deplete the middle class and poor?

Ron_C's avatar

Good job @ETpro Great answer is well deserved.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Most Americans don’t begrudge a person who becomes wealthy whether it be through hard work or even inheritance. But when the wealthy, through lobbying and unlimited campaign funding can unduly influence the government to favor the corporation over the needs and desires of the citizen—essentially erasing universal suffrage—then a line has been crossed.

Through successive supreme court decisions since at least the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company of 1886 and the March 2010 decision the recent Citizen’s United v. FEC which enable the existence of Supoer PACs (Unlimited campaign contributions can now be made indirectly through a 501© non-profit corporation without divulging the contributing source(s) or the amount contributed.), and the gradual and disastrous removal of banking regulations put in place since the last depression to prevent a repeat catastrophe (e.g., The repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act of 1999),—and a plethora of similar actions in the past 130 years, are examples of corporate influence on our government.

This has been a long and sinister corporate takeover of our democracy and it does not benefit any individual whether on the Right or the Left of the American political spectrum if they truly believe in Democracy. It’s time to turn this around. It’s time to support groups such as OWS and the global Occupy Movement who are attempting to educate the middle classes of their various countries as to just how the wealthy as an oligarchy (not as individuals) are dismantling democracy. It is entirely possible to be against corporate influence upon one’s government and not be anti-capitalist. But the national and international media (which is corporate) consistently and willfully portrays the movement as a bunch of anti-capitalist malcontents who are simply jealous of the wealthy. This is not true.

These protesters want what all believers in democracy want: a healthy democracy based on universal suffrage without corporate-backed interference and limitations (such as the recent new rules making it more difficult to vote). The demonstrators have said it over and over again from Osaka, to Stockholm, to Berlin, to Paris, to London, to New York, to Washington, to Atlanta, to Chicago, to Oakland and it falls on a purposely deaf corporate media: One person, one vote. Elective power in no other hands than the citizenry. Power to the People, not the corporation.

ETpro's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Amen to that. And I might add that while I am critical of today’s Republican Party, I do not want one party rule by ANY party. I either want Republicans to end their stint as a wholly owned subsidiary of corporatist or for them to be marginalized by some alternative party that is responsive to the will of the citizens.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Heh! Fluther rocks!

augustlan's avatar

Espiritus_Corvus for president!

Dutchess_III's avatar

No.. @ETpro for president!

augustlan's avatar

I’d vote for either of them in a heartbeat.

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