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Milt Priggee | Bush Tax Cuts / CagleCartoons.com

Think Again: Inequality and America’s Antiquated Politics

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  • Economic inequality in America is growing to proportions we have never seen before, threatening not only our social structure but also our democracy as the U.S. Supreme Court equates the right to spend money on politics with freedom of speech
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  • Americans Vastly Underestimate Wealth Inequality, Support 'More Equal Distribution Of Wealth'
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  • Special Report | Poverty in the U.S.
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Eric Alterman, Center for American Progress

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It’s ironic—though perhaps that’s too kind a term—to note that at the moment the U.S. poverty rate is reaching a 15-year high the nation is engaged in whether to offer additional tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 per year. (For a single adult in 2009, the poverty line was $10,830 in pretax cash income. For a family of four it was $22,050.)

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This despite the fact that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analyzed the short-term effects of 11 potential options for dealing with the present unemployment crisis and found that retaining the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy offered the least powerful “bang for the buck,” owing to wealthy people’s proclivity to save rather than spend additional income. And yes, it just so happens that the Forbes 400 came out during the same week, and lo and behold, “The super-rich got even wealthier this year.” (CAP's Matt Yglesias offers a few ideas about this phenomenon as well.)

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Americans Vastly Underestimate Wealth Inequality, Support 'More Equal Distribution Of Wealth', William AldenHuffington Post

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  • Americans vastly underestimate the degree of wealth inequality in America, and we believe that the distribution should be far more equitable than it actually is, according to a new study.
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  • Class Warfare from the Top Down
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  • Third world America
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Special Report | Poverty in the U.S., David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Poverty Rate In U.S. Saw Record Increase In 2009: 1 In 7 Americans Are Poor,
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  • US Poverty Data Tells Only Half the Story...
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By the Numbers, Public Workers Defy Anti-Government Stereotypes

Reactionary politics have perverted the concept of "shared sacrifice" into a standoff between the public and private economic realms. But drawing this artificial divide keeps workers from finding common ground in challenging corporate power from the bottom up.

Michelle Chen, Common Dreams

Want to get a disgruntled worker really mad? Just point to his arch enemy: the civil servant. You know, the shiftless paper-pusher, fattened on our tax dollars, the epitome of “waste, fraud and abuse.”

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Alright, this might sound harsh to those of us who still think the government has some useful functions in society today. But bashing on the government and its workers has become a favorite pastime for conservatives like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has argued that public employees enjoy undeservedly lavish compensation packages while their private-sector counterparts grapple with shrinking paychecks. So the logic goes: Why should struggling families' tax dollars finance the bloated wages of bureaucrats?

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Bleeding-Heart Republicans

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  • The GOP Stands Up for Downtrodden Minority: The Super-Rich
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  • The Angry Rich
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Jim Hightower, Common Dreams

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

Stuart Carlson

Who says that Republican congress-critters don't care about minorities in our society? Why, at this very moment, they are pushing hard to pass a $372 billion federal program to lift the economic fortunes of just one minority group - a far more generous proposal than Barack Obama has even dared to contemplate.

The focus of the GOP's generosity is a true American minority: the richest one-tenth of one percent of our people. Living in penthouse ghettos like Manhattan's Upper East Side, this tiny minority of about 120,000 people (who have an average annual income of $8 million) would get some $3 million each over the next decade from the Republican proposal. Doesn't that just make your heart bleed with empathy?

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The Angry Rich, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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  • Self-pity among the privileged has become acceptable, even fashionable.
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  • Third world America
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Health Insurance costs going up, and reformers won’t admit it

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  • Threat from Sebelius defies economic reality
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  • Steep rate hikes on way for individual health insurance
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E. Thomas McClanahan, Kansas City Star | KS

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In March, the Democrats passed their big bill and gained sole possession of the U.S. health care system -- lock, stock and rate increase. Politically, they own it all.

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Wait. Rate increase? Oops. All that stuff about "bending the cost curve down?" Never mind.

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Earlier this month, several health insurers began announcing premium increases, and to the acute discomfort of the Obama administration, they laid part of the blame on the health care bill.

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Steep rate hikes on way for individual health insurance, Carol M. Ostrom, Seattle Times | WA
Double-digit rate increases are hitting most individual health-insurance plans in Washington state, hurting jobless workers and worrying insurance regulators.

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