Americans Say Dream Fading as Income Gap Widens

George Carlin American Dream

David J. Lynch on Bloomberg:

The widening gap between rich and poor is eroding faith in the American dream.

By almost two to one — 64 percent to 33 percent — Americans say the U.S. no longer offers everyone an equal chance to get ahead, according to a Bloomberg National Poll.

…The lack of faith is especially pronounced among those making less than $50,000 a year: By a 73 percent to 24 percent margin, they say the economy is unfair. Even 60 percent of those whose annual income is $100,000 or more bemoan the absence of a fair deal…

In the Bloomberg poll, 68 percent of Americans say the income gap is growing, while 18 percent say it is unchanged and 10 percent say it’s shrinking.

After 30 years of trickle-down economics, very few Americans can be fooled anymore. Democrats like President Obama have been forced to acknowledge the problem of extreme inequality, but what are they prepared to do about it?

The budget deal announced yesterday is the opposite of what we need. The Democratic Party sold out its own base to help Republicans maintain power.

More info: Robert Reich: The Time for Wealth Redistribution Is Now

UPDATE: Robert Reich: Raw Deal

  1. #1 by cav on December 11, 2013 - 6:47 pm

    Rep. Joe ‘You Lie’ Barton (R-Texas) suggests the minimum wage be done away with entirely.

    “I think it’s outlived its usefulness,” Barton told National Journal in a story published Thursday. “It may have been of some value back in the Great Depression. I would vote to repeal the minimum wage.”

  2. #2 by Larry Bergan on December 11, 2013 - 7:53 pm

    Speaking of The Great Depression, I heard that there are more children living in poverty in New York since The Great Depression. Maybe that fact would change the-honorable Joe Barton’s position.

    Naaa! Let’s put those kids to work. Problem solved! (that’s supposed to be a joke, but is it?)

    • #3 by Richard Warnick on December 12, 2013 - 9:29 am

      It was Newt Gingrich who suggested firing all the school janitors and putting elementary school kids to work mopping floors.

      • #4 by Larry Bergan on December 12, 2013 - 6:13 pm

        Yeah, I remember that zinger. If Gingrich had never been conceived the world would be a better place and make a heck of a lot better sense.

  3. #5 by reader on December 11, 2013 - 11:42 pm

    What trickle down? Obama put an end to all that.

    • #6 by Nathan Erkkila on December 12, 2013 - 12:45 am

      There never was a trickle down because Reaganomics doesn’t work.

  4. #7 by brewski on December 12, 2013 - 12:04 pm

    Private sector jobs added in Obama presidency to date:

    Same time frame in the Reagan presidency:

    And you wonder why I call you people ignorant, uneducated and innumerate?

    • #8 by Richard Warnick on December 12, 2013 - 2:05 pm

      How Soon We Forget: The Economy Under Reagan vs. Obama (June 2012, notes and emphasis added)

      As for months of recession in their corresponding first terms, Reagan presided over one of the longest recessions (16 months) in our history. In contrast, the recession under Obama lasted five months in 2009. We have seen positive job growth for 26 [now 43] consecutive months under President Obama, and although it has been painful, one needs to realize we are crawling out of a very deep hole. For ten of the 16 months in the Reagan recession, the unemployment rate exceeded 10%, reaching a high of 10.8% for two months in late fall of 1982. The highest unemployment rate under Obama was one month of 10% in late 2009.

      Today [June 2012] our unemployment rate stands at 8.2%; Reagan at this same point had a rate of 7.8% in April of 1984. By Election Day that year, unemployment had fallen to 7.4% and he won by a landslide because there was a sense things were improving, and they were. Even after Reagan was reelected, it took two more years, until November of 1986, for the unemployment rate to finally fall below 7%.

      If one looks at returns in the stock market, months of recession, average unemployment, inflation, income inequality, industrial production and after-tax corporate profits, Obama outperforms in all of these categories compared to Reagan’s first term.

      The current Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate for November 2013 (released December 6th) is 7.0% down from 7.3% in October.

      Let us also remember that the Reagan administration was not up against a scorched-earth campaign of economic sabotage by the opposition party. President Obama’s private sector job gains have been off set by massive layoffs in the public sector. If we were hiring public employees at the same rate as when Reagan was President, unemployment would be 6%.

    • #9 by Larry Bergan on December 12, 2013 - 6:15 pm

      In the great words of Steve Martin, I have three words to describe brewski too:

      Dull, boring and omnipresent.

  5. #10 by Frank Kafka on December 12, 2013 - 2:48 pm

    Be just like obama not taking the rap for bush’s mess, you are not accounting for Jimmy Carter’s destruction of the US economy. Took a while to repair the Malaise.

  6. #12 by brewski on December 12, 2013 - 4:15 pm

    Gross employment change from bottom of pit post W to now:

    Gross employment change from bottom of pit post Carter to same time period under Reagan:

    You lose.

    • #13 by cav on December 12, 2013 - 4:49 pm

      And that was back when .912 of a million really meant something.


    • #14 by Richard Warnick on December 12, 2013 - 5:42 pm

      No, the country loses. Can you say “Republican economic sabotage”? I knew that you could.

      • #15 by brewski on December 12, 2013 - 8:09 pm

        It is fascinating watching something argue against the facts. You are a creationist.

        • #16 by cav on December 12, 2013 - 8:37 pm

          Facts do, for whatever reason, overwhelmingly lean left. It’s beyond eerie

          Also, too, I’m sure Boner and the Granny Starver have already lined up enough votes to pass this ‘budget’. So what you’ll be hearing from those ‘fact-laden’ leftists, and their teatard counterparts is all a bunch of bloviating. Its a done deal.

          • #17 by brewski on December 12, 2013 - 9:11 pm

            Facts don’t lean.

          • #18 by cav on December 12, 2013 - 9:55 pm

            They just have the capacity to talk out of both sides of their mouth. Which side is determined by their paymaster. They’re like statistics.

  7. #19 by Frank Kafka on December 12, 2013 - 5:44 pm

    Be real Richard, AND.. everyone knows that the jobs “created” under obama have cost a fortune and don’t contribute much in the way of money to the overall economy.

    Can you say…Burger Flip?

  8. #20 by Frank Kafka on December 12, 2013 - 6:07 pm

    Such nonsense..obama hasn’t lifted a finger to create jobs in any realistic way, too busy starting wars, droning innocents, and taking selfies for any of that nonsense job creation thingy.

    Are you getting paid to look this dumb Richard?

    • #21 by cav on December 12, 2013 - 8:46 pm

      The only way anyone can transition out of the ‘war’ economy is with small steps, delicately made in an attempt to gather the tiniest bit of momentum in the direction of peace. Can you say: Over-invested?

      Sure the people want this, but structural changes of this sort are a great challenge – especially for our sadly under-equipped CIC. (And here I need to give at least a tiny prop to his predecessor, who, had it not been for Cheney and cocaine, might not have crashed it quite so hard.)

      Yet, we’ll go to war for these ‘leaders’

      • #22 by Larry Bergan on December 12, 2013 - 9:54 pm

        We shouldn’t criticize Bush Jr. anymore, now that he uses all his time to paint funny pictures and sell them for next to nothing. It just makes us look bad to dog this totally harmless, philanthropic man.

        • #23 by cav on December 12, 2013 - 10:02 pm

          We don’t have to dog him, we know exactly where he is…on Airforce 1.

  9. #24 by Frank Kafka on December 12, 2013 - 6:08 pm

    It’s easy money if you can get it. Are you taking selfies of your self hauling obama’s dirty dishwater?

  10. #25 by Richard Warnick on December 17, 2013 - 5:39 pm

    Michelle Goldberg: The GOP Is in Total Denial About America’s Soaring Poverty Problems

    It seems that to be a contemporary Republican, one must simultaneously believe two things: that Obama has immiserated the country and driven unemployment to intolerable levels, and that the poor have it easy and there are plenty of jobs out there for the taking. When the tension between these two beliefs gets to be too great, Republicans will usually tilt toward the latter.

  11. #27 by brewski on December 21, 2013 - 7:57 am

    The Dems are in Total Denial about how their policies contribute to America’s Soaring Poverty Problem.

    • #28 by cav on December 21, 2013 - 9:31 am

      The poor will always be with us – so too, unfortunately, will be the rich.

      Politics is just another game show. Who wants to be President? Are you smarter than a teabagger? For the Highly Paid Pols, bankers, military men and women, etc, there’s still no consequence for being consistently and resoundingly wrong.

    • #29 by Richard Warnick on December 21, 2013 - 9:58 am

      Hold up a sec. I thought that right-wingers claim there is no poverty problem. Brewski, you yourself have stated that “poor” Americans aren’t really poor because of the average square feet of living space they have.

      • #30 by brewski on December 21, 2013 - 10:25 am

        Apparently you have never read a single thing I have ever written.

  12. #31 by cav on December 21, 2013 - 3:14 pm

    I find it interesting that such a large slice of the general population have such little difficulty with a small minority hogging all of the income and benefits of our society.

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