Daily Archives: April 6, 2011

Wisconsin’s First Turnover… Let’s watch for more…

“Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear.” ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

Received this in the e-mail this afternoon:

They just announced — only minutes ago — the final precincts in the WI Supreme Court race and we won!!

WI Republicans are in a panic. There will be a recount, but the damage is already done. In fact, district by district results show major problems for the WI Republican Senators across the state — especially for Republican Senator Dan Kapanke where JoAnne Kloppenburg won his district handily.

As you know, Kapanke is the first of the Republican Senators to have a recall petition filed on him. Let’s see if they can add more to the list…and hold out until January so they can recall Gov. Walker.

As the Middle Class disappears, we turn into Poverty Nation at the Middle Class level.

“You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both.”
Louis Brandeis

So how poor is the Middle Class when looked at in comparison with the top 1% (who don’t seem to be affected by the results of the Great Recession)?  Here are a couple of charts from Stanford University which will give you an idea:

CEO pay as related to Average Worker pay
The ratio of the average pay of the 100 highest-paid CEOs in the United States to the average wage of workers increased from 39:1 in 1970 to 191:1 in 1988 to 1,039:1 in 2000. Put more colloquially, top CEOs in 1970 made 39 times more than the average worker, whereas now they make 1,039 times more than the average worker.
U.S. CEO pay in relation to the average worker’s wage:

Source: Thomas Piketty, and Emanuel Saez. 2007. “Income Inequality in the United States, 1913-2002.” In Anthony B. Atkinson, and Thomas Piketty, Top Incomes Over the Twentieth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Children In Poverty
In the United States, 21.9 percent of all children are in poverty, a poverty rate second only to that of Mexico’s (among rich nations).
Relative Poverty Rates in Twenty-One Rich Nations at the Turn of the Century for Children:

Source: Timothy M. Smeeding, 2008. “Poorer by Comparison.” Pathways 3-5.

Got it? The rich aren’t complaining because they earn around a thousand to one compared to the average middle class guy. And they don’t seem to be concerned that, aside from Mexico, we are leaders in Child Poverty among developed nations (we even come in 3 times worse than Slovenia!)

So now the Tea Party folks are pushing a budget where they have already eliminated, in concept, NPR, PBS, the EPA and just about every other federally funded advantage that the Middle Class has. This was all passed by the House yesterday… now it goes to the Senate.

I  signed a petition yesterday to save public broadcasting. If you want to join me, go to this link: http://pol.moveon.org/nprpbs/?r_by=-5593088-7WiE7Qx&rc=mailto. This will get the word out to the Senate before they vote on it. Let’s let them know what WE want.

The Republicans are working very hard to eliminate the Middle Class, and it is a losing battle, it seems, negotiating with them. John Boehner seems to have no real control over his House colleagues and the Tea Partyers don’t have any idea what negotiation means.

As we head for a potential government shutdown, we’re in for lots of rhetorical crap and not much real action.

A quote for the morning…

“Here’s the truth: The only way America can reduce the long-term budget
deficit, maintain vital services, protect Social Security and Medicare,
invest more in education and infrastructure, and not raise taxes on the
working middle class is by raising taxes on the super rich.

“Even if we got rid of corporate welfare subsidies for big oil, big
agriculture, and big Pharma – even if we cut back on our bloated
defense budget – it wouldn’t be nearly enough.”

Robert Reich

And you can be sure, in an election year, no one is going to even whisper about this.