Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Regarding Inequality

Inequality in the USofA has been getting more than a little press lately.  That makes sense, of course, since we haven't been less equal in these parts since before the Great Depression.  Needless to say, it doesn't really matter how much inequality there really is, only how much inequality the public perceives there is.  Anyway, here's the Pew Research Center's latest polling data.

I guess I just don't understand Republicans.  The largest number of them, by far, are middle class — and a good many of those are lower middle class.  It's widely said that ideology trumps reality, albeit we have to assume that's just as true of Democrats as it is of Republicans (and, perhaps, even moi.)  Nevertheless, it would be illogical to assume that reality lies somewhere in between Republican and Democratic perceptions.

How much power is too much power?  Here's something both parties might agree to: too much is however much it takes to disable or demolish our democratic institutions.  Personally, I'm of the opinion that democracy and finance capitalism are incompatible.  Are there some among the wealthiest who will refrain from corrupting the political system?  I hope so.  Are there some who are irredeemably corrupt?  Read the news.

What is fair, economically speaking?  Warren Buffet apparently thinks it's unfair that he pays taxes at a lower rate than his secretary does.  I think it's unfair that my 2011 tax rate was higher than Mitt Romney's.  On the other hand, I'm sure Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell can point out reasons why Buffet's and my interpretations of "fairness" are off the mark.

As for Wall Street, more evidence for its corrupt practices is reported every day — but how much corruption is too much corruption?  Could our economy survive without it, for example?

Your perception may be as good as mine — but I'll never admit it!  ;-)

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