Monday, January 30, 2012

The Return of Feudalism

Digby shows us an interesting graph about income inequality in selected countries in 1980 and 2008. The income shown omits capital gains but otherwise reflects the income share of the top 1% of all earners:

The conclusion is pretty obvious: The United States leads the race towards a banana republic. Or perhaps the return to a feudal society, given that upward class mobility in this country is weaker than in those socialist old-Europe countries.

Is this a fair development? According to Fox News, it is! Quelle surprise as the French surrender monkeys would say:
Fox Blasted Obama's Speech On Inequality By Accusing Him Of "Class Warfare." Fox News figures responded to Obama's December 6, 2011, speech on inequality in American by accusing him of engaging in class warfare. [Media Matters, 12/6/11]CARLSON: I think, so when the president says "fair share" there's a couple points here, and earlier last hour I said maybe there should be a disclaimer underneath, which is the reason that we're putting up this graphic for you. Because if in fact you're paying tax on ordinary income, and you're in the highest tax bracket, then you're paying 30-some percent. But then if you take that money that you've already paid taxes on, and you go and invest and you make a profit, a long-term profit, more than a year of investment, then you pay another 15% on top of that. And by the way, with the "fair share" argument, 47% of Americans don't pay federal income tax.
KILMEADE: That didn't get into the State of the Union.
CARLSON: But that didn't get into it, but that is also part of the fair share. So if we are going to be fair to everyone, should those people then starting paying at least something?
DOOCY: Kick in a buck, kick in something!
KILMEADE: And in many cases some are getting refunds on money they haven't earned, They go beyond the money they earned for the year come April, so that's where a lot of that tax money's going. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/25/12]