Saturday, January 14, 2012

Living a Dog's Life: The bitter politics of Envy

Coco poising by the woodstove: 1/14/12
Romney dismisses the mushrooming income disparity between the rich and the 99% of the rest of us, suggesting that anyone who broaches the subject is green with envy.

Contrary to conventional Republican wisdom, the rich getting richer is not a rising tide that lifts all boats. Quite the opposite: increasing income inequality actually stalls economic mobility. Only boats belonging to the rich keep rising.

As The New York Times reported last week, “many researchers have reached a conclusion that turns conventional wisdom on its head: Americans enjoy less economic mobility than their peers in Canada and much of Western Europe.” The Times report speculated that: “One reason for the mobility gap may be the depth of American poverty, which leaves poor children starting especially far behind. Another may be the unusually large premiums that American employers pay for college degrees. Since children generally follow their parents’ educational trajectory, that premium increases the importance of family background and stymies people with less schooling.”
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