Why the Democratic Party Has Abandoned the Middle Class in Favor of the Rich

by on May 31, 2011 · 2 comments

in American Empire, Economy

If politicians care almost exclusively about the concerns of the rich, it makes sense that over the past decades they’ve enacted policies that have ended up benefiting the rich.

By Kevin Drum / AlterNet / Originally published May 27, 2011

In 2008, a liberal Democrat was elected president. Landslide votes gave Democrats huge congressional majorities. Eight years of war and scandal and George W. Bush had stigmatized the Republican Party almost beyond redemption. A global financial crisis had discredited the disciples of free-market fundamentalism, and Americans were ready for serious change.

Or so it seemed. But two years later, Wall Street is back to earning record profits, and conservatives are triumphant. To understand why this happened, it’s not enough to examine polls and tea parties and the makeup of Barack Obama’s economic team. You have to understand how we fell so short, and what we rightfully should have expected from Obama’s election. And you have to understand two crucial things about American politics.

The first is this: Income inequality has grown dramatically since the mid-’70s—far more in the US than in most advanced countries—and the gap is only partly related to college grads outperforming high-school grads. Rather, the bulk of our growing inequality has been a product of skyrocketing incomes among the richest 1 percent and—even more dramatically—among the top 0.1 percent. It has, in other words, been CEOs and Wall Street traders at the very tippy-top who are hoovering up vast sums of money from everyone, even those who by ordinary standards are pretty well off.

Second, American politicians don’t care much about voters with moderate incomes. Princeton political scientist Larry Bartels studied the voting behavior of US senators in the early ’90s and discovered that they respond far more to the desires of high-income groups than to anyone else. By itself, that’s not a surprise. He also found that Republicans don’t respond at all to the desires of voters with modest incomes. Maybe that’s not a surprise, either. But this should be: Bartels found that Democratic senators don’t respond to the desires of these voters, either. At all.

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avatar Outlaw May 31, 2011 at 11:16 am

So true. All Politicians are professional liars.

“do as I say, not as I do”

What bothers me is that Lying is accepted by the public if one is a Politician trying to get elected, but anywhere else (like an employment application) it’s not accepted, and if the truth comes out after being hired, you can be fired.

The Jerry Brown video where he admited he lied, and Meg Whitman with her maid.

My view, is don’t promise something you can’t deliver, and even if some may not agree with them, at least be honest.

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