A view from the left. Here is a brief excerpt from an article on the Center for American Progress website. The entire article can be read here.
Shrinking income mobility
Massive inequality might well be easier to bear if people felt higher incomes were within their reach, by dint of hard work and education. But the rising inequality fueling the social protests also comes at a time when it’s harder to move from one income class to another.
The American Dream story holds that this country’s greatness is grounded in the ability of its citizens to rise to the top. In fact, the United States now lags behind other developed countries such as Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden when it comes to economic mobility.
“There is no evidence that opportunity has increased in a way that might offset the slower and less broadly shared growth of income and wealth that families have experienced,” according to Brookings Institution scholar Isabel Sawhill. That’s the stuff of Middle Eastern despair, not American Dreams. Makes you want to take the streets and yell at somebody.
“No evidence that opportunity has increased?” Are they kidding? Has opportunity decreased? Opportunity is always there for those seeking it and who do not make self-destructive life decisions.
It costs money to run a winning congressional campaign: about $1.4 million on average for House races, and six times that for a Senate seat, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. While politicians like to boast about ordinary-folk armies of small donors sending in $5 checks, the truth is about three-quarters of all campaign cash comes from people who can afford to make large contributions and from political action committees backed mostly by corporations, business associations, and lobby groups.
Money buys access and the biggest special interest group by far behind all this cash is the combined financial services, insurance, and real estate industries. Through PACs and individual donors, they gave nearly 20 percent of political donations from 1990 through 2010. They also as a group spend more on lobbyists than any other industry.
Oops, seems they forgot organized labor that takes workers dues and uses the money to further the goals of union leaders regardless of the views of the individual members. Could it be this oversight is due to the fact unions donate almost exclusively to Democratic liberal politicians? Oh my, how cynical of me. They also forgot lawyers and law firms who at $15 million were the largest contributors in the last election cycle. Among the top ten PACs are the University of California, Stanford and Harvard University.
Clearly this Country needs a strong middle class and certainly segments of the middle class are hurting, but the cause is not Wall Street or insurance or real estate industries. The 99% would truly be in trouble were it not for the taxes paid by the 1%. Assail the guilty, not the successful.