Major Study…

Major Study… April 30, 2014

finds US is an oligarchy.

This is like a major study finding water to be wet. But the amazing thing is that many of the people most harmed by these policies are the ones most doggedly determined to maintain the status quo. Stockholm Syndrome.

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  • Scott

    It’s interesting that they would show three Republican presidents with this story and no Democrats. The ultra wealthy and most powerful have made the greatest strides under the Obama presidency.

    • Andy

      Isn’t that Carter in the first photo? And the study covers the Clinton years.
      I’m more irked by the summary’s confusion of the terms median and average.

      • Sean P. Dailey

        It’s Gerald Ford.

        • Andy

          So it is! It was early and I was reading it on my phone. I did wonder why he was so happy…

    • Andy

      Blame the article – not the study – the study is pretty clear that both parties are to blame. I agree with ahightower below for a reporter in a business magazine to confuse median an average points out what is wrong with business, maybe.

    • Mike

      Is this not true generally speaking:

      “Republican billionaires'” wealth generally comes from: oil, energy, manufacturing, retailing, cars

      Whereas Dem.’s wealth generally comes from: finance, entertainment, real estate

      If it is true, does it matter what kind of activities are engaged in for profit?

  • Pete the Greek

    Well, in all fairness, if we don’t vote for that one oligarch, the other oligarch will win.

  • Andy
  • King Richard

    More support for Monarchism

  • Marthe Lépine

    Of course, it is obvious to most thinking people. However, in order to not be summarily dismissed as “leftist”, it helps that the study has been done by a solidly recognized university and will be part of its teaching. It cannot be rejected in the way a popular movement would be. Remember the OWS? That was the substance of what these people were saying, was it not?

  • Mark R

    No surprise. The US Founding Fathers were upper middle to upper class men.
    While slavery is not the engine behind an agrarian elite in one part of the country, and the true WASP has all but died out elsewhere, people with vested interests will see to their advancement if they have the means and the connections.
    The curious combination of means and connections is evident in the premier suburb of a major Northwest city, where I live thanks to whom I married: It does take the form of community spirit on the lower level, heavy involvement in elections, heavy socialization of children and wives (which pays off in the future with the ability to make profitable connections). Unlike comfortable some middle class folk, they spend less money on junk. Their main outlay is on a good education for the kids and nice vacations.
    The rest of the US focuses on upward mobility. When one is already “up”, one focuses on maintaining status. That does take some effort too since economics can threaten the well being of these folks as much as anyone else, drug use is rampant among teens, etc. They do have some capital and connections to fall back on, as well as a profitable education under their belts if by occasion they do fail.
    (I personally, nor my wife, have no part in this game and there are still a few shabby genteel types who have not been bought out by newer folk.)

  • Willard

    There was a time not more than 50 years ago when the top tax rate was 91 percent on the oligarchy, the unionization rate was 5x what it is today and a man could support his wife and kids on one income. But hey, let’s pretend there is no difference between the parties.

    • everyman

      In Logic this reasoning is called Denying the Antecedent; if A, then B; not A, therefore not B.
      In also could fall under the Fallacy of the Single Cause.
      In any case, Willard, your statement is a fallacy because it makes one party the cause of all well being.

      • Whatever Willard’s fallacies, surely we can agree that our recent policies have the exact opposite effect of enabling women to work in their homes.

        And if the policies that “conservatives” like to blame for the current state of affairs pertained to a much greater extent back when things were significantly better (at least as far as working in/outside the home is concerned), it can be reasonably argued that they are not the causes of our current ills.

      • Matt Talbot

        The time in this country when the gap between the highest and lowest paycheck was smallest was during the period specified by Willard. While there is not air-tight, conclusive proof that high marginal tax rates and high rates of unionization caused that situation, it is pretty easy to make a case that they were are the very least a big help.

  • Willard

    Oh and I never tire of repeating this teaching of Pope Pius XI that stands as a stinging indictment of not just the thing that was “conservatism” but the thing that HAS ALWAYS been conservatism: “It is an intolerable abuse, and to be abolished at all cost, for mothers on account of the father’s low wage to be forced to engage in gainful occupations outside the home to the neglect of their proper cares and duties, especially the training of children.” Quadragesimo Anno

    • Archaeopteryx

      I am confused as to why you consider that a indictment of conservatives, as it has not been my experience that right-leaning folks have ever been ‘Rah, rah! Working mothers!’; but rather ‘Both parents need a job because our stupid taxes are too high!’ with an (sometimes not so) implied sarcastic ‘Thanks Democrats!’

      Rather, the conservatives of my acquaintance have always defended stay-at-home mothers, always against leftists; and when circumstances required both parents to work always lamented that.

      • Willard

        Notice that Pope Pius is not condemning working mothers per se but those economic conditions where mothers are forced to work because of the father’s low wage. Low wages have become a huge problem as we’ve de-unionized, deregulated, and offshored/outsourced by following conservative economic orthodoxy. What did they think would happen when the largest US employer went from being GM to Walmart?

        Furthermore, conservatives at least have to be consistent. They can’t complain about “high taxes” being the cause of working mothers while at the SAME TIME castigating half the country as lazy moochers who don’t pay any federal income taxes at all.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    In other news, Texas summer is hot, Wyoming is windy and the pope is Catholic. Also, study discovers that bears do, indeed, poop in the woods.

  • KM

    “…the people most harmed by these policies are the ones most doggedly determined to maintain the status quo.”

    That’s because they’ve been lied to, and the biggest lie they’ve been told is that economic / political exploitation and serfdom is really all about FREEDOM! ™.

  • faithandfamilyfirst

    My feeble cries of Rerum Novarum have been drowned out in the din of capitalism. A good part of the problem is that no one but a Catholic scholar chained to the stocks has ever heard of the Catholic Church’s answer to our economic woes. It also isn’t in the interests of the oligarchs to allow such knowledge to spread.