We already knew this, but here's more evidence that the contemporary U.S. economy is an inequality production machine:
The Typical Household, Now Worth a Third LessHow does the right-wing blogosphere respond to this? Gateway Pundit: "OBAMANOMICS IN ACTION: Typical US Household Worth One-Third Less Than Under Bush." Scared Monkeys: "Obamanomics is Crushing America … Typical US Household Getting Poorer, Worth One-Third Less Than GWB."
... The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution -- the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.
The Russell Sage study also examined net worth at the 95th percentile. (For households at that level, 94 percent of the population had less wealth and 4 percent had more.) It found that for this well-do-do slice of the population, household net worth increased 14 percent over the same 10 years....
Yes, that's the right-wing spin on this: it's all the result of too much liberalism. It's all Obama's fault.
Is what we're experiencing the result of "Obamanomics"? It's true that President Obama has been too deferential to Big Finance and conservative thinking -- there were no prosecutions of top bankers, there was too much too much talk of coming to "grand bargains," and efforts to provide mortgage relief after the housing crash were laughably inadequate. But the 2009 stimulus was whittled down by united Republicans and turncoat Democrats. The belt-tightening of the sequester came after Republicans pushed America to the edge of default. An Obama jobs bill has languished for years.
We elected what a lot of people assumed was a liberal government in 2008, but there's an embargo against liberalism in America. Republicans are wholly in thrall to the plutocracy, but Democrats are largely in thrall -- you can't go to D.C. as an elected official without raising massive amounts of money, and that means you can't ruffle the feathers of the folks who pay your bills. Democrat might get a little liberalism through the legislative process, but centrist Democrats will unite with Republicans and the right-wing media (usually with the mainstream media's assistance) to prevent this sort of thing from going too far. Now that the rich no longer fear that workers will go communist anywhere in the world, they have no incentive to maintain a strong, thriving middle class in the First World. So whenever liberalism threats to break out, they intervene. And so it's their economy.
Working to ensure that anyone elected as a liberal will fail to make life better for ordinary Americans is part of the effort to prevent liberalism from ever taking root again in America. The point is to persuade voters to reject politicians who propose activist-government interventions in the marketplace. It may be working, if we're to believe polls suggesting that the culturally liberal next generation is nonetheless skeptical of government and libertarian-leaning.
Inequality will increase until ordinary people find a way to break the embargo against liberalism and seize some power from the rich and the politicians the rich employ to enforce the embargo. I just wonder if any of us will live to see that happen.