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November 01, 2011

Charlie Pierce on how David Brooks is always, always wrong

Must read! I wouldn't mind Brooks so much if he wasn't everywhere I look. Whenever I hear his concern trolling on NPR's The Newshour I see red. Honestly. He is just the worst. Charlie Pierce nails him in this piece. David Brooks Wrong Inequality Column - The Case Against David Brooks, Man of the Privileged Few - Esquire
I don't think it's too strident to demand at this point that David Brooks be hauled up before a jury consisting of everyone else in America and forced to defend himself against several million counts of being an insufferable twat in a public place. In today's episode of Missing the Point So I Don't Miss a Meal, Our Mr. Brooks informs us that he once again has placed us all under close inspection beneath his monocle and discovered that some of us are very angry, not because some thieves in nice suits pillaged the national economy and then held the scraps for ransom. Oh, no, that isn't it at all, and he's got some wholly arbitrary ad hoc sociological categories to prove it. Here's one: If you live in these big cities, you see people similar to yourself, who may have gone to the same college, who are earning much more while benefiting from low tax rates, wielding disproportionate political power, gaining in prestige and contributing seemingly little to the social good. That is the experience of Blue Inequality. Here's the other: Then there is what you might call Red Inequality. This is the kind experienced in Scranton, Des Moines, Naperville, Macon, Fresno, and almost everywhere else. In these places, the crucial inequality is not between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent. It’s between those with a college degree and those without. Over the past several decades, the economic benefits of education have steadily risen. In 1979, the average college graduate made 38 percent more than the average high school graduate, according to the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke. Now the average college graduate makes more than 75 percent more. Ah, you might say, this is all my balls. Shouldn't we at least mention here that many people do not go to college because they can't afford it? Shouldn't we mention that the reason they can't afford it is that nobody has any fking money anymore? Shouldn't we also mention that the reason nobody has any fking money anymore is because of economic policy that enabled unbridled corporate avarice, whereby all the jobs got shipped out of Scranton and Des Moines and off to Shandong and Inner Mongolia? This left us with a Potemkin national economy within which our primary products are new financial instruments through which the 1 percent can steal what's left, thereby further guaranteeing, again, that nobody has any fking money anymore. . . .

October 25, 2011

Poverty surges 53% in suburbs while towns realize they have no infrastructure to help the poor

The new America looks like this: Cities are for the middle class; suburbs are for the poor; and the wealthiest Americans live in remote exurban walled communities. A 53% Surge in Poverty Rate Is Reshaping Suburbs - NYTimes.com
PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio — The poor population in America’s suburbs — long a symbol of a stable and prosperous American middle class — rose by more than half after 2000, forcing suburban communities across the country to re-evaluate their identities and how they serve their populations. The increase in the suburbs was 53 percent, compared with 26 percent in cities. The recession accelerated the pace: two-thirds of the new suburban poor were added from 2007 to 2010. “The growth has been stunning,” said Elizabeth Kneebone, a senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, who conducted the analysis of census data. “For the first time, more than half of the metropolitan poor live in suburban areas.” As a result, suburban municipalities — once concerned with policing, putting out fires and repairing roads — are confronting a new set of issues, namely how to help poor residents without the array of social programs that cities have, and how to get those residents to services without public transportation. Many suburbs are facing these challenges with the tightest budgets in years. “The whole political class is just getting the memo that Ozzie and Harriet don’t live here anymore,” said Edward Hill, dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. . . .

October 21, 2011

*Sigh* Humans again, always being so damn human . . .

Stories like this, we should maybe gather them together into...

It's OK to Speak Vaguely, and It's OK If We Contradict Ourselves; We Contain Multitudes #OWS

The Millions : Bartleby’s Occupation of Wall Street There are...

Continue reading "It's OK to Speak Vaguely, and It's OK If We Contradict Ourselves; We Contain Multitudes #OWS" »