Thursday, November 24, 2011

Krugman on the Occupy Movement

Here is the opening bit of the latest NY Times op-ed by Paul Krugman:
“We are the 99 percent” is a great slogan. It correctly defines the issue as being the middle class versus the elite (as opposed to the middle class versus the poor). And it also gets past the common but wrong establishment notion that rising inequality is mainly about the well educated doing better than the less educated; the big winners in this new Gilded Age have been a handful of very wealthy people, not college graduates in general.

If anything, however, the 99 percent slogan aims too low. A large fraction of the top 1 percent’s gains have actually gone to an even smaller group, the top 0.1 percent — the richest one-thousandth of the population.

And while Democrats, by and large, want that super-elite to make at least some contribution to long-term deficit reduction, Republicans want to cut the super-elite’s taxes even as they slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in the name of fiscal discipline.
Go read the whole article.

He finishes with:
So should the 99.9 percent hate the 0.1 percent? No, not at all. But they should ignore all the propaganda about “job creators” and demand that the super-elite pay substantially more in taxes.
At key points in American history the government has stepped in to correct historial injustices. Roosevelt had his "New Deal" and Johnson his "Great Society". Some big program needs to be put in place to rectify the accumlated historical wrongs that have creates such an unjust inequality in the US.

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