Thursday, September 22, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Who Got Your Money?

The rich get richer, and the middle gets less middler. Middle class incomes had been stagnant since the 1970’s. Well, in the first decade of this century, they started moving again. Unfortunately, they moved downward. The latest census figures show that middle-class income fell 7 percent between 2000 and 2010. And that tells you why conservatives don’t like the census. The figures for poverty and middle-class income are a disgrace for America. Hell, they would be a disgrace for Kazakhstan or Burkina Faso. 46.2 million Americans live in poverty. If poverty were a state, it would be the largest state in America, by a wide margin. Ironic—while Americans were sleeping, someone stole the American Dream.

So middle-class incomes fell. If you’re wondering where the money went, just look up. Yeah, all that disappeared middle-class money didn’t just disappear. During the same years that middle-class incomes fell 7 percent, the wealth of the Koch brothers rose by 800 percent. Look for the silver lining, people. Maybe you’ll never get to the upper classes, but at least your money is going there. The latest Forbes 400 list says that the Koch brothers are now worth $50 billion. They could actually give $1,000 to each and every person of the 46 million Americans living in poverty, and still have $4 billion left over.

There is another Republican candidates’ debate tonight, which means that this must be Thursday. Or Monday. Or Tuesday. Or any day of any month until they finally sort through these losers. Tonight’s debate is co-sponsored by Google and Fox News. Great—the place you go to for information, and the place you go to for disinformation. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will be in this debate. Johnson is open about the fact that he has smoked marijuana in the past. That contrasts with Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, who have never smoked pot, but who desperately need to. With Gary Johnson, Republican stoners have someone to support besides Ron Paul—and someone who is probably willing to allow the government to help victims of natural disasters. With Ron Paul’s rigid libertarianism, you get legal marijuana, but no food safety rules. That’s a very dangerous combination—stoners will eat anything. Gary Johnson is proof that you don’t have to be crazy to be a Republican, just to appeal to the Republican base.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Why do people love Elizabeth Warren - who's already leading Scott Brown in the MA Senate race - so much? Take a look:

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