14 April 2011

Is a Reality Based Politics Possible?

One of the things progressives often wonder is why average working Americans don't repudiate Republican political-economic policies that privilege the wealthy. One clear reason is that average Americans somehow do not manage to align either their assessments of, say, the actual distribution of wealth or the ideal distribution that they would like to see with what is, in fact, the distribution of wealth in the U.S.; the result is that there is a massive disconnect between motivation, assessment of possibilities and actuality. Is it possible to surmount that predicament? That is the first step in any hope for progressive politics. The second step would be to recognize that the data reported here suggest that the average American hardly is an egalitarian.

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Blogger Scot said...

Should we become more egalitarian? And move more towards a socialistic country? As if we aren’t enough already. I recognize the privileges the wealthy are receiving. But I must ask, does any class deserve these benefits? I feel that this is what we should be trying to prevent and remove. If we are going to move more towards egalitarian, then we should treat all wealth classes the same and stop giving benefits both to high income and low income classes. I was hoping to get your thoughts on if wealth distribution really matters?

15 April, 2011 02:25  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Scot, The mal-distribution of wealth has documented negative effects on things like, say, democratic politics. SO, yes, it matters.

And, of course, the mal-distribution has grown astronomically since the 1970s. In large part that is due to the impact of policies enacted by the 'democratic' process.

We can talk about what a fair and effective distribution of income or wealth might look like. We can talk about what we mean by 'fair.' And we can talk about the sorts of consequences that flow from various distributions of economic resources. But there is virtually no evidence that the current distributional patterns benefit anyone outside the very rich.

15 April, 2011 09:52  
Blogger Stan B. said...

Egalitarian? Is that when Republican and Democratic Party leaders, despite their vast economic, social and ideological differences both agree to partake equally in off shore tax shelters?

15 April, 2011 17:33  
Blogger Stan B. said...


15 April, 2011 18:00  

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