News You Can Use to understand the New America
Summary: The news media saturate us with news, which can make understand more difficult — not less. At the FM website we help you sort through that flow to see the patterns important to you as a citizen. Today we show two examples, illustrations of powerful trends shaping America about which we warned for the past 5 years.
(1) In America “equal before the law” no longer applies
Power creates privilege in America. As see by Americans mocking the War on Terror by illegally supporting organizations designated as terrorists, yet the government does not prosecute them: “Washington’s high-powered terrorist supporters“, Glenn Greenwald, 12 March 2012 — Opening:
We now have an extraordinary situation that reveals the impunity with which political elites commit the most egregious crimes, as well as the special privileges to which they explicitly believe they — and they alone — are entitled. That a large bipartisan cast of Washington officials got caught being paid substantial sums of money by an Iranian dissident group that is legally designated by the U.S. Government as a Terrorist organization, and then meeting with and advocating on behalf of that Terrorist group, is very significant for several reasons. New developments over the last week make it all the more telling. Just behold the truly amazing set of facts that have arisen:
(2) Inequality does not just happen — it results from public policy decisions
Increasing inequality of wealth and income undermines the foundations of our Republic. It results from deliberate public policy changes that undo the policies of the New Deal and post-WWII era designed to build a strong middle class.
(a) “The Reproduction of Privilege“, Thomas B. Edsall, Campaign Stops, 12 March 2012 — Opening:
Instead of serving as a springboard to social mobility as it did for the first decades after World War II, college education today is reinforcing class stratification, with a huge majority of the 24 percent of Americans aged 25 to 29 currently holding a bachelor’s degree coming from families with earnings above the median income.
Seventy-four percent of those now attending colleges that are classified as “most competitive,” a group that includes schools like Harvard, Emory, Stanford and Notre Dame, come from families with earnings in the top income quartile, while only three percent come from families in the bottom quartile.
Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce and co-author of “How Increasing College Access Is Increasing Inequality, and What to Do about It,” puts it succinctly: “The education system is an increasingly powerful mechanism for the intergenerational reproduction of privilege.
(b) “Building A Caste Society“, Paul Krugman, New York Times, 12 March 2012 — Excerpt:
For more information
See the FM Reference Page America – how can we stop the quiet coup now in progress?
About inequality and social mobility: once strengths of America, now weaknesses:
- A sad picture of America, but important for us to understand, 3 November 2008 — Our low social mobility.
- America’s elites reluctantly impose a client-patron system, 5 November 2008
- Inequality in the USA, 7 January 2009
- A great, brief analysis of problem with America’s society – a model to follow when looking at other problems, 4 June 2009
- The latest figures on income inequality in the USA, 9 October 2009
- An opportunity to look in the mirror, to more clearly see America, 10 November 2009
- Graph of the decade, a hidden fracture in the American political regime, 7 March 2010
- America, the land of limited opportunity. We must open our eyes to the truth., 31 March 2010
- Modern America seen in pictures. Graphs, not photos. Facts, not impressions., 13 June 2010
- A pity party for America’s rich and powerful, 8 September 2010