Sunday, January 22, 2012

The banal moderateness of Thomas Friedman.

In his paean to conventional wisdom this morning, the ever so serious Mr Friedman writes:

Second, I want to vote for a candidate who is committed to reforming taxes, and cutting spending, in a fair way. The rich must pay more, but everyone has to pay something. We are all in this together.

But how over the past decades have we all been in this together?   In 2007, those in the bottom quintile had the same income they had in 1998, and a bump of little more than 11 percent since 1969; those in the top five percent had seen incomes rise by 74 percent since 1969.

  Source: Alan De Smet plot of  US Census, Historical Income Tables - Families, Table F-1.

Sure, if everyone had benefitted from the policies of the past 40 years, then everyone should sacrifice now. 

But for the time being, lets begin by asking for sacrifice from those with the means to do so.

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