Friday, December 17, 2010

How Broken is Washington?

Pretty damn broken. I quote from a piece in The Huffington Post of the same title.
How do you reach a point where the political center point of our nation seemingly represents the interests of the top 5 percent of the population? The answer is massive and growing inequality in America. Our society is amongst the most unequal on earth. Statistics show the severity: the top 10 percent possess 80 percent of all financial assets, and the bottom 90 percent hold only 20 percent of all financial wealth. These incredible and morally disastrous gaps are growing worse by the day. Consider that between 1980 to 2005, more than 80 percent of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.
Wealth concentration like this is becoming a serious threat to America's greatest gift to the world, our democracy. Billions of dollars from the wealthy now flood into our political and electoral systems. Unleashed by a conservative Supreme Court, independent groups are spending staggering amounts of special interest money. Republicans now openly plot their election and political strategy with "titans of industry -- from health insurance companies, oil executives, Wall Street investors, media conglomerates and real estate tycoons." (MEMO: Health Insurance, Banking, Oil Industries Met With Koch, Chamber, Glenn Beck To Plot 2010 Election)
And let's not forget who makes up our government: rich people. The median wealth for a member of Congress in 2009 was $911,510, about 8 times the wealth of an average American.
The result is that every GOP Senator can stand up to middle America and say without hesitation or bashfulness: the rich come first. If Lincoln were to deliver his famous address today he would honestly have to describe our government as "of the wealthy, for the wealthy, by the wealthy."
And they all shouted: "AMEN." For all the good that will do in this benighted society . . . but then maybe providential intervention is what it will take. So let's all say "Amen" again.
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