class war? it's over

We lost. We didn't know we were at war. We didn't even think there was an enemy. The weapons were all in the other side's hands, but since we were thoroughly brain-washed before hostilities began in earnest, we wouldn't have raised a hand against the enemy even if we had been armed.

Incredibly, the victors still want more even now.

Some days, you have to believe right-wing ideologues have lost touch with reality completely. Their latest proposal to prevent future Enrons is -- ta-da! -- cut the capital gains tax.

And exactly what does that do to prevent future Enrons? Nothing. Except Ken Lay won't have to pay taxes on the stock he sold while his company cratered and his employees watched their life savings disappear.

Molly Ivins is mad as hell!
It's amazing to me that only populists are ever accused of class warfare. Talk about losing a grip on reality. I'll tell you what class warfare is:

When the Gingrich Republicans mandate that the IRS spend more of its resources auditing working-class people who get the Earned Income Tax Credit than it does auditing millionaires who use countless tax evasion schemes.

In 1999, the average after-tax income of the middle 60 percent of Americans was lower than in 1977. The 400 richest Americans between 1982 and 1999 increased their average net worth from $230 million to $2.6 billion, over 500 percent in constant dollars.

By 1999, over one decade, the average work year had expanded by 184 hours. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the typical American worked 350 hours more per year than the typical European.

Less than half of all Americans have any pension plan other than Social Security. Wage-earners in the United States collectively ended the decade with less pension and health coverage, as well as with the Industrial West's least amount of vacation time, shortest maternity leaves and shortest average notice of termination. Among the Western nations, the United States has the highest levels of inequality.

From 1980 to 1999, the 500 largest U.S. corporations tripled their assets and their profits, and enlarged their market value eightfold, as measured by stock prices. During the same period, the 500 corporations eliminated 5 million American jobs.

This is class warfare. (All these figures are from Kevin Phillips' excellent book, Wealth and Democracy.)

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Published on September 6, 2002 1:55 AM.

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