…inequality in the us, gone, whoosh, – word made deed…Posted: 2014-07-29
…truly, nothing like the power of eloquence, the spoken Word, of the US Nobel Laureate President…
Having focused on US unemployment and the many citizens who lost their homes to skulduggery, a focus sufficient to ‘disappear’ those challenges, the President would showcase the power of the spoken word, his spoken Word.
To lead us into what would be a phenomenal accomplishment, we invite the quintessential voice of corporate truth, the ‘Beeb’, whose broadcast grandiosely titled, ‘BBC America’, really means ‘BBC USA’ with its gushingly facilitating Katty Kay. States the ‘Beeb’, State of the Union: Obama promises action on inequality. And it reassures US citizens and the rest of the world,
US President Barack Obama has promised “with or without Congress” to tackle economic inequality, in his annual State of the Union address.
Thus ended inequality in the US. If that statement were false, we would then stop here and not have to read from Kathleen Geier of inequality matters blog one of her posts over at the baffler blog, Inequality, the Flavor of the Month, which may suggest some sort of ‘pivot’ (silly word for ‘scurry away’). But we let her more powerful prose tell some of the tale,
Last December, President Obama delivered a speech in which he boldly declared that economic inequality is a “defining issue of our time.” It was a watershed moment — an ambitious speech on a topic presidents rarely address, let alone at such at length. Commenters called the speech “historic.”
To spoil a good day, she observes,
Truth be told, it was never clear how serious Obama ever was about fighting inequality. Though his big inequality speech marked a step forward, as many of us noted at the time, it also contained serious omissions. The economist Max Sawicky observed that much of that speech didn’t actually concern inequality. Rather, it was about social mobility, which is something entirely different.
[bold added for emphasis]
Good thing she mentioned ‘social mobility’. Again, as we look forward, as exhorted by the eloquent US President, we find the past beckoning. And that past is an analysis of social mobility and inequality – done in 2012 by Filip Spagnoli. Income Inequality (26): And Social Mobility. And those infernal explanatory charts follow this observation to further elucidate.
However, this whitewashing of inequality doesn’t work because the more unequal a society, the less social mobility there is:
Rigorous and cogent analysis just keeps intruding on a good story.
In any case the economist Ms Geier quotes does not, happily, quite see ‘dream’ in that final Shakespearean ‘state’. And here he is, Guess I’ll have to dream the rest. He observes, and this is the ‘drum roll’,
The election of John McCain or Mitt Romney would have been a disaster. The election of Barack Obama, for whom I voted in both the primary and two general elections, has been a disaster of lesser order. A valid criterion for evaluating Obama is not “Things could have been worse,” or Republicans would have been worse. That is always true. It is too low a bar from any progressive standpoint. The right counter-factual is what he could have done, not some utterly miserable alternative.
For someone from the days of the IBM 360 computer to have had buyer’s remorse, only on the third time for something so obvious – at least to the ‘outside’ observer? But yet so many young first-time voters in the US had seen through the charade early and written off the US political system? To dream, perchance, a forlorn dream? We can provide some solace, truly beautiful for the unfolding nightmare.