A journalist who has published a new work focused on American income inequality believes that the U.S. had better embrace wealth redistribution or prepare for a revolution that will be “the bloodiest thing the world has even seen.”
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston put together “Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Income Inequality” to increase focus on income inequality, a favorite Democrat talking point.
The collection of essays, speeches and excerpts is described by the liberal blog Salon as a “kind of inequality reader.” In a lengthy interview with the blog, Johnston lends insight to the thinking behind the left’s championing of forced wealth redistribution.
Because the 99 percent might do something more intense than wrecking parks, getting pepper sprayed and playing bongos next time:
We will either, through peaceful, rational means, go back to a system that does not take from the many to give to the few in all these subtle ways, or we will end up like 18th century France. And if we end up in that awful condition, it will be the bloodiest thing the world has even seen. So I think it’s really important to get a handle on this inequality. After all, since the end of the Great Recession, one-third of all income increases in this country went to just 16,000 households, 95 percent of it went to the top 1 percent, and the bottom 90 percent’s incomes fell, and they fell by 15 percent. So we need to recognize that there is a very, very serious problem here that has to get addressed. But it won’t just go on forever because if you follow that to its logical absurdity, one person ends up with 90 percent of the wealth in the world. And that’s not going to happen.
A couple things to note: The happenings in 18th century France were largely the result of governance not very unlike that touted by big government proponents in America today.
As the Cato Institute puts it, “The French state engaged in wars throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. To pay for the wars, it employed complex and burdensome taxation, tax farming, borrowing, debt repudiation and forced ‘disgorgement’ from the financiers, and debasement of the currency.”
As you read on, you’ll note that the journalist means to say **insert any Communist revolt here**.
But, the journalist added:
While I certainly am worried that we could end up in a violent revolution somewhere in the future, sparked by extreme inequality, I’m [an] indictable optimist and believe that [if] the American people have access to explanations and information they will, over the long run, make smart choices.
Because Guns! And (no doubt he means conservative) Demagogues! And Non-Intellectuals!:
Oh, yes. I’ve written about people on the far right and the far left since the ’60s. Back in the ’60s, I was in the homes of people who built bombs, both left and right. And we live in a country now where we have members of Congress who have either questioned, or ignored questions about, killing the president of the United States. We are seeing all these laws passed allowing people to carry guns openly. We are coming apart as a society, and inequality is right at the core of that. When the 90 percent are getting worse off and they’re trying to figure out what happened, they’re not people like me who get to spend four or five hours a day studying these things and then writing about them — they’re people who have to make a living and get through life. And they’re going to be swayed by demagogues and filled with fear about the other, rather than bringing us together.
Of course: The 2nd Amendment isn’t really a recent development.
Yep, He Meant Conservatives:
I think it would be easy for someone to arrive in the near future and really create forces that would lead to trouble in this country. And you see people who, they’re not the leaders to pull it off, but we have suggestions that the president should be killed, that he’s not an American, that Texas can secede, that states can ignore federal law, and these are things that don’t lack for antecedents in America history but they’re clearly on the rise. In addition to that, we have this large, very well-funded news organization that is premised on misconstruing facts and telling lies, Faux News (formerly Fox News), that is creating, in a large segment of the population — somewhere around one-fifth and one-fourth of it — belief in all sorts of things that are detrimental to our well-being. President Theodore Roosevelt said we shall all rise together or we shall all fall together, and we need to have an appreciation of that.
Yes, other outlets certainly do a better job with no nonsense reporting… and hiring accomplished straight-news talking heads:
The Answer… Democrats, Unions, Bigger Government:
Number one, we’ve got to change the makeup of Congress. The Democrats got 1.4 million more votes than the Republicans [in 2010] but they have a minority [in Congress] because of gerrymandering. So we need to have state legislatures — and we may need a constitutional amendment to make districts evenly divided between the parties — that will get us more centrist candidates rather than extremists on both left and right.
Secondly, we’ve got to restore unions. If you believe in market economics, you’ve gotta believe in unions. Now, unions aren’t perfect, but neither are corporations, or the government or, for god’s sake, the clergy. Unions allow people as a group to negotiate for reasonable pay, and without unions you have big corporations, and individuals who have no bargaining power, such as a lot of unemployed workers. Our competitors all have unions. The Germans even have unions for executives. So we need to get back to unions if we’re going to improve people’s economics.
We need to have a big enough government to enforce the law. We have not prosecuted any of the “too big to fail” banks and we have a president who has said, Well, these things look awful, but they may not be crimes. I’m sorry — the banks falsely certified documents … there are plenty of witnesses who have emails and memos they wrote and can testify that they said that this is illegal and wrong and they were told to shut up or were gotten rid of.
To be fair, these are excerpts. The journalist does actually make a few good points on some of the issues covered— the operative word being few. Feel free to read the full interview at Salon.