We’re Approaching the Tipping Point

Of all the new poll numbers on all sorts of subjects that have come out recently, one number  in particular caught my eye.  It’s from the latest CBS News/New York Times poll and it tells us that a whopping 66 percent of Americans believe that wealth should be more evenly spread around in this country.

Or to put it another way, two-thirds of Americans think that rich people have too much money — and that everyone else doesn’t have enough.

Or to put it still another way, we’re approaching a tipping point in this country, if we haven’t already reached it.  In science, a tipping point is the point at which a system is displaced from a state of stable equilibrium into a different state.  The tipping point here is the one that takes us from capitalism to socialism.

It’s bad enough when about half of Americans don’t pay any federal income tax and get all the goodies – like national security and interstate highways – for free.  We can understand how that creates an entitlement mentality. But now we have a majority of Americans who think that wealth is not fairly distributed in this country – and they want some of that money.   This explains why, according to the same poll, two-thirds of Americans are in favor of raising taxes on millionaires.

This is how re-distribution of the wealth works:  the government takes from the so-called rich and gives it to everyone who isn’t rich.  Never mind that the rich may have more intelligence or more talent than the rest, or that they simply might have a more marketable skill. And never mind the simple fact that it’s their money — no matter how they got it, as long is they got it legally.  So what, say the 66 percent.  They have it and we want it!

They sound a lot like the Occupy Wall Street protestors, which explains why nearly half of those polled say the demonstrators represent the feelings of most Americans.

As depressing as these numbers are, they’re  gold nuggets for President Obama who, as I’ve written before, will run his campaign for re-election pretty much on just one issue:  Republicans only care about rich people.  They don’t care if  everyone else loses their home, can’t afford food and dies in the street.

President Obama, at heart, is a ruthless left-wing politician.  Despite his lofty rhetoric and engaging smile, he will happily divide Americans based on their net worth.  He won’t care about turning Americans against each other.  He has seen these poll numbers and with unemployment holding steady at over 9 percent, they surely have given him hope.

 

 

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  • jizflinger

    I hate this god damn country, i wish it was easier to get the f*ck out of this sh*t hole.

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  • Don Rhudy

    Jeez Louise, Bernie! If you poll twice as many Democrats as Conservatives and Republicans, what kind of results would you expect? A genuine poll with a genuinely properly selected sample would show the opposite result.

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  • gregory james

    This is off the subject. NO commentator mentioned how Cain was treated on Meet the Press . Cain was actually forced to say “smoking was not cool” as if he were a black yard worker, in the south, 50 years ago. The commentator, who is from the south and around 80 years old must have had a senior moment or flash back. He who claims to not be prejudice would never have talked to a white candidate the way he did to Herman Cain.

  • talers

    It is easy to feel upset and angered when hearing the numbers at each end of the great “income disparity” of the United States. Earnings that top several millions per year seem grossly obscene compared with average annual salaries of $35,000 to $70,000. It’s obscene even to some making $250,000!

    Surely those “ultra-wealthy” folks (with tens of millions or billions) shouldn’t mind giving back MOST of that money to the country that helped make their income possible… right? Compared to most, they can certainly survive quite luxuriously on just one million or less per year!

    But I personally believe the cry for “wealth redistribution” is morally, ethically, socially, and politically wrong. This is not the right answer to our plight. Wealth redistribution may inadvertently open the door for replacing capitalism with socialism. Steve Angers’ comment below made a heck of a lot of sense to me, “In a socialist economy we wouldn’t have our current argument over how to fairly distribute the contents of an Olympic-sized swimming pool; we would be arguing over the contents of a kiddie pool. And that wouldn’t benefit any of us.”

    On the other hand, “Fair Taxation!” is a viable chant. But whether we need to close loopholes and tax more or less is a different and separate argument.

    I started down the path of indignant righteousness regarding income inequality in the U.S., but eventually grew appalled by so many of my fellow citizens that truly believe it is okay — no, in fact our right — to TAKE from those that have and give it to those that have not, regardless of their circumstances. It sounds fair on the surface, but this philosophy feeds and perpetuates an unhealthy entitlement mentality that infiltrates every aspect of our behavior; “I am, therefore I am owed. So gimmie” — a job; a raise; a loan; a discount… Even worse; those in favor of redistributing wealth want the federal government to manage this Robin Hood style of activity. How oxymoronic is that?

    I think it is important that we recognize and admit that many of us Americans – over the last 50 years or so of the previous century – grew increasingly expectant and spoiled. Many of our young people never experienced any other mindset. We were conditioned to believe in and expect a certain level of entitlements in our society. Through our system of capitalism, complimented by social ideals, the U.S. — as a country — enjoyed great wealth and comfort. Through our system of taxes, social insurance programs were instituted to care for our poor, our ill, and our aging citizens. That’s okay — maybe even great. For a long while, we successfully borrowed from the best ideas of different societies and combined them to create a unique and vibrant society with a strong economy that was well known as “The United States, Land of Opportunity and the American Dream”. We were able to do that because we believed in unity and, undivided, we allowed ourselves to imagine a better life. It required that our elected leaders would see and understand ALL viewpoints, and base their decisions on the common good.

    Our government programs have grown mismanaged and wasteful today. Allowed to run unchecked, these same programs have helped to disease our thinking, enabled fraud and corruption, given too much power to our government and the financially affluent, and upset the delicate balance of our democracy. As the system broke, we fell into two halves representing two nearly equally divided and derisive ideals.

    Now, when we hear of the unemployment levels and the economic difficulties of so many living in the U.S., it is easy for many of us to be empathetic towards the sentiments of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Make no mistake, a solution IS needed, (and it may very well come down to The People to force a solution onto our foundering government), but I watch the OWS and other movements and worry that we better be “careful what we wish for”.

    I support the sentiments of the OWS movement, but not the call to redistribute the wealth. Was there criminal activity on Wall Street? Possibly, but probably not under the laws, guidelines, and regulations that allowed our economy to break down. What about our government? The Tea Party movement hosts some who chant for the extreme dismantling our federal government in favor of a return to a gun-toting “Code of the West” while most in the movement only support the desire for smaller government — while still recognizing the need for SOME federal oversight of the States. So who has the best ideas? And who is to blame for corruption and imbalance in our government? Perhaps we can also look to ourselves, our grown children, and our parents for having turned a blind eye and shirking our civic duties for too long.

    Is there hope? Can we turn it around? I believe so, but it is imperative that we look beyond our anger at the situation and carefully examine the ramifications of our different possible actions.

    Keeping in mind that Utopia is not attainable… but balance is: What kind of world do we want to live in? What kind of future do we want for our children? What are we willing to give up in order to achieve something better? Our great country provides us the unique opportunity to be in this position of asking these questions — and ANSWERING them — collectively for ourselves. Let’s not blow that.

    We had better learn to listen to alternative ideas, learn from the wisdom of history that repeats itself and to study the likely outcomes before we join in any chanting! Know of what you ask. Rise above our reactionary anger and behave proactively. Ignore the extremes and look for solutions that most viewpoints can agree on. Open your mind to all possibilities, but beware and especially ignore all those whose goal is to divide us further. We must carry out our civic duty at the voting booth. Not just during presidential elections, but at every federal, state, and local election. Every community election.

    And when it comes to choosing the next President of the U.S.,… well, I am still looking. Because ALL of these jokers so far, Republican and Democrat alike, will only perpetuate more corruption and partisan divisiveness.

    Please, PLEASE, participate in the Primary elections and push forward the best candidates of OUR OWN choosing — not those advertised to us by special interest PACs.

    • Margaret LaRue

      talers…

      I don’t usually read something as long as your post …BUT, I have to tell that I agree with averything you have said..except for the comment about the Tea Party members…I don’t believe most want to return to the “old west
      mentality..
      All said…great post….thanks..

  • Drew Page

    The problem with the redistribution of the wealth is that the government does take it from the wealthy, but despite all the government promises, it never gets to the poor. We have been fighting the “War on Poverty” since Lyndon Johnson thought up the name and we have more poor today than we did at the outset of the “War”. I would like to ask, like the critics of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, how do we deine ‘victory’ and what is our ‘exit strategy’ in the “War on Poverty”?

  • Brian

    The middle-class has shrank ever since we eliminated all of the bread-and-butter jobs years ago. Those jobs were once enough to support a family. Now, those jobs are enough to support a basic apartment for one and bus fare.

    By the way, those jobs are not coming back. It just wont happen. Plus, the dream of owning your own business is shrinking by the day. Forget trying to own a business that sells goods, unless they are specialty goods that are not available anywhere else. Corporations make it tough to sell goods when they offer a biger selection at a leser price.

    So, the redistribution of wealth will not happen with new jobs. If it does happen, it will be due to a move towards socialism. Its the only feasible way it can happen.

    • rider237

      i’m not sure i agree that the middle class is disappearing because of the jobs available. i think it’s being redefined. it’s being redefined with an eye toward it’s destruction.

      lets face it. the kind of “socialism” that this government embraces is Marxism. Marxism at it’s extreme leads to a ruling class, and everyone else. the ruling class decides what, and how much, the rest of us get. you can’t have a middle class with a truly Marxist government.

      we tend to think of socialism in the European model. the government makes sure everyone is taken care of, but there is still opportunity for success. there is a middle class, even though maintaining the middle class life style becomes more difficult as more and more people are being cared for with tax dollars.

      look at the background and associations of the people in this government. they are more of the communist model. some have been openly communist. some have expressed an admiration for Mao and Che. many love Hugo. we know of the background of Ayers and Pivens. we know that Obama studied these ideologies in school and as an organizer.

      we have a president who is openly working outside the constitution and doing so without challenge. we have a justice department that refuses to uphold the law. many agencies working outside the oversight of congress. entire industries are being destroyed.
      now we have a bunch of stinky malcontents camped in every major city in the US just waiting for the match to hit the fuse.

      we are in a lot more trouble that most people seem to realize.

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  • therealguyfaux

    The Right does not help their cause by intentionally fuzzying the term “distribution” by using it in its non-technical sense of “dispensing wealth” when the technical term means “where the wealth is situated”. RE-distribution involves dispensing, one way or another. But to mislead Americans by deliberately misusing a technical term is straight out of the old Lefty playbook. I think we’re better than that.

    • rider237

      how about this? they want better distribution of wealth through re-distribution of wealth.

      i don’t think i misunderstand the terms….or the intent.

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  • Kathie Ampela

    “Somebody said that a Democratic Republic can’t survive without an informed electorate, that’s a little scary in this day of slogans and chants”

    “There is no surer way of corrupting the citizens, and to divide the city against itself, than to foment the spirit of faction that may prevail there; for each party will strive by every means of corruption to secure friends and supporters.” — Niccoló Machiavelli

    We live in a culture of indifference and false idol worship..then we complain when Jennifer Lopez makes $12 million a year and want income redistributed. We want what is easy rather than what is right. It’s gotten somewhat better since than the last election, but if this new poll is accurate and not skewed I have no idea how to fight that mindset. I don’t want to live in a society where everyone earns $40,000 a year.

    • Kathie Ampela

      “Never mind that the rich may have more intelligence or more talent than the rest, or that they simply might have a more marketable skill. And never mind the simple fact that it’s their money — no matter how they got it, as long is they got it legally.” Talent and intelligence are both debatable..those words stir up an emotional response which is the last thing we need. “Talent” can be invented by a PR firm by generating “buzz” to the all too willing “sheeple.” The same can be said of “intelligence.” Babe Ruth or Joe DiMaggio never earned anywhere near $32 million in their lifetimes; the same can be said of Marilyn Monroe’s earnings compared with Jennifer Lopez. The debate should be framed as whether we want a capitalist society vs. a socialist one. Emotion is what is driving the issue and it will win if we are not careful with our words.

  • jujubee

    I never heard of a poor person getting rich by making a rich person poorer.
    The protestors all look like young, gullible idiots who are from the self esteem entitlement generation who are parroting Obama’s sound bites to divide the country along class lines.
    It is too bad they will never be fulfilled. Their cups will always look half empty. The movement for self-esteem must have been created by progressives.

  • Jim McLay

    Interesting article, and I sure hope that poll
    finding is badly skewed (with the NY Times involved, that’s always possible). If not, it’s depressing that we truly have turned into
    an entitlement state. I’d like to see some
    analytical follow-up on this …not that I’m looking for more bad news.

  • Shirl

    All politicians have got to give up their sacred cows for starters; and balance the budget before we all go under.

  • samantha perumal

    good article.i think of da 40% rich ppl in amer.,only 20% of ‘em got their wealth bec.of al dat u mentioned,so i’m not surprised dat 66% want redistribu.& now . . .confirm.dat obama is a left-wing idiot…i def.dont want him 2 get pres.again!

  • Cmacrider

    Bernie: In relation to a previous article you wrote, I responded by suggesting that if the Republicans want to beat Obama, the Republicans have to FRAME the debate for the ensuing election. In other words, they shouldn’t get drawn into Obama’s class warfare charade. They should frame the debate about what is truly of concern to American’s name jobs and the economy.

    I see by your article you are playing right into Obama’s hand.

  • California70

    Bernie,
    Americans are used to having a Middle Class. The government has taken that away by not having a policy to bring jobs back into this Country. America is making China, a Communist country by the way, RICH by us building everything there and giving the chinese jobs. What’s wrong with this picture?
    It doesn’t take a “rocket scientist” to figure it out!

    It’s obvious to any voter that keeps up with this stuff that the Republican Party doesn’t want to get rid of Mr Obama. If they did, they would have run better people than the group they now have!

    Please Mr. Goldberg, we need professionals like yourself to be writing and exposing these things for what they are. This is exactly why we are at a tipping point.

    Both parties, Democrats and Republicans want “One World Government”. It’s obvious and it needs to be stopped by the journalists in this Country by telling the truth to the American Public. But that just doesn’t happen.

    I keep hoping!

  • TONY

    Conservatives need to loudly refute the entire premise of the argument: Wealth is NOT distributed, it is earned! The candidate who sticks to this point will turn the tide of the envious and immature who are wrong. The candidate who lauds American entrepreneurs while putting the Occupy babies in their place will win the election. I think Americans want a firm and mature hand at the wheel, not a sugar-daddy.

    • California70

      Tony,
      One must remember, our children have been and are now more than ever before, being taught by Socialist/Marxist teachers and professors. This is what is WRONG with our kids. We teach them good convervative principals at home and when they go to school…the schools teach SUBVERSION of our own Country to our children.

      Shades of 1930′s Germany! It’s called INDOCTRINATION!!!

      • Margaret LaRue

        AMEN!!!!!!! well said

  • Steve Angers

    That was an interesting column, Bernie. I agree with most of your observations and with your conclusion. However, I do disagree with your suggestion that there’s no basis to challenge accumulation of wealth if it happened ‘legally’. That’s a facile justification for behavior that may very well be ripe for criticism.

    I think there’s a growing belief in this country that while most of the richest Americans may have accumulated their wealth legally, they may not have done so using the most ethical or moral standards of behavior. While some Americans even believe that accumulation of vast wealth is inherently immoral, many Americans have a more pragmatic standard that reaches an equally negative conclusion.

    These critics of the wealthy have observed generations of dishonest, but apparently legal, behaviors that have helped some advance careers and secure greater personal wealth. They have seen some of their fellow citizens utilize the benefit of their superior intelligence or power to take immoral advantage of other citizens who lack the resources to protect themselves. They have observed tortured manipulations of the legal system to keep acquisition of vast wealth just on the right side of the law; or so obscure as to frustrate legal challenge. They have seen the wealthy and powerful continue to accrue wealth through activities that have put the health and lives of other Americans at risk, and only be held legally accountable decades after the fact, if ever. In short, many Americans have, both in observing trends across our society and in their daily lives, witnessed unethical and immoral behaviors that further the acquisition of wealth while remaining technically ‘legal’.

    Laws often codify the moral and ethical standards of a society, but I think we all understand that this is an imperfect process. Sometimes legal usage evolves over time and becomes detached from the original moral intent. Sometimes laws don’t evolve fast enough to keep up with social change. Sometimes individuals, or groups of individuals, are wealthy and powerful enough to frustrate the intent of the legal system and are able to violate society’s moral and ethical standards without commensurate consequence. No matter how well the legal system is designed, it becomes possible over time to frustrate the best moral intent.

    Many Americans appear to believe we have reached that point. They no longer believe that our economic and political system benefits them. They don’t believe that a good idea and lots of hard work will help them to get ahead; will help them earn their fair (not necessarily equal) share of the American dream. They believe the current system is rigged against them. They’ve lost confidence in the fundamental fairness of our society.

    This growing disenchantment with our economic system and our political system, this crisis of confidence in the current direction and structure of our American society, concerns me deeply. I agree with you that our economic system, despite its many imperfections, is vastly superior to any system that is likely to take its place. I agree that a socialist economic system will remove many of the incentives that people have to work hard and to innovate. I agree that a system that disconnects an individual’s productivity from his or her rewards will soon frustrate productivity and societal progress. In a socialist economy we wouldn’t have our current argument over how to fairly distribute the contents of an Olympic-sized swimming pool; we would be arguing over the contents of a kiddie pool. And that wouldn’t benefit any of us.

    I believe the American people need to have broader confidence in our current economic system. But it’s clear than many honest and hard-working Americans are losing their faith in that system. All of us who care need to address the concerns of those Americans in a way that will motivate them to again embrace the fairest and most productive economic system in human history.

    But to restore the average American’s faith in our economic system, we must first acknowledge that it has wandered off course. We need to reset the collective moral compass before we can hope to find our way again. To do that, we all have to be open-minded and willing to listen to the viewpoints of others. Some of us will have to be willing to accept unwelcome changes in the current system, else we run the risk that when change happens it will introduce a new, and less effective, economic system that we’ll all have to live with. And while that system, too, would be ‘legal’, it wouldn’t be productive, ethical, moral, or truly fair to anyone.

    • rider237

      how do you reset the moral compass when so many people believe that morality is relative? you want the government making moral judgments? you want a Billy Graham come to Jesus moment?

      your observations may be valid, but the issue is not new. we have regulated things to death and with each new set of regulations, come new problems.

      how about if we stop worrying about what others have and do and just do for ourselves?
      we are far more impacted by the governments confiscation of our wealth, than by the fact that some who are wealthy might have taken advantage of the system.
      unless that wealthy man has done something to take money out of my pocket, his wealth and how he got it has no impact on my ability to make myself wealthy with hard work, good planning, and…perhaps a little luck.

      • Steve Angers

        I’m not advocating a government solution, Rider. I think this issue is much too important to entrust to that level of incompetence. But I do think it critical that we understand that many of the people who are frustrated with the way our economic and political systems work today might turn to the government for a solution. That’s why I believe it’s important that we communicate more with those who are turning off and pay serious attention to their complaints. I think it’s within the grasp of individual Americans to insist on moral and ethical standards in the commercial and political sides of public life; standards that could re-animate the average American’s belief in a society that has worked exceptionally well for most of the past 235 years.

        • California70

          Steve Angers,
          It’s wonderful that you state…..”Americans to insist on moral and ethical standards in the commercial and political sides of public life; standards that could re-animate the average American’s belief in a society that has worked exceptionally well for most of the past 235 years.”

          However, You must also realize that without the “Christian ethic” or believe system that we started out with as a Country, people will not behave that way. It’s elementary my dear Watson! The further away from our Christian roots we become…the less ethics and morals we have as a people.

          Isn’t that what Jefferson meant when he said “we given you a republic, if you can keep it”!

          Also, we all learned in college…if you play by the rules and the other person doesn’t, most of the time “You loose”! Please remember that no days, we have a lot of illegal and other people here in this Country that DO NOT subscribe to “our ways of doing things”. They want us to be like them. And obviously, we are bending over to do just that. Much to our own demise!

          • Steve Angers

            I think that the decline in moral and ethical behavior in this country started to take place at about the same time we saw a decline in the number of Americans who identified themselves as religious, California70. Whether one caused the other or they both grew out of some other deficiency, I really wouldn’t try to say. But we do feel the lack of clear, shared standards of behavior in our society.
            I think the process of getting back to some common standards is going to take a lot of communication and tolerance among individuals and groups with very different perspectives. I believe we need to appeal to an enlightened self-interest to guide the majority of us to sublimate some of our sense of individualism in favor of common standards of behavior and common objectives. I also don’t expect it to be a quick or easy process. But I see us going in the wrong direction now and believe we need to come together soon on a common sense of where we should be going and a framework for getting there. The longer it takes, the harder it will become to get our society moving together in a positive direction.

    • California70

      To
      Steve Angers,
      Your thoughts are excellent and eloquently said.

      I take it one of the people you are referring to would be George Soros!

      George Soros is so blantantly “takiing advantage” of the system that he should be stripped of his Citizenship if he has one in the Country, and placed in jail with the key thrown away!

    • talers

      Steve, I agree with you completely! What to do about it is more difficult — but a solution cannot be properly implemented until the real problem is thoroughly understood. Thank you, sir.

      • talers

        P.S. Are you aware of the republican candidate, Buddy Roemer? He is advocating to reduce/eliminate the influence of money on our government policies/elections… Do you believe that is (or isn’t) a good direction for this country?

        • Steve Angers

          A solution will definitely be more difficult, talers! The one thing of which I’m certain is that we need to get back to a place in this country where people feel that they do have opportunity and where their contributions to our community can be just as important as those of anyone else. Getting to that point will require a lot more open-mindedness, tolerance and willingness to cooperate than I see in most corners of our society today.
          I do know who Buddy Roemer is, although I’m not overly familiar with the issues of his presidential campaign. I should probably be paying closer attention to candidates who haven’t yet attracted the media spotlight. I can’t say how I feel about his position on reducing the influence of money in politics, although I generally feel that would be a good idea. The problems will be in the details as there’s too much corruption in the current system for those who benefit to quietly abandon their game.
          As soon as money is made less important in politics, special interests will find a new currency to purchase influence. But if the importance of money is reduced, perhaps politicians will spend less time pursuing donations and have more time for policy. Then we can work on weeding out the inequities and corrupting influences of whatever new form of power special interest groups introduce to the political process.
          I will take a look at Governor Roemer’s proposal for reducing the role of money in our political process, as well the rest of his platform. I’m not overly excited about any of the current major candidates in the Republican field, so perhaps something Roemer says will strike a chord with me. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Ron Kean

    I agree with you, Bernie. But in more than one argument saying what you’ve said, I’ve been accused of wanting babies or poor people to die in the street. It’s like Nancy Pelosi just said to we who don’t want tax dollars paying for abortions.

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  • Joy F Friedberg

    BO has created a class warfare that can only lead to more job loss as people who have the resources to start a busined. ess are less inclined to take the risk if they can’t get a profitable return
    Corporations and big buisnesses are being vilified as greedy mass polutors destroying the planet. Capitalism which works best in a free society and enabled America to grow and prosper is under attack by this zenephobic administration. The only outcome will be greater job loss and the ruin of our right to life liberty and pursuit of happiness. Big brother is here.

  • IndependentLasVegas

    Polls from the sources in your article I consider lies… CBS,NBC,ABC,CNN,CNBC.MSNBC THE NYT..are Obama’s PR firms..

  • IndependentLasVegas

    Why would you print polls from the NYT,CBS,ABC,NBC, CNBC, CNN, or MSNBC.. They are all lies pro Obama and Obama’s PR company!

  • Bruce A.

    Every time I see another poll I think back to my statistic classes & how the professor said the poll can come out any way you want it to.
    What were the questions? How big was the sample?
    Where were the respondents located? Who commissioned the poll? Age group etc. etc.

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  • Robert A. Hall

    “In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.” —Edward Gibbon. If you are not free to earn wealth and make yourself and your family better off, without having it taken from you to benefit those who didn’t earn it, you are not free. Doesn’t matter if the takers are a mob of barbarian invaders set on colonizing your wealthy country, a mob of inner-city criminals or a mob of the non-productive voting to confiscate your earnings for themselves. The results are the same. I will link to this from my Old Jarhead blog

    Robert A. Hall
    Author: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
    (All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans)
    For a free PDF of the book, write tartanmarine(at)gmail.com

  • paul wiggs

    Only a fool believes that by takeing water from the north end of a lake and putting back into the south end of that same lake will it cause the lake to rise in volumn.

    America needs macro economic policies that make the lake bigger. Not mico policies that help some special interest. All governmental economic policies should be to the benifit of all Americans not predetermined voting blocks.

    Economic policies that specificlly benifit labor unions or bankers or students or corn farmers or homeowners or car companies etc in the long term hurt the entire country.

    This also creates a culture of “let me get mine” attitude within the country. So if everyone is “lobbying” for their own “bowl of rice” let me get in line for mine. This culture will ultimately tear our country into one of competing dogs going after a single bone.

    Let us go back to asking “What can I do for my country, not what can my country do for me!”

    • John J

      Ah, but entropy is a bitch! One can level something by either building up one side, or sinking the other. Since building anything requires planning, energy, work, and much more, lazy liberals aren’t willing to do that. It is far easier to destroy than build up.
      Just ask Obama. Or any government regulator. They can only stop you from doing, as they have no plan to actually do anything
      Until everyone stops piling regulations and taxes on everyone and everything, nothing’s going to happen.

  • rider237

    it may be very true that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. it’s the “why?” that i think most people are getting wrong.

    most of us depend on what we earn for all that we do. we earn dollars. what has happened to the dollar in the last few years? it’s worth less. i may be earning the same or even more, but my ability to improve my life with those earnings is degraded.

    wealthy people depend less on earnings from salaries. they can invest in ways we can’t. they can take risks that we can’t take. they have the potential to make money in ways we don’t.

    there’s nothing wrong with that. they are investing and risking in ways i can no longer afford. they are also finding ways to protect their wealth. nothing wrong with that either. in fact, in the long run, that’s a good thing for the economy. they will have the wealth to spend when they feel more confident spending.

    the solution is not taking money from the rich. the solution is for the government to stop manipulating the dollar and the economy. in all things, we need to find the bottom before we can head for the top. and WE NEED TO STOP SPENDING.

    not spending will be painful for a lot of people who have become dependent on the government. to bad. i can guarantee that in this country, no one will starve on the street.

    no spending will make a lot of countries who depend on us pretty unhappy. to bad.

    not spending will make a lot of suddenly unemployed government workers unhappy. (see above sentence on starvation)

    states will have a cow. who will pay for the parks and art work…oh wait…the schools and police?

    kids might have to cough up for parents meds and food (gasp!). you know….like in the old days? that spare room might even need to be converted for granny. after all, you bought that 5000 sq ft house, you might as well use all of it…..

  • Mitch

    Bernie, I am sure you are shrewd enough to check the questions in the poll. If they were not slanted toward the answer CBS/New York Times was seeking, then we have a slight problem. Furthermore, people have a “knee-jerk” reaction to many polls not thinking about the repercussions. Either way, here’s the deal: Most rational thinking Americans do not embrace just taking away money from somebody else who has genuinely earned it. I’m not a rich person, but my hat goes off to those that were able to do it legally. My own personal research is that it takes much time, effort, discipline, and personal sacrifice to get there. So, Obama and the DNC can employ all their strategies to convince 49-51% to vote for him come 2012. But luckily for us, those he is counting on to get him there do not have a job, do not have a car, and do not have the initiative to go out and vote to put him over the top. My theory is that baby boomers will vote in overwhelming numbers. They are the sleeping giant that many pundits do not consider, in my view. Therefore, Obama will get kicked to the curb and get sent back to Chicago next year!

    • John J

      Would you like a million dolars?
      Yes!
      Go kill your Mom, and I’ll give you a million dollars.
      No way!
      Alright, go shoot a stray dog, and I’ll give you a million dollars.
      I’ll think about it.

      The problem is: few bother to contemplate the price, before signing up. That’s what really got us into this mess.
      That’s also why polls are stupid. Only one poll really counts. Nov 2012.

      • Jonathan

        wow wow wow this book suodns amazing. Ive never heard of it, but I bet my sister would adore it! She is usually my book recommender Kat recently posted..

  • Lily

    I want to see the study, not just the results. I want to see the questions, and the sample. I did my own non-scientific study among my friends and acquaintances. Not one of them seriously believes we should “take from the rich.” Not one. Everyone of them believes that if you work you get paid, if you work hard you get rewarded. If you fail, you learn a good lesson.

    This poll was asked of more than 60 people. The question was, “Do you think the ultra-wealthy should have to share their money with you?” (It was asked this way because everyone in my sample had jobs). Everyone of them laughed and said “that’d be nice.” When they realized I really wanted to know they all said variations of “no, as long as it is honestly earned (no Madoff’s)”

    So again, I want to see the actual study, the questions, and the sample. Otherwise I have trouble believing there are that many lazy bums in this county. CBS/New York Times have an agenda, I believe they skewed the outcome.

  • Franklin

    I just want to know where I can get the “I want your Money” poster!

  • Fred Pasek

    It’s gonna be a hell of a btlle. The DNC is shrewd. These OWS clowns are paid well enough to stick it out over the winter. Obama’s policies make it impossible for the economy to expand enough to put people back to work and ease some of the strain. He’s the best class warfare orator I’ve ever seen. The socialists can smell victory. Get ready for a hell of an election cycle here guys. Those of us who are still in our right minds are going to have to be extremely active, and we’re probably going to have to take on some pointed arguments with liberals we consider friends, because the DNC will be feeding them what to tell the independents to make them feel sorry for themselves and feel envy of the rich and disdain of the Reppublicans for trying to protect the rights of the rich. It’s gonna be a hell of a battle. The socialists know that this is their last chance. People are paying down their personal debt, and the housing market is almost bottomed out. If e Repoublican gets in office and eases the regulations and removes the burden of Obamacare, the economy will explode, and the Dems won’t get in power again for at least 12 years. This is their moment, and they’re not gonna go down without a fight.

  • Florida Jim

    When a poll is used as a basdis for information I wonder exactly who did the polling, what is their history with polls, what exactly were the questions, qwho took the poll, were those taking the poll a representative sample of from the poller’s opffice? There is so much to wonder about with today’s polls that I question their value unless the questions I asked have been answered.CBS polls-worthless, MSNBC pols-wouldn’t even look at, Sabato’s pioll -good, Fox News-good.Others-questionable.

  • Bernie

    I think the poll makes sense to anyone willing to think about it. Granted that people that have talent deserve to be rewarded more than the common worker and those unwilling to work deserve nothing, however one also needs to consider “an honest day’s pay for and an honest day’s work”.

    Leo Apotheker – $10 million in severance and bonuses for an 11-month term that saw HP’s share price dive 45 percent. Jennifer Lopez – $12 million for 1 season of American Idol. Rush – $50 million per year for a 15 hour per week radio program. Alex Rodriguez – $32 million per year for playing a game. Common worker – $30 to $50 thousand per year for working 40 – 60 hours per week, 48 weeks per year and producing something tangible. A solider in Afghanistan – $35 thousand per year for risking their life while serving their country.

    The income redistribution from the middle to the upper income tiers is only part of what’s ruining this country. There are so many things wrong that it’s hard to know where to start but I’m still hopeful that our political leaders will open their eyes and begin the hard work of fixing the problems before it’s too late.

    • Blakely1

      I think your little grey cells have turned green with envy.
      Did you ever hear of Fair Market Value?…
      what a willing buyer will pay a willing seller,
      If someone is willing to pay Ms Lopez $12,000,000, it is none of your business.

    • Rick Daniel

      All these people are being paid voluntarily by someone who thinks they’re worth that much. None of our business. If you don’t think they are worth that much, and mostly I don’t either, then don’t watch/listen to them. In general people earn an amount that’s proportional to the perception of what it would cost to replace them. In the case of major executives, they mostly have contracts tht spell out their compensation before hand based on what the board of directors thinks they can do for the company, and they are legally bound to pay it. They need to be more careful to tie it to performance.

      In the case of an Alex Rodriguez, it’s based on what the team owners think his draw to the ball park will be, and what he can get from other team owners.

      this is the first post I’ve seen in a while complaining about major entertainment and sports figures. i’ve always wondered why executives get a bad rap and these guys tend to go unnoticed.

      Ulitmately it’s up to the millions of us to fix it. If enough of us quit watching Jennifer Lopez she won’t be making $12 million a season. As long as there’s no fraud going on it’s none of the government’s business, and they can’t really do anything to stop it without screwing up 5 other things worse.

      is it possible that this sentiment is an artifact of the bad economy? If we could get the government out of the way I kinda think the economy would recover quickly and some of this would abate. I think the government’s made it worse, just like they did in the 1930′s.

      Moving from Obama to someone a little less left would be a great start. that would require the public do a little more critical thinking than they do now. Somebody said that a Democratice Republic can’t survive without an informed electorate, so that;s a little scary in this day of slogans and chants.

    • Guilherme

      I don’t rncgoeize this America. We have lost our way, fallen and WON’T get up. We await the bailout from the toothfairy that must surely come. This is not who we were.

  • john in dallas

    I, too, believe that BG has misinterpreted the poll. Studies do show that wealth has become more concentrated in fewer people in the last few decades. The reasons are more complicated, however, and soaking the rich with taxes to punish them is not the answer. In part, this is due to an educational system that has failed to prepare many to fully participate in the economic system successfully. I think the poll merely reflects a desire that the wealth be should be less concentrated, not that the wealthy should be scorned or punished, but the system allow for more persons to become wealthy It does not necessarily reflect a desire to redistribute wealth by government fiat.

    • Andrzej

      654starz on October 20, 2011 ru a good keissr1 hold? ur breath2 go on to another video3 add this comment but still holding you r breath4 did you make it if you did then ur a good keissr

  • wendy

    wish the people that wanted the wealth distributed would get out of the hand out and protest lines and start earning the money so they can distribute it….novel idea!!!!!

  • therealguyfaux

    Of course, if you ask people the question “Would you want to see wealth more evenly distributed if it were your wealth being re-distributed?” roughly about 99% will say hell no(maybe Jimmy Carter, that living saint, will say otherwise– well he’ll SAY otherwise).

  • rick geiger

    I think BG misreads both the polling and the situation. The problem that we have is that our economic/government system has now moved so far in the direction of crony capitalism, where people with money or government clout have an advantage over those without wealth or government clout that the system is now distributing money and wealth not in a capitalist manner, but is a manner that is skewed to the rich and well connected. In other words, because we have less capitalism and less effective capitalism, people see the distribution of wealth getting more and more biased and less fair. And that in fact is true. The problem is too much government power and corruption that can be bought by wealth and money vs fair play and merit. One way to improve the situation is http://www.congressgohome.com

    • Bill Hurdle

      I couldn’t disagree with you more Mr. Keiger. Average Americans don’t know about crony capitalism nor do they understand it’s mechanism and affects. While crony capitalism is repulsive, it only accounts for an insignificant portion of the wealth generation in the US. It is my belief that upward mobility of the lower classes has been stalled by globilization and it’s resulting impact of wage stagnation. This has been interpreted as the wealthy exploiting the poor while it is actually a matter of over supply depressing wages. Instead of working on a solution to this problem to determine how the US can regain technical leadership (green energy and neutering NASA have been shown to be negative contributors) and the associated wealth it will provide, the Obama administration has chosen the divisive path of promoting class envy to maintain political power. The fact that confiscating all the wealth and redistributing it will have a negligible effect on the living standard of the average person is completely ignored. In addition, the wealth creation machine is destroyed in the process.

      • John J

        That’s total Bull. There are so many barriers to commerce which were erected through populist rhetoric, but really were meant to discourage competition, the lifeblood of capitalism. One needs multiple licenses to do almost anything. Blacks have always had a fair beef about trade unions keeping them out. I know. I have seen it.

  • Gena Taylor

    It is really depressing that so many people have gotten to the point they want money earned by other people handed to them, without them making any effort to earn it themselves. Obama has been pushing this to the point people are finding it not only acceptable but desirable. Really sick approach to “making” money. Sad commentary on the future of the United States.

  • cc

    misery loves company. Miserable people (regardless of cause) want to force others to be equally miserable rather than trying to improve their own situation as best they can. I was a C- algebra student so perhaps I should say “Algebra is Unfair!”

  • G. Daylan

    There is no surer way of corrupting the citizens, and to divide the city against itself, than to foment the spirit of faction that may prevail there; for each party will strive by every means of corruption to secure friends and supporters. — Niccoló Machiavelli

  • RecknHavic

    You are about the Obama strategy, but it should come as no surprise as Demokrats have been playing the class envy card forever.

  • CCNV

    Even IF the US went to socialism/communism and EVERYONE was given $1000/month, what happens when I only need $700 and I bank the rest? Eventually, that money adds up and then I would be considered “rich” and they’d take my money again. WTF?

  • John Daly

    I don’t think the poll result is as grim as it sounds. Quite frankly, I don’t think people really understood the question… mainly because it doesn’t make sense. Here it is in its entirety:

    “Do you feel that the distribution of money and wealth in this country is fair, or do you feel that the money and wealth in this country should be more evenly distributed among more people?”

    What does that even mean to people? News savvy people understand what the question is supposed to be about, but someone else might think they’re talking about how much employers pay their employees, or how much people give to charity.

    To me, it almost sounds like a partisan push poll question. You could pretty much replace “money and wealth” with ANYTHING positive and a strong majority will answer yes.

    I don’t dispute that we have an entitlement mentality problem in this country, but this question was deliberately worded this way to get the result it did.

  • robin in fl

    Well count me OUT of that 66% ..I am defiantly NOT rich, as far as I know I am probably considered poor. Who knows??.I know I am far happier and content then lots of people I have seen (both rich and poor)..besides ,this “poor thing” , others have tried to tell me I am, is quite quant I tell them ..rather “Waltonesque”… and as long as I have a lovely piece of property I BOUGHT and a roof over my head and neither I nor my animals ever go to bed hungry, I feel quite “rich” and quite blessed :)

    I have personally known millionaires that have committed suicide and some that are, or at least seem ,VERY miserable ,so I’ll just keep on enjoying what I have ,even it it doesn’t seem like enough to some people. :)

  • phlymgrym

    I don’t recognize this America. We have lost our way, fallen and WON’T get up. We await the bailout from the toothfairy that must surely come. This is not who we were.

  • Dan Farfan

    “…as long is they got it legally.”

    Oddly, “legally” is the wrong standard. A socialist congress could pass a “profit limits” bill and a socialist POTUS could sign it… in 2012! (It would destroy the American economy, but it would be comical to see the folks who crowed so loudly when ‘term limits’ for pols were all the rage a few years ago. Be careful what you ask the government to limit! It will never really be themselves in the end.)

    The more accurate standard is “fair.” The true occupiers believe that when profit is the result “the rest of us” should have the right to adjust post hoc the terms of legitimate, fair, transactions. And if I got the short end of the deal, then clearly the deal wasn’t fair. (run, pounce, spring, vault, spin, twist, flip, twist again — mental gymnastics — stick the landing. And I thought the next Olympics where in 2012!)

    “If you got rich selling us $0.99 burgers than clearly you charged too much. Rebate now – to everyone, even if they didn’t buy your burgers – or we’ll live in your parks, disrespect social order in your community, defy police attempts to enforce laws and disrupt your business at will. That is your penalty for accumulating wealth – at our expense.”

    “You got a bailout, tricked people into buying homes they couldn’t afford, stopped loaning money and … made a profit! Therefore, I’m rewriting the terms of my student loan…”

    There is a lot more on the table than tax rates for “the rich” and redistribution of wealth. If a generation grows up being taught that “a deal is a deal, unless it works out better for the other guy, then you can change the terms” it’s game over. That new standard won’t just apply between “the 1%” and “the 99%.” It’ll be neighbor vs neighbor.

    “I know we made a deal in our marriage ceremony, but that’s not really working out for me…”

  • Dan Farfan

    “the government takes from the so-called rich and gives it to everyone who isn’t rich.”

    It’s only “everyone” in the textbooks. It would actually only be groups selected by the pols as “winners” (aka their campaign contributors and their voters).

    @DanFarfan

  • Scott

    Polling is very sensitive to premises in the question. If you posit that wealth “just happens” then, of course, it should be more evenly distributed. Try asking the question this way and you’ll get a very different response:
    Should people’s earnings be taken from them in order to give it to people that earned less?

    People have a remarkable tendency to agree with generalizations that have no factual basis. The next time you hear someone rail against The Rich who have “stolen” from the rest of us, break out a list of some of the richest people in America and ask them to identify the ones who stole their fortune, how they stole it, and from whom they stole it. You won’t get many answers.

  • Terry Walbert

    The article didn’t say what the 66 percent thought was the solution. The implication is that they want to take it from others. If that happens, we’ll all be poor.

    I agree that “wealth should be more evenly spread around in this country,” but the way to do that is to have a growing economy with more opportunity for people to use their talents to make money.

    Obama should have said to Joe the Plumber that the way to spread the wealth around is to spread the opportunity around.

  • Nancye

    From the article:

    Of all the new poll numbers on all sorts of subjects that have come out recently, one number in particular caught my eye. It’s from the latest CBS News/New York Times poll and it tells us that a whopping 66 percent of Americans believe that wealth should be more evenly spread around in this country.

    ***************************

    I’m not disputing your word, Bernie, but really, should whatever CBS News and the New York Times say for the truth, be believed? I don’t!

    I don’t believe that 66% of Americans said this. I don’t believe ANYTHING that the news columnists from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and any other news network says, and especially the New York Times. We should all know that they’re are bunch of liars and will say anything.

    To hell with polls!!! To begin with, I think they make them up.

    Maybe I’m naive, and as I’ve said before, I’m not rich, but I don’t begrudge those who are, nor am I envious of them.

    How could anyone think that they should be given something that someone else has worked for, and give it to them, while they sit on their butts doing nothing.

    Am I in a bad mood today? Yeah! And most every day when I read/hear things like this.

    Gimme a break!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Do 66% of Americans think this sort of rubbish? I don’t think so!!!

  • Smorkingapple

    No mention of the bailouts for wall St. No mention of the golden parachutes for “more talented” executives that ruin companies. No mention that our “best and brightest” don’t create anything and work in an industry that is inherently parasitic not creative. No it’s just class warfare with no justification behind it.

    In other words a fair and balanced article from Bernie. Good job!!!