Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Tomasky Sums It Up

I haven't had a chance yet to peruse Tim Noah's new look at income inequality in the US of A—I'm still a bit shocked that anti-oligarchism has apparently become contrarian enough for Slate—but Michael Tomasky does a great job today of summing up the political realities of "The Great Compression," which unfortunately looks increasingly like a freak historical anomaly rather a defining feature of modern American civilization:

The evidence couldn't be clearer. Income inequality shrank or remained stable at tolerable levels in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and again (a little) in the 90s. That's five decades. Democrats were making policy in four of them. In the other one, the Republican president was an economic moderate who'd embraced the New Deal and did nothing to lower top marginal tax rates.

In the 1920s, 70s, 80s, and 2000's, income inequality increased. Republicans in charge in every decade, except for the Carter four-year stretch. Could this really be an 80-year coincidence?


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