Bubbles (OR What is reality?)

OK, I know I haven’t been around much…   but that’s really only apparent because the more the loquacious of us has been even more silent. I’m sure he’d give some lame excuse about busy prepping for Colorado Cup or some such. Me? I’m gonna stick on the apathy train…   The news is depressing and nothing is going to change for a while…

I just need to keep reminding myself that it’s worth building this slow boil of the madness, arrogance, and atrocities of the current administation.

So, I thought I’d drop in for a few comments on some old news, since I’ll be playing GRUB this weekend and don’t expect to get much computer time.

Here goes:

Matt posts about results from two vastly different polls. In comments on the first, someone points out this question from the poll.

 Just as your best guess, about what percentage of all Americans are black: less than 10%, between 10 and 20%, between 20 and 30%, between 30 and 50%, or more than 50%?

 

Less than 10%

10-20%

20-30%

30-50%

More than 50%

DK/NA

7/7-14/08

1

21

32

32

9

5

White

1

21

33

33

8

5

Black

4

24

26

24

17

4

The correct answer appears to be about 13.5%

The second tests John Edwards’ “Two Americas” idea. The increasing sense of a divided country is interesting…  but in this conversation, I’m more intrigued by the idea that almost 60% of respondants would categorize themselves as “Haves”

My sense is that there are a lot of middle class people who feel like they’re doing pretty well for themselves, making a good salary, own a house, are able to pay most/all their bills, have an HDTV, get their kids ready for/into college (with the same debt they think everyone is encurring) and think “yeah, I have what I need. I’m certainly not desitute. I’m a ‘have’.”

I get this sense because, until I started reading about the growing inequality in this country that’s much like I felt. I was getting by, making my way in the world. I had some advantages growing up, and life could certainly be a whole lot worse for me.

But, I think that’s part of the great con from the Republicans of the last few decades. Sure, we have more and better stuff, but its really a distraction from the fact that our real income hasn’t increased in 30 years. By hanging on, we’re losing money. We think we’re doing OK because we really have no idea how the real “haves” live. They are so few (in comparison) and so far removed from middle-class and upper middle class lifestyles that when we compare haves to have-nots, we’re not looking at the right people.

When income distribution looks like this:

null

And income growth looks like this:

What are the chances that the “Haves” make substantially more than $250,000 a year, and the rest of us are “Have-nots”?

Anyway- both of these polls make me think that we’re just not at all aware of our surroundings or circumstances and that ignorance is the biggest weapon the Republicans have.

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