Class War Already In Progress
Continuing on the theme of last Friday’s post “Barry” – Class Warrior?. How would someone define a “class war”? I would contend that any shifts that significantly favor one socio-economic group over the opposite group would qualify. To that end, let’s consider some areas that would be affected by a class war: Tax Policy, Income Distribution, Labor Unions and Socio-Economic Mobility.
Let’s look at historical tax rates to see if there has been any change over the last few decades and, if so, which group has benefited the most:
Looking at this graph it would appear that tax rates for the rich have dropped significantly while middle class taxes are slightly higher.
It is clear that the rich have done much better than the middle class when it comes to real income gains in recent decades.
There’s no doubt that labor unions help the working class while doing nothing for (or perhaps hurting) the rich.
Labor union membership has dropped dramatically since the 1960’s. Even more dramatic has been the drop in work stoppages which seems to have accelerated after the firing of striking air traffic controllers in 1981. It’s probably not a coincidence that middle class wages have stagnated ever since American unions became insignificant.
In the US, a father’s income has more influence over his sons’ income than in most developed countries. Meaning that kids from poor families tend to be poor adults, while kids from rich families tend to be rich adults. Only Great Britain and Italy have worse socio-economic mobility than the US.
Based on these statistics, it appears the class war started around 1980 – and the middle class is getting clobbered! Looks like there was a president far more skillful at class warfare than Barack Obama. Ironically, it’s the hero of Power Line – Ronald Reagan.