Thursday, February 22, 2007

53 Million

That's the number of dollars that the head of Goldman Sachs was paid at the end of last year as a bonus; and he had only held the position for 6 months [Source: Jim Hightower].

Will Campbell, reflecting on the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins of the 1960s, once wrote that mostly working-class whites and blacks clashed over sitting down to have a hamburger and a coke, but they never thought to question who was eating steak and drinking champagne and pulling strings at their expense. It seems like so many current contests--from English Only to tax "reform"--pit people of modest means against their fellows. It is the ultimate politics of division. Very few bother to question the obscene incomes that occur at the top of the economic food chain that eat into base incomes below. Incomes down below get pitted against even more subterranean incomes. Hispanics get accused of taking "American" jobs. And yet, nobody bothers to question economic powers that pull the real strings in this nation.

Let's call a $53,000,000 bonus for 6 months what it is: obscene. ComPare incomes below the upper middle class level off each other; but let's be clear about the real income obscenities. Then we can talk about who is really losing ground to whom.

UPDATE: Here's a helpful NPR report after the jump out today on the "income gap" and the differences between Republicans and Democrats on the dealing with it.

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