30-year sneak attack in America’s class war

Source: Dan Rodricks, Baltimore Sun (Free Registration)

Maintaining a tradition that has been around since at least the Reagan Revolution, John McCain the other night ridiculed the idea of "spreading the wealth" and accused Barack Obama of playing "class warfare." This is the tired Republican knee-jerk that occurs whenever someone in the room - Democrat or independent, academic researcher or nonpartisan think-tank thinker - raises the unsettling issue of income disparity in the United States. Republicans throw the "class warfare" flag whenever somebody gets too close to the story of America in the nearly 30 years since Ronald Reagan brought us trickle-down economics. And the story is this: Most of the money in this nation during that time has trickled up, not down, and the disparity between the wealthiest 5 percent of citizens and the poorest 5 percent has never been wider. People in the middle haven't done much better than those just below them.

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