Sun Jan 8, 2012, 10:44 AM
HughBeaumont (22,410 posts)
No Longer the Land of Opportunity; Mitt gets it wrong yet again.
This was in the PD today . . . I used to find it hilarious that Romney continues to try and brand our moderate Republican president as a Euro Leftist (snicker). Now it's just starting to get tiresome to the point of pissing me off.
From the article: "The best way to measure a nation’s merit-based status is to look at its intergenerational economic mobility: Do children move up and down the ec...onomic ladder based on their own abilities, or does their economic standing simply replicate their parents’?" Or, to my point, get worse than their parents'?
Ask yourself honestly what class (and yes, Rick Santorum, America firmly has them) America favors and caters to. Ask yourself honestly what a CEO making 300 times the salary of their average worker has accomplished for American progress in three decades.
“Over the past three years, Barack Obama has been replacing our merit-based society with an Entitlement Society,” Mitt Romney wrote in USA Today last month. The coming election, Romney told Wall Street Journal editors last month, will be “a very simple choice” between Obama’s “European social democratic” vision and “a merit-based opportunity society — an American-style society — where people earn their rewards based on their education, their work, their willingness to take risks and their dreams.”
The secrets of social democracy’s successes are in plain view. In Scandinavia, government commitment to worker retraining and job relocation mean that there is no major political pressure to keep failing firms in business; it’s a policy that favors innovative start-ups. In Germany, management and unions cooperate to upgrade their products and their processes — partly because corporate boards consist of equal numbers of management and worker representatives. Germany’s surge in exports may be partly attributable to its union workers agreeing to hold their wages flat (at levels still well above those of their U.S. counterparts). But their workers’ willingness to sacrifice in order to stay competitive is surely increased by the fact that their CEOs on average make just 11 times as much as their workers. In the United States, chief executives make roughly 200 to 300 times (choose your survey) as much as their average employees’ salary.
Which brings us back to Romney’s characterization of our country as a merit-based society and his failure to notice the huge changes in economic rewards over the past three decades. During the 30 years after World War II, the average American family’s income doubled, while chief executives’ income was restrained, increasing by less than 1 percent annually, according to a 2010 paper by economists Carola Frydman and Raven Saks. Beginning around 1980, however, as unions were smashed, industry moved offshore and executive pay skyrocketed, the incomes of most Americans began to flatten or decline, while financiers and corporate leaders were able to claim more and more of the nation’s income for themselves.
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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)
Sun Jan 8, 2012, 10:50 AM
PETRUS (2,865 posts)
Sociologists estimate that it takes six generations here to overcome differences in one's "starting position" but only three generations in western Europe. In the US, someone born into the bottom quintile has less than a 20% chance of moving up to the upper 50%.