FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE

Friday

Classic Class Warfare

Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial average broke a new record when it climbed to a staggering 13,000 points. This is cause for celebration. Our economy is booming. Record earnings are consistently being surpassed by bigger and bigger numbers!

But, how is this great news met in the media? The same way they treat every bit of good news. They spin it to focus on the negative. All of the major media outlets are trying to generate fear in American consumers of looming trouble on the economic horizon. But, I think the Today Show gets the award for the most ridiculous story.

They resorted to a very effective tradition…Class Warfare. When they have nothing else, they pit the poor against the rich, and wait for blood. Strangely enough, they had Matt Lauer introduce their segment titled, “Share the Wealth?: The Rich Get Richer.”

At last check, Matt was earning a reported $13 million a year. So, it’s a bit strange to hear him refer to the “fat cats” who are getting “richer and richer.” I guess he would know.

Anyway, Matt began the story this way:

Lauer: Do you feel like you're working harder and harder nowadays just to stay financially afloat while fat cats get richer and richer? It's not just a feeling, and you're not alone.

Lauer does his best to relate to the average joe. His question stinks of victimization. He is trying to entice, or further exaggerate, vitriolic feelings by those in lower income brackets toward those in higher brackets. It’s sickening.

The story continued like any other Class Warfare hit piece. NBC’s Scott Cohn picked up where Matt left off. Here is what he had to say:

COHN: Not only are the rich getting richer, they're leaving everyone else behind. In fact the last time the rich were this much richer than everyone else . . . was the Great Depression.

It’s as if the rich were stealing money from the poor. Because they earn so much, they leave nothing for anyone else to earn. It is the fault of the “fat cats” that “the rest of us” can’t get ahead. If that’s not Class Warfare, I don’t know what is.

Cohn sadly continued:

COHN: A University of California study shows the top 1% of Americans now make 22% of the nation's income, their biggest piece of the pie since 1929, while middle-class Americans, by and large, are stuck, rising energy prices canceling out any increase in wages.

Middle-class Americans are stuck! Oh no. And, whose fault is that? Of course it’s the fault of the rich. They leave the rest of us behind. Oh, and it's also the fault of the evil oil companies. The rising energy prices can always be tied back to those price gougers!

Cohn conveniently forgot to mention that, while the top 1% of Americans earn 22% of the income (even though this figure can’t be substantiated by any sources), the top 1% also pay 36.9% of the income tax. The bottom 50% of Americans who earn 13.4% of the income only pay 3.3% of the income tax.

How’s that for balance?

The story concluded with a statement from Robert Greenstein, Executive Director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This is probably my favorite part of the story. Not because Greenstein’s organization is funded by leftists like George Soros. But, because of what Greenstein said:

“It makes it harder to achieve the basics of the American dream for the millions of families that get up, work hard, play by the rules every day.”

Millions of families in middle-class America work hard and play by the rules every day. What is the obvious implication in that statement?

The rich do not work hard, nor do they play by the rules. They became rich because they were born into money, or they cheated their way to the top. It’s much easier to hate the rich if you believe that they are all liars and crooks.

Like I said. Classic Class Warfare.

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