Guest blog post from Bob Muehlenkamp
If the key to political/economic/social understanding is making the connections among apparently discreet phenomena, five articles in today's Washington Post provide a dramatic example of how to get a good understanding of what's really going on.The first, starting below the fold on page one, "Government workers' pensions no long sacred," with the inside headline "The new privileged class," details private sector workers' resentment about public employee benefits, especially pensions, and city and state efforts to cut them.The second, "Distrust of state government deep," on page 14, describes how people want to cut state budgets, but are not so sure about cutting specific programs.The third, on page 2, details a speech by President Obama on cuts to community colleges.The fourth, "Drained of water, and of life," on page one of the Metro section, talks about a small dam in Fairfax County that collapsed during the recent rains because "without a significant cash infusion, the dam wouldn't hold forever."And the fifth is Steven Pearlstein's column in the Economy and Business section, "The costs of rising income inequality." The top 10% now get almost 50% of pretax income (up from 1/3 in the post WWII period), the top 1% getting 23%. All the good explanations of the "why" and the consequences. (Only one quarrel: Pearlstein says "There are moral and political reasons for caring about this dramatic skewing of income, which in the real world leads to a similar skewing of opportunity, social standing and political power." He should have added at the end a note about the Supreme Court "United" decision which already is shredding our fragile democracy.)Think there are connections here?
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