F. Scott Fitzgerald nailed it

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.”

From The Rich Boy

Especially politically. John Sides, associate professor of Political Science at George Washington University has an extensive post of Nate Silver’s 538 blog on the politics of the 1 percent. Jump to the Sage Foundation study results after you finish reading. (Dr. Sides also posts at The Monkey Cage.

As you read his piece, take careful note the third point about how the rich are different from you and me, and why they wield such power over our lawmaking – The 1 percent is vastly more politically active. There you have it, in a nutshell.

Meanwhile, among the 99 percent –

In California, there is strong support, at least at the outset, for a ballot initiative that would require millionaires to pay more progressive tax rates in order to restore funding for education and other essential programs.

Bloomberg poll finds a large majority of Americans want higher taxes on the wealthy in order to pay down the deficit. Note, more than half of the self-identified Republicans in the poll were on board.

Whether the Dems will really embrace this huge potential majority, run on the issue, and then do something come January, 2013, is the question.

One obstacle for our side in the debate is definitions. Laura Clawson, posting over a Daily Kos, has a look at a recent Gallup poll asking Americans what income level they’d need to consider themselves “rich.” The median figure for all respondents was $150,000. That income would put a person in the upper 2.5 percent, but that’s hardly the level of wealth controlled by an even smaller number of Americans who also control our lawmaking process. That’s the real key, not wealth, per se (although that’s an issue in and of itself), but the level of power wealth can provide.



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