US Public Lacks Confidence in Elections

Eric Zuesse Notes That the Democratic Party, once the Party of the People, is now the Party of the Rich, and that the US Public Lacks Confidence in Elections

Poverty Rose in 96% of U.S. House Districts, During Obama’s Presidency

On November 3rd, Morning Consult’s Jon Reid bannered, “Poverty on the Rise in Nearly All House Districts” and he reported that, “A Brookings Institution study, released less than a week before the election, shows that the number of people living in poverty has increased in 96 percent of congressional districts between 2000 and 2010-2014.”

That finding fits along with others, such as that the economic ‘recovery’ after Barack Obama came into the White House in 2009, went virtually entirely to the very rich.

According to the top experts on wealth-inequality in the United States, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, American wealth-inequality soared faster during 2003-2013 than ever since the period 1923-1928, right before the Great Crash of 1929. Their study “Wealth Inequality in the United States Since 1913”, published in the May 2016 Quarterly Journal of Economics, reported that ever since the remilitarization of the U.S. from the 2003 invasion of Iraq onward (and continuing under Obama, with boosts to NATO, and invasions such as of Libya in 2011), the percentage of total wealth owned by the richest .1% of American families (those families whose net worth was $111 million or higher) rose from 15% of the total in 2003, to 22% of the total in 2013, and this means that the percentage going to the lower 99.9% declined from 85% down to 78% during that time. 

America’s soaring inequality during the George W. Bush Presidency continued unaffected by the 2009 change of Presidential Administrations.

In fact: whereas Bush’s stock-market plunge in 2006-2008 hit the richest the hardest, Obama’s coming into office restored their lost wealth rapidly, while the wealth of the bottom 90% of the U.S. population flatlined throughout his Presidency. The Obama economic recovery was no recovery at all for the bottom 90% of Americans.

Not just wealth but personal income also soared for the super-rich under Obama. The “Share of income earned by top 0.1% wealth holders” soared throughout Obama’s Presidency, at least up through 2012, which is the latest figure shown there for that. So: at least the bottom 90% of U.S. families have experienced none of the Obama economic recovery; what ‘recovery’ from the ‘recession’ there is, went only to the very rich.

Findings such as those are consistent with, and might help to explain, the finding in the new Brookings study, that 96% of House districts have experienced increased poverty under Obama. The nation’s poor have gotten political rhetoric, but not much else, and the middle class also have received no net benefit, under Obama.

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U.S. Near Bottom in Public ‘Confidence in Elections’
Only Mexico Scores Lower Among OECD Countries

Here are the figures, as emailed by Gallup on November 2nd, and soon to be published as part of the “Gallup World Poll 2016”:

Confidence in Elections Among OECD Countries

Finland 89%

Iceland 87%

Switzerland 84%

Norway 84%

Sweden 82%

New Zealand 77%

Luxembourg 76%

Netherlands 74%

Germany 72%

Ireland 71%

Canada 69%

United Kingdom 65%

Austria 64%

Israel 64%

Belgium 62%

Australia 61%

Czech Republic 61%

Slovenia 59%

Poland 58%

Portugal 56%

Denmark 55%

Slovakia 54%

Portugal 54%

Spain 54%

Japan 53%

France 52%

Turkey 47%

Greece 40%

South Korea 38%

Italy 35%

Hungary 35%

United States 30%

Mexico 19%