Short post today, working on a good long one for you tomorrow (giggle). Larry Bartels, one of the more visible and important political scientists of this generation, did a short write-up about how austerity and income inequality are uniquely linked in the United States. Whereas in most advanced industrial democracies preferences for spending cuts are relatively flat across income levels, American preferences are essentially a proxy for household income. While that should come as absolutely no surprise, the non-U.S. data are unexpected. With higher tax rates in much of Europe, one might expect to see some preference (however slight) for austerity among higher earners.
This is the latest in what seems like a daily burst of stories about income inequality, plutocracy, and oligarchy in the past few months. It's as though the Professional Writer Class just discovered that we have a problem that has been glaringly obvious for at least fifteen or twenty years. Should I be happy that it gets talked about or pissed off that it took so long that it's probably too late to do anything about it?