[I]t’s weird how disconnected the media is from the reality of the unemployment situation. It’s not that there’s no coverage, of course, but overall there’s little sense of the economic reality for so many people. The double whammy of the recession and foreclosure crisis has caused immense pain.
I have miles of respect for Atrios, but I cannot agree with this statement at all. As always the Washington Post has kept its focus squarely on the hardest hit.
LONDON — In this land of inherited privilege and celebrity billionaires, it no longer pays as much to be rich.
Hobbled by soaring debt and ballooning public spending amid the global financial crisis, the British government is joining others around the globe in tapping the wealthy to cover massive shortfalls. As a result, the tax rate here for those making more than $250,000 a year is set to jump from 40 to 50 percent, leaving the likes of Charlie Mullins — the self-made king of London plumbing — fuming. He estimates that the new bill on his $2.5 million annual income, with exemptions, will jump by no less than $236,000.
Observers say it is part of a far broader campaign in the wake of the Great Recession — including curbs on bankers’ pay and a rigorous global hunt for tax cheats from Switzerland to Singapore — that is suddenly putting the world’s wealthy on notice.
Why the assignment editor at the Post goes back to this well day after day after day is a question that maybe DougJ can answer.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with some winning the rat race and others losing. The corrosive effect that I see here is that obsessively covering the winners’ concerns amplifies their relatively mundane problems and minimizes the issues facing truly desperate people. This is not a trivial point; weighing one concern or the other would lead a low-information press consumer to support policy positions that are almost opposite one another.
A two-digit percentage of Americans fall into the terrible position of being one rejected medical crisis away from homelessness. God knows how many more once-stable middle class families the recession has pushed right to that edge. Yet, mysteriously, my WaPo RSS feed seems to filter out their narratives.
Maybe the press thinks that Michael Moore already interviewed everyone who is barely hanging on. Maybe desperate people sell fewer papers. Who knows. All I know is that that stuff like this hardly makes an effective counterpoint to the hateful drivel on FOX. In the end it seems hard to blame some Americans for thinking that Obama has no agenda other than (1) making Republicans upset (what does Newt think about this?), and (2) modestly inconveniencing wealthy people.
I see that Atrios had this post written well before I did.