Robert Reich: "Why the Anger?"LINK
"...cable news and yell radio compete for viewers and listeners by being ever more strident. Not long ago I debated a Republican economic advisor on a cable TV program. During the brief station-break, the show's producer told me to "be angrier." I told her I didn't want to be angrier. "You have to," she said. "Viewers are surfing through hundreds of channels and will stop for a gladiator contest."
Within this cacophony, we've lost trusted arbiters of truth -- the Edward Murrows and Walter Cronkites who could explain what was happening in ways most Americans found convincing.
We've also lost most living memory of an era in which we were all in it together -- the Great Depression and World War II -- when we succeeded or failed together. In those years we were palpably dependent on one another, and understood how much we owed each other as members of the same society.
But I think the deeper explanation for what has happened has economic roots. From the end of World War II through the late 1970s, the economy doubled in size -- as did almost everyone's income. Almost all Americans grew together. In fact, those in the bottom fifth of the income ladder saw their incomes more than double. Americans experienced upward mobility on a grand scale.
Yet for the last three and a half decades, the middle class has been losing ground. The median wage of male workers is now lower than it was in 1980, adjusted for inflation.
In addition, all the mechanisms we've used over the last three decades to minimize the effects of this descent -- young mothers streaming into paid work in the late 1970s and 1980s, everyone working longer hours in the 1990s, and then borrowing against the rising values of our homes -- are now exhausted. And wages are still dropping -- the median is now 4 percent below what it was at the start of the so-called recovery.
Meanwhile, income, wealth, and power have become more concentrated at the top than they've been in ninety years.
Political scientists have also discovered a high correlationbetween inequality and political divisiveness.
The last time America was this bitterly divided was in the 1920s, which was the last time income, wealth, and power were this concentrated."The rest