Valley of tiers: America's growing class system

  • Article by: FRANK BRUNI , New York Times News Service
  • Updated: November 13, 2013 - 5:28 PM

Seems like everything in America nowadays ranks us according to how much we pay.

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davehougNov. 12, 13 1:28 PM

Pay for perks.....you say that as if it is a BAD thing :) Seriously, we have auctioned off so much today in the sense the high-bidder gets more service by paying more. This article is spot on.

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verdin11Nov. 12, 13 2:04 PM

Thanks Reagan!

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violinmadamNov. 12, 13 2:15 PM

Save your money and go hiking in the Federal Parks!

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ubetcha101Nov. 12, 13 2:15 PM

America is about achievement. You can achieve financially or spiritually or many other ways. Our commander and chief has criticized the successful/wealthy and wants to level the field. To be the best of the lousiest or the lousiest of the best. Is no achievement!

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stpaulisbestNov. 12, 13 2:32 PM

Another article about the class divide. We know, we know. But what does anyone propose to do about it? We had the smallest gap between rich and poor and the largest middle class when we had more taxes on the most wealthy. But in the interest of "fair" taxation we have now created the largest gap between rich and poor since the great depression. But no one dares to propose that the wealthy pay more taxes, do they?

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actualreaderNov. 12, 13 2:35 PM

Again, with an above comment "the successful/wealthy" are seen as the same thing. What the "successful/wealthy" have mainly achieved in the past few decades is being able to hand off their wealth to the next generation, which -- a la Stewart Mills, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney -- is absolutely convinced it pulled itself up by its own bootstraps. Indeed, what an achievement, to be born rich and stay that way! Apparently the rest of us are just lazy slobs for accepting stagnant wages, paying more out of pocket for our health benefits and trying to fund our own retirements while just trying to keep our heads above water. Not sure which of the "lousiest" categories that puts us in in the "maker/taker" "47 percent" scorn scale, but I"m sure we'll be enlightened soon.

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essdee09Nov. 12, 13 2:39 PM

stpaulisbest, some people are suggesting that wealthy pay more taxes, recalling a United States that wasn't exactly on the downswing back when income taxes were in the 70% range or higher. I don't know as they need to return to those levels, but we're at the point now where even maintaining the things we taxpayers pay for takes more and more money -- yet the Koch stooges in the Tea Party believe any increase in taxation is an assualt on the American way of life. One wonders how many more bridges have to collapse or how low student achievement scores have to go down before low-information voters figure out they're being conned.

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jimmybobbyNov. 12, 13 2:42 PM

stpaulisbest: If you live in MN, marginal rates at the top are now just under 50% with the new Medicare tax. That's not high enough? Cripes.

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gandalf48Nov. 12, 13 2:50 PM

stpaulisbest - [But no one dares to propose that the wealthy pay more taxes, do they?] *** We just raised taxes on the wealthy at the beginning of the year...did that solve the class divide issue? Did it fix the deficit or debt issue? Nope, just more money wasted by government. Please try another solution besides telling the rich they need to pay more...they already did that!

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thunderNov. 12, 13 3:42 PM

Great idea by private business to maximize profit. What are people willing to pay? I do not patronize the parks that allow people to pay to get in line in front of me. Maybe if enough of the people standing in line got angry enough and walked away the practice might change. Wonder if you can apply that theory to other arenas???

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