Rhetoric coming out of the Democratic Party in recent weeks illustrates the platform they’ll be running in 2014 hoping to unseat Republicans in the House and retain the Senate. President Obama has stated that “income inequality” is especially pronounced in the United States and 2014 will be the year Democrats attempt to use that issue as their platform.

Report from CSMonitor:

For months now, it has been clear that Republicans will try to make the 2014 midterm elections all about “Obamacare” as they push to win majority control of the Senate. This week, Democrats will counter in earnest with their election theme. Starting Monday, they will turn to issues of income inequality in a bid not only to rouse their base, but also to win support from middle-class Americans who worry that only the rich are getting richer.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) will try on Monday to clear a legislative hurdle to allow a vote on extending unemployment insurance for 1.3 million long-term jobless Americans whose benefits expired Dec. 28. Look, too, for Senate Democrats to push for a higher federal minimum wage. Democrats are making both efforts against the historic backdrop of President Lyndon Johnson’s “war on poverty,” launched 50 years ago this week in his State of the Union message.

President Obama, meanwhile, will carry the torch further on Jan. 28, when he’ll use his State of the Union address to echo a pre-Christmas speech in which he declared that income inequality and declining social mobility are “the defining challenge of our time.”

It is a political strategy that carries some risks. Some Americans are already wary of Mr. Obama’s aims, wondering whether he lied to them – falsely telling them they could keep health insurance plans they liked – in order to win passage of legislation that makes insurance widely available to the poor. Moreover, the inequality issue has the potential to expose a fault line among Democrats, with liberals such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts pushing the party to go much further down the path of federal entitlements and benefits than many others are comfortable going.

So far, the party appears to be stopping short of an Occupy Wall Street revival.

Yes, think Occupy Wall Street, revamped for 2014 instead of 2011/2012.

What are your thoughts on this? Clearly it is an attempt to refocus the debate away from the failings of Obamacare and hit Republicans where the Democrats think they’re vulnerable.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Gay marriage was the last buzz word that was linked with equality. That won’t win many elections and they can’t win with the Presidents record so on to the next war for equality that affects everyone…….MONEY !

    Bigotry is to prized a resource to watch it drain away. So the thing to do is to damn it up and make it a fight for future generations.Fighting against inequality requires inequality in the same way Manifest Destiny requires land. It becomes harder once you hit the Pacific Ocean. You aren’t really expanding borders you’re just paving over the swamps.

    If you don’t think Occupy Wall Street,ACORN and Organizing For America isn’t going to make a stand on inequality then you haven’t been paying attention. Case in point is a current article (3rd January 2014) on “Rolling Stone” web site by Jesse Myerson entitled “Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For”. According to Ms. Myerson they include:

    1) Guaranteed Work for Everyone

    2) Social Security For All

    3) Take back The Land

    4) Make Everything Owned By Everyone

    5) Public Bank In Every State

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/five-economic-reforms-millennials-should-be-fighting-for-20140103

    • Bob, I followed the link and read the Rolling Stone article, and I have to wonder: is she serious? This sounds like some bad satire. Especially the part about how the government should just deposit a living wage into the bank account of every citizen so working is optional, thus allowing the rest to “have a life”.

      Fortunately for everyone, I am rendered speechless. I can however, type:
      http://allandouglas.com/blog/income-inequality-indeed/

      Thanks for posting that link.

      • Allen:

        I was immediately struck with the same thought and imagined I was reading an article from “Onion”. Reading other sites that make mention of the “Rolling Stones” column they seem to take it serious and not satire. Taking into consideration which focus group the site is aimed at it would coincide with ACORN,O.W.S. and Organizing America and needs to be looked at through that light I believe.

  2. It is very hard (for me) to conceive why anyone wants communism (socialism is an impossible utopia – always 2 classes and a Monarch)

    • Sam;

      As I’m sure you are aware the most recent example of a candidate running successfully on the “inequality stratagem” being NYC where Bill De Blasio was elected Mayor easily. The New York Times referred to the inequality in the city as “the brownstones vs the brown skins”.

      Will New York City be the next Detroit?

  3. Income equality and social mobility will, I believe, be the thrust of the 2014 Democratic campaigns. The number of Americans designated as “not in the labor force” in February was 89,304,000, a record high, up from 89,008,000 in January, according to the Department of Labor. In my state, in 2012, there was 6.1 million workers paid hourly rates. Of that number, 452,000 workers were earning the prevailing federal minimum wage or less in Texas in 2012, 63 percent of this number was women, while 170,000 earned less, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. A 40 hour work week at 7.25 per hour hardly, if so, pays the rent. So, these people have to look elsewhere for the bare basics of life. Primarily, the middle class taxpayer will pay for this help. The many, many big corporation who pays these non-living wages often make millions in net profits and pay less in taxes than even one of their underpaid employees. If these corporation paid a living wage then the middle class could be relieved of a lot of taxes. By middle class I mean 250,000 to 1,000,000.00 dollars per year earners. Below that, it is the working class, many of whom use government subsidies in some form. Then, we have the poor.

  4. As a long-time business manager and now owner I can tell you that while the thought of improving income to the lowest paid seems like a generous thing to do and is probably a good campaign tactic it will backfire. What always happens when the minimum wage is raised is that ALL employees expect a commensurate raise in order to “maintain scale”. Small adjustments don’t have a devastating effect, but an increase from $7.25 to $10 will mean either everyone gets a $3.00 an hour raise or entry level employees will be making as much as those who have been working hard for several years.

    This across the board raise in salaries will be a major hit to the labor cost of every company in America. Some smaller companies will respond with lay-offs of the least essential personnel. Most will respond by increasing the price of everything the make or do, thus pushing the burden of this wage increase back on the people it was supposed to help. The end result is that no one benefits, everything simply gets more expensive… again.

    • Allan…I still do not know exactly what you mean by “maintain scale.” I do know that the business world is never generous…nothing is done without a financial gain as the primary purpose. Any good business strategy will develop a comprehensive cost analysis of production and labor costs and expected gross profit. Labor costs are where the business community uses the economy of exclusion and inequality. Any person employed at 7.75 an hour is barely existing from day to day, faced with the dire consequences of illness or lay offs. You said small adjustments of everyone getting a $3,00 (actually $2.25) raise wouldn’t have a devastating effect but that entry level employees would make as much as those those who have been working hard for several years. If you have a faithful employee(s) who has worked hard for years and still is paid a measly $10.00 an hour…shame on you.

      Minimum wage increases put money in the pockets of low-wage workers who have little choice but to spend that money immediately in their local communities. Research has shown that raising the minimum wage boosts consumer spending, increasing the demand that drives economic growth. (Study by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank)

      Congressman Alan Grayson said “Walmart employees represent the largest group of Medicaid and food stamp recipients in many states, costing the taxpayers $1,000 per worker”. Data released by Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, estimates that a single 300- person Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Wisconsin costs taxpayers at least $904,542.00 per year and could cost taxpayers up to $1,744,590.00 per year – about $5,815. per employee.” Walmart,s net profit was 15 Billion dollars, free and clear, last year. If Walmart paid a living wage,it’s employees would not need government subsidies, and US taxpayer”s money could be returned or applied to the National Debt. The culture of prosperity deadens the mind and heart. .

  5. “income inequality”… Dems 2014 platform.

    LMAO — good one!

    since the Democrooks are the ones causing it, how deliciously ironic….

  6. Mr. Douglas makes the point: What always happens when the minimum wage is raised is that ALL employees expect a commensurate raise in order to “maintain scale”. – this applies to Gov and unions, not just the closed ecologies of individual companies.

  7. Sam…please explain to me exactly what “a commensurate raise in order to “maintain scale” means. I thought I knew but none of my thoughts fit the wording of that explanation.

    • Tess – i answer the question but you should ask Mr. Douglas – It means that if min pay is raised then everyone else in the company will want a proportionate raise to maintain equality – what’s good for one is good for all. This is what Mr. Douglas means and I agree.

      Which also implies that’s the reason Dems and Unions go for a min Fed raise (Which effects 3.1% of workers in the U.S.) – then every son-of-a-bitch in the Gov and Unions will go for a raise, too – keep it all equal and proportional. This is strictly my opinion

      If you wanna rag back, duke it out with someone else

      .

    • Tess – I was quoting Mr. Douglas – I also know that you are quite intelligent and imagine that you have been in both small & big biz and understand how the simple minds work about “me, too”. Sorry I jumped- not a great mood yesty.

  8. Mr. Douglas’ and Mr. Reusser’s simplistic theories don’t stand up well when reality-tested. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/09/what-does-an-increase-in-the-minimum-wage-do-to-the-economy.html

    I suspect that conservatives oppose minimum wages because they just want to continue to exploit powerless people who have been dealt a bad hand in a rigged economy controlled by wealthy interests. Pay reflects power vastly more than it does merit. If McDonald’s has to add a nickel to the price of a Big Mac, so will all their competitors so no one will suffer any competitive disadvantage, but maybe the minimum wage employees will have the financial ability to further their education or at least depend less on the social safety net. That should make everyone happy.

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