Campaigning on the Equity Card
The richest Americans generally don’t have the loudest voices when it comes to politics — billionaires don’t have to shout to make their preferences known. But in recent months, as President Obama has cast the widening divide between the rich and the poor in the United States as unfair and unjust, prominent members of the “1 percent” have had an unusually public message for him: Cool it.
Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals ice hockey team and a major donor to Obama’s 2008 primary campaign, took to his blog in September to complain about the president’s “class warfare” tactics. Noting that his father’s highest aspiration for him was to manage the produce department in the local grocery store — and that he paid off his college loans within five years of graduating — Leonsis complained that Democrats are “casting about for enemies, and anyone who has achieved success in terms of rank or fiscal success is being cast as a bad guy in a black hat.”
Success for Democrats may depend on whether America remains a mobile society and, more important, whether Americans see it that way. The reality is difficult to measure, although an effort is being made by the Economic Mobility Project, run by the Pew Charitable Trusts in conjunction with ideologically diverse experts and think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Urban Institute, the Brookings Institution and the New America Foundation.
Read the full article at public.cq.com.
- Economic Mobility Project