Dear Crooks and Liars community, please indulge me here and tell me what this man just said. Please? I know, I'm supposed to tell you what he just said but I can't. Try as I might, I just can't follow his leaps from Saudi Arabia to Mumbai to people living in shanties in the shadow of the rich guy's 66-story mansion saying to themselves, "Gawd, I wanna be just like him" to the kids in the USA saying "Life sucks but I'm not getting out in the streets because I have a cool president" to the idea that none of this -- none whatsoever -- has to do with income inequality.
As with any serving of word salad, the meat is usually in the bottom of the bowl, and so it is here, where he hits the punch line at young people, suggesting they're so caught up in the president's coolness they're oblivious to their ongoing frustration about a lack of upward mobility. WTF? And how did we get from Mumbai mansions to that, anyway?
About that income inequality thing. The chart they put up on the screen has absolutely nothing to do with per capita income. It's per capita GDP, and by no means should be interpreted as mean income. Take Qatar, for example. The fact that it has the highest per capita GDP certainly shouldn't cause anyone to assume all people in Qatar are rich. In fact, 20% of Qatar's population holds 52% of the wealth. Not that facts matter or anything, but India actually has a lower rate of income inequality, though it is rising over time.
Wonkery aside, did that man really just say that income inequality isn't an issue? That the real problem is that people don't believe there's a possibility of upward mobility and that the reason for that is...coolness? It couldn't be the permanently lost jobs, or the war being waged on the poor and middle class at all, right? It's just...coolness?
BECK: Let me go Charles to you. You brought up Saudi Arabia. I think Saudi Arabia's absolutely -- absolutely going to feel the pressure and possibly collapse.
PAYNE: You're absolutely right because this again -- if it was about economics,, the average GDP per capita $23,000, they could probably get away with that, but it's about something much larger, much bigger. But I gotta tell you, before you went to break you were talking about the youth and how this thing has spread.
You know, the misconception this is somehow about income inequality and things like that I find amazing because people in Egypt, people in Tunisia, people in Saudi Arabia, the average person there makes more money per year than the average person in India or China.
And then in the meantime you've got a guy in India who just built a 66-story house in Mumbai. Mumbai, 66% of the houses are made out of tin. So you've got this 60-story single family house casting a shadow on all of these shanties and people aren't in the streets. You know why?
PAYNE: Because they look up at that and they say "That can be me." We're losing that in this country but around the world in certain pockets of the world where you don't see that stuff going on...It has nothing to do with per capita income.
Again, it has to do with the fact that where young people believe they have a chance at this upward mobility...and unfortunately what I'm worried about -- we're talking about these other countries...in this country our youth don't really believe there's upward mobility and the only reason there's not outrage out there is because they think we have a cool president.
This little onslaught came after Beck prepped us all with predictions of doom and death as the Middle East implodes in a domino effect that causes state after state to fall into one of several buckets: Open Society a la Soros, United Islamic Nations/Caliphate/Sharia Law, or Global Communism. Today's villains star Van Jones, Richard Trumka, and the "clowns out front with the cheesehats". I just have to share it, because someone you know will tell you that the cheesehat guys are going to subvert our country. You need to know where they got that from.