Al Jazeera: The Top 1% in America

Al Jazeera forced many West­erns view­ers to take their report­ing seri­ous­ly dur­ing the Egypt­ian upris­ing this spring, and now the Qatar-based news net­work has released a time­ly reportage (Aug. 2) on the fault lines in Amer­i­ca — on the gap between rich and poor that only grew wider this week. Alex­is de Toc­queville they’re not. There’s no sub­tle soci­ol­o­gy here. But, at the same time, I sus­pect that this for­eign per­spec­tive on the U.S. won’t appear unfa­mil­iar to many Amer­i­cans. The pro­gram runs 24 min­utes, and oth­er shows in the Fault Lines series can be viewed on YouTube here. H/T @courosa

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Comments (4)
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  • Robin öberg says:

    Indi­vid­ual lib­er­ty –> ego­cen­trism
    Free­dom of expres­sion is void in the US
    Free com­pe­ti­tion –> Monop­o­li­sa­tion for the rich
    Legal egal­i­tar­i­an­ism is an ill­l­lu­sion indoc­tri­nat­ed into the work­ing class hero

    Now, stop watch­ing Fox News :)

  • Ivo says:

    How does the accu­sa­tion that cer­tain coun­tries and cul­tures in the mid­dle east treat their peo­ple unfair­ly jus­ti­fy the actions of politi­cians and rich in the US? You are ridicu­lous­ly sug­gest­ing that because we aren’t at the bot­tom of your imag­ined social lad­der that we should­n’t even dare to look at our own prob­lems and improve them.

    As a US cit­i­zen I can’t change the mid­dle east but I should be able to influ­ence change in my own nation.

  • Leishalynn says:

    Great doc­u­men­tary — con­cise and truth­ful. I hope they win an award for it.

  • Feel Free to Comment says:

    “major­i­ty of Amer­i­cans?” might I point out that in the past five elec­tions that the “major­i­ty” are divid­ed near­ly straight down the mid­dle in the pop­u­lar vote between the two major par­ties. The rea­son such a view would be pro­duced is that most demo­c­ra­t­ic states have vast met­ro­pol­i­tan areas where­as con­ser­v­a­tives typ­i­cal­ly live in more rur­al set­tings, which most sur­veys have trou­ble reach­ing.
    You might also take notice of the fact that most key areas of finan­cial exchange where I would assume the major­i­ty of the top 1% live or spend most of their time(Miami, San Fran­cis­co, Los Ange­les, Seat­tle, D.C., etc) where the major­i­ty of the finan­cial dis­par­i­ty is felt due to high­er liv­ing costs are already sup­port­ing such mea­sures for work­ers by hav­ing min­i­mum wages far beyond the fed­er­al lim­it along with many oth­er neces­si­ties. To raise the fed­er­al min­i­mum wage to some of the pro­posed tar­gets near­ing $9.00 and oth­er ben­e­fits would destroy rur­al area’s means of com­pet­ing with the cities.
    On the oth­er hand, the idea that the rich will invest in the pro­duc­er side of the econ­o­my to boost growth before con­sumer prod­ucts does­n’t make sense to me. If we ever do cut tax­es on the wealthy, I’m hop­ing it’s lat­er on after the econ­o­my has sta­bi­lized. Over­all, this isn’t just about the poor mass­es vs. the rich (which are very dif­fi­cult to define based on var­i­ous areas’ cost of liv­ing to income ratio). It’s also about the rur­al areas vs the cities; inland Amer­i­ca vs. the coasts. While we talk of the col­lapse of the econ­o­my, the areas that were and to a point, still are, sup­pressed by the cities’ rapa­cious growth are now bloom­ing with the slow bal­anc­ing occur­ring over time between the economies with­in the U.S.. I like Al Jazeera. The stuff they have report­ed on in war zones is gold for peo­ple want­i­ng to see the unsaid cons of the U.S. mil­i­tary’s grip in for­eign nations. How­ev­er, this is not their best documentary/newscast. They need to do a lit­tle more dig­ging into U.S. region­al­ism and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment in the past decade before sum­ming our prob­lems in the plight of the met­ro­pol­i­tan cities’ work­er pop­u­la­tion. Not all Amer­i­cans live like the rich and poor in L.A. and N.Y.C.

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