HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Why the American People h...

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 12:58 PM

Why the American People hate Congress (at a glance, via one graphic)

Last edited Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:25 PM - Edit history (2)

[h3]The American People hate Congress for being out of touch, and the fact that 40% of the House and Senate are from the top 1%, and 80% are from the top 10% in terms of wealth, pretty much is the one fact that comes closest to saying it all. [/h3] Of course, truly saying it all might require a book, or at least several discussion threads here.

?uuid=H8XNHjFrEeGidGH83uzF9Q

See More at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/why-people-hate-congress-in-one-chart/2011/12/28/gIQA1IyUMP_blog.html

On Edit: WaPost now states (noticed by B2G below) that this graphic actually represents American wealth as if it represented seats in Congress on a one dollar, one vote basis. Those are not the actual words of the correction but it's my take of the gist of it. As noted by me in the thread below, and as I'm in the process of confirming, an actual graphic showing the wealth of members of US congress would be equally or more dramatic than the one above, in the sense that a lower percentage would be in the blue.lower income category.

The actual WaPo amendment states "This post initially used a chart that included data that we and others misunderstood. It did not reflect the wealth of Congress, but instead the wealth of the country, described according to percentages of seats in Congress. The Fix regrets the error.)"

50 replies, 9210 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 50 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why the American People hate Congress (at a glance, via one graphic) (Original post)
Land Shark Dec 2011 OP
treestar Dec 2011 #1
Land Shark Dec 2011 #2
ParkieDem Dec 2011 #7
Land Shark Dec 2011 #11
Proud Public Servant Dec 2011 #19
treestar Dec 2011 #22
XemaSab Dec 2011 #28
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #43
abelenkpe Dec 2011 #24
hfojvt Dec 2011 #29
treestar Dec 2011 #35
hfojvt Dec 2011 #36
treestar Dec 2011 #38
hfojvt Dec 2011 #46
tblue37 Dec 2011 #48
TalkingDog Dec 2011 #50
unblock Dec 2011 #3
Land Shark Dec 2011 #10
unblock Dec 2011 #12
Land Shark Dec 2011 #13
unblock Dec 2011 #14
Land Shark Dec 2011 #15
unblock Dec 2011 #18
Land Shark Dec 2011 #26
cthulu2016 Dec 2011 #4
Land Shark Dec 2011 #8
Brickbat Dec 2011 #5
Land Shark Dec 2011 #9
Romulox Dec 2011 #6
B2G Dec 2011 #16
Land Shark Dec 2011 #17
B2G Dec 2011 #20
Land Shark Dec 2011 #31
maggiesfarmer Dec 2011 #21
B2G Dec 2011 #23
Land Shark Dec 2011 #27
Muskypundit Dec 2011 #25
boxman15 Dec 2011 #30
closeupready Dec 2011 #32
Land Shark Dec 2011 #33
closeupready Dec 2011 #34
Land Shark Dec 2011 #37
closeupready Dec 2011 #39
Land Shark Dec 2011 #45
maggiesfarmer Dec 2011 #40
closeupready Dec 2011 #41
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #42
kentuck Dec 2011 #44
_ed_ Dec 2011 #47
tblue37 Dec 2011 #49

Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:00 PM

1. Then they should vote for other people

The American people need to quit being helpless about who is in Congress. All they have to do is pay attention. And quit obsessing over the Presidency. Use their heads and do a little work rather than sitting back and just letting whoever spends the most money win.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to treestar (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:02 PM

2. I wonder if names can be put on all the "seats" in the chart? nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:13 PM

7. Yes.

I'd like to see who occupies the blue seats.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ParkieDem (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:18 PM

11. Does anyone out there have this information? (putting names to the seats in the chart?) nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to Proud Public Servant (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 02:28 PM

22. So it is possible to vote 80%ers to Congress

A few of them were even Republicans!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to treestar (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:28 PM

28. It looks to me like the people with a negative net worth

are the kind of people who live high on the hog while spending other people's money.

The 80% cannot possibly have a net worth of -4 million dollars.

Didn't Trump have a negative net worth for a while? Didn't make him part of the 99%.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Proud Public Servant (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 05:17 PM

43. A surprising number of Republicans. Hmmmm. New to Congress, I presume.

They haven't had time to cash in on the information they get while serving.

Debbie Stabenow is among the 25 as are some other prominent Democrats. Good for her. Good for those who have not taken advantage of the privilege.

As for the negative numbers, if your house is underwater but you are still making payments, you are in the red. Some of these negative numbers look to me like debt on overpriced houses.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to treestar (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 02:51 PM

24. can other people afford to run against

people with unlimited funds?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to treestar (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:33 PM

29. usually though the choice is gonna be between two rich people

It takes millions of dollars to win a Congressional seat, often the candidates own money.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hfojvt (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:58 PM

35. Why is that?

Because people won't read, won't pay attention, and will only vote for people they've heard of through ads, or other expensive methods of reaching out to them.

People need to quit lying back and letting it happen that way and then claiming to be victimized by it!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to treestar (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 04:21 PM

36. even the people who do read, the newspapers don't do a good job at all

and neither does the TV news

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hfojvt (Reply #36)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 04:46 PM

38. People can always find out the information if they choose to

In local races, they could call the candidate themselves.

They could read the more local papers. Go to meetings. If they cared.

We are not trapped into voting for whoever spent the most money. We are just so lazy we let them win.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to treestar (Reply #38)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 06:55 PM

46. there are not that many meetings

In the last Congressional race here, they had one debate.

In both 2006 and 2008, the local debate was packed and also filmed for the local cable access channel. However, those events are limited to the larger cities.

Calling a Congressional candidate is kinda forward, and the candidate is not likely to have time to talk to just one voter.

But you know who would have the time? The candidate with money, because he would have a secretary and staff to answer questions and write letters. You know who especially has the resources? - the incumbent, because they get the taxpayers to pay for their staff and for their travel expenses. The newspapers cover them, because it is a big deal when a sitting Congressperson comes to town.

It is not nearly as big a deal when a wanna-be visits.

Incumbents, famous people and rich people are always gonna have huge advantages, and the voters sorta rightly expect the system to work for them, not be something where they have to do a bunch of work.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to treestar (Reply #38)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 01:10 AM

48. Part of the problem is that the people (i.e., most people) who have already allowed themselves

to be sucked in by propaganda then go only to "information" sources that reinforce their ideology, which they adopted in the first place because of propaganda, so they never do learn any real facts about the people running for office. And even when they do accidentally bump into truths, they dismiss them as lies because those facts dont reinforce the narrative they have already adopted because of propaganda they have been sucked in by.

It's a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

Remember the sketch on Bill Mahr's Real Time in which he and Keith Olbermann tried desperately to get through to a Republican voter who didn't even acknowledge that they were speaking because he was in a bubble and could not hear them?

That's the problem: RW voters are in a bubble created by propaganda sources (the RW echo chamber). They can't even hear facts that they are accidentally exposed to, and they certainly are not willing to go to any source that provides information that doesn't reinforce their RW beliefs. (Or of they do, it is only to troll there--like when Freepers show up here only to taunt us, not to gather information.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to treestar (Reply #38)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:43 AM

50. And poor people are lazy, that's why they don't have any money.

Speaking of lazy.... lazy thinking that.


How about: a good portion of the 99% work their asses off to raise families and work (sometimes multiple jobs) because they don't make a living wage. Their time is valuable. Using my mother (single, raising 2 kids) as an example: by the time she got off work, cooked dinner and got things ready for the next day of work at her (sometimes multiple) job(s), it was time for bed. Laundry (at the laundromat because we didn't have a washer dryer), house cleaning, bill paying and shopping on the weekends.

How about: the process is purposefully opaque exactly because there is a bias toward keeping the "rabble" away from and ignorant of the process.

How about: the average reading level FOR ADULTS in this country is at an 8th or 9th grade level. That really doesn't allow for vast amounts of complex thinking regarding where you might find clear, digestible information about the candidates. And it also doesn't allow for quite the nuanced thinking and weighing of political options that.... say,.... your average middle to upper-middle class white, white-collar employee might have.

What you posted is incredibly short sighted and insulting.

Yes, SOME people can pull themselves up out of abject poverty and out of a family with absolutely no background in education beyond middle school. But it is very rare and it is hard as fuck. (I should know)

And SOME people with no clue about the workings of politics can educate themselves about the subject and about the process. But, again, not easy. At least not in the somehow flippant manner you seem to ascribe it. Not by a fucking long shot. (again, I should know)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:04 PM

3. it's not how rich they are it's how rich their masters are.

the kennedys were rich but they fought for the little guy.

people wouldn't mind more of that.

the corporate world wouldn't stand for it, of course, but the people would love it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:17 PM

10. Only the rich can spend "unlimited" sums of $ on political ads

This is one way in which the rich are, in fact, the "masters" of Congress, because if Congress is not deferential to the class of the rich, they will be heavily punished for that in the next election cycle via political ad spending.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:22 PM

12. right -- it doesn't matter how rich the puppet is.

it's hardly reassuring if someone in the lower 80% is serving the interests of the koch brothers.
i'd rather have a kennedy, a top 1%-er serving the interests of the less fortunate.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:26 PM

13. Money doesn't completely control one's predilections, but it's a heavy weight on the scale

In effect, the weight on the scales of justice that money constitutes means that the American People are forced to have a passionate super-majority movement in order to get things accomplished that ought to be able to be accomplished with a regular majority.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:32 PM

14. you're right about that.

greed sells itself, it merely needs a thin disguise of respectability.

doing the right thing, by contrast, is a hard sell.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:38 PM

15. Well, that's a subthread-killer if I ever saw one (calling me "right about that") :) nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:55 PM

18. lol! no 'tisn't!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:23 PM

26. Oops, yes, I guess you are right this time! :) nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:10 PM

4. I assume they are all in the top 20% in income

$164,000, or whateverter congressional salary is these days, has to be in the top 20% doesn't it?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:14 PM

8. INCOMES (as opposed to weath) are top 20% if above $91,705

"Households in the top quintile (i.e., top 20%), 77% of which had two or more income earners, had incomes exceeding $91,705."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:12 PM

5. That's not why the American people hate Congress.

I do think it shows why Congress seems to hate the American people, however.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brickbat (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:15 PM

9. It's why Congress seems to hate Americans, however. (U make a good point)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:13 PM

6. A mere * coincidence*, I can assure you of that! nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:43 PM

16. Original article has been edited:

 

(This post initially used a chart that included data that we and others misunderstood. It did not reflect the wealth of Congress, but instead the wealth of the country, described according to percentages of seats in Congress. The Fix regrets the error.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to B2G (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:45 PM

17. Thanks for that new update/edit. I'll bet the data's similar

for Congress. I'll bet/hope that someone will publish that data. If I find it I will post it here. Note, however, that the Washington post admits here to publishing incorrect info, FWIW.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to B2G (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:46 PM

31. Only 6 in the Senate have net worth less than Am. Average of 100K

If I read the dataset in the above link properly... and I believe I do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to B2G (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 02:05 PM

21. yes, and the article says 57 members of congress came from top 1% but graphic shows more

nice, refreshingly honest update by "The Fix" to admit they didn't understand the data

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 02:36 PM

23. You should update the OP with the correction comments n/t

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to B2G (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:26 PM

27. Done. But I don't think the correction is as big as one might think.

Please see my comments on edit in the OP, at the bottom of the OP. Thanks for pointing this out though.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:07 PM

25. I would be more interested in the graphic showing what income they were all raised on.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:35 PM

30. What's sad is that unless their congressman is retiring or has done an extremely poor job in their

eyes, it's likely going to stay that way. People hate Congress but love their congressman.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:50 PM

32. You know something? People here keep pointing this out, but nobody seems to get it.

 

I don't know why. It seems to me like the statistics should speak for themselves.

Yet, people here attack "corporate personhood", "Diebold", "fossil fuel/oil companies", etc. And on and on. Silliness.

The reason why people hate Congress is because they know that they are almost all on the take, willing to sell their votes to the highest bidder, rather than do what they claimed they would do, and represent the voters in their districts.

I give up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to closeupready (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:52 PM

33. I dunno, seems to me that people DO get it

so, don't give up. Maybe you're succeeding, albeit more slowly than the near-instantaneous success we would all like to have on things important.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:55 PM

34. Seems like when topics like this come up here, I am the only one to comment, and

 

the topic then sinks like a rock and topics about marijuana and Ron Paul float to the surface.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to closeupready (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 04:32 PM

37. Threads sinking/swimming are pretty Iffy

I wouldn't take the fact that a thread sinks as proof of a lack of merit. In fact, if a post is totally agreed by all, and totally true, it will sink like a rock. It takes a debatable proposition to generate a lot of debate that can carry a thread. (Kicking a post is an exception to the aforementioned rule but nowhere near enough people kick a thread to be a real substitute for a debate, nor can strategies like replying to almost every post - which I've kind of done in this thread - really be an effective substitute for a debate discussion)

But now that both you and I are here, our exchanges on this topic are keeping the thread alive. For maximum effect, though, you may want to find a foil to fight with on a future thread, if the goal is to keep a thread kicked. I don't have one myself, I'm just saying that's what would work.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 04:49 PM

39. Sounds good.

 

Kicking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to closeupready (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 05:55 PM

45. Thanks! :) nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to closeupready (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 05:01 PM

40. please don't give up

this is the most sensible post i've read all day. and I agree with the poster who pointed out how once a logical statement is made that all agree on -- there's nothing left to discuss (unless you're one of those people who just can't help themselves and post a '+1' or 'right on' or 'THIS^' message.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to maggiesfarmer (Reply #40)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 05:04 PM

41. Okay.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 05:12 PM

42. Representative government?

In what fantasy world?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 05:20 PM

44. Very deceptive...

The dark blue is not really in the bottom 80% - they are still part of the top 25-30%. They make a salary of at least $172K per year. That is hardly part of the bottom 80%/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Land Shark (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 07:02 PM

47. Congress has an 11% approval rating,

yet we return them at a rate that's always above 90%. We have the power to get rid of the entire House in 2012, from the Speaker to the newest member. We also have the power to swap out the entire Senate within six years. Every election, we choose not to despite the fact that "people hate Congress." What's the disconnect?

Why not pledge to never support any incumbent? Don't you think if we got rid of the entire House, 1/3 of the Senate, and the President in 2012 other politicians would take notice?

This is why I'm against term limits. We already have term limits: it's called voting.

Don't vote for incumbents, and don't be fooled that your rep and Senators "are the good ones." They are all complicit in this corrupt system.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to _ed_ (Reply #47)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 01:11 AM

49. People hate "Congress," but on average they give a 47% approval rating to *their own* particular

representatives.

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/10/nation/la-na-congress-public-20111210

Americans' view of Congress at all-time low

In a Gallup Poll, 76% in the U.S. say most representatives do not deserve to be reelected. But a slim majority would keep their own leaders in their House seats.

<SNIP>

Even though Congress as an institution is historically unpopular, Gallup found that 53% of those polled said they would reelect their own representative. Those numbers are low, but not record lows.

"Most voters believe Washington is broken because other people's congressman broke it <emphasis added>," Wasserman said.

<SNIP>

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread