Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Situation Normal, All F*cked Up

with 42 comments

Eight charts that explain everything that’s wrong with America. I think we can actually get away with just these four:

Written by gerrycanavan

February 22, 2011 at 10:47 pm

42 Responses

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  1. The first two make me ill. I can’t see the second two; all I see now is red.


    February 23, 2011 at 9:53 am

  2. It’s amazing that is what is going on… and then we have the TEA PARTY fools all angry at the wrong people. Hopefully what’s happening in Wisconsin leads to a real wake-up call in America. It’s obvious what we need to do: Raise taxes on the rich.


    February 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm

  3. These graphs can be a little misleading. For instance, the bottom 40% in this country do not even have a totally self earned income. They either live wholly or partially on government assistance. If the charts showed the income of the bottom 40% rising, then that would mean the government would be paying them more, which means that the rest of us would be paying more in taxes so the government could give it to the bottom 40%. You are also omitting a very important statistic– What income group pays the largest share of the tax revenue? The top 10% pay about 70% of the taxes. God bless the top 10% because without them we would all be paying 80% income taxes and/or all our government programs would be axed. Here is a chart that breaks it all down.


    February 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    • If the richest 10% controls 73% of the country’s net worth, “about 70%” is actually *underpaying* their fair share.

      Also, I’m pretty sure to get to “the bottom 40% in this country do not even have a totally self earned income” you’re including the disabled and retired people who receive Social Security. That’s “misleading,” to say the least.


      February 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    • Yeah, God bless the top 10%, what with all their buying of yachts and hoarding cash that does absolutely nothing to stimulate anything.

      You must live in bizarro world. These graphs show what’s happening in the real world: trickle-up economics at its best. The rich have been living off of (corporate) welfare much more than the poor. To add insult to injury, Wall Street perpetrated the largest fraud in history at the expense of the middle class, which is now being asked to pay for it. And how do the bankers get punished for their crimes… taxpayer bailouts, giant bonuses and less regulation than ever.


      February 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      • The rich hoarding cash does absolutely nothing to simulate anything?
        Obviously that statement is wrong. Where do you think the bank loan you get for your car comes from? It comes from savings. So all that hoarding as you call it is capital that banks use to loan out to consumers to start new businesses, and generate wealth.

        This idea that the government should play Robbin Hood is the most unamerican idea ever.

        Why do people insist the government should take care of them from cradle to grave? The governments only real job is to protect our freedoms.


        February 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      • I think the point is more that tax cuts for billionaires are far less stimulative than tax cuts for the poor and middle class… It’s bad policy.


        February 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      • @ Joe:

        Let’s assume you are correct. Will you explain to me why banks stopped handing out loans during the start of the financial crisis? Did the rich go broke? How did they get all of “their” money back? What role does the Fed play in all of this?

        I personally have no desire to go back to a ruling class, wherein I beg at the foot of the table for another bowl of soup from our “kind and generous benefactors”. But that’s just me, to each their own.


        February 26, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      • If they weren’t hoarding their money, they’d be spending it on goods and services the average American provides, in which case we wouldn’t NEED a loan for every purchase in our lives. Where is the incentive to create and pioneer new ground if you’ve got so much cash in the bank, you can live off interest paid by the enslaved middle class! Yea THATS American.


        February 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm

      • “The rich hoarding cash does absolutely nothing to simulate anything?”


        “So all that hoarding as you call it is capital that banks use to loan out to consumers to start new businesses, and generate wealth.”

        You probably missed the last five years. Nowadays, Banks make their their profits by pushing money around… essentially using our money to gamble on exotic financial products (junk) they designed, but without the downside of actually having to pay up when they lose.

        “This idea that the government should play Robbin Hood is the most unamerican idea ever.”

        Only in teabagger world, where “America” is some fantasy pulled out of Glenn Beck’s ass. Of course, the government robbing has been going the other way around since Reagan: steal from the poor to give to the rich. Now that’s “American”.


        February 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      • @themightyfrog

        Banks didn’t just stop giving out loans they stopped giving them out to people who couldn’t qualify for them. For example before the housing market fell apart. I was able to buy a house no money down. A bank approved me for this loan when years ago it was standard to put down 20%. So when the financial crisis happen banks had to tighten lending standards. No more 0 down payment houses.
        As for the fed roll they kept interest rates artificially low creating cheap money. Most loans given out at the time of the housing boom were ARM. It was possible because of low interest rates. That and because people assumed the house would just appreciate.


        You shouldn’t need a loan for ever purchase in your life. Americans would barrow that money and invest it in a business upstart. Right now we run on this idea that a consumption based economy works and that is just a joke. Real growth doesn’t come from spending money it comes from saving money. When the United States was still a production based economy we also were the largest creditor nation. Now we are the largest debtor nation. What does that tell you about a consumption based economy?


        Why are banks doing that though? Do you think it has anything to do with the interest rates being kept at 0%? With rates so low in encourages speculations. Rates need to be a lot higher and encourage savings in this country.

        Sadly this country has squandered its savings and instead of investing in infrastructure or manufacturing, we bought flat screen TVs and new cars. We didn’t buy anything American made either, just look at the trade deficit.

        So many people who studied austrian economics seen this crisis coming from a mile away (sadly I wasn’t one of them), and when they talked about it on TV they were laughed at by so called experts.

        As for calling me a teabagger or whatever you want to call me thats fine. I don’t consider myself a TEA Party member although I do agree with some of the same things they want such as lower taxes, budget reform, and smaller government.


        February 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    • “Why are banks doing that though? Do you think it has anything to do with the interest rates being kept at 0%?”

      You mean, why did the Banks perpetrate the biggest financial fraud in history? It’s mostly the result of a messed-up compensation system, deregulation, credit default swaps, CDOs, synthetic CDOs, massive leverage… and nobody going to jail for it. The housing boom and subsequent market collapse can be blamed squarely on Wall Street blind greed… you know, those rich people who “stimulate” the economy. And they didn’t even do it with their own money, they used ours. I’m not saying that Greenspan’s stupidity had nothing to do with it. It obviously did.

      PS, You didn’t have to be an Austrian School economist to see this thing coming. Anyone with half a brain and basic math skills could figure it out it was unsustainable.


      February 26, 2011 at 11:57 pm

      • @r0b0d0c

        Nothing I can say will change your mind on this subject, but regardless I linked to an article from Peter Schiff. He wrote a book titled Crash Proof predicting the financial crisis. In the article he covers the cause of the crisis.

        You also say anyone with half a brain and basic math skills could have seen this coming.

        Here is a video titled Peter Schiff was right. I recommend watching it and listening for other “expert” Economist laughing at him when he makes his predictions, and telling him he is way off base.


        February 27, 2011 at 1:52 am

  4. If you can’t join em, beat em.

    wishful thinking

    February 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm

  5. The graphs are skewed to suit a particular viewpoint. Also those top 1% worked hard, got a degree, and worked there way up in a company. The bottom 20% live off of wellfare and unemployment because they are lazy. Why should we take from the hard workers and give to the poor? Obviously not every American who doesn’t make over 1M a year is lazy, I’m not saying that. However, instead of raising taxes on the rich the government should lower taxes on the average American. If the government would simply audit themselves, remove unnecessary spending, and TRY to run the system efficiently without taking advantage then society would be much better for everyone, rich, average, and poor.


    February 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    • In what way are they skewed?


      February 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    • “Also those top 1% worked hard, got a degree, and worked there way up in a company. The bottom 20% live off of wellfare and unemployment because they are lazy. ”
      Very very bad generalization with no evidence not even skewed evidence.
      While I do agree that raising taxes on the rich isn’t the best course of action and that lower taxes on average american would be good. What really needs to be done is raise taxes on the corporations as the last graph shows that corporation tax has been pretty steadily going down.


      February 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    • Really? Having been raised in the wealthiest per capita zip code in the U.S., I can tell you first hand that none of these people “worked their way up in a company.” That, is a pipe dream they sell to the poor. Each and every person I know of super wealth earned their money the old fashioned way – they inherited it. They are the laziest, most annoying people I know, and I have yet to know one of my age (35) that has worked a day in their lives. Selling you the idea that you could one day be like them is how they keep you fighting for their rights, so that they don’t have to. Wake up.


      February 26, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    • I always find it depressing when I observe what I think is mostly young men sticking up for the wealthy. Being young and thinking of making it big! Yes, a typical stage in growing consciousness coupled with testosterone.

      It works to the advantage of colossal wealth to have the people divided. And so easily. What I can offer is this: take a good look around and witness the homes, skyscrapers, dams, bridges, institutions, etc. All these are produced and maintained by the people. By the people I mean from the lowliest working class to the upper middle class. The very idea that a small group owns the fruits and gets to decide who and how much is shared points to the dumbfounded minds in play. It is the simpleminded rules of monopoly. We know how that game ends!

      Robert Butler

      February 26, 2011 at 7:16 pm

      • People shouldn’t stick up for the ‘wealthy’ because the wealthy are a qualitatively different kind of creature; real human beings are entitled to the fruits of their labors, be they physical or intellectual, but the rich may have no such entitlement. Anything they own or possess should be considered fair game to be claimed by the true human race.

        The rich are a naturally inferior race, and to show them sympathy is to give them the false hope that they might ever be anything more.

        Klax Ixitil

        February 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    • That top percent inherited the money. Not a 1 earned a penny. They should be taxed and the corporations should lose their personhood that the right leaned suckpreme court gave them. Things will only become stable when things are fair not when the rich control evry thing.


      February 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm

  6. that’s ridiculous, have you any idea how much money a review and remodel of an entire system of governance would cost??!! And at the same time lowering taxes on the average American??? So you want a mass increase in government spending (on the review/remodel) and at the same time you want to reduce the amount of tax collected?!?! Enjoy your train wreck Cole!!


    February 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm

  7. The feeling of envy does not exist in my body, so I think the charts are fine. The rich are making money, good for them. Their success does not hurt me.


    February 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm

  8. So what if the rich are rich? Taxes aren’t just their responsibility! It is every ones. While you sit here and bitch and moan how the the haven’t done enough, why can’t we change the tax code so EVERY one pays the same thing. By every one, I do mean every one! You want to bitch and moan about the rich, its not their fault our government over spends. Lets change the tax structure so every pays the some thing no matter the level of income 2. Make sure our government doesn’t spend one penny more then it has money for!


    February 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    • Ok, raise your hand if you are a member of a group hired to write comments and blog posts that agree with the agenda of your elite corporate overlords…


      February 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    • “why can’t we change the tax code so EVERY one pays the same thing”

      Because some people can’t afford it, you idiot. As far as I’m concerned, any income above, say, $20,000,000/year should be taxed at 90%. If you make that amount of coin, you won’t miss it, and if you do, you’re a greedy asshole.


      February 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm

  9. […] Situation Normal, All F*cked Up « Gerry Canavan via […]

  10. […] Situation Normal, All F*cked Up Eight charts that explain everything that’s wrong with America. I think we can actually get away with just these […] […]

    Top Posts —

    February 26, 2011 at 7:09 pm

  11. Corporations aren’t people. Goldman Sachs will never die and have its wealth taxed before being passed along to its heir. Like a parasite or a pathogen, it can continue to grow, consume, until it kills its host. And talk radio listeners will defend it until the day it poisons them, then they’ll probably claim they’re blameless for supporting it.


    February 26, 2011 at 7:16 pm

  12. It’s that damn Nigger Obama who is paying off the top 1% in order support the Zionist Agenda. No person should make over $50,000, who needs anymore money?

    David D. Niggerson

    February 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    • We have a winner! It’s nice to see an honest teabagger. Warms my heart.


      February 26, 2011 at 7:53 pm

  13. The tax rates are inaccurate according to the IRS.

    Tax Man

    February 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

  14. The Millionaire’s tax rate one isn’t completely unbelievable. Take out the tax rate in 1945, where all taxes were raised during and after the war and the graph becomes rather linear. The tax rate has been in decline across all wealth classes since then. Check out the average household disposable income spent per year and that paints a better picture. Also keep in mind that we have come incredibly far from a century ago when the distribution of wealth was 10 times worse being held in the hands of very few people. I.e. The Vanderbilts, Carnegies. Wealth distribution in America has, slowly but, surely been evening out. There is a disappearing middle class, no doubt, but many of these graphs do not represent the entire picture and have been used to cause uneasiness. If you think about how taking part in Higher Education in America puts you within the top 2% of wealth worldwide.


    February 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm

  15. 40,000 hits on this post today. You never know what’s going to get picked up (and I hope people click through the links to the people who actually made the charts).

    As for the arguments that have been happening in this thread, I can’t imagine we’ll solve anything today — but I find it really interesting how quickly we’ve moved from a claim that the charts are misleading or dishonest to the claim the charts are both accurate and good…


    February 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm

  16. gerrycanavan

    February 26, 2011 at 9:33 pm

  17. […] Posted by billsimmon on 27 Feb 2011 at 02:44 am | Tagged as: housekeeping *I’m a little under the weather (Nyquil kicking in in 3… 2… 1…) *I have a writing deadline that snuck up on me and I have to spend show time writing. *I must conserve my energy for Oscars! Ian and Rae will be joining us at our house and we’ll be tweeting, so watch along. *We’ll be back next week with a new show, but then we’ll be off the following week as Em (and Ian and Rae) and I will be at SXSW (& Mike too!). *Rachel Maddow called Steve “wise” on Thursday. *Gerry has a blog post that passed 50,000 hits yesterday. […]

  18. I really don’t have any issues with these graphs. To be in the top 1% of income usually means a brilliant invention or being born into a wealthy family.

    Someone has to make the money. And besides that, the uber-wealthy people I know are REALLY generous. They donate to charities, employ people, hire tradesmen and buy lots of stuff in retails stores. Don’t get mad at the rich for the ills of society.

    Now the corporations on the other hand…

    I’m thinking greed in the cases of banks, oil companies, cable companies, power companies, etc. The could take less revenue and lower the costs… That wouldn’t hurt them, right?

    Urban Daddy

    February 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm

  19. All of you are out of touch with reality. Anyone can make charts to suit whatever reality they want to push forth. Also the real math is this: honest + politician = oxymoron (for the most part).

    I am an American. I work my butt off for little. I am not entitled to one red dime of a rich man’s (or woman’s) money because they built their business, empires, etc…I am not entitled to one red dime of what their children and grandchildren inherit either. In fact, it’s nobody’s business if it was inherited or not. None of you will ever convince me that if you had the ability to set up an inheritance for your kids and grandkids wouldn’t. I’d call you a liar if you said you wanted your wealth (if you became wealthy) redistributed in such a way.

    I work for all I get and am proud of that. Why? I have a work ethic–not a “Give me! Give me!” mentality.

    The only ones to profit will be the politicians elected to STEAL it and the bureaucrats that will enforce it…And if you don’t want to be subject to a law or anything that you want passed, you had best remember that if you have slightly more than your neighbor, they can redistribute what YOU have too at ANY point should the system you keep spewing about ever get enacted.

    THAT is what is f***ed up in this nation–the “Give me!” mentality in here.


    February 28, 2011 at 12:20 am

  20. […] that will feed the next cycles of growth. We talk about fiscal responsibility, but when you look at who is paying, corporate taxes have gone done for the last 50 years while the tab has been picked up by payroll […]

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