Daily Kos: John Edwards and the New Populism: "I won’t bother feeding you all the stats showing that income inequality is a problem; even conservatives—the honest ones, anyway—now accept it as fact. There’s a terrible gap between not only rich and poor but also super rich and everyone else. Virginia Senator Jim Webb, a prominent New Populist, recently smuggled some truth onto the Wall Street Journal's op-ed page.
The most important--and unfortunately the least debated--issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes."