Flying Pigs at 'Today': Booming Economy Benefits Many Americans
When Matt Lauer introduced a segment on the booming stock market by asking "is the rising tide lifting all boats?" I braced myself for another MSM excursion into class warfare. But surprise, surprise . . .
CNBC's Erin Burnett narrated the segment, and her opening also made me figure we were in for more bash-the-rich rhetoric. "Another day, another record on Wall Street . . . As stocks rise, it is time to finally ask, who is really making all the money? Who are the winners of the global economic boom?"
Cut to clips of the Dem presidential contenders, including Hillary offering up this bit of class warfare at its pandering worst: "while productivity and corporate profits are up, the fruits of that success just hasn't [sic] reached many of our families. It's like trickle-down economics but without the trickle."
But then came the surprising shift of gears.
CNBC'S ERIN BURNETT: But while the rich are getting richer, you may be too. Here's why: more than half of Americans are invested in the market, whether through a 401(k) plan or buying stocks or mutual funds, and many of those investments are surging. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 12% so far this year, and if your retirement plan invested in oil, that alone is up 21%. It's also worth noting that while politicians talk about "two Americas" [get ready to duck, John Edwards] virtually all Americans are seeing wages rise, and unemployment is at an historic low.
Throwing things back to Matt, Erin took a shot at Hillary's complaint about the boom's failure to trickle down to workers.
BURNETT: That's an interesting point indeed about wages. You know for a while, Matt, wage growth had lagged inflation for most Americans. Right now, though, that's not the case. Wages are growing more quickly than they have over the last few years.
Burnett even let a dirty little secret about taxes out of the bag.
BURNETT: You've been talking so much about whether the tide raises all boats. The issue of taxes is important here. The top 1% of Americans, Matt, pay 30% of taxes in this country. The bottom 20% of wage-earners pay only 5%. So while we do have a lot of income inequality, it is fair to say we still have one of the most progressive systems in the world.
View video here.
Was Matt stunned into silence? He offered only an "alright, Erin," before moving on.
Note: Last week, I had written here about how Burnett, appearing on "Morning Joe," admitted to a schoolgirl crush on Dan Rather. She claimed that she had gotten over her infatuation. Looks like she wasn't kidding.
Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org