Bloomberg: George W. Bush is now viewed more favorably than Mitt Romney

Next up for Mitt Romney’s campaign optics: Romney filmed clearing brush, driving a pickup, talking with a toothpick in his mouth, having a beer … no, scratch that last one.

Political Wire: “Dallas Morning News: “For all the talk about whether Mitt Romney should distance himself from George W. Bush — and the policies of the last GOP White House — a new survey shows that the former president actually has better favorability ratings than the Republican nominee.”

“The most recent Bloomberg poll shows Bush with a 46% to 49% favorable rating as compared to Romney’s 43% to 50%.”

Cayman Alternative Investment Summit

Survey: rising perception of class tension (or, as Romney would say, more people are envious)

The NY Times reports,

Conflict between rich and poor now eclipses racial strain and friction between immigrants and the native-born as the greatest source of tension in American society, according to a survey released Wednesday.

About two-thirds of Americans now believe there are “strong conflicts” between rich and poor in the United States, a survey by the Pew Research Center found, a sign that the message of income inequality brandished by the Occupy Wall Street movement and pressed by Democrats may be seeping into the national consciousness.

[...] The demographics were surprising, experts said. While blacks were still more likely than whites to see serious conflicts between rich and poor, the share of whites who held that view increased by 22 percentage points, more than triple the increase among blacks. The share of blacks and Hispanics who held the view grew by single digits.

What is more, people at the upper middle of the income ladder were most likely to see conflict. Seventy-one percent of those who earned from $40,000 to $75,000 said there were strong conflicts between rich and poor, up from 47 percent in 2009. The lowest income bracket, less than $20,000, changed the least.

The grinding economic downturn may be contributing to the heightened perception of conflict between rich and poor, said Christopher Jencks, a professor of social policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

“Rich and poor aren’t terribly distinct from secure and unemployed,” he said.

The survey attributed the change, in part, to “underlying shifts in the distribution of wealth in American society,” citing a finding by the Census Bureau that the share of wealth held by the top 10 percent of the population increased to 56 percent in 2009, from 49 percent in 2005.

I think most of us realize we’re one layoff away from poverty ourselves.

But in Mitt Romney’s world, this simply means more people are envious. Here’s some information on what might be fueling our ‘jealousy':

Click for larger image:

What’s actually happened with working and middle class wages along with the decline in unions? CEO pay has skyrocketed 300% since 1990, corporate profits have doubled. Average “production worker” pay has increased 4%. The minimum wage has dropped.

Since 1990, your pay and mine increased only 4% (if we’re lucky enough to have jobs), while the 1 percent have enjoyed a massive pay increase of 300%!  I suppose that’s justified if the 1 percent contributed and produced and worked 296% more than the rest of us — but my guess is that they didn’t.

Related: 

Who are the OccupyWallStreet protesters / the 99percent?

While our media focuses on the drum circles and dread locks, here’s a survey of who actually comprises those Americans who are sympathetic to and/or active in the OWS protests:

Who are the Occupy Wall Street protesters / the 99 percent? (via: con-tem-plate)

Who are the protesters? The media calls them hippies or rich kids or slackers or yuppies. The protesters call themselves the 99%…the people who are in the bottom 99% income bracket in the United States. The top one percent of the country earns 35% of the wealth. The top 10% of the country earns over 70% of the wealth. The rest of us get the scraps. Presumably, the 99% would represent every demographic, including those in the upper incomes.

Hector R. Cordero-Guzman, Ph.D., School of Public Affairs, Baruch College Ph.D. Programs in Sociology and Urban Education City University of New York, examined data from the web traffic at occupywallstreet.org.

Traffic on the Occupy Wall Street site averaged about 400,000 visitors a day during the sample week (October 7th), which represents more than 10% of the population. 1619 people completed the survey.

  • Age: Not surprising, nearly 2/3 of the protesters are under 35. But one in three is over 35 and one in five is over 45.
  • Education: Only 7.9% of respondents lack at least some college. 27.4% have some college (but no degree), 35% have a college degree, 8.2% have some graduate school (but no degree), and close to 21.5% have a graduate school degree.
  • Employment Status: 70% of respondents had jobs. 50.4% worked full time. 20.4% worked part time. Only 13.1% are unemployed.
  • Income: 47.5% of the sample earns less than $24,999 dollars a year and another quarter (24%) earn between $25,000 and $49,999 per year. 71.5% of the sample earns less than $50,000 per year. 15.4% of the sample earned between $50,000 and $74,999. The remainder 13% of the sample earn over $75,000 with close to 2% earning over $150,000 per year.

Racial / ethnic background, politics: Read more…

With those facts in mind, consider this:


image

The coverage of OWS has been another media fail, essentially.

The quiet suffering of America’s wealthiest citizens…

[source]

Aw! I hope teabaggers won’t worry too much about The Wealthy. They’ll find some way to ‘get by.’

For instance, a Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America (this is real) polled 1,458 families with a discretionary income of more than $100,000 — representing the wealthiest 10 percent in the United States who account for about 50 percent of all consumer spending. This year they are gonna spend, spend, spend!

Spending by rich Americans on luxury goods is set to grow by $26.6 billion in 2011, with the number of affluent families planning to spend more almost doubling in the past three years, a poll found on Friday.

As the United States gradually emerges from its worst economic crisis in decades, the American Express Publishing and Harrison Group survey forecast spending on luxury goods to increase nearly 8 percent to $359 billion this year compared to 2010. [source]

The wealthy will be buying SO many luxury items manufactured in other countries — because, of course, the wealthy don’t create manufacturing opportunities in America anymore. American labor is just so expensive and there’s really no tax incentives to do so, is there? This is all so exciting. I look forward to an America with only two classes of people. It will be so much simpler.

Democrats will thank you one day, Gov. Walker

Via Andrew Sullivan: the latest poll, analyzed by Mark Blumenthal, shows the GOP’s problem:

2011-03-04-Blumenthal-20110304byparty1