21 September 2017   Leave a comment

The North Korean Press Agency issued Kim Jong-un’s response to US President Trump’s speech to the United Nations.  Here are some excerpts:

“But, far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors.

“A frightened dog barks louder…..

“The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to ‘totally destroy’ a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.

“His remarks which described the U.S. option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.

“Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history…..

“Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.

“As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK…..

“Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.

“I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U. S. dotard with fire.”

It is hard to determine what Mr. Kim intends to do.  The language of the two leaders defies analysis.

 

The US Congressional Budget Office issued a report last year on the distribution of wealth in the US.  Wealth is more difficult to measure than income since it includes assets, such as homes, works of art, and other valuable objects, that are not assessed in monetary terms on an annual basis.  But wealth is probably a more important variable to measure when there are discussions about how “fair” the distribution of economic power might be in a given society.  The report described a highly unequal society:

“In 2013, families in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution held 76 percent of all family wealth, families in the 51st to the 90th percentiles held 23 percent, and those in the bottom half of the distribution held 1 percent. Average wealth was about $4 million for families in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution, $316,000 for families in the 51st to 90th percentiles, and $36,000 for families in the 26th to 50th percentiles. On average, families at or below the 25th percentile were $13,000 in debt.”

Moreover, the rate of change toward a more unequal society seems to be accelerating:

“The distribution of wealth among the nation’s families was more unequal in 2013 than it had been in 1989. For instance, the difference in wealth held by families at the 90th percentile and the wealth of those in the middle widened from $532,000 to $861,000 over the period (in 2013 dollars). The share of wealth held by families in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution increased from 67 percent to 76 percent, whereas the share of wealth held by families in the bottom half of the distribution declined from 3 percent to 1 percent.”

It is unlikely that this trend is politically sustainable over the longer term.  In many respects, this data explains a great deal about the anger in the electorate which seems to be growing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted September 21, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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