Income inequality: CBS news shocks mall shoppers using actual pie to demonstrate wealth gap

  • Published on February 6th, 2020

Latecomers though they be, when traditional journalists start scrutinizing economic inequality after decades of pretty much ignoring it, you know the situation has reached serious levels. CBS made its reporting on the subject more palatable and understandable than the usual dry statistics and charts used to describe the situation by using actual pies—pumpkin—to demonstrate to stunned shoppers just how skewed economic inequality is.

using actual pie to demonstrate income inequality

By Meteor Blades

But, of course, without offering an alternative, they felt compelled to stick a fork in the idea of a wealth tax, one means of helping reduce economic inequality.

From Common Dreams—News  anchor blows mall shoppers’ minds by showing real US wealth gap — using American pie:

A four minute video that aired on CBS Friday morning was praised for using slices of real pie to show the huge wealth gap in the U.S.—surprising passers-by who joined anchor Tony Dokoupil at a table set up at a mall in West Nyack, New York.

“Give this video four minutes and let’s start the revolution,” tweeted actor Matthew Lillard.

In the video, Dokoupil asks passers-by to divvy a pie sliced into ten pieces onto plates for quintiles of the U.S. based on income, top 20%, next 20%, etc.

Even the most cynical participant didn’t come close to the real amount—nine pieces for the top 20% of Americans and the bill for the lowest 20%. […]

That “most cynical” wording chosen by CBS speaks volumes about what is wrong with most economics reporting in the popular media.

Knowing that a good chunk of the rich have lined their pockets at the expense of the less affluent doesn’t have to make one a cynic, though such knowledge certainly has produced plenty. It has also made many people into activists.

They are the opposite of cynics. They still believe things can be changed, hard as that often seems, and hard as it often is.

(Crossposted from DailyKos.)

About the Author

Meteor Blades is a writer and contributing editor at DailyKos. He believes there is something profoundly wrong with our system. - the unchecked accumulation of wealth and power into the hands of a very small group of corporate business interests has contributed to the wholesale corruption of our political system. For an understanding about the level of corruption in our country, he encourages you to view these two PBS documentaries: (1). ,The Untouchables; (2) The United States of ALEC.