Sunday, February 23, 2014

the united states of poverty and inequality

From 1979 to 2011, the average income of the bottom 99 percent of U.S. taxpayers grew by 18.9 percent, while the average income of the top 1 percent grew over 10 times as much—by 200.5 percent.


commondreams |  Over the last three decades the wealth of the nation's very richest 1% has grown ten times that of the average worker and over that time period that same tiny elite has captured more than half of the entire income increases, leaving the bottom 99% to divide the remaining gains.

This is all based on a new state-level study, The Increasingly Unequal States of America: Income Inequality by State, which looks at how inequality has seized hold of the national economy both in the generation leading up to the great recession of 2008 and in the several years following where a so-called "recovery" was experienced by the financial elite while the majority of U.S. population continues to claw its way back.

“The levels of inequality we are seeing across the country provide more proof that the economy is not working for the vast majority of Americans and has not for decades,” said Mark Price, an economist at the Keystone Research Center, who co-authored the report on behalf of the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN). “It is unconscionable that most of America’s families have shared in so little of the country’s prosperity over the last several decades.”

Check out the interactive state-by-state map on inequality generated by the study's authors.
Numerous studies in recent years have exposed the persistent pattern of income and wealth inequality in the United States, but as Price's co-author Estelle Sommeiller explains, “our study shows that this one percent economy is not just a national story but is evident in every state, and every region.”

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