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Income Inequality News Articles
Excerpts of Key Income Inequality News Articles in Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important income inequality news articles from the major media suggesting a cover-up. Links are provided to the full news articles for verification. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These income inequality news articles are listed by order of importance. You can also explore the articles listed by order of the date of the news article or by the date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on dozens of engaging topics. And read excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Pope Francis’s Philadelphia prison visit highlights crisis in US justice system
2015-09-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/21/pope-francis-philadelphia-pris...

Pope Francis will meet more than 100 men and women from a dangerously overcrowded prison population. Some 80% of those inmates at that prison, [Philadelphia's] Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF), have not yet been convicted of the crime with which they were charged. Most of them are behind bars because they have not paid or cannot afford to pay bail while awaiting trial. Francis has visited prisons in multiple countries. This particular prison ... presents an extreme microcosm of two of the most pressing national prison problems: pretrial detention and overcrowding. The prison system – particularly in holding those who cannot afford to pay bail – targets the very people Pope Francis has shown the most concern for: the poor. With 2.2 million people incarcerated mostly in state prisons and jails like Philadelphia’s, the US now ... spends about $80bn on prisons. At any given time, between 400,000 to 500,000 of those people [are] held in pretrial or midtrial detention, sometimes for weeks, months and even years, usually because they cannot afford to pay bail. The Justice Department estimates that two-thirds of those inmates are non-dangerous defendants.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about income inequality and systemic prison industry corruption.


The Outrageous Ascent of CEO Pay
2015-08-09, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/the-outrageous-ascent-of-_b_796336...

The Securities and Exchange Commission just ruled that large publicly held corporations must disclose the ratios of the pay of their top CEOs to the pay of their median workers. About time. In 1965, CEOs of America's largest corporations were paid, on average, 20 times the pay of average workers. Now, the ratio is over 300 to 1. It turns out the higher the CEO pay, the worse the firm does. Professor Michael J. Cooper of the University of Utah [and colleagues] recently found that companies with the highest-paid CEOs returned about 10 percent less to their shareholders than do their industry peers. So why aren't shareholders hollering about CEO pay? Because corporate law in the United States gives shareholders at most an advisory role. They can holler all they want, but CEOs don't have to listen. Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, received a pay package in 2013 valued at $78.4 million, a sum so stunning that Oracle shareholders rejected it. That made no difference because Ellison controlled the board. In Australia, by contrast, shareholders have the right to force an entire corporate board to stand for re-election if 25 percent or more of a company's shareholders vote against a CEO pay plan two years in a row. Which is why Australian CEOs are paid an average of only 70 times the pay of the typical Australian worker. The new SEC rule requiring disclosure of pay ratios ... isn't perfect. Some corporations could try to game it. But the rule marks an important start.

Note: The above article was written by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Yes, rich truly do get richer
2015-08-08, The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, California's leading newspaper)
http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article30201339.html

At first glance, it looks as if Americans’ incomes grew robustly in the years 2003 through 2012. Total income reported on tax returns, adjusted for inflation, rose almost 18 percent. So why do so many Americans report economic distress? Here are some eye-popping facts ... distilled from a new government report on tax returns filed in 2003 and 2012: Just 1,361 households enjoyed 8.5 percent of the total increase. During the years 2003-2012, the income of those 1,361 households rose from an average of $86 million to $161 million, per income tax filer, per year. As their income increased, their income tax burden fell by 3 cents on the dollar to 17.6 percent of their income. The top 1 percent, or 1.36 million taxpayers, enjoyed more than half of all the increased income in America. Average income declined for 95 percent of households. Think about how vast America is, from Key West, Fla., to Nome, Alaska, from Maine to Hawaii. Most people would never have heard of a town with just 1,361 households, a speck too small for most maps. And yet an economic community that size enjoyed a much thicker slice of the national income pie, while the vast majority of people had to get by on a smaller slice of income pie. While politicians and pundits talk in vagaries about ideology and politics, our Congress slowly but steadily builds an economic, legal and tax structure that takes from the many to benefit the few.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


The rich get government handouts just like the poor. Here are 10 of them.
2015-04-09, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/09/the-rich-get-gover...

Many of the non-poor — and, in fact, a lot of the rich — receive benefits from government ... for which we don't make them pee in a cup. We've rounded up some ... examples: 1. The mortgage interest deduction for big houses and second homes. 5 million households in America making more than $200,000 a year get a lot more housing aid than the 20 million households living on less than $20,000. 2. The yacht tax deduction. 3. Rental property. If you're a landlord ... you can deduct many of the expenses you incur renting a home. 4. Fancy business meals. Talking business over an expensive dinner [is] tax deductible. That puts taxpayer spending on food stamps into relief. 5. Investment income is taxed at a much lower rate than regular income. 6.The estate tax. 7. Gambling loss deductions. 8. The Social Security earnings limit. Social Security taxes only apply to income up to $118,500 – anything after that is Social Security tax-free. So the more money you make, the less your effective Social Security tax rate is, making this tax about as regressive as they come. Social Security’s own actuaries estimate that eliminating this cap would reduce the program’s long-term deficit by about 86 percent. 9. Retirement plans. 10. Tax prep.

Note: For more, read what the Washington Post had to say about our corporate predator state in 2013, and see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


The rise of the working poor and the non-working rich
2015-04-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/reich/article/The-rise-of-the-working-poor-and-...

Many believe that poor people deserve to be poor because they’re lazy. In reality, a large and growing share of the nation’s poor work full time — sometimes 60 or more hours a week — yet still don’t earn enough to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. It’s also commonly believed ... that the rich deserve their wealth because they work harder than others. In reality ... their wealth has been handed to them. The rise of these two groups — the working poor and non-working rich — is relatively new. Why are these two groups growing? The ranks of the working poor are growing because wages at the bottom have dropped, adjusted for inflation. The real value of the federal minimum wage is lower today than it was a quarter century ago. In addition, most recipients of public assistance must now work in order to qualify. The new work requirements haven’t reduced the number or percentage of Americans in poverty. They’ve just moved poor people from being unemployed and impoverished to being employed and impoverished. At the same time, the ranks of the non-working rich have been swelling. A study by the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy projects a total of $59 trillion passed down to heirs between 2007 and 2061. This is ... about to become the major source of income for a new American aristocracy. The tax code encourages all this by favoring unearned income over earned income.

Note: The above article was written by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Replace the Gospel of Money: An Interview With David Korten
2015-02-20, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/together-with-earth/replace-the-gospel-of-m...

David Korten began his professional life as a professor at the Harvard Business School on a mission to lift struggling people in Third World nations out of poverty by sharing the secrets of U.S. business success. Yet, after a couple of decades in which he applied his organizational development strategies in places as far-flung as Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and the Philippines, Korten underwent a change of heart. In 1995, he wrote the bestseller When Corporations Rule the World, followed by a series of books that helped birth the movement known as the New Economy, a call to replace transnational corporate domination with local economies, control, ownership, and self-reliance. This month, Korten, who is also the co-founder and board chair of YES!, publishes a new book challenging readers to rethink their relationship with Earth—indeed, with all creation, from the smallest quantum particle to the whole of the universe. The world needs “a new story,” he says. Buying into the “Sacred Money and Markets” story that money is wealth and the key to happiness locks us into indentured servitude to corporate rule. It’s the traditional development model, or transnational capitalism, that damages Earth as a living community, including not just humans but all life forms. Control of money is the ultimate mechanism of social control in a society in which most every person depends on money for the basic means of living. The only legitimate purpose of the economy is to serve life, is to serve us as living beings making our living in co-productive partnership with living Earth.

Note: David Korten's new book is titled: Change the Story, Change the Future. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Fueled by Recession, U.S. Wealth Gap Is Widest in Decades, Study Finds
2014-12-17, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/business/economy/us-wealth-gap-widest-in-at...

A report released on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center found that the wealth gap between the country’s top 20 percent of earners and the rest of America had stretched to its widest point in at least three decades. Last year, the median net worth of upper-income families reached $639,400, nearly seven times as much of those in the middle, and nearly 70 times the level of those at the bottom. There has been growing attention to the issue of income inequality. But while income and wealth are related ... the wealth gap zeros in on a different aspect of financial well-being: how much money and other assets you have accumulated over time. “The Great Recession destroyed a significant amount of middle-income and lower-income families’ wealth, and the economic ‘recovery’ has yet to be felt for them,” the report concluded. The median household net worth last year for those in the middle was $96,500, only slightly above the $94,300 mark it hit in 1983 (after being adjusted for inflation). A poor household actually had a higher median net worth 30 years ago ($11,400 in 1983) than it counted last year ($9,300). Compare those results with the top fifth of income earners. In 1983, when the Fed began collecting the data, that group had a median wealth of $318,000; in 2013 it owned more than twice that.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy
2014-12-16, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746

The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite. So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page. This is not news, you say. Perhaps, but the two professors have conducted exhaustive research to try to present data-driven support for this conclusion. Here's how they explain it: "Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence." In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power. "A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favour) is adopted only about 18% of the time," they write, "while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favour) is adopted about 45% of the time." On the other hand: When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it. Eric Zuess, writing in Counterpunch, isn't surprised by the survey's results. "American democracy is a sham, no matter how much it's pumped by the oligarchs who run the country" he writes. "The US, in other words, is basically similar to Russia or most other dubious 'electoral' 'democratic' countries. We weren't formerly, but we clearly are now."

Note: Read an article by Robert Reich with excellent thoughts on this. Read also how "billionaire oligarchs" are becoming their own political party. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Number of global billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis
2014-10-29, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/number-of-global-billionaire...

The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam, the world’s rich are getting richer, leaving hundreds of millions of people facing a life “trapped in poverty” as global “inequality spirals out of control”. The report found that the number of billionaires in the world has more than doubled to 1,646 since the financial crisis of 2009, and Oxfam says is evidence that the benefits of a return to economic growth are “not being shared with the vast majority”. The influential report is supported by Bank of England chief economist Andrew Haldane and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. Mark Goldring, Oxfam’s chief executive, said: “Inequality is one of the defining problems of our age. In a world where hundreds of millions of people are living without access to clean drinking water and without enough food to feed their families, a small elite have more money than they could spend in several lifetimes. Earlier this month the OECD said global inequality was at its worst levels since 1820. Mr Haldane agreed, saying: “In highlighting the problem of inequality Oxfam not only speaks to the interests of the poorest people but also the wider collective interest: there is rising evidence that extreme inequality harms, durably and significantly, the stability of the financial system and growth in the economy. It slows development of the human, social and physical capital necessary for raising living standards and improving well-being.”

Note: For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles.


The bottom 90 percent are poorer today than they were in 1987
2014-10-22, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/22/the-bottom-90-perc...

Once upon a time, the American economy worked. The new, harsh reality is that the bottom 90 percent of households are poorer today than they were in 1987 -- it turns out that everybody but the richest 10 percent of Americans are worst off. That includes the poor, the entire middle class, and even what we would consider much of the upper class. In this chart, I've taken each group's inflation-adjusted net worth from 1945 and indexed that to 100, so we can compare how wealth has grown for people with lots or little of it. It's been a lost 25 years for the bottom 90 percent, but a lost 15 for the next 9 percent, too. That's right: altogether, the bottom 99 percent are worth less today than they were in 1998. But this isn't a story about the top 1 percent running away from everybody else. It's a story about the top 0.1 — scratch that, the top 0.01 percent — doing so. Indeed, since 1980, the top 0.01 percent's piece of the wealth pie has increased by 8.6 percentage points, while the next 0.09 percent's has done so by 5.4. The bottom 99 percent, meanwhile, have seen their wealth share fall an astonishing 18 percentage points.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources. For more on how our financial system produces inequality, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Corruption Information Center.


How Billionaire Oligarchs Are Becoming Their Own Political Party
2014-10-17, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/magazine/how-billionaire-oligarchs-are-beco...

Before 2002, parties could accept unlimited donations from individuals or groups (corporations, labor unions, etc.). The McCain-Feingold law, as it came to be known, banned soft-money contributions, and it also prohibited political groups that operate outside the regulated system and its donation limits from running “issue ads” that appear to help or hurt a candidate close to an election. In 2010, the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court effectively blew apart the McCain-Feingold restrictions on outside groups and their use of corporate and labor money in elections. That same year, a related ruling from a lower court made it easier for wealthy individuals to finance those groups. What followed has been the most unbridled spending in elections since before Watergate. In 2000, outside groups spent $52 million on campaigns, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. By 2012, that number had increased to $1 billion. The result was a massive power shift. With the advent of Citizens United, any players with the wherewithal, and there are surprisingly many of them, can start what are in essence their own political parties, built around pet causes or industries and backing politicians uniquely answerable to them. No longer do they have to buy into the system. Instead, they buy their own pieces of it outright. “Suddenly, we privatized politics,” says Trevor Potter, an election lawyer who helped draft the McCain-Feingold law.

Note: To understand the decisive role that money plays in elections politics, read this entire, revealing article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing election process news articles from reliable major media sources. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Worker-Owned Co-ops Get $1 Million in NYC Spending
2014-06-27, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/commonomics/worker-owned-co-ops-get-one-million-do...

New York City’s budget for the 2015 fiscal year includes a new item that supporters of a fairer economy will want to celebrate: $1.2 million set aside for the development of worker-owned cooperative businesses. The spending is a small fraction of the $75 billion budget, which the City Council approved on June 26. But, according to a statement by U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, it's the largest investment in the sector ever made by a city government in the United States. Cooperative businesses are both owned and operated by employees. They focus on maximizing value for all their members as well as creating fair and quality jobs. “This is a great step forward for worker cooperatives,” Melissa Hoover, executive director of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, said in a press release. According to Hoover the co-op funding received widespread support from city council members, which “shows that they understand cooperatives can be a viable tool for economic development that creates real opportunity." Here’s how the city’s newly adopted budget describes the program: "Funding will support the creation of 234 jobs in worker cooperative businesses by coordinating education and training resources and by providing technical, legal and financial assistance. The initiative will fund a comprehensive citywide effort to reach 920 cooperative entrepreneurs, provide for the start-up of 28 new worker cooperative small businesses and assists another 20 existing cooperatives."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


World's Richest People Meet, Muse On How To Spread The Wealth
2014-05-27, NPR blog
http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/05/27/316317191/worlds-richest-people...

Talk of economic mobility and the wealth gap is hardly new. From the Occupy movement to President Obama's re-election campaign, income inequality has been in the spotlight for years. Even so, the "inclusive capitalism" conference in London ... broke new ground. Not because of the conversation, but because of the people having it. The 250 people from around the world invited to attend this one-day conference do not represent "the 99 percent," or even the 1 percent. It's more like a tiny fraction of the 1 percent. "We have $30 trillion of assets under management in the room," says conference organizer Lynn Forester de Rothschild, who runs E. L. Rothschild, a major investment firm she and her husband, of the storied Rothschild banking family. That amount — $30 trillion — is roughly one-third of the total investable wealth in the world. "If this bulk of capital decides that they are going to invest in companies that aren't only thinking about the short-term profit," says Rothschild, "then we will see corporate behavior change." The titans of commerce and finance didn't necessarily fly to this meeting in London out of a sense of ethics or moral duty, though that may be a motivation for some. For many, says Rothschild, it's a sense of self-preservation. Capitalism appears to be under siege. "It's true that the business of business is not to solve society's problems," she says. "But it is really dangerous for business when business is viewed as one of society's problems. And that is where we are today."

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


California tax plan could rein in CEO pay
2014-05-02, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/reich/article/California-tax-plan-could-rein-in...

Until the 1980s, corporate CEOs in America were paid, on average, 30 times what their typical worker was paid. Since then, CEO pay has skyrocketed to 280 times the pay of a typical worker; in big companies, to 354 times. Meanwhile, over the same 30-year span, the median American worker has seen no pay increase at all, adjusted for inflation. Even though the pay of male workers continues to outpace that of females, the typical male worker between the ages of 25 and 44 peaked in 1973 and his pay has been dropping ever since. Wages of the median male worker across all age brackets have dropped 10 percent, after inflation, since 2000. CEOs and other top executives use their fortunes to fuel speculative booms followed by busts. CEOs and top corporate executives in Europe, Canada and Japan don't get paid vast multiples of what their employees earn. At the same time, their workers are starting to command better pay than the typical American. The median wage in Canada is already higher than the median wage in the United States. There's no easy answer for reversing this trend, but ... a bill introduced in the California Legislature ... creates the right incentives. The proposed legislation sets corporate taxes according to the ratio of CEO pay to the pay of the company's typical worker. Corporations with low pay ratios get a tax break. Those with high ratios get a tax increase. For the last 30 years, almost all the incentives for companies have been to lower the pay of their workers while increasing the pay of their CEOs and other top executives. It's about time some incentives were applied in the other direction.

Note: For more on income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest
2014-04-23, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-long...

The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades. After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans. The numbers ... suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality. The struggles of the poor in the United States are even starker than those of the middle class. A family at the 20th percentile of the income distribution in this country makes significantly less money than a similar family in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands. Thirty-five years ago, the reverse was true. The findings are striking because the most commonly cited economic statistics — such as per capita gross domestic product — continue to show that the United States has maintained its lead as the world’s richest large country. But those numbers are averages, which do not capture the distribution of income. With a big share of recent income gains in this country flowing to a relatively small slice of high-earning households, most Americans are not keeping pace with their counterparts around the world.

Note: For more on income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy
2014-04-17, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746

The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite. So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power. The two professors came to this conclusion after reviewing answers to 1,779 survey questions asked between 1981 and 2002 on public policy issues. They broke the responses down by income level, and then determined how often certain income levels and organised interest groups saw their policy preferences enacted. "A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favour) is adopted only about 18% of the time," they write, "while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favour) is adopted about 45% of the time." When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it. They conclude: "We believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened."

Note: For more on the antidemocratic impacts of income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


The 67 People As Wealthy As The World's Poorest 3.5 Billion
2014-03-25, Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2014/03/25/the-67-people-as-wealth...

Oxfam International, a poverty fighting organization, made news at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year with its report that the world’s 85 richest people own assets with the same value as those owned by the poorer half of the world’s population, or 3.5 billion people (including children). Both groups have $US 1.7 trillion. That’s $20 billion on average if you are in the first group, and $486 if you are in the second group. By the time Forbes published its 2014 Billionaires List in early March, it took only 67 of the richest peoples’ wealth to match the poorer half of the world. Each of the 67 is on average worth the same as 52 million people from the bottom of the world’s wealth pyramid. Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, with a net worth of $76 billion, is worth the same as 156 million people from the bottom. Who are the 67? The biggest group—28 billionaires, or 42% of them—is from the United States. No other country comes close. Germany and Russia have the second-highest number, with six each. The rest are sprinkled among 13 countries in Western Europe, APAC and the Americas. That the biggest group of the super rich comes from the U.S. should not be a surprise, as the country holds almost a third of the world’s wealth (30%), significantly more than any other country, according to the Global Wealth Databook, from Credit Suisse Research Institute.

Note: For more on income and wealth inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Money made at others’ expense
2014-01-28, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/harold-meyerson-money-made-at-others-e...

The paths that many of today’s wealthiest Americans have taken on their road to riches have not bettered most people’s lives. Many have actually hurt most people’s lives. Their riches have come at most other people’s expense. Since the recession officially ended in June 2009, for instance, the wages for all private-sector jobs have fallen, on average, by 0.5 percent. The wages for jobs in financial services, however, have risen by 5.5 percent. Inasmuch as the recession was brought about by the financial services industry, it’s understandable that this disparity would strike most people as unjust. Or consider the mechanisms by which some CEOs earn huge salaries. Last week, the board of directors of JPMorgan Chase voted to raise chief executive Jamie Dimon’s annual pay to $20 million — up from $11.5 million — despite the fact that the bank paid the federal government around $20 billion last year to settle charges stemming from its multiple misdeeds. Laying off workers and depressing their pay has become the key factor in boosting corporate profits in recent years. With profits at a record high as a share of the nation’s gross domestic product and wages at a record low, it’s entirely proper that Americans question the legitimacy of the 1 percent’s wealth.

Note: For more on income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


The Great Redistribution a windfall for rich
2014-01-10, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/reich/article/The-Great-Redistribution-a-windfa...

2013 marked one of the biggest redistributions in recent American history - a redistribution upward, from average working people to the owners of America. The stock market ended 2013 at an all-time high, giving stockholders their biggest annual gain in almost two decades. Most Americans didn't share in those gains, however, because most people haven't been able to save enough to invest in the stock market. More than two-thirds of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck. Even if you include the value of individual retirement accounts, most shares of stock are owned by the very wealthy. The richest 1 percent of Americans owns 35 percent of the value of American-owned shares. The richest 10 percent owns more than 80 percent. So in the bull market of 2013, America's rich hit the jackpot. Stock prices track corporate profits. And 2013 was a banner year for profits. Where did those profits come from? Here's where redistribution comes in. American corporations didn't make most of their money from increased sales (although their foreign sales did increase). They made their big bucks mostly by reducing their costs - especially their biggest single cost: wages. They push wages down because most workers no longer have any bargaining power when it comes to determining pay. The continuing high rate of unemployment - including a record number of long-term jobless and a large number who have given up looking for work altogether - has allowed employers to set the terms.

Note: For more on income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


50 years later, war on poverty is a mixed bag
2014-01-05, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/business/50-years-later-war-on-poverty-is-a...

To many Americans, the war on poverty declared 50 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson has largely failed. The poverty rate has fallen only to 15 percent from 19 percent in two generations, and 46 million Americans live in households where the government considers their income scarcely adequate. Half a century after Mr. Johnson’s now-famed State of the Union address, the debate over the government’s role in creating opportunity and ending deprivation has flared anew, with inequality as acute as it was in the Roaring Twenties and the ranks of the poor and near-poor at record highs. High rates of poverty ... have remained a remarkably persistent feature of American society. About four in 10 black children live in poverty; for Hispanic children, that figure is about three in 10. According to one recent study, as of mid-2011, in any given month, 1.7 million households were living on cash income of less than $2 a person a day, with the prevalence of the kind of deep poverty commonly associated with developing nations increasing since the mid-1990s. The 1996 Clinton-era welfare overhaul drastically cut the cash assistance available to needy families, often ones headed by single mothers. Over the last 30 years, growth has generally failed to translate into income gains for workers — even as the American labor force has become better educated and more skilled.

Note: For more on income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


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