Director’s Corner - Income disparity
As of Monday, the Real Change Summer Fund Drive is over. With $201,095 raised, our ambitious goal has been met. Our move to Pioneer Square is on solid ground, and we can move confidently into our next phase: strategic planning for a future of fearless organizing, quality journalism, courageous community building, and dignity and opportunity for those who struggle for survival in a time of radical inequality.
New figures from the Congressional Budget Office that update the data to 2007 reveal that income inequality is no longer at its highest since 1928. We have now dropped back to 1917. Only two of the world’s economies—Hong Kong and Singapore—have higher rates of inequality than the United States, and Hong Kong at least has a strong public housing sector. Ours, after three decades, is still being dismantled.
In 1979, according to the CBO, the middle class, or those in the center of the income curve, together took home twice as much pay as the richest one percent of Americans. By 2007, that one percent beat out the entire middle class. In three decades, after-tax income for the top 1 percent rose by 281 percent. Contrast this to middle-class incomes, which rose by a mere 25 percent.
But we have iPhones, which are really cool and at least make us feel middle-class.
What’s next? A return to feudalism? In Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” there’s a classic scene where the dead collector points out how one identifies a King. He’s the one “who hasn’t got shit all over him.” For those of us wondering just where bottom is, it’s an image that works.
Radical income inequality distorts democracy. That only changes when the losers in this economy
Hi Tim, are you testifying at Monday’s council meeting against the cost overruns with the waterfront tunnel?
What is your email address? Sharon
My idea to help the homeless raise money is for someone from real change to contact metro and the washington state ferries and ask them to give all the umbrella’s they find left on the buses and ferries to real change so the homeless can resell them along with the newspaper. I commuted from Bremerton to Seattle for 13 years and have lost so many umbrellas and the homeless would really be doing a service to everyone who forgot their umbrellas and caught in the rain. They could put a special stamp on the embrella or even do art on them and resell them on the streets for real change. Those lost and found umbrellas belong to the citizens of kitsap county, king county, pierce county and should be given back for a donation. I don’t know what metro etc do with the found umbrellas but if they ship them off to a foreign counttry, thats just not right. Ask the Govenor or someone to force their hand if needed and give them to real change to give the homeless real change and the citizens of Washington State their umbrellas back for a donation. OK thats my idea hope you can use it. cc
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