Jul 14, 2010, Vol: 17, No: 28
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<< Back to Article Details