[Vision2020] Income Inequality

Bill London london at moscow.com
Sun Sep 19 16:48:09 PDT 2010

No question ... you have been raising the important issues on V2020.  Thanks
Have you ever considered contacting the Daily News (Lee Rozen, 882-5561) and writng for a wider audience on their opinion page?
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ted Moffett 
  To: Ron Force 
  Cc: vision2020 at moscow.com 
  Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2010 2:16 PM
  Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Income Inequality

  It is ironic is that the political/economic ideology of lessening regulation of business and/or finance, with the goal of improving the economy, of letting the "free market" work its magic to generate wealth, that the middle class in the US has supported to some extent, has resulted in wealth generation that has gone mostly to the upper classes, in recent decades.  Voters under the guise of the wisdom of free markets are voting for politicians who allow big corporate and finance interests to control government legislation to favor the wealth generation of the wealthy. The facts are clear the middle class is being economically hoodwinked; and this has been supported by both Democrat and Republican party policies influenced by money pouring in to politics.

  For over a decade I have commented repeatedly that the US was being transformed into more of a "third world" nation (using that exact wording), with an increasingly economically marginalized lower and middle class dominated by a small group of powerful and wealthy.  Just a few days ago I saw Arianna Huffington being interviewed regarding her new Sept. 2010 book "Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream" ( http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/9/18/901673/-Book-review:-Arianna-Huffingtons-Third-World-America ), and was both pleased and annoyed at her book title.  I thought, "She stole my idea!" though it is probable that many people have described what is happening to the US in terms of the US becoming more "third world."

  The title or subtitle of this excellent article on Slate, "Introducing the Great Divergence," by Timothy Noah, regarding income inequality, is borrowed from Nobel winning economist Paul Krugman.  The excerpt below from this article contains facts that should be repeated in headlines over and over:

  "The Great Compression ended in the 1970s. Wages stagnated, inflation raged, and by the decade's end, income inequality had started to rise. Income inequality grew through the 1980s, slackened briefly at the end of the 1990s, and then resumed with a vengeance in the aughts. In his 2007 book The Conscience of a Liberal, the Nobel laureate, Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman labeled the post-1979 epoch the "Great Divergence."

  It's generally understood that we live in a time of growing income inequality, but "the ordinary person is not really aware of how big it is," Krugman told me. During the late 1980s and the late 1990s, the United States experienced two unprecedentedly long periods of sustained economic growth—the "seven fat years" and the " long boom." Yet from 1980 to 2005, more than 80 percent of total increase in Americans' income went to the top 1 percent. Economic growth was more sluggish in the aughts, but the decade saw productivity increase by about 20 percent. Yet virtually none of the increase translated into wage growth at middle and lower incomes, an outcome that left many economists scratching their heads."
  Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett

  On 9/17/10, Ron Force <rforce2003 at yahoo.com> wrote: 
    Slate magazine (a subsidiary of the Washington Post) has an interesting 10-part series on the rise of income inequality in the US:


    It includes a widget so you can enter your zip code and income to find out where you rank in the U.S. and compare with the averages for the zip, Idaho, and the US (if you want to know).

    "A man worked for years and years on a philanthropic project - to arrange the transfer of the money that the rich don't need to maintain their lifestyle the poor who need it. After years and years of work he declared that the work was about 50% complete - the poor have agreed to accept the money."

    Ron Force
    Moscow ID USA




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