Monday, September 5, 2016

Income inequality -- a topic for Labor Day

Nancy Altman, Founding Co-Director of Social Security Works, is one voice speaking out about income inequality on this Labor Day.   Here's some of what she wrote, taken from Huffington Post.
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"Labor Day is a time to celebrate the essential contributions workers make to our collective wealth and well-being. It is well past time that American workers receive their fair share of that wealth.

"Americans work extremely long hours and are incredibly productive. Yet, for the last three and a half decades, they have not received the just fruits of their labor. From 1948 to 1979, two-thirds of aggregate income growth in the United States went to the bottom 90 percent. But from 1979 onward, nearly two-thirds of growth went to the top 1 percent. Meanwhile, the aggregate income of the bottom 90 percent actually declined!

"We are the wealthiest country in the world at the wealthiest moment in our history. Shamefully, we have tens of millions of people living in poverty. The middle class is being squeezed out, caught between those with unprecedented wealth and those who suffer food insecurity, who go to bed hungry.

"This rising and perilous income and wealth inequality did not happen by accident. It is the foreseeable consequence of a persistent upward redistribution of wealth, resulting from decades of public policies that favor corporations and the wealthiest Americans over everyone else. These public policies constitute a war on workers. Attacks on unions, privatization of public functions, huge tax breaks for those at the top, deep cuts to domestic spending, weakening of regulations protecting workers, an eroding minimum wage, and attacks on our Social Security system are all part of the war. Predictably, they have resulted in stagnating wages and longer hours for everyday workers, and the income and wealth inequality we see all around us. . . ."
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What a stark contrast in the two figures in the chart above.   It makes the subject of income inequality vividly real.  The remainder of the article makes the case for voting for Hillary Clinton and Democrats.  On economic concerns of working people -- despite what Trumps says at his rallies -- it is Democratic principles that are in their interests.


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