Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Nation Magazine Addresses Income Inequality In The United States

The excellent magazine The Nation recently ran a series of articles about the rising income inequality in the United States.

Here is the link to these articles.

While I’m not as frustrated with President Obama as are some of my fellow liberals, I do wish he would speak up more on this topic.

Here is some of what former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich said in his Nation article about the ever increasing gap between the rich and everyone else in the U.S.—

“Consider: in 1928 the richest 1 percent of Americans received 23.9 percent of the nation’s total income. After that, the share going to the richest 1 percent steadily declined. New Deal reforms, followed by World War II, the GI Bill and the Great Society expanded the circle of prosperity. By the late 1970s the top 1 percent raked in only 8 to 9 percent of America’s total annual income. But after that, inequality began to widen again, and income reconcentrated at the top. By 2007 the richest 1 percent were back to where they were in 1928—with 23.5 percent of the total….Each of America’s two biggest economic crashes occurred in the year immediately following these twin peaks—in 1929 and 2008. This is no mere coincidence. When most of the gains from economic growth go to a small sliver of Americans at the top, the rest don’t have enough purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing. America’s median wage, adjusted for inflation, has barely budged for decades. Between 2000 and 2007 it actually dropped. Under these circumstances the only way the middle class can boost its purchasing power is to borrow, as it did with gusto. As housing prices rose, Americans turned their homes into ATMs. But such borrowing has its limits. When the debt bubble finally burst, vast numbers of people couldn’t pay their bills, and banks couldn’t collect.”

People must be able to get fair wages for the work that they do. Liberals must make sure that this issue is part of the political discussion. Average working people must insist that they be treated with respect. Average working people must treat other working people with respect.

Economic fairness for working people is a lot of what being a liberal is about. It’s an issue that must be always be on our agenda because the forces of greed and plunder ever let up for even a moment.

July 26, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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