Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quotation for Today: America's Income and Wealth Gap - A Republican Creation

The quotation for today -- across the jump -- captures the fact that Republican government, economic and monetary policies of the past 30-plus years have created the greatest income and wealth inequality in the United States since before the Great Depression.
"We [the United States of America] are a very rich nation but it doesn’t seem that way because our wealth is so concentrated in the hands of a few. This is America’s disaster."
Les Leopold
Les Leopold is the executive director of the Labor Institute and Public Health Institute in New York, and author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It (Chelsea Green, 2009).

Mr. Leopold's article includes an easy-to-understand graph that portrays a clear picture of the transfer of wealth to the one percent from the 99 percent.  This upward transfer of wealth -- a result of over 30 years of Republican government, economic and monetary policies -- is shown is the separation of the red and blue lines of the graph.  

Primer for the graph: The red line measures the high productivity of American workers and the blue line depicts the wages paid to the same American workers; wages that have been stagnant in real terms since about the mid-1970s. The gap between the red and blue lines of the graph represents all the wealth of the American workers that was transferred to the one percent; American wealth, as a result of Republican policies, that was not equitably shared with middle- and working-class American families as it was equitably shared before the mid-1970s.

Leopold, Les. "What If the Greedy Rich Paid Their Share? 8 Things to Know About Wealth and Poverty in the US." AlterNet 17 April, 2012.

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