... a conundrum in these times, all the same.
... Income inequality has been on the rise for decades in several nations, including the United Kingdom, China and India, but it has been most pronounced in the United States, economists say.
In 1975, for example, the top 0.1 percent of earners garnered about 2.5 percent of the nation’s income, including capital gains, according to data collected by University of California economist Emmanuel Saez. By 2008, that share had quadrupled and stood at 10.4 percent. ...
It's relatively obvious (if you're paying attention) that the top income earners -- the point one percenters -- have been doing lots better than almost everybody further down the economic food chain.
If you believe these folks are the Job Creators and should keep more of the money they take in, then this is a good thing. But if you believe the other, lesser brackets need to be getting a bigger bucket of the cash flow so they can send their kids to college, buy a new car and nicer appliances to keep the wheels of commerce humming, you're probably of the opinion that it's not so great.
I was a history major in college. And I took a lot of courses that covered the Robber Barons and the Haymarket Riots and the grinding poverty that existed in the 1890s and beyond. The U.S. had a lot of dynamic aspects back then, but it also had large-scale unrest and massive inequalities that only started to be addressed when Teddy Roosevelt became President.
My problem is, I really don't want to slide back to the corporatism, social unrest and shorter life spans of those years. But I recognize that's the way we could be marching without too much trouble.
... In world rankings of income inequality, the United States now falls among some of the world’s less-developed economies. ...
On the other hand, if we become a large, banana republic, I guess I can go buy a white suit and try to fit in.