Income inequality hits the mainstream

Income inequality hits the mainstream

Income inequality is the big grievance of the Occupy Wall Street movement. As I report here, wealth for the top one per cent of the US population grew by a whopping 275 percent from 1979 to 2007, while for 60 per cent of the population in the middle of the income scale, it grew by just under 40 per cent and for the bottom 20 per cent, by just 18 per cent.

But what's fascinating is the way these concerns are now seeping into mainstream politics. And from there, it could have determine the shape of economics.

According to a poll by The Hill, two out of three likely voters say the American middle class is shrinking, and 55 per cent believe income inequality has become a big problem for the US. Those findings were there across all income levels. A report in Politico makes it even more interesting with the observation that even Republicans are starting to talk about it.

That's hardly surprising with an International Monetary Fund report coming to the conclusion that concentrating wealth in the hands of so few people is actually damaging the US economy.


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