Accountability-Central.com
Register here.  Forgot your password?  Remember me
HomeAbout The SiteRegistration InformationVoices: Featured Commentators and Bloggers  Special Sections
Search

Categories:

Featured Content


Slide10

Slide10

Slide10

Slide10

Slide10


NewsAndInfo

 



Click Here to Subscribe to our RSS Feed
 



Stories Below come from our Media Partner 3BL Media - Click their logo or any of the stories for more information


The Risk of Wealth and Income Gaps

The American Income and Wealth Gap

The issues and events represented in the broadening public discussions about “wealth and income disparities” or the “wealth divide” or the “1% and the 99%” are certainly top-of-mind for many people as we created this Hot Topic in October 2011.  These are certainly not new issues, but for many Americans the Great Recession is intensifying some of the troubling aspects of income inequality and certainly the obvious wealth inequality in the USA today.

 The essence of the American Dream has been about the assurance of equal access to quality education, the enjoyment of a good income (“living wages”), access to affordable healthcare, and the means to acquire a home of one’s own.

These have been the traditional pathways to building personal and family wealth at least since years of the Great Depression. In the “Era of Prosperity,” after World War II, the American middle class emerged in great numbers.  Thanks to equal access to credit and capital, steadily increasing wage levels for workers, and reasonably-priced housing and durable goods, attaining higher levels of education, among other things, each generation could expect to be better off than the previous.  Until now. What most Americans believed to be “financial fairness” for a rising middle class has been fading away since the financial sector crisis of 2008-2009, if not in reality, than in the perceptions of many people.

In contrast, the 1947 to 1975 years, as author Robert Reich points out in his book, “Aftershock,” was an era when the benefits of economic growth were more broadly shared.  But since 1975, the economic gains have been steadily concentrated in the upper income and wealth regions of the US economy, and the middle-class and lower income earners have been missing out on the dividends paid by (among other things) the end of the Cold War and the onset of globalization that followed.

Unemployment is stuck at the 9% level; and, many Americans are under-employed, working two jobs, or out of work for so long that they have given up on finding a job.  Which leads to more financial stress on millions of families.

As the former Secretary of Labor writes, “None of us can thrive in a nation divided between small number of people receiving an ever larger share of the nation’s income and wealth and everyone else receiving a declining share…”  We agree.

Real opportunity and access – and not that portrayed today by certain pandering politicos – has been slipping away for millions of Americans. The Capitol Hill rhetoric does not square with the facts on the ground --  the statistics and facts and consumer surveys paint a different picture, first in the facts, and more recently, in the perceptions held by many Americans.

Not About Wealth Re-Distribution

This reality of diminishing economic returns is not about income or wealth re-distribution, or pursuing socialist or left-leaning political ideologies or policies, or schemes to tax the rich.  This is about both the reality and perception of financial fairness and equity, and equal access to economic opportunity, which many middle-class and low-to-moderate income earners now believe is no longer the American Dream for them.  This is a potentially dangerous social condition and one that our policymakers – or the fortunate affluent and wealthy -- should not ignore. 

As this introduction is prepared, the Occupy Wall Street protests are in their third month, with hundreds of other cities and communities seeing demonstrations on their main streets.  The protests so far have been peaceful and civil if not raucous at times. 

The movement has spread to other countries.  Earlier in 2011, citizen protests were staged in the Middle East – in the Arab Spring, young and old protested against repressive government policies and the lack of economic opportunity for the masses in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, and Syria. A major part of the complaints: lack of jobs, and lack of or unequal opportunity  in terms of income and wealth-building, as well as the desire for more democratic rule.

There is now abundant news & commentary about the income and wealth divide in the United States, as well as a growing gap between rich and poor in many other countries.  We are bringing you the highlights of this issue in this Hot Topic, because we believe that everyone should be tuned in to this critical social issue, which threatens the well-being of the nation, and individuals in all socio-economic categories.  The solutions are not easy, or simple, or something government can prescribe.  All Americans have to address the issues – and some of us will have to give a little to get back on track. 

We cannot afford to lose the Millennial Generation (born 1975-2000) – the young people who seek the opportunities that their parents and grandparents enjoyed.

The editors have been focused on the issues surrounding the income and wealth divide for some time – this Hot Topic is being added to Accountability Central as the issues continue to gain momentum.  We will be offering commentary in a running series, “The Divide – Danger Ahead.”

We welcome your comments – send to: info@accountability-central.com

 

 

Introduction: November 2011

 

 


Latest on The Risk of Wealth and Income Gaps

January 28, 2014 Wealth Gap: A Guide to What It Is, Why It Matters

Source: ABC News

From the White House to the Vatican to the business elite in Davos, Switzerland, one issue keeps seizing the agenda: the growing gap between the very wealthy and everyone else. It's "the defining challenge of our time," says...

January 27, 2014 Let’s Talk About the Wealth Gap

Source: NY Times

WASHINGTON — Much of the substance and tone of President Obama’s State of the Union address this week are predictable. So is the reaction: It won’t change many minds or political stands.

January 27, 2014 Billionaire Tom Perkins Likens US Super Rich Treatment to Jews in Holocaust

Source: International Business Times

Billionaire Thomas 'Tom' Perkins has slammed the "progressive war on the American 1%" by claiming the US super rich are being persecuted in the same way that Jews were treated by the Nazis in World War II.

January 24, 2014 Boehner backs GOP bill to send water from delta to farms

San Francisco Gate - Amid the worst drought in California's recorded history, House Speaker John Boehner stood in a bare dirt field near Bakersfield to declare his support for taking more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin...

January 24, 2014 Davos 2014: There’s only one way to close the wealth gap

Source: Telegraph

I’m in Davos this week, where more than 2,500 chief executives, government ministers and NGOs are assembled for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. After years of permafreeze, a thaw seems finally to have taken hold....

January 23, 2014 Inequality threatens the rich

CNN - (CNN)-- When President Barack Obama proclaimed the fight against income inequality is "the defining challenge of our time," you might have dismissed his words as the effort of a struggling president to revive his political...

January 22, 2014 Pope urges Davos elite to serve humanity with wealth

Source: Reuters

Pope Francis challenged business leaders assembled in Davos on Tuesday to put their wealth at the service of humanity instead of leaving most of the world's population in poverty and insecurity.

January 21, 2014 Davos debates income inequality but still invites tax avoiders

Source: The Guardian

Those on the outside might imagine that the business leaders who gather in Davos each year to chew the fat are concerned only about enriching themselves. Critics might imagine that the company bosses, jetting to the World...

January 20, 2014 World's 85 richest own 46% of global wealth

Source: USA Today

Research conducted by the British charity Oxfam has concluded that the combined wealth of the world's 85 richest people is equivalent to that owned by the bottom half — in wealth terms —of the world's population.

January 16, 2014 Gulf between rich and poor put as biggest global risk

Hindustan Times - The growing gulf between the rich and the poor represents the biggest global risk this year, the World Economic Forum declared on Thursday ahead of this month's Davos summit. The institution issued the gloomy...

Displaying results 21 to 30 out of 498

The Risk of Wealth and Income Gaps

 
 
Page 1 of 10
  • RT @howtodoit1: "today we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income since 1920's." @SenSanders http://t.co/tfMqhxcuY6 #ABC #C…
    19:10
    Korey Gaskin
  • RT @howtodoit1: "today we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income since 1920's." @SenSanders http://t.co/tfMqhxcuY6 #ABC #C…
    18:57
  • "today we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income since 1920's." @SenSanders http://t.co/tfMqhxcuY6 #ABC #CBSNews #CNBC #CNN
    18:50
  • “The rise in income and wealth inequality that began from the 1970s onwards has become a housing problem in the end” http://t.co/GE18V4vdIM
    18:50
    ILI
  • RT @VoteRonanGarvey: Tourism employs many thousands of people. It generates billions in income for employees & communities #galwayhour http…
    18:46
 
 
Page 1 of 10
HOME | ABOUT THE SITE | REGISTRATION INFORMATION | VOICES: FEATURED COMMENTATORS AND BLOGGERS  | SPECIAL SECTIONS

Published by

TM

Published by Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.
Design & Contents Copyright © 2005 - 2012
By G&A Institute unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
Accountability-Central is a service mark of G&A Institute, Inc.
New York, New York, USA

Email info@ga-institute.com | Web www.ga-institute.com