Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sharing

"Note that between 1947 and 1979, both productivity and middle-class income more than doubled, and that their growth rates were about the same. But since the 1980s, middle incomes have grown only 25% as fast as productivity, as the wedge of inequality has funneled most of the growth to higher income groups."

MiddleClass Task Force, The Vice President of the United States, Staff Report, "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Helping Middle-Class Families."

These productivity charts and graphs -- rising productivity and flat or declining median incomes -- tell one of the most important stories about America in the past two decades. It's an old, populist, share the wealth story. As a society, are we sharing the burdens and sharing our collective good fortunes - or are those at the top disproportionately pulling down the benefits? The masters of the financial sector provide some of the most egregious recent examples of this trend. Our growing inequality did not require malfeasance of this sort.

The MiddleClass Task Force is going through its paces -- green jobs, ARRA, college. President Obama is already out there with a more evenhanded tax plan. What's left to talk about: unions?

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