Monday, February 04, 2002

No class at all

According to a recent Congressional Budget Office study, income for middle-class families, adjusted for inflation, rose from $41,400 in 1979 to $45,100 in 1997, or just 9%. In other words, the average American is only slightly better off now than he was then, despite unprecedented economic growth during this period.

Even so, one might understand the general reluctance to play the class card if all Americans were in the same boat. But they aren't. While the average American's income increased by 9%, that of the wealthiest 1% rose 140% during the same period. Put another way, the wealthiest now have 23 times more than the annual income of the average American, up from 10 times more in 1979.
~ Neil Gabler.

I thought Gabler's article from the other day might be an interesting read in view of Mike's earlier point :

''Since the emergence of information technologies wielding immense economic clout, have we seen a slowdown in the growth of disparity? No, it has speeded inequity. At a macro level, I see little evidence that the consumer who fouls the planet even wants to effect positive changes to business practices, the laws governing them, and the type of person they wish to see reflecting their new sense of community.''

I would welcome any insights anyone has into why and how it is that any view of class inequity remains mostly obliterated on the American radar.

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