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Obamanomics and closing the income gap

In the 2nd Presidential debate, Obama said:

"Prosperity is not just going to trickle down. We've got to help the middle class. Part of the problem here is that for many of you, wages and incomes have flat-lined. For many of you, it is getting harder and harder to save, harder and harder to retire."

Obama's pointing out our nation's increasing income inequality.

The majority of social scientists believe that income inequality currently poses a problem for American society, and Alan Greenspan stated it to be a "very disturbing trend."

As I've often said... this [increasing income inequality] is not the type of thing which a democratic society—a capitalist democratic society—can really accept without addressing. - Alan Greenspan, June 2005

The chart (right) shows that the total share of national income going to the super-rich has more than doubled since 1979. The merely well off have also gotten a slightly bigger piece of the pie, while everyone else has funded this free-for-all. "Everyone else," in this case, means 90% of the country. Our share of national income has gone down in order to make sure that virtually all the fruits of economic growth over the past four decades could go to the well-off, the rich, and the super-duper-rich.

Closing the income gap continues to be one of Obama's highest priorities. (NYTimes: Closing Income Gap Tops Obama’s Agenda for Economic Change). McCain wants more tax cuts for the rich; Mr. Obama wants tax cuts for the poor and middle class. And economic history is on Obama's side (NYTimes: Would Obama’s Plan Be Faster, Fairer, Stronger?)

 

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