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Economic Justice

Both income and wealth are distributed very unequally.

I mentioned both income and wealth because they are different concepts. Let me clarify these terms, because they will be used on this page. Income is the amount of income a person or household has during a given period of time, generally a year. Wealth is the total value of cash, investments and property owned by a person or household.

 

Income disparity is widening in the United States:

Let me repeat some information found on Share the Wealth's web site. In their teaser for Shifting Fortunes: The Perils of the Growing American Wealth Gap, STW reveals the following information.

"From 1983 to 1998, the S&P 500 grew a cumulative 1,336 percent. The wealthiest households reaped most of the gains. Average workers are earning less, adjusting for inflation, than they did when Richard Nixon was president."

"Weekly wages for average workers in 1998 were 12 percent below 1973, adjusting for inflation. Productivity grew nearly 33 percent in the same period."

 

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a report during 1997 entitled Pulling Apart: A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends. Here's my summary of their data on incomes of families with children:

Bracket Bracket Starts at   Average Income Change in Avg: 70s to 90s
  '78-'80 '94-'96   '78-'80 '94-'96 Dollars Percent
1/5 $0 $0   $11,759 $9,254 ($2,505) (21%)
2/5 $20,489 $17,761   $27,709 $24,724 ($2,985) (11%)
3/5 $34,800 $33,360   $41,434 $40,721 ($713) (2%)
4/5 $48,189 $48,976   $56,147 $60,150 $4,003  7% 
5/5 $65,688 $70,008   $90,728 $117,499 $26,771  30% 
Source: Methodological Appendix.

 

So, here's the scoop on the 1997 Congressional tax breaks:

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 was promoted as giving the middle class nice tax breaks. United for a Fair Economy did some digging once the dust settled. UFE found "over 66% of the cuts went to the top 1% of taxpayers (an average of $7,135 each)! Meanwhile, the bottom 80% of taxpayers (with incomes below $59,000) received an average tax cut of only $6."

 

Cooperatives:

4th Street Food Coop Not only is it in the Village, it's the only one in Manhattan!

 

Further Information:

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has created a new bureau. The Economic Reporting Review examines media coverage of economic issues.

Citizens for Tax Justice

Americans' Attitudes on Welfare

"Libertine or Liberal? The Real Scandal of what People Know About President Clinton." people tend to assume he has taken a liberal or left-wing stance.

 


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Last updated: 17 April 1999