Income inequality has soared to the highest levels since the Great Depression. And the Great Recession has done little to reverse the trend. In the first full year of the so-called recovery, the top 1 percent of earners took 93 percent of the income gains. The IMF warns,“Some dismiss inequality and focus instead on overall growth, arguing, in effect, that a rising tide lifts all boats. When a handful of yachts become ocean liners while the rest remain lowly canoes, something is seriously amiss.”Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics says, “What worries me is the idea that we’re in a vicious cycle. Increasing inequality means a weaker economy, which means increasing inequality, which means a weaker economy.”Certainly the Occupy Movement raised consciousness about this issue. But the political class has done little to address it. What can be done?
Chuck Collins is co-founder of United for a Fair Economy, a Boston-based national organization which addresses issue of economic inequality. He is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and directs its Program on Inequality and the Common Good. He is author of “Economic Apartheid in America,” “Wealth and Our Commonwealth” and “99 to 1.”
Program #COLC003. Recorded in Seattle, WA on September 20, 2012.