Is America No Longer the Land of Opportunity for All?
“For extreme inequality is still on the rise — and it’s poisoning our society.”
–Paul Krugman, New York Times, September 12, 2013
I hope you all had a wonderful and a merry Christmas.
During this holiday season, the media and various political pundits have made an issue about income and wealth inequality. “People are really upset about stagnating wages while the wealthy are getting rich,” a TV reporter told me. “What do you think is the cause, and what’s the solution?” she asked.
First, it’s true that all the income/wealth data seems to show that the wealthier members of society are gaining faster than the average citizen during this economic recovery. One reason may be that higher-income groups have more of their wealth in the stock market, which has been roaring ahead during the past five years compared to average wages and salaries. Our tax system discourages poor and middle class people from investing by sapping their ability to save through high Social Security and Medicare taxes (over 12% of everyone’s earned income).