Why The Status Quo Is Unacceptable


The table above comes from the Oregon Center for Public Policy report by Joy Margheim entitled Labor Day Woes and Wishes.

Consider the table carefully—among other things it shows that over the period 2000-2007, the bottom 60% of state income earners actually lost money (in real terms).  Only the top 20% gained, and most of that gain went to the top 1%.  This outcome represents a sharp challenge to our media and elected officials who talk about overcoming the Great Recession and returning to “normalcy.”  Is a return to a political economy in which the majority actually suffers an income loss really our goal?

Clearly, we need to transform the way our economy works and our economic policies should be judged accordingly.  At the same time, a look at the enormous gains enjoyed by those at the very top of the income distribution speaks volumes about the source of resistance to the needed changes.

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