"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Gap That the Rich Would Rather Ignore

From Raw Story:
New York- The income gap between rich and poor in the United States has increased significantly, The New York Times online edition reported Thursday.

According to the report, new analyses of 2005 tax data shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans.
Let's see. Our meritocratic social system is based on the objectivity of color-blind and income-blind test scores, right. Right. And we expect the same high performance from kids in DC, where they drink lead-laced water at school and die from untreated absessed teeth, as we expect from the rich kids in Chevy Chase who drive their own BMWs to school, right? Right. And if the latter do better on the color-blind and income-blind tests, then it is former's fault for not trying hard enough. Guaranteed advantage, guaranteed failure, and guaranteed despair. Oh, yes--and guaranteed shut down of the public schools so that we can offer all the failures a Bible in their backpacks, a uniform to wear, and a voucher that the right-wing fundamentalists can cash in order to pay for their own proselytizing.
Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.

The report cites Internal Revenue Service data analyzed by economist Professor Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, and Professor Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics.

If the economy is growing but only a few are enjoying the benefits, it goes to our sense of fairness," the report quoted Professor Saez as saying. "It can have important political consequences," the professor said.

While total reported income in the US increased almost 9 per cent in 2005, the most recent year for which such data is available, average incomes for those in the bottom 90 per cent dipped slightly compared with the year before, dropping 172 dollars, or 0.6 per cent.

According to the report, the gains went largely to the top 1 per cent, whose incomes rose to an average of more than 1.1 million dollars each, an increase of more than 139,000 dollars, or about 14 per cent.

The top 10 percent, roughly those earning more than 100,000 dollars, also reached a level of income share not seen since 1928, according to the report. . . .
Hmmm--1928. A year before, what was that big noise in 1929?

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