
Our Banana Republic
ByÂ NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: November 6, 2010
In my reporting, I regularly travel to banana republics notorious for their inequality. In some of these plutocracies, the richest 1 percent of the population gobbles up 20 percent of the national pie.
But guess what? You no longer need to travel to distant and dangerous countries to observe such rapacious inequality. We now have it right here at home â€” and in the aftermath of Tuesdayâ€™s election, it may get worse.
The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976. As Timothy Noah of Slate noted inÂ an excellent series on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.
C.E.O.â€™s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than fourfifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.
continued at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/opinion/07kristof.html?_r=1
great response to this article:
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