Dear Commons Community,
There is much going on with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Hundreds of people in New York City marched last night to show support and solidarity with protesters in Oakland, Calif., where the police used tear gas to disperse crowds on Tuesday. The NY Times reported that
“In Oakland on Tuesday, about 100 people were arrested when the police tried to clear protesters from a plaza across from City Hall. One protester there, an Iraq war veteran named Scott Olsen, was struck in the head by a projectile. He was listed in critical condition on Wednesday.”
The 99% Occupy Wall Street protesters also are not just imagining the disparity in income among the American population. The gap between the incomes of the rich and poor is broad and deep, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office
The study by the Congressional Budget Office, released this week, found that income has become dramatically concentrated, shifting heavily toward the top earners between 1979 and 2007.
And although incomes at all levels have risen some, they’ve skyrocketed for the very wealthiest of earners.
At the other end of the scale, Americans in the bottom fifth of earners saw their incomes increase by less than 20 percent across the nearly three decades. Incomes for those in the middle 60 percent climbed by less than 40 percent over the same span.
Things start to look especially good for the top fifth of earners, who saw their cash flow jump by 65 percent.
But it’s among the top 1 percent where the growth was breathtaking. That contingent saw their incomes spike by 275 percent.
Occupy Wall Street! Solidarity!