Today the top 1% earn a higher share of our national income than any year since 1928…the people who have been hammered for the last six years are working men and women.
The reality is that for the past 40 years, Wall Street and the billionaire class has rigged the rules to redistribute wealth and income to the wealthiest and most powerful people of this country.
Today, the lowest rungs on that ladder of opportunity are weaker than they have been since the Gilded Age.
Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?
The opportunity gap is the defining issue of our time. More Americans are stuck at their income levels than ever before.
The biggest challenge to capitalism in the next two decades is “rising and persistent income inequality. In 2012, the top 1% of earners in the US collected 19.3% of the country’s total household income – an all-time high…
Who does the government work for? Does it work just for millionaires, just for the billionaires, just for those who have armies of lobbyists and lawyers, or does it work for the people?....People all across this Commonwealth and this country work hard. They aren't looking for a special deal or a short cut. They just want a fair shake, a level playing field so they have a chance to succeed.
The rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before…
Income inequality is destabilizing and "responsible for the divisions in the country…The divisions could get wider. If you can't legislate, you can't deal with problems. [If] you can't deal with problems, you can't drive growth and you can't drive the success of the country. It's a very big issue and something that has to be dealt with... Too much of the GDP over the last generation has gone to too few of the people.
Since the depths of the Great Recession in 2009, median real household income has fallen 4.4 percent, according to an analysis by Sentier Research…the U.S. economy can’t get out of first gear as long as wages are declining. And businesses can’t succeed over the long term without a buoyant and growing middle class.