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Wall Street and the Wealth Gap

Sep 27, 2011 | By Marge Clark, BVM

Last week hundreds to thousands of (mostly) young folks began an occupation of Wall Street to protest the growing wealth gap evidenced by:

  • Terrifying increased numbers of our neighbors falling below the poverty line and below 50% of the poverty threshold (click here for this line by number in family)
  • Growing wealth gap in the U.S.
  • Unemployment rate over 9%
  • Exorbitant profits of hedge fund managers, CEOs and other top executives
  • Falling value of wages, loss of employee health care and retirement plans

These members of our communities have come together to put their bodies on the line to say:

“Something has to change. We cannot abide the injustice of persons who already have excessive amounts of money being the ones who get more – just because they already have, and can place their money where it grows. Injustice comes in the loss of real 'buying power' on the part of ALL BUT the wealthiest 1% or 10% of our population.”

These protesters join with social justice advocates and scholars who have been saying the same for a long time. A movement is growing.

According to the Center for Budget Policy Priorities, child poverty increased by statistically significant margins in 42 states between 2007 and 2010 – no state had a reduction in child poverty. In Florida, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah, child poverty rose over 20% in that time.

This month, the Food Research Action Center presented the new U.S. Department of Agriculture data on households struggling against hunger in 2010. More than 48.8 million households were food insecure at some time during 2010, and 21% of these were children. These numbers would have been horribly worse had it not been for SNAP and for WIC and for school and summer nutrition programs for children. And, each of these is endangered by Congress and/or in the work of the Super Committee. (Click here for more information.)

Back to Wall Street… Below are links to the Dylan Ratigan Show of September 20, 2011. Guests included Wall Street supporters seeing little relationship between the glutted wealth of some on Wall Street and the dire situations of so many others in this nation. “You Tube” is a clip from the show.

Dylan Ratigan Show

You Tube segment

Entire show

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