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62 People Have as Much as the Poorest 3.6B Combined

Wealth concentrated at 'tippy top of the pyramid,' Oxfam says

(Newser) - The richest .000000001% has had a great few years and now owns as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the world's population combined, according to the latest report from Oxfam. The British charity says just 62 billionaires are now as rich as the poorest 3.6 billion people... More »

Don't Get Mad at This Rich, White Teen Killer

The problem isn't that Ethan Couch got off, it's that poor kids don't, Elie Mystal writes

(Newser) - You were probably outraged when you heard about Ethan Couch, the 16-year-old drunk driver who killed four people but avoided jail thanks to his " affluenza "—the (apparently accurate) belief that his family's wealth ensured that his actions had no consequences. "Anybody who thinks that this... More »

Top 1% Took Record Share of US Income Last Year

Perhaps because they were cashing in stock ahead of new tax rules

(Newser) - The pay gap between the richest 1% and the rest of America widened to a record last year. The top 1% of earners collected 19.3% of household income in 2012, their largest share in Internal Revenue Service figures going back a century, according to an analysis of IRS figures... More »

Celeb Worship a Sign American Dream Is Dying

George Packer thinks our celebrity culture is exacerbating inequality

(Newser) - Watching the Great Gatsby might give you a shock of recognition, because it hails from a time like our own: One that's lousy with inequality, observes George Packer in the New York Times . Celebrities, he argues, function as "new household gods" for a population losing faith, and they... More »

Recovering Queen Skips Another Service

But will sign resolution that could indicate gay-rights support

(Newser) - Still on the mend after a brief hospitalization, Queen Elizabeth won't make it to a celebration of the British Commonwealth today, CNN reports. Still, her health issues are "nothing to fret about," says a Buckingham Palace insider, and in another ceremony tonight, she'll sign a historic... More »

World's Richest Hiding $21 Trillion From Taxman

Top 0.001% alone account for $10 trillion

(Newser) - While Democrats and Republicans argue about who should get tax cuts in America —those making $250,000 a year or $1 million annually—the really, really megarich are hiding some real money around the world in tax havens and sheltered offshore accounts reports the Guardian . In fact, at least... More »

Romney's Bain Pal: Rich Should Get Richer

New book 'may be the most hated of the year' New York Times predicts

(Newser) - If you're angry about the growing divide between America's rich and poor, former Bain Capital executive Edward Conard has a message for you: Get over it. Conard is a member of the 0.1%, a top Mitt Romney donor, and the author of Unintended Consequences, a book arguing... More »

Congress Is Increasingly Richer Than You

Figures show widening wealth gap, and with it polarization

(Newser) - Before he ran for Congress in 1974, Gary Myers was a steel mill worker. His campaign set him back $33,000. Today, Myers’ seat is occupied by Mike Kelly, a wealthy car dealer who married into the Phillips oil fortune. His campaign cost $1.2 million. That contrast is emblematic... More »

Finally, the Obama We Elected

Last night's speech was incredibly important, Robert Reich writes

(Newser) - The speech President Obama gave last night in Osawatomie, Kansas, was the "most important economic speech of his presidency," writes former labor secretary Robert Reich. "Here, finally, is the Barack Obama many of us thought we had elected in 2008," one who actually fights Big Money... More »

We Are the 99%? Try 99.9%

GOP policies really favor richest thousandth of population: Paul Krugman

(Newser) - Occupy Wall Street’s “We are the 99%” slogan is a pretty good one, but if anything it “aims too low,” writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times . “A large fraction of the top 1%’s gains have actually gone to an even smaller group,... More »

Occupy School Districts, Not Wall Street

They contribute just as much to inequality: Andrew Rotherham

(Newser) - Wall Street is an easy target, but if protesters really want to improve social mobility in America, they should be occupying the school districts. “There is perhaps no better example of how the system is rigged against millions of Americans than the education our children receive,” writes Andrew... More »

Just How Bad Is Income Inequality in Your Nabe?

2010 Census data has been logged, graphed, and posted

(Newser) - Do you want to know just how unequal your neighborhood is? Now you can gauge that income inequality, because 2010 census data from the 818 largest counties around the United States has been logged, graphed, and posted in a handy chart on Pro Publica . On the most unequal side, you... More »

Want Equality? Occupy Preschool

Invest in early education to prevent wide disparity

(Newser) - Occupy Wall Street protesters are raging against inequality, proposing new taxes and regulations to get there. But Nicholas Kristof thinks he knows “the single step that would do the most to reduce inequality,” he writes in the New York Times : expand early childhood education. “That will seem... More »

Chasm Between Haves, Have-Nots Is a Societal Cancer

Money can't buy happiness, but the lack of it can cause profound problems

(Newser) - America's stunning inequality is not just economic, it is also an inequality of the soul, writes Nick Kristof in the New York Times . Citing the work of two British epidemiologists, Kristof argues that severe inequality "tears at the human psyche, creating anxiety, distrust, and an array of mental and... More »

US Is Worse Than Banana Republics

Yet somehow we need to give the rich tax breaks?

(Newser) - It’s tempting to say that the US now has a banana republic-level income inequality, but that’s not fair—to banana republics. “The truth is that Latin America has matured and become more equal,” writes Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times , even as the US has... More »

Most Americans Think Rich Are Too Rich

Or at least too much richer than the poor. Study finds 92% prefer Swedish model

(Newser) - Most Americans—even rich ones and Republicans—think too much money is concentrated in the hands of too few, according to a study unearthed by Huffington Post . Researchers found that, across income and ideological groups, people both underestimated how much money is in the hands of the richest and expressed... More »

Middle Class Morphs Into 'New Poor'

Ever more Americans heading downward

(Newser) - At first, it seemed the financial crisis wouldn't leave the US deeply scarred, that's we'd ultimately emerge from it with renewed energy—until Americans stopped to look around and realized that somewhere along the way the middle-class had atrophied, leaving a small super-rich elite and swelling ranks of the poor.... More »

With Health Bill, Obama Ends the 'Age of Reagan'

Marks biggest assault on wealth inequality since the '80s

(Newser) - The health care reform bill was the government’s biggest attack on economic inequality in more than 30 years, a period of time that’s seen government policy and market forces consistently push the opposite direction. That’s why Barack Obama fought so hard for it, writes David Leonhardt for... More »

'Radical' Budget Aims to Shrink Income Gap

Overhauling tax code, Obama's plans would reverse 30-year trend

(Newser) - Barack Obama's first budget is, above all, an attempt to shrink the gap between rich and poor that has grown rapidly for 30 years, writes David Leonhardt of the New York Times. The "bold, even radical" budget hikes taxes on the rich while dropping them to their lowest point... More »

Women's Workforce Equality Comes at a Price

(Newser) - At long last, women hold more than 49% of American jobs in this country, and 50% is in reach. But hold the confetti, writes Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe. It's happening "because men are losing their jobs even faster than women." Last year, men took home eight... More »

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