October 18th, 2011

Income Disparity And The ‘Price Of Civilization’

Interview with NPR staff

The Occupy Wall Street movement has been criticized for lacking focus — but its main slogan seems to be resonating. That slogan, “We are the 99 percent,” highlights the issue of income disparity. It’s something economist Jeffrey Sachs has been tracking for a long time.

The top 1 percent of U.S. households now take about a quarter of all income, according to Sachs. And wages for the average American male peaked in 1973, he says.

“It means that for the typical young person right now who is a high school graduate — but on average will not get a bachelor’s degree — life is extremely challenging to find a foothold,” Sachs tells NPR’s Steve Inskeep, “with a stable job, with an opportunity to have a reliable income, health and other benefits and a chance to have the kind of middle-class life that we once took for granted.”

Sachs explores the result…

Read interview highlights and listen to the story at NPR.




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