Sunday, October 05, 2014

Why the shocking growth of economic inequality in the US is not a big political issue

Because, says David Sirota, Americans have no idea how huge the gap really is, and that makes the Democratic Party  afraid to use this as an issue in the 2014 election.  But the way I see it, this timidity is what leaves the Democratic base dispirited, and that leads to low turnout, and that means a repeat of 2010. Republicans aren't afraid to rally their base, but Democrats are.

"If critics of income inequality are wondering why the growing gap between rich and poor hasn’t been a more potent political issue in the upcoming elections, a new study offers some answers: Americans grossly underestimate this inequality. That’s one of the key findings of a survey showing the gap between CEO and average worker pay in America is more than 10 times larger than the typical American perceives. In the report, Harvard University and Chulalongkorn University researchers analyzed survey data from 40 countries about perceptions of pay gaps between rich and poor. In every country, respondents underestimated the size of the gap between CEO and average worker pay. In the United States, for example, the researchers found the median American respondent estimated that the ratio of CEO to worker income is about 30-to-1. In reality, the gap is more than 350-to-1."

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