Tags: Stiglitz | Middle | Class | Poorer | us | economy

Stiglitz: Middle Class Poorer Today Than 10 Years Ago

Thursday, 14 Apr 2011 08:32 AM

Economist Joseph Stiglitz says people in the median income range are poorer today than they were a decade ago.

"There's a shrinking of opportunity," Stiglitz tells Democracy Now. “It's not just that the people at the top are getting richer.”

“If they were getting richer because they’re contributing more to our society and everyone else was doing well, that would be one thing," he said. “But actually, they’re gaining and everybody else is decreasing."

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Joseph Stiglitz (Getty photo)
Stiglitz says that all the wealth growth that has occurred in the U.S. during the past 10 years or more has gone to the upper 1 percent to 2 percent. At the same time, economic opportunity is shrinking.

“We used to think of the U.S. as the land of opportunity,” says Stiglitz. Today, statistics show otherwise.

“Yes, we have some dramatic examples of people making it from the bottom to the top,” but the chances of someone making it from the bottom to the middle or the middle to the top “are worse than in Old Europe.”

Indeed, Stiglitz notes, opportunity is better in Europe these days. “They reformed their education systems after World War II.”

Meanwhile, in the U.S., “those who have money can get a really first-class education, but the average American does not.”

Gloom, Boom and Doom publisher Marc Faber agrees that wealth disparity in the U.S. is increasing. “If you clearly think about it, if you are well-to-do in the United States, you get exactly the same vote as someone who doesn’t want to work,” Faber tells CNBC.

“In America, close to 50 percent of babies are born to women who are actually poor. What kind of education will these people get?”

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Economist Joseph Stiglitz says people in the median income range are poorer today than they were a decade ago. There's a shrinking of opportunity, Stiglitz tells Democracy Now. It's not just that the people at the top are getting richer. If they were getting richer...
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Thursday, 14 Apr 2011 08:32 AM
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