Monday, December 7, 2009

Income Disparity

Forbes (hat tip The Reformed Broker) with just how large the income gap has grown in the United States:

We based our list on the U.S. Census Bureau's Gini Index, which ranks income inequality in cities on a scale of 0 to 100. Imagine two islands, each with only five people, and a total income of $100,000. On one island, each person earns $20,000. This island has total income equality, and a Gini score of 0. On the other island, one person earns $100,000 and the other four people earn nothing. This island has total inequality, and a Gini score of 100.

The United States as a whole had a Gini score of 46.9 in 2008. By comparison, incomes are more equal in Europe (the E.U. has a score of 31), and less equal in South America (Brazil has 56.7; Bolivia has 59.2).

For what it's worth, no U.S. city has income equality that's close to the levels of Europe. Only seven of the 250 largest American metro areas have Gini scores below 40.
And the top 10 most unequal cities per Forbes:

The Reformed Broker notes that this trend is likely to reverse in coming years.
Income disparity in America is the one enduring thing George W actually can take credit for. Unfortunately for those on top, Obama's on a mission to tax this disparity back to the Stone Age. The pendulum always swings too far in both directions, this time, it's heading hard left.
Update: an anonymous reader has an issue with The Reformed Brokers semantics:
Obama's on a mission to tax this disparity back to the stone age???

I think what the Reformed Broker (who is clearly an idiot) means is that Obama plans on taxing this disparity back to the levels of 1994-2000... you know, when Clinton was busy destroying the economy and putting the US income inequality at Marxist levels. Moron.
I think the key takeaway is we are likely to see income disparity brought more in line. Whether it is the stone age or 1994-2000 is another question.

And The Reformed Broker responds with typical candor:
I have another fan!

As a centrist on many issues, I am no stranger to being the target of personal attacks from idealogues on both sides.

Thx to "Anonymous"!
Too true. If it were a right wing conservative with the issue, he would have attacked the George Bush rather than the Obama reference... actually, do conservatives even admit they voted for him twice?