Something's Very Wrong When Only the Rich get Richer
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These wealthy, Pulling Apart observes, “become increasingly isolated from poor and middle-income communities” as income gaps widen. One example: They send their children to private schools and “can lose sight of the need to support public schools.”
“As a result,” Pulling Apart explains, “support for the taxes necessary to finance government programs declines, even as the nation’s overall ability to pay taxes rises.” This “failure to invest adequately in programs that educate children,” in turn, “can dampen” our future economic growth.
The encouraging news in the new Pulling Apart? We may still have gridlock in Washington, but states, individually, can take steps to narrow the gaps that divide our rich from our poor and our middle. States can enact state minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage rate. They can de-emphasize sales taxes and focus instead on taxing the income of ultra wealthy households.
The payoff from moves like these?
“States that narrow — rather than widen — income gaps,” promises Pulling Apart co-author Elizabeth McNichol, “will reap economic benefits in the long run.”