From a new report from Economic Policy Institute (EPI): http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/06/16/few-states-match-mass-income-inequality/wMIQkxtzUlwP4ZS4SN0khP/story.html?event=event25
* Top earners (1%) in MA make about 30 times as much as the bottom 99% – that’s higher than 44 other states.
* From 2009 to 2013 (latest data available), top-earning households (1%) claimed 83 cents of every new dollar created by the economy.
Groups like Raise Up have been doing great work on this issue, and are making real progress. I’m working with a group called FairShot.com that is helping in this effort. But more work needs to be done.
We need our elected leaders to stand up and make this a priority. This is not just an issue for Governor Baker. We have strong Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate. We need to hold them accountable, and make sure this is an urgent – repeat urgent – focus going forward.
History shows that income inequality is not inevitable. We significantly lowered the level of inequality in the middle of the 20th century, with a smart mix of progressive policies. With the right political will, we could do so again and Massachusetts could lead the way for the nation.
But for now, Massachusetts remains near the historic high-water mark of inequality, according to the EPI report – which shows that we are roughly “as unequal as we were at the height of the roaring twenties, before the fall into the great depression.”
That has to change.