America's Great Divide Between Rich and Poor - by Stephen Lendman
In 1962, Michael Harrington 's "The Other America" exposed the nation's dark side, saying:
"In morality and in justice, every citizen should be committed to abolishing the other America, for it is intolerable that the richest nation in human history should allow such needless suffering."
"But more than that, if we solve the problem of the other America we will have learned how to solve the problems of all of America."
Jack Kennedy was concerned enough to ask Walter Heller, his Council of Economic Advisor chairman, to examine the problem.
In his January 8, 1964 State of the Union address, poverty levels also got Lyndon Johnson to say his administration "today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America."
In fact, he barely scratched it. However, he got Congress to enact measures helping America's poor.
Inequality then was severe. Today, it's unprecedented and growing. Wealthy elites are richer than ever. Census data show around half of US households impoverished or bordering on it.
In fact, government data consistently over-estimate good news and understate the bad. As a result, unprecedented numbers of US households are impoverished under protracted Main Street Depression conditions.
Political Washington's austerity harshness causes greater harm. Shocking bipartisan indifference to human need and suffering is criminal.
In the world's richest ever country, poverty is highest among industrialized nations. Homelessness and hunger levels are unprecedented. Over 20% of US families haven't enough money to buy food and need help.
Over half of US children need food stamps to eat. Tens of millions have no health insurance. Those with it pay double the cost in other developed nations. Policies enacted under Obama assure tougher times ahead.
Unemployment approaches record highs. Manipulated government data hide it. Those employed work longer for less. Home foreclosures and bankruptcies affect millions. Adjusted for inflation, median income's no higher than in the 1970s.
In their book titled, "Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer," Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson explained how unprecedented wealth transfers to America's rich destroyed middle class households. It also deepened poverty and created a permanent underclass.
Last September, Forbes magazine's annual report on America's richest 400 showed net worth soaring to over $1.5 trillion, up 12% from 2010. At the same time, poverty and human need spiral higher.