"A rising tide lifts all boats," President John F. Kennedy famously said. But for the last thirty years in the US economy, that has not been true. In 1970, the average American in the bottom 90 percent made the equivalent of about $27,000.
By 2002, after years of work and sweat and rising productivity, that number, for the bottom 90 percent, had actually fallen — while incomes for the top tenth had nearly doubled and the tip top had soared into the billions.
The top 28,000 Americans earned more than the bottom 96 million combined. The tide lifted the yachts. And that tide is still running.
What are the real solutions to America's hyper-inequality?
David Cay Johnston, pulitzer prize winning reporter for the New York Times, author of "Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich — and Cheat Everyone Else"
James Heckman, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Economics and distinguished professor of Economics at the University of Chicago
Anna Burger, Secretary-Treasurer of the
Service Employees International Union
David Autor, professor of Economics at MIT
Reverend Ray Hammond,
Pastor of the Bethel AME Church in Boston
Robert Shiller, professor of economics at Yale University, author of "Irrational Exuberance" and "The New Financial Order: Risk in the 21st Century";Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst and Senior Editor at The Atlantic Monthly
This program aired on July 27, 2006.