I’m a congenial guy by nature, and so let me apologize in advance if this column riles you up. I want to look at a few issues that are highly visible at the extremes of the income spectrum, especially as they can be seen in my hometown, New York City.
First, a simple observation on income inequality in America. We can heed the Sgt. Joe Friday advice from the old “Dragnet” TV series — “Just the facts, ma’am.” If you look on the CIA website you will find that the United States ranks 41st among 141 nations in the maldistribution of family income. Number 40 is Uruguay. Number 42 is the Philippines. Other nations in our grouping are Jamaica, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Guyana and Iran. Is this the company the American economy wants to be keeping?
Of all the large cities in America, New York has the greatest income inequality. This is not only statistically verifiable (the Census Bureau reports the data), it is pretty obvious to anyone moving about town.