Obama declares income inequality a 'defining challenge of our time'

  • Article by: JIM KUHNHENN , Associated Press
  • Updated: December 4, 2013 - 9:51 PM

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama prodded Congress to raise wages and secure the social safety net as he issued an overarching appeal Wednesday to correct economic inequalities that he said make it harder for a child to escape poverty. "That should offend all of us," he declared. "We are a better country than this."

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Packman_1Dec. 4, 13 7:37 AM

Although I admire his efforts to identify the disparity and the ruin it's caused the country, when one party is in the complete control of the 1%, expect the trend to continue.

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vlombardyDec. 4, 13 7:50 AM

Income inequality pales in comparison to wealth inequality in the country. Improving minimum wage and food stamps are band-aids which do nothing to reverse the inequality. Today's middle class is in the bottom of the top 20% of the country's wealth--hardly "middle". We need a true middle class, where 60% of the people are financially independent. Minimum wage, or food stamps wouldn't be needed for more than 10% or 20% of the people. Political, financial, and corporate institutions will have to change in order to reverse the present situation. A good start would be to break up banks that are too-big-to-fail, and reenact Glass-Steagall.

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potter101Dec. 4, 1312:03 PM

vlombardyDec. 4, 13 7:50 AM Income inequality pales in comparison to wealth inequality in the country. Improving minimum wage and food stamps are band-aids which do nothing to reverse the inequality. Today's middle class is in the bottom of the top 20% of the country's wealth--hardly "middle". We need a true middle class, where 60% of the people are financially independent. Minimum wage, or food stamps wouldn't be needed for more than 10% or 20% of the people. Political, financial, and corporate institutions will have to change in order to reverse the present situation. A good start would be to break up banks that are too-big-to-fail, and reenact Glass-Steagall.****************************The best thing to make this happen are two fold , raise the minimum wage to a acceptable amount , it can be done with two level, under 18 over 18 or under 21 over 21. That and the levelling of the playing field by getting rid of any tax cut that 75% or more goes to 2-3% of the population.(By the way that's just about all of them. This can be done. As it is now American capitalism is broken and it is sitting on a pins point with zero incentive for the workers to improve their condition or try to move up the ladder. It's proved by Simply one statistic , The workers income hasn't gone up zero in 30 years while the wealthy income has gone up 275% a year. Zero incentive and capitalism doesn't work without the incentive factor. That's the whole premise of capitalism.

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Jakein08Dec. 4, 1312:22 PM

Since 2000, the top 1% has income growth of about 34%, the other 99% is less than 1%. So much for the idea that the Bush tax cuts would spur economic growth. Well, I guess they worked for the top 1%. Corporate greed is ruining America. Walmart is a prime example. The average fulltime employee, who has a family with 2 kids, qualifies for food stamps his/her income is so low. the Walton family has a net worth of more than the lower 42% of ALL America. they can afford to pay their employees and give them healthcare, they CHOOSE not to. They are the largest employer in America with 1.3 million employees. the taxpayers are literally subsidizing Walmart through foodstamps and healthcare for their employees. Corporate Welfare! Compare them to Costco. They pay their employees a livable wage and give them health insurance. They do this by limiting management pay, not being open 24/7, keeping markups to 15%, and running a lean operation. It can be done, more corporations need to have the will do do it. I do not profess to have all the answers, but the problem is obvious and getting worse, not better.

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theagonygopDec. 4, 1312:33 PM

If the current rate of wealth and income transfer from the bottom 90% to the top 10% continues for another decade, we will become the Honduras of the north: The bottom 90% struggling to survive and the top 10% protecting their obscene wealth from the truly needy. If that's what the far right aspires to, they will deal with the consequences. But supporting and growing the middle class helps all Americans at all economic levels.

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Seawaves AheadDec. 4, 1312:39 PM

The Democrats are right, and the solution is not that difficult. Raise the top marginal tax rate to 95% on all earned income over $150,000. This money can then be returned to the other 99% who are the rightful owners through credits and Government programs. Income inequality will end in one year.

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barefootpaulDec. 4, 1312:41 PM

Packman, I think you have things reversed. It's not that a single party controls the 1%, it's that the 1% controls the party, and unfortunately that can be said for BOTH major parties in America. We need initiatives like movetoamend in order to bring about any change in that.

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daytonsajokeDec. 4, 1312:43 PM

Jakein08Dec. 4, 1312:22 PM Since 2000, the top 1% has income growth of about 34%, the other 99% is less than 1%. So much for the idea that the Bush tax cuts would spur economic growth. Well, I guess they worked for the top 1%. Corporate greed is ruining America. Walmart is a prime example. The average fulltime employee, who has a family with 2 kids, qualifies for food stamps his/her income is so low. the Walton family has a net worth of more than the lower 42% of ALL America. they can afford to pay their employees and give them healthcare, they CHOOSE not to. They are the largest employer in America with 1.3 million employees. the taxpayers are literally subsidizing Walmart through foodstamps and healthcare for their employees. Corporate Welfare! Compare them to Costco. They pay their employees a livable wage and give them health insurance. They do this by limiting management pay, not being open 24/7, keeping markups to 15%, and running a lean operation. It can be done, more corporations need to have the will do do it. I do not profess to have all the answers, but the problem is obvious and getting worse, not better................they are now the Obama tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts had an end date which was ignored and the cuts reinstated. Obama signed the bill in case you didn't know.

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daytonsajokeDec. 4, 1312:44 PM

obamanomics = trickle up poverty. ACA is primary example of income redistribution from middle class to lower class.

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Spiker1Dec. 4, 1312:47 PM

If people want higher wages, they should have thought about learning a skill…..working at McDonalds or some other fast food restaurant does not require any skill, so the wage is low…..We have too many people who choose not to learn a skill or skills, and/or choose not to work because the government will provide what they need……those people have no one to blame but themselves for the poor choices they made, the rest of us should need to pay for their inability to be responsible and take care of themselves…..

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