It has only been a few short years since the heady days of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which began on September 11, 2017, in Zucotti Park, New York. The ensuing weeks created a fervor for economic justice across the United States, with encampments in many cities. In particular, the clarion call for an end to the concentration of wealth among 1% of the population became a social meme. Even the corporate mainstream media — which only sparingly covers financial inequality issues — reported continually on the protests, particularly the main one on Wall Street.
On November 15, 2011, New York police squashed the protest in Zucotti Park, and the shutdown of encampments around the country ensued. Although ardent concern about the increase in wealth among an extremely small percentage of the nation (and world) continues among progressives — and in publications such as Truthout — some recent studies have shown that the regressive trend is continuing, not abating. This reality is facilitated by public policy such as the just-enacted Republican tax restructuring, which enriches the top 1% even further while diminishing federal government support for programs that financially benefit the public at large.
A January 23 Inter Press Service (IPS) article confirms that wealth is continuing to be amassed in the hands of the few at the expense of the many:
As the ‘masters of the universe’ gather for their annual retreat at Davos, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has just published its Inclusive Development Index (IDI) for the second time.
After moderating from the 1920s until the 1970s, inequality has grown with a vengeance from the 1980s as neoliberal ascendance unleashing regressive reforms on various fronts….
According to the World Inequality Report 2018, the top 1% in the world had twice as much income growth as the bottom half since 1980. Meanwhile, income growth has been sluggish or even flat for those with incomes between the bottom half and the top 1%. Oxfam’s new Reward Work, Not Wealth report reveals that the world’s wealthiest 1% got 82% of the wealth generated in 2017, while the bottom 50% saw no increase at all!
– Buzz Flash