Income inequality is defined as “the unequal distribution of household or individual income across the various participants in an economy.”
Based on this definition, it’s clear Lansing Republicans have the wrong priorities. The evidence shows that support for middle class families and funding for K-12 schools in Michigan have fallen by the wayside, while big corporations and CEOs are pocketing huge profits.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) puts an interesting perspective on wealth in the U.S., and how the spoils are distributed amongst our nation’s citizens.
According to the EPI, throughout the 20th century, the bottom percent has gained a much greater share of income until recently. In the 30-year period between 1948-1979, the richest of 10% of families accounted for 33% of average income growth, while the bottom 90% accounted for 67%. Recently? Between 2000-2007, the richest 10% accounted for a full 100% of the average growth income.
This op-ed by Jack Lessonberry hits it right on the head:
Essential programs in Michigan have been slashed and balanced on the backs of Michigan’s seniors, children, and working families. Programs like EITC – an incentive to help to lower-income families to get back to work – have been slashed. Classrooms across Michigan have been robbed of funding so that Republicans could give a massive tax cut to big business with no strings attached and no burden to prove these businesses are actually creating jobs.
Even worse? The new income tax cut for Michigan’s families benefits the wealthiest. The more you make, the more you get back. An average family in Michigan gets $12, compared to a family making $300,000 that will get $72.
Maybe I’m just old-fashioned. Maybe helping families get back on their feet is a thing of the past. Maybe I’m a dreamer for hoping that funding for classrooms will help our kids be the best and the brightest so they can compete in a global economy.
Instead of a war on Michigan’s children, seniors and middle class families, legislators should wage war on on the problems afflicting Michiganders. We need to invest in education and strengthen the middle class, not give handouts with no strings attached to corporate special interests.