Increasing income inequality is changing the way people in the U.S. live, new research says

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  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 14, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    Spring street,
    It appears we have a misunderstanding/miscommunication

    the poor today I believe have a much better standard of living than they did in the 1980s

    they have:
    cell phones
    internet access
    game systems, etc.
    subscription TV

    the medical care they receive is modern, not 1980s treatments
    their cars generally do not burn leaded gas and get 12 miles per gallon.

    Did I ever say they are able to take advantage of as many things as those better off or that their life was a breeze? No.

    I said their standard of living is better than it was 30 years ago.
    They ARE able to take advantage of most, if not all, of the technological advantages that make life today better than it was 30 years ago.

    In some ways, our treatment of the poor is much better than it was before.

    When I was in school, the poor kids worked in the cafeteria during lunch and got one meal a day. now they get breakfast and lunch and do not have to work.

    That is just one example, my 200 word limit prevents further explanation

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Jan. 14, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    The main problem with income and wealth inequality is macroeconomic. When the consumer classes have less disposable income (and this has been the trend for the past 30 years), demand remains depressed, which discourages the wealthy from investing in increased domestic production. This is why supply-side economics never worked. More and more of the profit keeps going to the top. For a while we were able to buy all the products corporate America kept producing (in Third World countries) by purchasing on credit. But the 2008 crash ended that fantasy. If corporations really want to stay in business, they need to start hiring American workers, paying them better, and giving the CEO what he really deserves (maybe 8 to 10 times the pay of the average worker). Only with more balance in where the wealth goes will we be able to pull ourselves out of the hole we started digging with Reagonomics.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Jan. 13, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Brigham Young stated it best when he said something to the effect, the ways of the world (capitalism included) tend to sink the masses into poverty and degradation while exalting a few to unfathomable wealth. This not only was the premise in the plan of the adversary of all mankind, to ironically save all mankind, alas the biggest lie ever told as amply manifest by this very extreme inequality gap in temporal affiars--this greed and selfishness is literally the source of all evil in our society even now.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 12, 2013 10:05 p.m.

    @lost in dc
    Do you understand what the standard of living index is? please actually address my post instead of using empty retorts.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 12, 2013 10:00 p.m.

    @lost in dc
    what part of their real wages went down decreasing their ability to maintain the same standard of life is comparing oranges to bedspreads? please stop with the childish retorts.

  • Supercool11 R-Valley, NV
    Jan. 12, 2013 9:38 p.m.

    "Income inequality" is a phony issue, a sleight of hand to redirect attention. Politicians like to bring it up so people blame all their woes on "the rich." Then of course comes the fix. The solution is to tax the rich even more (75 percent if you live in France). The dirty secret though is that even though "income inequality" can be reduced, quality of life improves for no one, except for the rich friends of the politicians. This is the aristocracy at work.

    So if ever you hear a politician talking about income inequality or a need to redistribute income, I can guarantee you she is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

    We need to return to the liberal ideals that this country was founded on, and stop the progressive march.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 12, 2013 8:49 p.m.


    Boy what a solution. I never thought of that before. Clearly its only the single mothers having sex. Men have nothing to do with it, right. In fact lets teach them a lesson. No medicaid, no WIC, no food stamps. And if they don't get the message I am sure the malnurished kids won't forget

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 12, 2013 8:46 p.m.

    I find it surprising for a state with a majority of people who belong to a church which sends missionaries to all parts of the world, that so many hold similar views to Mountanman. Because one would think former missionaries and families would have gained a more Christ-like respect and attitude toward others, especially the less fortunate.

    One would think those who are religious and profess a belief in God would be less judgemental. Instead, in the public square the religious, from many different denominations, appear to be extremely intolerant and judgemental.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    Jan. 12, 2013 8:20 p.m.

    Sometimes it is difficult to know who is poor, middle class, or wealthy. With the popularity of filing bankruptcy in Utah, one can appear to have more material goods, yet they have a low income. Many times, in our society life is more about greed than need. I remember a preacher saying, "A poor person (of all income levels) buys what they want and begs for their needs." Dividing people up into socioeconomic levels does not tell the whole story of what is going on.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 12, 2013 7:38 p.m.

    MM, sometimes your comments are just plain sickening. There are thousands of Americans who work their tails off, but are rewarded with pay cuts, or cuts in working hours.

    I know an older lady whose husband ran off and left her to raise her children. No support from him and no help from the state or anyone else to try to collect. She is reasonably well educated, but has no degree herself because she worked to put him through college.

    She works today for a large "non-profit" hospital chain. She is paid just above minimum wage as a receptionist / filing clerk. Even at that, they recently cut her hours from 40 to 34. Don't have to pay as much. She still has health insurance, but employee share of premiums has shot up along with deductible. A single abscessed tooth cost her $1600 out of pocket. Her health is on the poor side, but she's looking for a second job. Hasn't been able to find one that will allow her to continue working at the hospital.

    Perhaps you need to come out of your gated community and look around at what is really happening in the world.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 12, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    It's too bad DN doesn't either print the study or do a more thorough summary of its findings. This article, as written, doesn't provide much information and how many people go on to actually read the article?

    At least one has to credit Mountanman for honesty. Yes, we know Republicans look at the poor as lazy, addicted etc. Republicans in general seem ignorant of the welfare reform enacted by a Republican Congress and Bill Clinton.

    Relative inequality is a concern. Increasing inequality is a threat to democracy, when more power becomes concentrated in fewer hands. When life becomes more difficult for the majority, making higher education less attainable etc. the opportunity for personal advancement declines, creating a perpetual underclass.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Jan. 12, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    @Mountanman -- You seriously don't know anyone in your ward who is poor? My ward has lots of people who need help. (I am not poor -- I always hate to add comments like that, but I know if I don't, everything I say will be discounted). Some of them are single women, but none of them had their children out of wedlock. Most of those who are divorced came from marriages that were pretty bad -- married to an alcoholic, married to an abuser, etc. Some are widows. Others are poor because dad didn't get an education and is working at a job that doesn't pay much. Yes, it's his fault that he didn't get an education....but for some people it's tough. Maybe they aren't as bright as others. Maybe they got married and had children so young that it was difficult to continue on in college. There are lots of reasons why people are poor, and while I think public policy should encourage marriage to decrease poverty, I don't think it's as simple as you've painted it.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 12, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    Happy valley
    Until 49.2% constitutes a majority, you have no credibility.

    Spring street,
    None of what you said indicates their standard of living is worse than it was 30 years ago. Nice apples to bedspreads comparison, though.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 12, 2013 6:11 a.m.

    First of all, every time I hear or see an American who thinks (or the government say they are poor) I shake my head. I lived in a country in Asia for two years where real poverty exists, where many people do not eat everyday (literally). The definition of poverty in America is much different than in any other country.
    Secondly, and I know I will be excoriated by the left for saying this but anyone in America who is poor is either handicapped, addicted or lazy. In other words, the vast majority of people living in poverty in America are not only not really poor by all other standards, but are poor because of personal choices. Single mothers are the largest demographic of poor people in America which is solvable: don't have sex out of wedlock!
    Lastly, does our entitlement society lock people into permanent poverty by creating dependency? Answer: yes it does! Welfare as it is administered by the government is creating more poverty in America, not solving it.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 11, 2013 9:51 p.m.

    @lost in dc
    actually yes they do have less access, real wages and aid to the poor has fallen far behind the cost of living index.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Jan. 11, 2013 8:44 p.m.

    The problem is in the demographics of our population.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2013 6:21 p.m.

    "Not surprisingly Reardon found that students at schools that draw from high-income neighborhoods score better on math and reading tests than schools that draw from low-income neighborhoods."


    There are many reasons people, on average, perform differently than one another. The twisted implication of this story is that differences in income produces the different performance. I'm sure there is some correlation of that type. However, a much more likely and strong correlation exists showing that differences in performance produce differences in income.

    I came from a very poor background. My father made the most money in his life when he received a raise to $750/month a few months before his death. Nevertheless, with the pitiful income he made and the money generated from the many odd jobs held by all of his six children and my Mom, the expectation was that all of us would pursue an education and that starting college was simply the next grade after High School. Consequently, we all graduated college and have all been steadily employed in variety of careers ever since.

    The lesson is simple and as old as civilization. Expand your capabilities and you expand your earning potential.

  • donquixote84721 Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2013 6:16 p.m.

    One of the major problems in America today in Entitlements, and it affects both ends of the class system. Many in the Upper Class believe that they are entitled to all they can get regardless of who it hurts or kills. For example, the banking CEO's that received millions in "bank bail-out" funds, after helping to cause the banking crisis, just because they donated to some politicians campaign. Many in the Lower Class have been taught that they are entitled to everything for nothing. There are more special programs, for low income people everyday, i.e., the new cell phone programs, that enable the Lower Class to have cell phones. Instead of new hand-out programs, that enable the Lower Class to have something for nothing, they need programs to help them become self-relient. and see how many more workers could be hired if the management took less.

  • kishkumen American Fork, UT
    Jan. 11, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    This is why there was absolutely no harm in ending the Bush-era tax break for the top earners. I'm thankful for a president who understands that. Now we just need to stop electing people in congress whose policies would ultimately end the middle class.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2013 5:20 p.m.

    "tell me, do the poor of today live in more adverse conditions than they did 30 years ago? I think not." This is probably a true statement, but the ranks of the "poor" are swelling, and the top heavy disbribution of wealth is finihsing off democracy. Is this of any importantce to you?

  • MissTeaching Layton, UT
    Jan. 11, 2013 5:01 p.m.

    The one problem I've observed as an elementary school teacher is this: In poorer areas, parents who have the means move their children into another school with richer demographics. This leaves the local schools with more children who come from homes that are poorer, especially ones with single parents. Because the single parents must work, the school their child attends does not get the support it needs at the school or home level to succeed. Teachers don't have parents to even help with classroom parties and field trips. That is why I stayed at my school for 25 years. I couldn't afford to live there, but there were not the challenges to be found at the schools nearer to my home. 25 years without ever seeing lice. I'm so glad I never changed schools.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 11, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    The neocon dream of the 80's is coming to fruition, thank you republican puppets.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 11, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    tell me, do the poor of today live in more adverse conditions than they did 30 years ago? I think not.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    The issue is not just income inequality, rather the much bigger issue is the disparity in wealth ownership. The 400 wealthiest individuals own more equity than the bottom half of the entire population! And the inequality is accelerating. American capiltalism is changing and not for the better. In essence American capital has abandoned American labor in favor of foreign labor. Without some kind of change toward some sort of socialism the American working class is doomed.