An American economist says the United States, unlike Europe, does not have a strong labor movement that could try to reduce the rapidly growing gap between the rich and the poor.
“I think the major problem here is that the forces that have been pressing European governments to adopt the more egalitarian set of policies just haven’t existed in the United States,” Sam Pizzigati, Associate fellow, Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C., said in a phone interview with the U.S Desk.
“So the doubt of a labor movement pressing for policies that narrow the gap between the rich and everyone else in society is very difficult to sustain any sort of egalitarian momentum,” he added.
The official U.S. jobless rate is now 8.3 percent. Independent economists however, believe that the actual unemployment rate is around 20 percent or even more.
America has the highest level of inequality of any of the advanced countries - and its gap with the rest has been widening.
In the “recovery” of 2009-2010, the top 1 percent of U.S. income earners captured 93 percent of the income growth. Other inequality indicators - like wealth, health, and life expectancy - are as bad or even worse. The clear trend is one of concentration of income and wealth at the top, the hollowing out of the middle, and increasing poverty at the bottom.