CEO pay averages an annual salary of $9.7 million -- 354 times what the average worker earns. There are even restaurants that offer diners $1,000 caviar pizza. But nearly half of all New Yorkers are at or below the poverty level.
Many of my constituents tell me about the struggles they've faced when figuring out how to balance a career -- and a much-needed income -- with raising children. Or they talk about deciding whether it was financially worth it for them to return to work versus staying home with their kids.
Even as the economy slowly recovers from the worst downturn since the Great Depression, government-haters and deficit-hawks are sticking to their same story: Americans have lived beyond their means and must now learn to live within them. The reality is quite different.
The riots in Sweden last week are a manifestation of the socioeconomic disequilibrium pervading much of Europe, and the level of frustration that is beginning to boil over among European immigrants and youth.
The balance of trade is important because trade is how our country makes a living as a country. This huge continuing deficit matters, because it is literally draining money and jobs (and factories and industries) from our economy.
It is the nature of our current economic system that things will concentrate into fewer and fewer hands. When you let the ones with more money win the game and set the rules it is inevitable that they will increasingly set the rules to they always win the game.
Union membership is a luxury. A middle-class income is a luxury. In fact, everything north of genteel poverty is a luxury. In some ways, it feels like the storied American Labor Movement never happened.
In my opinion, all of us need to stop blaming one another and do away with the negativism that divides the various segments of our population and work toward being Americans in the truest sense of the melting pot, of being a cohesive whole.