收入失衡引致的高昂社会成本

发至伯克利——在过去数十年间,美国的收入失衡现象严重加剧——且未有任何逆转的迹象。而上次出现如此严重的失衡还是大萧条之前了。如此严重的收入失衡不仅与人们普遍信奉的社会公平和机会均等准则无法匹配;更对美国的经济和民主制度造成了严重威胁。

导致该国收入失衡状况不断加剧的深层次原因则是绝大多数美国民众的收入停滞。一方面经济增长收益流向了极少数高收入美国家庭的份额越来越大,另一方面下层那90%家庭的平均收入却自1980年以来一直原地踏步。按照经济顾问委员会最近发布的一份报告。如果2013年流向下面那90%家庭的收入比例跟1973年一样的话,年均家庭收入中位数(按照家庭成员数量有所调整)将是18%。或者约9000美元,高于现在的水平。

在缴税和转移支付之后的美国贫穷家庭可支配收入在这数十年中长期落后于其他发达国家的相同人群。如今美国的中产阶级也步了前者的后尘。

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