New York Incomes Disparity Still Maddeningly Out of Control


​In case you were feeling a little too cheerful this holiday season, the Fiscal Policy Institute has a new report [pdf] to remind you about New York City’s ever-widening income gap. According to the report, “if New York City were a nation, it would rank 15th worst among 134 countries with respect to income concentration, in between Chile and Honduras.”

Naked Capitalism” has more analysis on the report, which finds that the replacement of New York’s historically broad middle class (no more manufacturing or mid-level corporate jobs for you, millenials!) by moderate- and low-paying service industry jobs, along with a poor redistribution of income through taxes, are just some of the factors that have caused New York’s great income disparity. Some fun facts:

  • “Wall Street, with its straospheric profits and bonuses, sits within 15 miles of the Bronx — the nation’s poorest county.”
  • Income in New York state has grown an average of 2.1 percent per year between 1980 and 2007, although incomes for the bottom half of the income spectrum generally declined, while those in the middle income range rose “but only at a fraction of the pace of total income growth.” (In other words, the poor really do get poorer!)
  • High-income residents pay a lot in city income taxes, but when sales and property taxes are included, they end up paying a “smaller share” of local taxes than the middle-class.
Yeah. “God bless us, everyone.”