Incomes are going up somewhat, but they’re going up much faster for high-income families. A report by the Economic Policy Institute provides state-by-state details to show you just how much those in the executive suite are sweeping the floor with the underlings.
My state, New Jersey, ranks fourth in income inequality behind Arizona, Texas, and New York. While the average income of the top 5 percent of families in the Garden State is $268,889, the average income of the bottom 20 percent is $20,391.
While those at the top earn an quickly-accelerating income, they purchase bigger and better, setting the standards higher for those who try to keep up without the means. As those without the means continue to try to keep up, prices continue to rise, making neighborhoods unaffordable for people who can’t or won’t live in mounting debt.
Updated August 9, 2011 and originally published January 26, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.