The official announcement that the recession is over underscores the massive disconnect between Wall Street and the rest of America. Wealth inequality in America is at levels last seen right before the Great Depression ravaged our economy. Yet the inequality has grown even more intense as this crisis has gone forward. 43 million Americans are now classified as being in poverty. This trend hasn’t shifted in the last decade, recession or no recession. The system is absolutely flawed and that is why we have over 16 percent underemployment, 41 million Americans on food stamps, 4 out of 10 workers in low paying service sector jobs, the median household income falling under $50,000, record monthly foreclosure filings, and yet the recession is over according to a small group of economists. The recession may be over for Wall Street but the rest of America is still struggling.
Wealth inequality has been exacerbated by the casino like behavior of investment banks on Wall Street. A recent study shows how out of touch with the facts most Americans are when it comes to wealth inequality in their own country. One fascinating finding is that most Americans, even between those that make $50,000 and $100,000 actually envision optimal wealth distributions that are very similar: