They’re doing this why?

The Republicans are doing tax deform so that they can shunt more money to the rich, because…what, the rich aren’t rich enough? The poor aren’t poor enough? We don’t have an extreme enough gap between the richest 1% and everyone else? Is that how things are?

Fortune interviewed Richard Florida on the subject last summer.

When did this wealth gap problem start?
Basically, this wealth gap that we see today is something that has really skyrocketed since about the 1980s and certainly in the past decade, decade and a half.

How bad is the wealth inequality we’re seeing in the United States?
The income inequality in the United States, according to the Gini coefficient (a measure of inequality where 0 is perfectly equal and 1 is perfectly unequal) is about 0.45, which is awful—worse than Iran.

How about in cities specifically?
In cities that inequality is even greater. There’s a table in my book (The New Urban Crisis, Basic Books, $28) showing this. Inequality in New York City is like Swaziland. Miami’s is like Zimbabwe. Los Angeles is equivalent to Sri Lanka. I actually look at the difference between the 95th percentile of income earners in big cities and the lower 20%. In the New York metro area, the 95th percentile makes $282,000 and the 20th percentile makes $23,000. These gaps between the rich and the poor in income and wealth are vast across the country and even worse in our cities.

But the Republicans think that’s not good enough, and want to make the gap bigger. Why? Why do they want us to be more like Zimbabwe in terms of wealth inequality?

How has the wealth gap affected the American people?
This gap between the rich and poor, the haves and the have-nots, is what produced the backlash that brought Donald Trump to power. Our country isn’t just divided by politics or class, it’s divided by where you live. The advantaged urban parts of the country by the coast—New York, Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles—they’re the blue areas, but the rest of America is increasingly red. The wealth gap that’s occurring in places is behind the political backlash we’re seeing in our country.

And what they’re getting is even more money shunted to the rich while their wages continue to stagnate and oh by the way no more subsidized health insurance.

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