By Timothy R. Homan – Dec 15, 2010
The gap between the haves and have- nots in the U.S. is being drawn along geographic lines, Census Bureau data showed yesterday.
The number of counties where median household income decreased is almost 10 times the number that saw an increase, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Census figures comparing an average of the years 2005-2009 with 2000. The government figures also showed a concentration of wealth and education in coastal states.
“The dispersion of income is larger than it’s ever been,” said Douglas Besharov, a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. “There used to be a much wider spread of incomes within geographic areas than there is now. There’s much more of a clumping together.”
Phi Beta Iota: In the 1970’s an era when “whole systems” thinking tried to flourish only to be crushed by the emergent merger of the two-party tyranny and Wall Street, there was a vital comparative international studies reference, “Banks & Textor,” or more properly, Arthus S. Banks and Robert B. Textor, A Cross-Polity Survey (Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1963). We strongly suspect that today the USA would be qualified a failed state, certainly so if the 1% of the population hoarding the bulk of the wealth were isolated as an extraneous factor contributing little of value to the larger economy while siphoning off one fifth of the asset value through legalized financial crime. There is clearly a need for a return of the Banks & Textor model, but with the added sophistication of distinguishing between negative factors of domestic production (excessive concentration of wealth, legalized mortgage clearinghouse fraud, Wall Street derivatives fraud, and Federal Reserve fraud, prison factories and prisons, hospitals, and marginalized enterprises among others).