Tag Archives: Income Inequality

Labor Day Prompts Call for Vital Middle Class

By Ken Humberston

Governor Kate Brown’s recently released Housing Policy Agenda is a welcome tool in the fight for affordable housing in Clackamas County. Her focus on housing stability for children, veterans, and the chronically homeless, and increased housing supply for urban and rural communities should be welcomed in Molalla as well as Milwaukie.

This type of comprehensive approach, if funded and supported by all, will go a long way to mitigate the housing crisis currently endangering too many of our Clackamas citizens.

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Part One: Inequality and Climate Change: Keep Hope Alive

Can we keep hope alive? Is it reasonable to hope for a better, more just economy in which the 1% control a lot less than 50 percent of the wealth and income of our county? Is it reasonable to hope for policies that mitigate rather than contribute to climate change? Can we hope that future generations will participate in civic life and revitalize a democracy now on life support? What must we do today to keep hope alive?

The percentage of annual income collected by the top one percent in Oregon is greater today than it was in 1929. This is also true for Clackamas County. The average annual income for the top one percent in Clackamas County is $1,338,000. The rest of us, the 99%, have an average annual income of $61,062. Continue reading

Positive Economy Has Missed 1 in 3 Clackamas Kids

Approximately 29 percent of the poor in Clackamas County are under the age of 18. There are urban neighborhoods and rural communities where the poverty rate for children exceeds 50 percent.

The good news is that, at least based on SNAP data, there is a gradual decline in these numbers as the economy continues to improve. The trend line is for overall gradual reduction of children in poverty not only in Clackamas County but nationally as well since the disastrous 2008 economic crisis. Continue reading

From the Left Bank
A Lesson on Inequality

By Peter Toll

Trash_canAfter 30 years of elementary school teaching, my wife knows a good deal about educating children. She has lots of powerful stories. One of her favorites is how the fifth grade teacher helped his class understand human nature and social classes. It goes something like this:

With his pupils all at their desks in the usual four rows, the teacher put his waste basket on the floor beneath the white board at the head of the room. Then he gave every student a piece of paper and told them to write their name on it and then wad it up into a ball as if they were going to throw it.

Once they were ready, he asked them all to throw their paper wad into the waste basket at the front of the classroom. Not a lot went in. Continue reading

Video: A Refreshing Take on Income Inequality

Are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer in Clackamas County? In Oregon? Nationally? Yes, yes, and yes. Comic John Oliver takes a good look at the picture. He provides insight, color, and, of course, humor to a situation which is becoming more frustratingly unfair with each passing day. Solution: Remove more Republican enablers from Congress.