Streams

An Income Gap More Like a Chasm in NYC

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

A new report from the CUNY Graduate Center shows the extent to which the rich are getting richer in New York City, while the poor struggle to gain a foothold.

In 1990, the top one percent of households in New York made $452,000 a year. By the time of the 2010 census, they were making $717,000 a year. During that same period, earnings for the poorest New York families remained nearly flat.

"What we're seeing here is this process of polarization where those at the top can certainly afford to live in this city because of their continually increasing incomes. Those at the bottom often have no choices," said Laird Bergad, director of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at CUNY, and author of the report.

There's some evidence that New York's high housing prices force some middle-income earners out of the five boroughs, which further widens the gap between the rich and the poor, Bergad added.

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Comments [5]

Roger Terwilliger from New York, NY

The American way is to crawl and climb your way up. I and others were able to do so without the government taking from the rich and giving to the poor. I was fortunate to have support of family, good teachers and friends. It is not failed policy if the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. If the poor remain poor, that's THEIR problem. Smart people find a way onward and upward. ENOUGH!!

Jan. 12 2014 04:33 PM
Roger Terwilliger from New York, NY

The American was is the crawl and climb your way up. I and others were able to do so without the government taking from the rich and giving to the poor. I was fortunate to have support of family, good teachers and friends. It is not failed policy if the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. If the poor remain poor, that's THEIR problem. Smart people find a way onward and upward. ENOUGH!!

Jan. 12 2014 04:32 PM

WNYC: You're going far too pointedly political on this one. There are other very relevant ways to read this data that have been left out.

Please note that there has been both a tremendous influx of wealth into this city, and an influx of lower income earners looking for work. Both of these factors contributes significantly to the gap. So does subsidization of both individuals and businesses.

Additionally, income and wealth inequality are national issues more than local ones, and they can be explained in part by both shifts in demographics and trends in the housing market.

If you take the time to look into the issue, you might also notice that boroughs like Staten Island and Queens have actually become less expensive and more attractive to middle income earners. That has been suspiciously left out in this editorializing.

If you are going to report on economics, please do your homework.

This is a poor, partisan showing from a usually fine news source. If your coverage continues in this sloppy direction, I may have to stop contributing.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Jan. 12 2014 12:44 PM
m

your link to the published study seems invalid.

Jan. 12 2014 12:39 PM
ivan obregon from manhattan

the rich r making $300,000 more a year (up to $717,000) a year since '90 while everyone else's income has stayed flat for nearly 25 years yet the rich are resisting a measly 3% added-tax (with andy cuomo's help, of course, same guy who got rid of transitional housing for the homeless and made state financial aid more difficult for college students to obtain- he's running for president two terms from now, u know but shhhhh.....) to insure universal pre-k and afterschool programs for middle school kids (should be universal, too, btw) because "their kids" don't need government help......or "socialist" taxes.

Jan. 12 2014 12:15 PM

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