In the last few years, poverty rates have remained constant in the New England states. The effort to reduce poverty in New England and the United States has been thwarted by trends of growing income and wealth inequality. Since the late 1970s, the real incomes for the majority of U.S. households have remained stagnant or fallen. During the same time, asset ownership has become dramatically more unequal, and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few has increased. The causes of this accelerated inequality are complex, but underlying the picture are a series of rule changes, both public policies and private corporate practices. These include public policies governing taxation, global trade, labor rules, and government spending priorities.These rules have favored asset owners at the expense of wage earners.
This article originally appeared in a 2004 issue of the New England Journal of Public Policy (Volume 20, Issue 1): http://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol20/iss1. For this reprint, the author has prepared an update, which is included after the conclusion of the original article.
"The Economic Context: Growing Disparities of Income and Wealth,"
New England Journal of Public Policy: Vol. 24
, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol24/iss1/7