Friday, May 9, 2008

The rich get rich and the poor get...screwed

Apparently Connecticut is first in the nation in yet another category - the largest income gap between rich and poor. According to an editorial in the New York times

"From 1987 through 2006, income in the bottom fifth of the state’s families fell by 17.4 percent. Over the same period, the top fifth saw their income rise by 44.8 percent."

So not only are the poor, poorer, it's harder to be poor in a state where the cost of living is so high, the availability of appropriate jobs is so scarce, and the opportunity for a good education is so fleeting.

And with this in mind, the governor and the state legislature have once again thrown the poor under the Hummer. With the do-nothing budget passed by the legislature, towns will not receive their fair share of PILOT funds (money which makes up for absence of property tax income for state facilities in towns), and non-profit agencies which are doing the work the state used to do (nursing homes, social service agencies) will get no increase in their state allotments even at a time when the simple rise in cost-of-living may make it impossible for them to do their work. How do you deliver meals-on-wheels to shut-ins when the cost of food and the cost of fuel is skyrocketing? I suppose the bevy of hedge fund managers living in the state will step to the plate and make up the shortfall. Ha.

As a state we should be ashamed of these statistics, and ashamed of our elected legislators for their unwillingness to address the real issues that will make it difficult for all of us to live day-to-day in this state of extremes.

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