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During the Thanksgiving holiday, Americans have traditionally celebrated the abundance long believed to be hallmark of our national experience. As the latest issue of Prosperity Watch makes clear, however, that abundance is increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands in North Carolina. Income inequality has exploded in the state, leaving North Carolina with one of the greatest gaps in the nation between those at the bottom in terms of income and those at the top.  For more details on the drivers behind our state’s exploding income inequality, see the most recent Prosperity Watch.

There’s new and sobering info from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute courtesy of the NC Justice Center that further highlights the folly of enacting new tax laws that shift the state’s tax burden more and more away from people at the top and toward the middle and the bottom:

MEDIA RELEASE: North Carolina Among States with Fastest-Growing Income Inequality
Poor and Middle-Income North Carolinians Fall Further Behind Top Earners
 
RALEIGH (November 15, 2012) — Income gaps widened in North Carolina between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s, as they did for the country as a whole, according to a new study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute Read More

For many North Carolina workers, the 2000s were a lost decade. Despite the economic promise of the 1990s boom, incomes, wages, and employment stagnated for 80% (and overwhleming majority) of the state’s residents between 2001 and 2011. At the same time, however, the top 20% of North Carolina’s workers saw a significant increase in their wages, in turn driving wage inequality ever higher. For details on the troubling growth in the state’s wage inequality, see this week’s issue of Prosperity Watch.

Motivated by the trends in wage and income inequality revealed by Prosperity Watch, the Budget & Tax Center is hosting an upcoming gathering with friends to highlight North Carolina’s growing gap between the hghest wage earners and everyone else–and the implications of this gap for the state’s long-term economic health.  Anyone interested in this important issue is welcome to attend the gathering, and enjoy an art exhibit entitled PoorQuality:Inequality, at the Duke University Center for Advanced Hindsight.  For more information and to RSVP click here.  Come join us!