Alex Witt   |  September 14, 2013

Report shows how much rich/poor gap has grown

Co-editor-in-chief at Mother Jones, Monika Mauerlein, talks to MSNBC’s Alex Witt about the widening gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. Mauerlein says that the 99% (everyone making less than $300,000) have grown only .4% since the recession ended and the recovery has only been a recovery for the top 1%.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> a new report shows just how bad the gap between the rich and the poor has gotten. of the -- rather at the height of protests against the big banks last year, incomes for the top 1% of americans soared by 20% while the income for the 99% only grew by a jaw-dropping 1%. that breaks the previous record set in 1928 , of course, the year before the historic stock market crash that led to the depression. joining me now is monica bowling, from mother jones . thanks for joining me.

>> hi, alex.

>> in brief, can you put this into perspective for us? what does this mean and how did we get her.

>> into.

>> well, the numbers as you said are astounding. just as an added bit, the 1% have actually now caught up completely with where they were before the recession. and the 99% which is everybody making less than $394,000 give or take is actually only about -- our incomes have grown only about.4% since the recession ended. so if people are feeling like this recovery is not putting them in a better place, that's because it's been a 1% recovery.

>> wow.

>> let's talk about mother jones , it's tying all of these new findings to all the gridlock in washington. what's the connection?

>> well, there turns turns out to be a precise, when you overlay the degree to which we are politically polarized with the degree to wilthe incomes of the top 1% and the rest of the country are pulling apart, you see that whenever we have more income inequality , we're much more polarized. and you know, you can speculate about the reasons, but it's pretty obvious that when people are not doing well, they need somebody to blame. and they become moral hostile to other political opinions.

>> uh-huh. over the last few months, i know you've seen it, the massive protests across the country by fast food , retail workers, they're all demanding pay hikes. they're trying to get to $15 for minimum wage. are we seeing other ways the fight over income inequality is playing out? are there any glimmers of hope for the 99%?

>> well, it is interesting i think these kinds of protests are catching on and that people are noticing that this is not about you know random people demanding ridiculous increases in salary. fast food workers we did some research at mother jones and it turns out that fast food workers have basically gained when you adjust for inflation 10 cents since 1967 . i believe.

>> wow!

>> and a lot of people are trying to support families on that kind of income. i think that's sort of -- that's actually catching on. people are seeing that these are not -- that people who make middle class incomes actually have a lot more in common with people who are struggling to get by because both of them, both of these groups are losing out vis-a-vis the people capturing all the economic gains.

>> hmm. sobering comments there. so i'll let them be the last once. people can think