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In CT, a Vast Divide Between Rich and Poor

And the opportunity gap is widening, NPR reports.

An article published this week on NPR.org juxtaposes the economic and social disparity between Bridgeport and Greenwich, and uses the comparison to argue that the American dream is a pie in the sky for most Americans.

Whereas many household incomes in towns like affluent Greenwich have soared in the past four decades, the average paycheck in communities like Bridgeport has barely grown, widening an opportunity gap that makes the rags-to-riches story a fantasy for many, the article states.

"Put simply, in today's America, the children of the rich will very likely get richer, poor kids will probably remain so, and those in the vast middle class will be challenged, even in two-income households, to just tread water," the article argues.

The December 2012 unemployment rate in Bridgeport was 11.7 percent, more than double that of Greenwich (5.4 percent) for the same month, according to statistics from the Connecticut Department of Labor. The national unemployment rate in December came in at 7.8 percent.

Bridgeport, a city plagued by nightly gunfire, abandoned buildings and graffiti scarred public housing, "is a world away from the half-dozen other affluent communities that line the Connecticut shoreline," including Greenwich, the article states.

That variance has led to a "profound alienation between residents of [Bridgeport] and the towns around it," the article argues. "The idea that Greenwich residents should feel somehow responsible, or even concerned, about the plight of 145,000 people in Bridgeport strikes many as odd -- if not absurd."

"I don't think of it at all," Karen Schiff told NPR as she left the Greenwich train station after a workday in New York. "I don't think I've ever even met someone from there. Maybe I drove through, I don't know."

tom January 20, 2013 at 02:00 PM
This is, indeed, a problem and part of a national problem. Lefty logic dictates that the government should intervene and redistribute wealth from rich to poor through taxation and fiscal policy. Such an approach will undoubtedly get many votes but cures nothing as it deals with the symptoms of the problem rather than the cause. I do not pretend to know how to fix this, but I strongly suspect that cultural and educational differences are at least part of the explanation. We should look hard at our system of public and private education which by most measures appears to have slipped substantially. Special education, for example, is very often no education at all. Admission and graduation from college now is a much softer process than it was 50 years ago. I cite these only as representative suggestions as to where to begin looking and I certainly would not rule out this apparent lack of economic mobility as a reflection of the training level and general competence of the immobile segments. Perhaps our kids especially including Bridgeport kids are not really being educated or trained to play an important role in our economy and their compensation reflects and will continue to reflect that insufficiency. And of course less well education, less well informed voters are easy prey for today's populist politicians thereby further complicating real solutions. One thing should be understood: Not everyone in Greenwich got their money without working for it.
OpportunistWatch January 20, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Ask yourself, how has Rosa Delauro Greenburg become one of the richest members of Congress during her 20 years of serving while this divide grew? More should be outraged at the other represenative of CT. How can we not question another lifer in office named Joseph Lieberman, who voted as a Ct(D) for the two trillion dollar wars that we still continue to use the debt to pay off and what caused this divide to grow. Lieberman was booted from the Dems because of his betrayal of American democrats at the time and support for his 2nd citizenship which is Israeli. The use of American soldiers for a dragged out expensive Haliburton steel war and the profiteers of these wars on the backs of the American public can be links to Joe's support for a foreign nation lobbyist group and their fake WMD reports rammed down our throats by Colin Powell(Speaks fluent hebrew) and Ari Fletcher.
OpportunistWatch January 20, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Don't forget, the national debt in the Year 2000 was 6 Trillion, now its 16 trillion mostly because of Joe's vote for the wars with two impoverished nations. Makes you wonder why in the year 2000 Heroin production in Afghanistan was down to 10%. We are presented with Mosad Israeli Fake WMD reports and Joseph Lieberman along with all the republicans vote for war and send US soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan. By 2003, heroin production hits 80% and Afghanistan is #1 producer of world heroin production, ironically after we get there? American gangster movie all over again.............. Ask yourself why do we have a heroin epidemic is the USA today? Oxy's, Afghan Tar, Methadone IN THAT ORDER The highly addictive and profitable nature of these drugs allows for BIG CAMPAIGN FINANCING. Ever see a meth clinic at 7:00am on a Monday? Its like the Motor Vehicle....very sad to see the ones who allowed this to take place, still in office making millions while Americans die and grow broke. How about killing the drug crops of terrorists so it doesn't end up in the USA on East Main Street Bpt...... Oh wait that would end billions in laundered drug money campaign financing that our elected officials don't want to reform for some reason.
Bob Cerani January 20, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Tom you are right. I agree with everything you said. The left just wants to take your money and give it to someone who has no willingness to work and never will. I worked all my life for my money and my main reason was to put my kids through school to make them have a better life. The problem is and always has been that kids growing up in large urban cities, on the choice of their parents, do not want whats best for their kids because they have no family,you need a 2 parent family. Don't you think if kids had a mother and father to watch over them and bring them up through all the trials they will face,that they would be much better off and make something out of themselves,instead of selling and doing drugs. The breakdown of the family has brought us to this point and further eroded our ability to get out of this mess we are in. The polititians do not help matters either. How long has the left been coddling these people on welfare,about 50 years. Has it worked? No. Something has to change.

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