“We are in proportion, me and my car. Facing the world” — Robert Reich
So opens the film “Inequality for All” — with Dr. Reich in his little Mini Cooper on his way to an engagement.
I’ve been waiting to see the movie for a while. Living in the sticks has its downside, and one is getting to see art-house style films. I only got to see Waiting for Superman in the theater because I was on a date in Charlotte, NC (please don’t ask….) where one tiny theater was showing it. My neck of Virginia is fantastic for many things — beautiful mountains, great small businesses, communities — but good documentaries are not one of them. So when it finally appeared on Netflix, I popped it into my Husbands DVD list and waited for it to arrive at the farm.
One of my interest personally and academically is wealth and personal income through the lens of their effects on law, policy, and public administration. And upon reflection, most of my “big-girl” jobs have touched on income — the one I have currently runs into income head on.
However, the current issue is income INequality. From the 1970s to now the average wage has flat-lined or decreased. In 2010 the average American worker makes about $33,757 per year, where the average TOP earner makes $1,101,089 per year. Further, while the middle class is defined as individual making between $25,000-$75,000 per year. Whereas the BOTTOM of the top 1% makes $380,000 per year.
Did you know that a single top income could buy housing for every homeless person in the United States? Or that the poorest 47% of Americans have NO wealth? [CITE: Inequality for All]
The film “Inequality for All” dives into the historical roots of income inequality, capitalism, business and innovation, and policy. Your tour guide is Professor Robert Reich of the University of California Berkeley. The film follows Professor Reich from his very very large Berkeley classroom to his speaking engagements. (Sidenote: Dr. Reich can I please take your class? Can you webcast a Virginia girl in?!).