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Press Release: NETWORK Responds to Worsening Inequality in the U.S.

FOR RELEASE: August 22, 2014

CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224, sniedringhaus@networklobby.org

Yesterday, the Census Bureau released a report about worsening inequality in our nation. It told a told a tragic story that demands attention and quick action.

In recent years, the wealthiest Americans have grown richer, and those with the least became poorer still. This is unconscionable.

Specifically, the top fifth of all households saw their median wealth rising more than 11%, moving from $569,000 to more than $630,000. Over the same period, the median net worth of the bottom fifth fell by more than $5,000.

There were also crushing disparities between the races. The median net worth of white households, which had been 11 times that of black households in 2000, was 18 times higher 11 years later.

Overall, the median net worth of most non-Hispanic whites rose by 3.5%, while that of blacks fell 37% and that of Hispanics dropped by 42%.

Addressing inequality is a major focus of Pope Francis, who recently said: “While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are charged with providing for the common good. A new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules." 

Too much wealth is in the hands of too few, while millions of Americans struggle. We must demand that people, not markets, be at the center of our economy. As Pope Francis has repeatedly said, money must serve, not rule.

We must all be engaged in working for the common good, which is an economy of inclusion that has the wellbeing of all people at its core. NETWORK will make sure that Congress responds to this call for economic justice.