Welcome to the Income-Gap Capital of the U.S.A.

Posted by: Dan Beucke on December 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

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At the height of the Occupy Wall Street protests, some critics pointed out that the lower-Manhattan camp was misplaced in that it missed the real seats of financial power: Park Avenue, where big banks are headquartered, and Greenwich, Conn., where hedge funds cluster. Greenwich, it turns out, has another distinction: it’s the center of the biggest rich-poor contrast in the United States. In a strong story on Bloomberg today, Esmé E. Deprez and Timothy R. Homan take a close look at the Connecticut income gap. Their reporting yielded these nuggets:

  • In the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area, 53,076 households take home at least $200,000 a year and 16,505 earned less than $10,000.
  • If the metro area were a country, it would rank as the 14th-most unequal spot, just below Brazil, according to the CIA World Factbook (using the Gini co-efficient). The U.S. as a whole ranks 40th.
  • Greenwich residents paid more income taxes to the state in 2009 than any other municipality, even though Greenwich is Connecticut’s 10th-largest town.

A quick check online finds only fleeting indications of Occupy activity in Greenwich: This news article about a solitary protest against the carried-interest tax (which lowers fund managers’ tax rate). And an Occupy Greenwich Twitter handle. The latter is a straight-up parody — and a fairly funny one — of a wealthy WASP’s take on “these people”:

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(Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Reader Comments

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About

"The Wealth Debate" is a running discussion of wealth, poverty, the economy and income inequality in the U.S. and the world. It was started shortly after the Occupy Wall Street movement sparked a global protest about the fallout from the financial crisis and money in politics. You can reach the editors, Dan Beucke and Mark Gimein, by email, or follow BloombergNow on Twitter to keep up with posts.

Analyses or commentary in this blog are the views of the author and or commentators, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

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