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Report: Rich Keep Getting Richer in NJ [AUDIO]

If it seems like making ends meet is getting harder and harder these days, it turns out you’re right.

Pen and paper
(Credit: Klimenko Aleksandr, ThinkStock)

A new report by the Economic Policy Institute‘s Economic Analysis and Research Network finds the income gap between the top 1 percent of wage earners in New Jersey and the other 99 percent is getting wider.

The report indicates that since the Great Recession, the income of CEO’s and company bosses has shot up dramatically, while most workers’ salaries have remained constant or only grown slightly.

Paul Jargowsky, professor of public policy at Rutgers-Camden, believes there are several factors at play here.

“With a globalized economy, people here who are in lower-skilled positions and have lower levels of education basically have more competition from workers all over the world and that’s driving down their wage levels,” Jargowsky said.

The professor also said our tax system contributes to the inequality as well.

“If you’re getting capital gains and dividends, you’re paying a much lower rate than someone who’s earning an hourly rate or a salary,” he said.

Jargowsky noted that middle and lower income residents typically have most, if not all, of their assets in their homes, and some of these folks lost everything to foreclosure during the Great Recession.

He also said people going to college could face issues as they attempt to pay off loan debt and acquire capital in years to come.

“People who have built up enormous student loan debts will find they will have a difficult time acquiring capital in the future because they’ll be paying off these large loans,” Jargowsky said.

He stressed that while most of us are struggling, corporate bosses are living the good life.

“It’s clearly accurate that CEO’s make a much higher multiple of their average worker’s salary than they did in decades past, I mean there’s no question about that,” Jargowsky said, “because the Boards of Directors have approved those packages, stockholders have very little voice in these corporations really, and so the Board of Directors usually controls things and they all serve on each other’s boards.”

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