Page 22


INVEST IN YOUR PRINCIPLES. Now you can start putting your money where your heart is. There is a new generation of professional organizations and individuals dedicated to balancing your investment objectives with your social concerns. Order your copy of the 1983-84 FUNDING EXCHANGE DIRECTORY OF SOCIALLY RESPON-SIBLE INVESTMENTS: the most up-to-date listings socially of responsible 1,” money markets 1/’ mutual funds co-operative enterprises Por investment advisors Send $5.00 to Live Oak, P.O. Box 4601, Austin, TX 78765 Name Address City State Zip XCF-,NC,L B’ r Du ire:r;of SOCIAla avu” OWNS In vestments ,,…6 No pension. Work till you die. Social Darwinism in action. The new American dream. This country has been torn apart under Reagan, to the point where the rich are poised in a confrontational setting against the middle class and the poor. The Urban Institute’s recent examination of the “Reagan Record” chastely describes the situation: Since 1980, there has been “quite a large” redistribution of income for a four year period. Families at the top of the income-distribution ladder have gained substantially; those in the bottom two-fifths have lost all the ground they had gained over the two preceding decades. The rich are poised in a confrontational setting against the middle class and the poor. “Disparities between the incomes of poorer families grew markedly over the 1980-84 period.” Real disposable income. i.e., income after taxes and adjustment for inflation, fell nearly 8 percent for the poorest fifth of the population while rising nearly 9 percent for the wealthiest fifth. As a result there was a transfer of $25 billion in disposable income from other income groups to the top fifth of the population. The middle class did not fare well. Real disposable income of the typical middle class family rose “a scant 1 percent” from 1980 to 1984, a “negligible increase” that is well below the average gains of the 1960s and 1970s. Moreover, even this minor increase could prove temporary because tax increases and benefit cuts which will affect the middle class will be necessary in the next few years to reduce the huge deficits created by administration policies. Thus, “only the most affluent families are likely to realize major income gains.” The Urban Institute, incidentally, is not some radical think tank. Its trustees include five former Republican cabinet officers. The advisory board which was set up to guide the Institute’s research work on the Reagan administration includes four additional former Republican officials of high rank. One of them is Martin Anderson, Reagan’s former chief domestic policy adviser. Those who doubt the Urban Institute findings will find more evidence in data recently released by the Census Bureau and published August 2. It shows that the top 40 percent of the U.S. population now commands a greater share of the national income than at any time since 1947, when the Bureau first started collecting this information. At the same time, the bottom three-fifths of the population receive a smaller share of the income than at any time since 1947. Behind these figures lies a strikingly changed economy. Under the brunt of the recession the price of labor was reduced and the type of work itself changed. Workers once employed in relatively well-paid unionized factory jobs increasingly find themselves working for less money in nonunion service jobs. Undocumented Hispanics and other aliens have, as Michael Harrington says, created a growing third world economy within the wider U.S. economy. And this vast reorganization and swelling of the lower middle classes has resulted in an increase in the numbers of people living in out-right poverty, and deepened the extent of that poverty. LAST October David Stockman told the House Ways and Means Committee, “We had to go through, unfortunately, a recession. That did drive up the poverty rate in 1982, but I would be happy to take an invitation to come back here and testify next spring, because I am absolutely confident that the poverty rate is going to decline dramatically for 1983 for two reasons. One, in 1983 inflation has disappeared. . . . Second, three million more people got jobs, real incomes were rising, and the recession was receding behind us. . . . In fact the number of people living has climbed 900,000, to 35.3 million the largest number since 1964. Census data shows that poverty has increased nearly 40 percent among families with children below the age of six. One out of every four American children below age six was poor in 1983. Nearly 50 percent of all black children in the same age group are poor. The numbers have been increasing at a rapid rate. Meanwhile, the Reagan administration has severely cut back social programs aimed at helping poor children: food stamps have been cut back by $2 billion; welfare by $1.5 billion; child nutrition programs, including the school lunch program, by $1 billion; Medicaid, $1 billion. President Reagan’s response to these deepening social divisions is to deny their existence. Consider a few examples 6 OCTOBER 12, 1984