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Via Huffington Post

Technically, the economy has been in recovery for two years. But it turns out the rich have been doing most of the recovering.

In 2010 — the first full year since the end of the Great Recession — virtually all of the income growth in America took place among the country’s very wealthiest people, says an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. The top 1 percent of earners took in a full 93 percent of all the income gains that year, leaving the other 7 percent of gains to be sprinkled among the vast majority of society.

Those numbers come courtesy of Emmanuel Saez, the Berkeley economist who co-created a resource known as the World Top Incomes Database. Saez and his colleagues crunched the data on income growth from 2010, the most recent year available, and found that it was shockingly lopsided.

While much of the country is simply treading water, with a growing number of people either edging toward poverty or already there, the richest of the rich seem to be coping nicely.

Saez’s findings suggest that even though the recession dealt a blow to the 1 percent, it did little to push the U.S. off the path it’s been on for decades — that of a vast and growing disparity between the richest and poorest citizens.

Income for most workers has barely risen in the last 30 years, but the top 1 percent of earners have seen their income almost triple in the same amount of time. Economists and other experts say that could be the result of any number of factors, including the decline of labor unions, the explosion in capital gains during the middle part of the aughts, and tax policies put in place in recent years that favor the wealthy.

In his State of the Union address this past January, President Obama called economic fairness “the defining issue of our time,” perhaps mindful of the growing number of voters who say they can’t even afford basic necessities like food.

The wealth gap has been cited as a major concern for the nationwide Occupy movement, and research has suggested that income inequality might be associated with the kind of underwhelming economic growth the country has experienced for the past two years.

RAN activists took to the streets of San Francisco last night and turned every Bank of America ATM in the city into an Automated Truth Machine.

The activists used special non-adhesive stickers designed to look exactly like BoA’s ATM interface. But instead of checking and savings accounts, these new menus offered a list of everything BoA customers’ money is being used for, including investment in coal-fired power plants, foreclosure on Americans’ homes, bankrolling of climate change, and paying for fat executive bonuses.

The stickers also encourage BoA customers to “Stop doing business with Bank of America until they start behaving responsibly” and have the URL to our new blog, which we’ve just launched along with New Bottom Line:

BankruptingAmerica.tumblr.com.

We’re using that blog to track all the ways BoA is bankrupting America, hence the name. We’ve received so many submissions it’s clear to us that this website was badly needed. There are lots of grievances to be aired with regard to how Bank of America is conducting its business these days, as it turns out. (Not that that’s terribly surprising.)

Check it out, and feel free to submit if you’re so inclined.

Republican Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann proclaimed “there is a 180 degree difference between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street” during a campaign stop in San Francisco Thursday.

The Minnesota Congresswoman, who co-founded the Tea Party Caucus in Congress last year, told a crowd of businesspeople and retirees at the Commonwealth Club that the tea party favors liberty, while Occupy Wall Street supports more government intervention, which would “bankrupt” the country.

“The Tea Party picks up its trash after a demonstration,” she added.

Bachmann also declared her affection for Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, her distaste for the Postal Service, and willingness to take a strong line against the Iranian regime during a speech titled “The Revival of American Competitiveness.”

The Congresswoman, a strict social conservative, stayed away from any commentary on San Francisco’s liberal values and large gay community. Instead, she focused her opening remarks on the Bay Area’s tech industry saying San Francisco has “given much not only to this nation but for the world.”

Bachmann mentioned recently deceased Apple co-founder Steve Jobs at least five times in her speech, saying Americans should all aspire for the “Steve Jobs spirit” of innovation and focus. She then criticized the United States Postal Service for lacking Jobs’ focus on profit-making and declared that the private sector in general would do a better job than the government of delivering the mail.

She also accused the government of creating a “higher education bubble” by financing too many student loans.

In comments to reporters after the conclusion of her formal remarks, Bachmann argued that the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan should be forced to “reimbuse” America for the expenses incurred during the wars. Bachmann, who voted against U.S. military involvement in Libya, said she thought that involvement should end now that deposed leader Muammar Ghaddafi has reportedly been killed, but declared she was willing to use “absolutely everything” against Iran.

Bachmann is in town for at least two Bay Area fundraisers, a campaign spokesperson said, though she will not be meeting with any leaders of Silicon Valley tech firms during her visit.

Since June, when she polled second, behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Bachmann’s support as slipped, and her campaign has struggled to hold on to staffers and raise money. She told supporters earlier this month she would stay in the race through the New Hampshire in January.

When Bachmann visited the Bay Area last month, she optimistically declared at a fundraiser in San Rafael that “Marin County could go red.”

This time around, her local fundraising events are closed to the press

Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/13Jdc)

Video by Queena Kim

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