Why the gap between the rich and the poor matters in America

Good piece from the New York Times about why the income gap in America is a political issue:

In a recent working paper based on census data for the 100 most populous counties in the United States, Adam Seth Levine (a postdoctoral researcher in political science at Vanderbilt University), Oege Dijk (an economics Ph.D. student at the European University Institute) and I found that the counties where income inequality grew fastest also showed the biggest increases in symptoms of financial distress.

For example, even after controlling for other factors, these counties had the largest increases in bankruptcy filings.

Divorce rates are another reliable indicator of financial distress, as marriage counselors report that a high proportion of couples they see are experiencing significant financial problems. The counties with the biggest increases in inequality also reported the largest increases in divorce rates.

The income gap didn't happen in outer space, but it was egged on by political decisions -- especially Reaganomics and what came after. It's something we all should talk about...

...after the Phillies' game :-).