Media coverage of FPI’s research on inequality during the NYC mayoral campaign

October 9, 2013. Income inequality has emerged as a major issue in the 2013 New York City mayoral campaign, and media coverage has frequently included mention of FPI’s research on income polarization.

FPI’s work featured prominently in a special issue of The Nation devoted to The Gilded City in April, with several graphics based on FPI’s research. The lead article in The Nation’s special issue featured FPI’s latest estimates of the share of income in New York State and City going to the wealthiest 1% and compared that to the national trend estimated by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty.

On the eve of the September 10 primary, City Limits ran a major article by Gail Robinson, “What the Campaign’s Focus on Inequality Means for New York.” FPI was quoted and cited in several places in that article, along with quotes from several other low-income advocates around the city. A national Associated Press article appeared the weekend before the primary that focused on the theme of economic extremes in New York City—the article cited FPI data on the growth in the 1%’s income share since 1980.

The Sunday September 7 New York Post featured an article on FPI’s The State of Working New York 2013 report issued for Labor Day, highlighting FPI’s analysis showing that most of the job growth since the beginning of the 2008-09 recession has been in the lowest-wage sectors. For a feature article in the September 21 New York Daily News two weekends later, FPI prepared a special analysis of job changes in New York City since 2000 showing the decline in middle-class jobs. That article also ran a chart with FPI’s estimates of under-employment rates by gender and race-ethnicity for New York City.

There have also been a spate of articles looking back on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12 years in office, with many of those noting how disparate the fortunes of rich and poor have become. Ken Auletta’s retrospective on the Mayor’s terms in The New Yorker at the end of August cited FPI’s data on the city’s widening income disparity, lack of improvement on the poverty front, and dramatic two-thirds increase in food stamp rolls since the recession began. An article in the Sunday New York Times in mid-August by Ginia Bellafante cited FPI’s data on the growth in the 1%’s income share over the past decade and drew upon FPI’s analysis of income trends across neighborhoods in the city over the past decade. This article drew from James Parrott’s mid-August presentation on income equality in New York City at the annual conference of the American Sociological Association.

In a Room for Debate column for the New York Times that appeared on August 12, FPI’s Parrott addressed the question of the economic challenges faced by the next Mayor, with a piece titled, “Promote Equitable Growth.”

As part of its ongoing work providing data on economic trends to reporters, CUNY business journalism professor Greg David published FPI’s revised estimates of the 1% income share in the city, the state and the U.S. in an article in Crain’s New York Business on September 19. David also noted FPI’s estimates that the rich pay a smaller share of New York City taxes than their share of income, helping to put in perspective an argument often cited by Mayor Bloomberg, that, in David’s words, “inequality is okay because the rich pay all the taxes.”

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