Why Occupy? Here's why


The Chron buried the story below an item about Chevron cutting its grants to PBS, but if you want to see the case for the Occupy movement, it's laid out perfectly in a powerful new report by the California Budget Project. Read it here (PDF) The data is solid; the policy impacts are clear.

For starters, California's 33,900 millionaire taxpayers (people reporting more than $1 million in income in 2010) -- that's two-tenths of the top one percent -- earned $104 billion -- 11 times the amount needed to lift every single California out of poverty. That's right -- a ten-percent surtax on incomes of more than $1 million could end poverty in California.

California, the report states, has the 7th worst income gap in the nation, between Alabama and Texas.

The San Francisco/Marin/Oakland metropolitan area has the 7th worst income disparity of any major urban area in America.

And it's not the Invisible Hand of Adam Smith that caused the problem: "Public policy," the report states, "narrow income gaps less today than they did a generation ago."

San Francisco's electing a new mayor today. When you go to the polls, think about economic justice. And when you hear complaints about Occupy SF, think about the fact that before the Occupy movement, the wealth and income gap was barely on the political agenda.