This economic trend we have seen of late is in no way surprising with regard to the data presented in the articles. I think the Occupy Wall Street movement had a good message and could have had a lot of impact if it was not organized via twitter. The growing disparity in wealth is a huge problem in this country, highlighted by the economic recession that started in 2008. This coupled with the recent capitalistic practice of moving production overseas, where production is less expensive and regulation is not as strict. Companies are taking good paying, reliable jobs elseware, leaving people without a job, and with few options. This is not just the plight of the factory worker; whole divisions of large companies have been laid off. Much of the despair in Poughkeepsie was caused when IBM downsized drastically; with less money flowing into the county, there was less leisure money to spend in the city, turning a pedestrian Main Street into what it is today.
The US News article brings up a very good point about higher education. It is more and more expensive, making scholarships more and more competitive, and dashing the dreams of higher education for many kids. Though I am highly appreciative to the 60% of Vassar students who are not on financial aid, making it possible for me to attend this school, I feel this underlines the problem. If so few have so much, what is left for the rest of us?