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Vast Divide Between CT Rich and Poor

And the opportunity gap is widening, NPR reports.

An article published this week on NPR.org juxtaposes the economic and social disparity between Bridgeport and Greenwich, and uses the comparison to argue that the American dream is a pie in the sky for most Americans.

Whereas many household incomes in towns like affluent Greenwich have soared in the past four decades, the average paycheck in communities like Bridgeport has barely grown, widening an opportunity gap that makes the rags-to-riches story a fantasy for many, the article states.

"Put simply, in today's America, the children of the rich will very likely get richer, poor kids will probably remain so, and those in the vast middle class will be challenged, even in two-income households, to just tread water," the article argues.

The December 2012 unemployment rate in Bridgeport was 11.7 percent, more than double that of Greenwich (5.4 percent) for the same month, according to statistics from the Connecticut Department of Labor. The national unemployment rate in December came in at 7.8 percent.

Bridgeport, a city plagued by nightly gunfire, abandoned buildings and graffiti scarred public housing, "is a world away from the half-dozen other affluent communities that line the Connecticut shoreline," including Greenwich, the article states.

That variance has led to a "profound alienation between residents of [Bridgeport] and the towns around it," the article argues. "The idea that Greenwich residents should feel somehow responsible, or even concerned, about the plight of 145,000 people in Bridgeport strikes many as odd — if not absurd."

"I don't think of it at all," Karen Schiff told NPR as she left the Greenwich train station after a workday in New York. "I don't think I've ever even met someone from there. Maybe I drove through, I don't know."

Steven DeVaux January 18, 2013 at 09:25 PM
"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." Telling folks to move out of town if they can't afford outrageous taxes is a sympthom of the problem,
Kevin January 18, 2013 at 09:53 PM
NO!!! SPEND AND TAX MORE MONEY!!! THERE WILL BE NO RICH NO MIDDLE CLASS ITS ALL GOING TO BE ONE CLASS!
Steven DeVaux January 18, 2013 at 10:03 PM
More true that you know Kevin, more true than you know. 2017. The target year - equal plus separate not separate but equal. Wait until people see the tax increases passed this year for NEXT year in the Assembly!
bart January 18, 2013 at 10:06 PM
ah the gap it;s the new way No AMERICAN DREAM IT"s GONE FORVER Ths middle class under $175;000 will struggle just to get by. Soon where going to feudelisum from the stone age. Corporate greed indeed will be brought down one way or another AK 47,s not enought made. I agree with gun control but how do you control HUNGER MeDICAL CARE and the right to collage with a lifedebt. To defend against outrageous greed with no guilt for a million bollar bonus other then the rich live in defenderble castles while the rest stave. THIS IS NOT AMERICA THE LAND OF OPPURTUNITY unless you are connected it has become fiction give it time like a cancer to bring this country down.
Steven DeVaux January 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM
Art, Interesting observations. Insightfull. I can see where you are coming from. I think many others can as well. Careful what they sow for there as they sow, so shall they reap.
Rob Gianazza January 18, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Are there not schools in Bridgeport? Are they not supported by the state? You can choose to be a victim of society, or you can pursue opportunity.
Steven DeVaux January 18, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Execellent observations Rob! And in my opinion, true.

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