The 2005 census figures were released last March and show that inequality is at its highest since the Roaring Twenties. The top one percent of the population, or 300,000 people, showed the same income as the entire bottom fifty percent, or 150,000,000 people.
That's a one to five-hundred average income ratio between the bottom half of the population and the top one percent.
You'd think the well off (annual household income for the top 5% starts at $166,000) would be pretty grateful for what they have. But you'd be wrong.
If this blog by Tim, the million dollar condo owner at 2200 Westlake is at all representative, they're still not happy, and they fear and hate anything or anyone that might impinge upon the unbridled enjoyment of their privilege.
Tim's problems include poor people, sketchy-looking art school students, and substandard concierge service. He also whines about having to bus his own table at the Wholefoods bistro, and needing to walk two blocks to get to a Subway sandwich shop.
He unfavorably compares Cornish students to WTO protesters and says, "If you're paying a million dollars for your condo, you don't want to feel guilty every time you drive your BMW by these starving artists while they mentally break your car's windshield with their bedazzled painted baseball bats."
Bedazzled painted baseball bats?
Tim is also threatened by the "riff-raff homeless," who he says "belong either in one of these 3 places: 1. Mental institution, 2. Rehab facility, 3. Job training center." They do not, he says "belong on the street where they are a menace to society and unproductive."
Condo owners, he says, need to band together to get their own security to manage the riff-raff, because the police are "useless."
Round 'em up. Take 'em away.
Here is the hard edge of extreme privilege. If the other high-end condo owners that are flooding into the downtown over the next five years are anything like this guy, we can predict heightened class warfare well into the next decade, and it won't be the poor who are taking up arms.