US President Barack Obama sought to wrestle
public attention back to the economy as he told an audience Wednesday
in his home state that the income disparity between the middle class
and the wealthy was "bad economics."
"Nearly all the income gains of the past 10 years have continued to flow to the top 1 per cent," Obama said at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he held his first major speech on economic policy as a US senator in 2005.
Obama said there had been strong economic progress as the United States pulled out of the 2007-09 recession, noting the addition of 7.2 million new jobs over the last 40 months, the rescue of the car industry and the doubling of wind and solar power, among other steps.
But he called for Washington - a reference to the currently gridlocked Congress - to reverse the trend that has seen the average corporate chief increase income by nearly 40 per cent while average Americans earn less than they did in 1999.
"This growing inequality isn't just morally wrong. It's bad economics," Obama said in the speech, titled "A Better Bargain for the Middle Class."
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