Los Angele's economy is doing great and everyone is benefitting!* *"Everyone" here referring to just the city's richer residents. A new report by the Brookings Institution shows that Los Angeles has the ninth highest rate of income inequality in the US, with those in the ninety-fifth percentile making 12.3 times ($217,770) the income of people in the twentieth percentile ($17,657), and that's not including rich satellite cities like Pasadena, Beverly Hills, or Santa Monica. (Nationwide, the ninety-fifth makes 9.1 times that of the twentieth; it's 10.8 times in the 50 biggest cities.) Cities in general tend to be more unequal, with richer rich people and poorer poor people, but the gap has grown in the last few years as rich people came out of the recession just fine and everyone else did not. (Meanwhile, over the past 35 years, incomes at the top have continued to rise as wages at the bottom have stayed more or less flat.)
The most unequal cities, according to the Brookings report, tend to be the ones with the most "robust local economies," as the LA Times puts it, which "plump the incomes of coveted workers." But such robust economies are obviously not lifting all boats, and Brookings says that a very unequal city is going to run into trouble: "It may struggle to maintain mixed-income school environments that produce better outcomes for low-income kids. It may have too narrow a tax base from which to sustainably raise the revenues necessary for essential city services. And it may fail to produce housing and neighborhoods accessible to middle-class workers and families, so that those who move up or down the income ladder ultimately have no choice but to move out."
· All Cities Are Not Created Unequal [Brookings]