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City Club of Eugene: Income Inequality in Oregon

Recorded On: October 27, 2017

Air Date: October 30, 2017

The income gap separating the average working family from the very rich is widening in Oregon. In 2015, the top 1 percent earned more income than the bottom half of all Oregonians combined.

Data from the Oregon Department of Revenue shows that in 1980, the average income of the highest-earning one tenth of one percent was 26 times that of middle income Oregonians. In 2015, it was 126 times that of middle income Oregonians.

Income inequality is one of the state’s greatest challenges. Not only does extreme income inequality limit working families, it also impairs economic growth.

Juan Carlos Ordonez discusses a new report from the Oregon Center for Public Policy, describing how income inequality affects the well-being of our state, and what policymakers ought to do in response to what President Obama described as “the defining challenge of our time.”

Speaker Biography:

Juan Carlos Ordonez joined the Oregon Center for Public Policy in September 2007. After graduation from Harvard Law School in 1995, he practiced complex commercial litigation in New York City. After six years of law practice in the US he returned to his native Guatemala where he supported numerous civic projects, many of which focused on the sustainable development of indigenous communities. Juan Carlos has also worked as a freelance journalist for English and Spanish-language publications. The Oregon Center for Public Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute that regularly publishes its research online. It analyzes tax, budget and economic issues.

Program Coordinator: Sandy Ericson

Copyright KLCC, 2017

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.