Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen Warns of Inequality Threat
The New York Times
October 17, 2014
BOSTON — Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, said Friday that she was concerned about the growing inequality of wealth and income in the United States and that chances for people to advance economically appeared to be diminishing.
“I think it is appropriate to ask whether this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation’s history, among them the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity,” Yellen said.
Speaking at a conference on inequality organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Yellen described four sources of economic opportunity: the means to raise children, access to education, owning a small business and inheritance.
She said recent Fed research showed that those building blocks were increasingly distributed unequally. The share of wealth held by the lower half of households fell to 1 percent in 2013, from 3 percent in 1989, according to the Fed’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, a survey of 6,000 households.