Bill de Blasio, who was elected mayor on a promise to fight New York City’s income inequality gap, said Thursday that new data indicating Manhattan is the most economically stratified place in the nation is further proof of the “crisis” that threatens his city.
Manhattan’s top five percent earn 88 times as much as the poorest 20 percent, according to data released by the Census Bureau. The $860,000 gap is the largest in the nation.
About 1.7 million of the city’s 8.4 million residents live below the poverty line.
“We have an inequality crisis in this city,” de Blasio said. “We have an inequality crisis in this nation. If we don’t address it, it is at our peril.”
But while he said his administration has used “every tool available to local government” to combat the problem, he blamed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
“The big missing link here is we need a federal government committed to addressing income inequality,” de Blasio said. “We don’t have it now. If we don’t have a Congress willing to take on this issue, it will undermine this nation.”