Occupy Wall Street members stage a protest march near Wall Street in New York in October. Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center says the movement has "crystallized" the idea of economic disparity.
Credit Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney addresses a primary night victory rally in New Hampshire on Tuesday. Romney has accused President Obama of engaging in the "politics of envy" by focusing on income inequality.
The widening gulf between the rich and everyone else is a growing source of tension in America.
A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds the income gap is now seen as a bigger source of conflict in the U.S. than race, age or national origin. That's why some believe the issue could matter in the presidential campaign, and others worry it could warp the national debate.
Two out of three Americans now perceive strong social conflicts over the income gap — up sharply from two years ago. Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center has an idea what's behind the increase.
Lately, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis has been crunching numbers looking at so called “personal income” growth. That figure includes all pre-tax income: wages, salaries, dividends, annuities, Social Security checks…everything.
And for the third quarter of 2011, the growth was rather modest. In its media release, the Bureau of Economic Analysis noted: