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“We live in one of the richest economies in the world. But one in eight Americans is on food stamps today,” he said.

Because of low tax rates and numerous tax loopholes available to wealthier Americans, he said, “the most affluent 400 earners in 2007 — who earned an average of more than $340 million each that year — paid only 17 percent of their income in tax, a lower rate than many middle-class families.”

Labor unions and other liberal groups that comprise the core of Democratic voters have long pushed for higher taxes on the wealthier, and have largely met with success over the years.

Because of their efforts, and despite fierce Republican resistance, the top 60 percent of earners pay nearly 100 percent of U.S. income taxes today, while the bottom 40 percent of earners pay almost none.

But it is not just liberals who are irked about the seemingly inexorable growth in income of the wealthier. Conservative “tea-party” activist and author Jerome Corsi is just as riled as the AFL-CIO about the growing inequality of incomes in the United States.

“The middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America,” he said. Mr. Corsi, who is also a senior managing director at Gilford Securities, authored the book “America for Sale: Fighting the New World Order, Surviving a Global Depression, and Preserving USA Sovereignty.”

Mr. Corsi notes that 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people, 61 percent of Americans always or usually live paycheck to paycheck, 68 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1 percent of all Americans, and 38 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings.

“The current high rate of unemployment and the shrinking of the middle class are not the result of a current recession,” he said. “This is what globalism looks like.”

Wealthier people are able to escape the economic pressures that prompt businesses to move production of goods overseas because they have high degrees of education and skills.

It is the middle-income workers with less education and skills who are increasingly competing with workers elsewhere in the world who have the same skills but earn less than $1 an hour, he said.