Former President Jimmy Carter weighed in on income disparity around the nation during an impromptu interview at a Habitat for Humanity building site, calling today's middle-class yesterday's poverty level.
"The disparity between rich people and poor people in America has increased dramatically since when we started," he said, in The Associated Press. "The middle class has become more like poor people than they were 30 years ago. So I don't think it's getting any better."
President Obama vowed during both his campaigns to bring down the unemployment rate, boost job opportunities — especially for minorities — and steer the nation toward a path of economic prosperity. But Mr. Carter said the country is hardly on that road. And while he didn't mention Mr. Obama by name, he did set a timeframe for the economic hardships experienced by Americans — in the last eight years.
"Even in one of the wealthiest parts of the world, there is a great deal of foreclosures, and now a great deal of people who are fortunate to own their own houses owe more on them than the houses are worth in the present market, and that's all changed in the last eight years," he said.
Mr. Carter, 89, was helping construct a new 12-unit town house community in East Oakland, Calif., when he made the comments.
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