First came word that Gotham was the only city in the country with a population over 1 million to record in increase in poverty. Now the Times reports that Manhattan has the biggest income gap of any county in the United States. The top fifth of earners in Manhattan now make 52 times what the lowest fifth make (that's about $7,047 on the bottom for every $365,826 on the top, or about two cents for every dollar!). In case those numbers didn't make the point: The disparity in Manhattan is roughly equivalent to that of Namibia.

New York County, according to one economist, is "an amplified microcosm" of conditions in the rest of the country. But really amplified. In the second richest county, Clay County, Georgia the disparity between the top and bottom quintile is about 38x, roughly where Manhattan was in 1990. The reason for the growth in disparity, many argue, has to do with the "hollowing out" of the middle class as manufacturing jobs decrease and menial work pays less (or the same). Further the "heavy preponderance of corporate headquarters, the financial sector and the legal sector in New York City has made the increase in the ratio more extreme than in other parts of the country."

And then for the final kicker, the Times gives us a choice quote from The Donald (what, Leona Helmsley was busy?): "The income gap, while supposedly increasing, seems to be a natural phenomenon. Times have been good, but times have been good for many people and many classes of people. I think there is a very large middle class – but not in this section, by the way."

Photograph from Positve-Negative