"I think most Americans perceive today that the middle class is collapsing, poverty is increasing, real unemployment--as you know--is about 16 percent; 25 million people without jobs or underemployed," said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a video from the The Associated Press.
"And yet at the same time we have growing inequalityâ��income and wealth inequality in America," he added.
"The top 1 percent earns more income than the bottom 50 percent. The wealthiest 400 people own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans," he said. "And that gap is the greatest of any major country on earth."
Apparently, Sen. Sanders has a grievance with Wall Street and the â��top 1 percentâ�� and he wants everyone to know it. Earlier today, his staff voiced his apparent support for the Occupy Wall Street protests with this tweet:
And earlier than that, while on MSNBC and via twitter, Sanders expressed his distaste for the allegedly corrupt members of Americaâ��s financial epicenter:
"Do you believe that this economy will recover so long as we continue to have this growing gap between the very, very rich and everybody else? Where some people have so much and so many people have so little? Are you concerned about that issue?" Sanders asked.
"I am concerned senator,â�� replied Bernanke rather sheepishly.
â��I've spoken on this issue. It's not a recent development, you know, it's been happening since at least the late seventies that the inequality has been increasing and (at the top in particular) there's been an increase in income. There's a whole variety of reasons for it," he said in response to Sanders original question(s).
â��I don't necessarily know that the short-term recovery of the economy is crucially tied to it although it would help to have broader base purchasing power throughout the economy,â�� Bernanke said in a fairly reasonable answer to Sanders sociopolitically-heavy queries. â��But I certainly agree that it's a real concern and that, you know, it's something we should try to address to this society.â��
The exchange between the Fed chairman and the Independent Senator from Vermont was notable in that Sanders has not been shy about publicly expressing his disapproval of Bernanke's job performance.
"I absolutely will not vote for Mr. Bernanke," the Vermont senator said back in 2009 on ABCâ��s â��This Week.â��
"He's part of the problem. If he's the smartest guy in the world, why didn't he do anything to prevent us from sinking into this disaster that Wall Street caused and which he was a part of?" he said in a report by the Huffington Post
By the looks of it, Sandersâ�� opinion of Bernanke has changed very little since 2009.