It's definitely happening, has been happening for some time, and most reasonable people think it's a bad thing. But it's not the simple phenomenon that the Occupy protesters and others make it out to be. Bill Gates didn't become a billionaire by grinding the faces of the poor, or by grabbing up most of some natural resource and selling it at a price of his own choosing, and most of his employees are quite well paid. I'm not against the rich paying more taxes than many of them currently do (in principle--the trick is to make that happen without unwanted side effects). But we can't get out of this situation just by taking money from billionaires. This column by David Brooks, and this rather lengthy article at The Atlantic, Can the Middle Class Be Saved?, get at the most crucial part of the problem: the dwindling number of what we used to call blue-collar jobs, the jobs that were available to men with high-school educations and paid enough money to support a family. I don't agree with everything in either of these pieces, but overall I think they make important points.
One thing that I don't believe either of them mention, though, is something I often wonder about: what role has the now nearly universal entry of women into the paid work force had on wages? If there's anything to the law of supply and demand, doesn't it follow that wages in general might be higher if that hadn't happened? Also, for a long time, that second income for many middle-class families represented a real increase in buying power: did that have anything to do with the rising cost of housing? I don't know, but I wonder.