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Income Inequality in America

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8/25/2013 6:37:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
80% of all new income generated in this country from 1980 - 2005 went to the top 1%.

The top 1% of America own 42% of America's financial wealth while the bottom 80% owns 4.7% of our financial wealth. The top 1% own 35% of America's net worth while the bottom 80% own 11% of America's net worth.

In 1982 the top 1% earned 12.8% of our national income. Today they earn 17,2% of our income. In 1982 the bottom 80% earned 48.1% of our nation's income. Today they earn 40.9% of our nation's income.

Fact: The incomes of the top 1% have risen by 281% from 1979 - 2007. The incomes of the middle fifth of Americans has risen by 25% in that time range. It grew by just 16% for the bottom fifth. Most of the growth for the poor and middle class happened in the 1990's.

Fact: Wealth inequality is strongly correlated with how much we tax the rich. Since tax rates for the very richest was slashed in the 1980's, wealth inequality has started rising steadily.

Fact: Growth in income inequality is strongly correlated with sluggish median income growth.

Fact: Economic mobility is smaller in America than it is in Europe which has less income inequality. Countries with higher inequality have lower income mobility.

Fact: As income inequality rises in America, economic mobility falls.

Fact: Only 15% of the bottom 80% will make it into the top 20%.

Conclusion: Income inequality is a problem that needs to be dealt with. What is the solution?