Monday, February 11, 2019
Wealth Inequality Is A Serious And Growing Problem In U.S.
The charts above are from a report on Global Wealth Inequality for the National Bureau of Economic Research.
They show a serious problem that has developed in the United States economy. The top 0.1% richest people in the country now control about 20% of the nation's income. And the top 1% now control about 40% of the nation's income. That means the bottom 99% of Americans are splitting up only 60% of the country's income.
That inequality has not been this bad since the 1920's. Remember what happened then? The Great Depression. We seem to be setting ourselves up for a repeat performance of that disaster.
The shares of the top o.1% and 1% were much lower in 1980. But that is the year that Reagan became president, and the Republicans were able to impose their "trickle-down" policies on this nation. Since that time, the income (and wealth) of the richest Americans has grown substantially while that of the bottom 99% has dropped substantially.
And the situation is not getting better. The Trump/GOP tax cut (which went mostly to the richest Americans) will greatly exacerbate this inequality. It will increase the momentum of this nation toward becoming a nation of "haves" and "have nots" -- the kind of economy that third world nations have. In fact, some studies have shown the United States has become less equal economically than some of those third world countries.
This must be reversed for the good of the country and most of its citizens -- and it can be. But it will not happen as long as the Republicans retain any power over the government in Washington (because they still cling to their failed "trickle-down" economic policy). They must be voted out of power in 2020. That's the only way that a saner and fairer economic policy can be established in the United States.