Economics Justice

Why America Is For Rich People

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The income gap in the United States is worse than it has ever been. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t understand just how unfair the financial system is.

The income gap in the United States is worse than it has ever been. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t understand just how unfair the financial system is.

The income gap is so wide, people who aren’t rich have a hard time seeing just how much they’re struggling, let alone being ripped off. Because Americans have a hard time understanding the nature of economic inequality, many of them think they’re actually doing pretty well.

According to a recent Gallup poll, roughly 60 percent of Americans earning above $39,000 consider themselves to be “haves,” when given the choice between being a “have” or a “have not.” The 38 percent who considered themselves “have nots” were most likely to be in a lower-income bracket.

Though Americans certainly do believe that economic inequality has increased and that the current economic system favors the wealthy, most make the mistake of considering themselves to be on the more fortunate side of this stunning imbalance.

Perhaps if Americans knew more of the comforts of being uber-wealthy, more people would consider themselves “have nots.”

Wages are only growing for the top earners. The average CEO makes about 300 times what their staff earns, and CEO pay has increased about 54 percent since 2009, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In shocking juxtaposition, the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25—which is exactly where it was in 2009. Yet for the top 1 percent of earners, incomes have quadrupled since 1980.

As long as we Americans continue to see ourselves as “haves” in the economic system, we’ll continue to think that this degree of economic inequality is normal and unavoidable. But the extreme bounties of the ultra-wealthy should be a clear indicator that, even though there’s enough wealth to go around, most of us are being screwed out of seeing any of it.

As long as we Americans continue to see ourselves as “haves” in the economic system, we’ll continue to think that this degree of economic inequality is normal and unavoidable. But the extreme bounties of the ultra-wealthy should be a clear indicator that, even though there’s enough wealth to go around, most of us are being screwed out of seeing any of it.

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“Why America Is For Rich People”