Growing Income and The Disparity of Wealth

Posted -
Tagged

 

 

The bridge between the poor and rich isn’t something a lot of us concern ourselves with.  The United States enjoys the privilege of having a middle class. A place almost half of the country finds themselves in. However, the growing income and wealth disparity are both topics that are of important relevance to discuss. In this essay, I will proceed to do just that, and hopefully, it will shed some light on the matter.

 

First we will take a look at the growing income and just what it’s definition is. The Growing Income is defined as the revenue from wages, salaries, interests and savings accounts. As well as dividends from shares of stocks and profit earned from the sale of something. In short, it’s all the money received on a regular basis.

 

Income inequality then means that the total income is being divided unevenly across the country’s population. That is to mean that some people are getting more than they need, while some are getting less than they need. This, of course, presents a problem for the latter, as they are given a pittance too small to cover their needs. According to an article on inequality.org, income disparity has been growing for the past thirty years.

 

According to the same article, the gap has become so pronounced that America’s top ten percent now receive as much as nine times what the bottom ninety percent receive in income. While that’s enough of a disparity to leave one shocked, it’s nothing compared to what the famous 1% receive. Americans in the one percent, as told by the article, are receiving as much as one hundred and ninety eight times the income of their 90% compatriots.

 

What’s more the one percent sees more growth in their income as time passes than the rest of the country’s population. According to recent data, the highest of the 1% have seen their income grow exponentially over recent years. The recession of 2008 slowed down their growth but only slightly, and certainly not permanently. This is a pattern that has been seen through the years. According to inequality.org, “The 1990s saw the annual incomes of the ultra rich explode in size. Between 1992 and 2002, the 400 highest incomes reported to the Internal Revenue Service more than doubled, even after the collapse of the dot.com bubble in 2000.” the article goes on to say  “In the early 21st century, the economic boom driven by the real estate bubble would more than triple top 400 average incomes before the 2008 economic collapse.”

 

The article also states that “Analysts have a number of ways to define income. But they all tell the same story: The top 1 percent of U.S. earners take home a disproportionate amount of income compared to even the nation’s highest fifth of earners.”

 

The same can not be said of America’s working class.

The article goes on to explain that “Productivity has increased at a relatively consistent rate since 1948. But the wages of American workers have not, since the 1970s, kept up with this rising productivity. Worker hourly compensation has flat-lined since the mid-1970s, increasing just 19.1 percent from 1979 to 2013, while worker productivity has increased 132.9 percent over the same time period.”

 

American workers, in direct contrast to the one percenters, have very low wages and very seldom see their income grow. This sets up a system where the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. With such a system in place, a person’s ability to go far in life is highly compromised depending on which end of the scale they live in. The consequences can cause the middle class to disappear as people with low income see no growth in their income and sink further in poverty. The loss of a middle class can be disastrous to a country and the people living in it.

 

In conclusion, there is a growing disparity of wealth in the country and it has negative effects in its population. In order to ensure a good standard of living for everyone, not just the one percent, the income needs to be distributed more evenly. People’s standard of living should not have to be dependent of how much money that person already has.

About The Author

Ana Cedeno is a journalism major and campus correspondent for Broward College. Originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, she immigrated to the United States when she was twelve years old and continued her education in the sunny, politically contradictory, swamp state of Florida. She has since been published by both her college newspaper and the online grassroots journalism publication Rise Miami News. A fan of literature since age 6, she's an enthusiast of language and making her opinion known, while still hearing out the other side and keeping an open mind for growth.

Editor's Note

Are you an aspiring journalist or just looking for an outlet where you can share your voice? Apply to write for Her Campus!

User login