Income Gap In America

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It is impossible to ignore the cold hard facts. America's rich are getting richer while the poor are earning less and less. The gap between the rich and the poor of America is the largest of any nation and fast growing. The gap poses a serious problem by causing political polarization, , making it difficult for a member of the lower class to move up the income ladder, and through its potential to cause a recession or even a depression. The income gap between the upper and lower classes is relatively easy to see when one examines the statistics. According to a USA Today entitled ‘Census: Income Gap between rich and poor got wider in 2009’," [during 2008] the top-earning 20% of Americans, those making more than $100,000 each year, received 49.4% of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4% earned by those below the poverty line," (1). Furthermore, "the wages of the college educated have grown by 22% since 1980, while the wages of high school drop-outs [have] fallen by 3%" (Thoma 1).And, if that isn't startling enough, Peter Whoriskey of The Washington Post wrote that inequality in America has reached levels, "not seen since the Great Depression" (1). The author goes on to explain that in 1975 the top .1 percent of America's earners garnered 2.5 percent of the countries income and now that same .1 percent is accountable for 10.4 percent of all income generated (1). This just goes to show the enormous growth that has been going on as the gap widens. Elaborating on this idea, professor of economics Lawrence F. Katz explained the situation in the U.S. through the analogy of an apartment building. "Over the last 25 years," he says, "the penthouse has gotten really, really nice. All sorts of new gadgets have been put in. The units just below the penthouse have also improved a lot. The units in the middle have stayed about the same. The basement apartment

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