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Every day Americans are getting poorer, and the rich are getting richer.

What is economic inequality?

Economic inequality, or the gap between the rich and the poor, has been a persistent and controversial issue in the United States for decades. While some argue that inequality is necessary for innovation and growth, others contend that it undermines democracy and social cohesion. In this article, we will examine how economic inequality has changed over time, what causes it, what it means for you, and what you can do to address it.

What contributed to this rise in economic inequality?

According to the Census Bureau, almost 70% of the total wealth in the United States is owned by the top 10% of earners. The U.S. also has the highest income inequality among the G7 nations, as measured by the Gini coefficient, a common indicator of inequality.

Several factors have contributed to the rise of economic inequality in the U.S., such as globalization, technological change, tax policy, education, and labor market institutions. These factors have affected the demand and supply of different types of skills, creating winners and losers in the labor market. For example, workers with higher education and specialized skills have seen their wages increase, while workers with lower education and routine skills have faced stagnant or declining wages. Additionally, the decline of union membership, the erosion of the minimum wage, and the increase of executive compensation have also widened the gap between workers and employers.

How this affects Americans.

Economic inequality has significant implications for your well-being, opportunities, and participation in society. For instance, inequality can affect your health, education, and mobility. Studies have shown that higher inequality is associated with lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, lower educational attainment, and lower social mobility. Inequality can also affect your political voice and representation. Research has found that higher inequality is linked to lower voter turnout, lower trust in government, and higher influence of wealthy donors and interest groups on policy outcomes.

Closing

Economic inequality is a complex and multifaceted problem that affects all aspects of our lives. While it may seem daunting and overwhelming, we can all play a role in making our society more equal and just. By learning, acting, and collaborating, we can create a better future for ourselves and others.

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