The rich-poor gap is a sad and unacceptable condition in world societies.
The inequality in revenue between the wealthiest and poorest citizens appears to have widened out of proportion. The difference might be a bit more acceptable if there were not so many suffering at the lower end of the range. It's just too easy to acquire more when at the top and too difficult when struggling to survive at the bottom. It's wrong and hurtful.
Solutions are not easy at this stage in our established enterprising society. Do you raise the minimum wage to provide reasonable and healthy basic necessities. Put a cap on the very highest, often absurd incomes? Adjust taxes? Include employee ownership shares where possible? All these?
There is more concern about this recently and hopefully something will come from this.
Americans See Widening Rich-Poor Income Gap as Cause for Alarm
Americans overwhelmingly say the growing gap between rich and poor has become a serious national concern, a sentiment that may bolster Democrats' plans to narrow the income divide when they take control of Congress. Almost three-quarters of Americans believe inequality is a major issue, versus 24 percent who don't think so, according to a new Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll. Most of the concern is among Democrats and independent voters, though a majority of Republicans -- 55 percent -- also called the situation serious.
Read more . . .
Examining The Rich-Poor Gap and the Social & Solidarity Economy Option in the U.S. By Abra Pollock
While the U.S. economy grew 160 percent between 1973 and 2005, those in the top 0.01 income bracket saw their income levels rise by 250 percent. During this same period, the average real income for the bottom 90 percent actually dropped 11 percent. With an economic status quo that doesn't 'work' well for anyone but the very rich, other practices that may seem less conventional can bolster and protect the livelihood of the rest, experts explained. Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), for example, do exactly what they sound like they do: ESOPs transfer ownership of a company from an individual proprietor or group to the employees who work in that company. One such firm is W.L. Gore & Associates, the company that produces Gore-Tex material, among other products.
More . . .
Income Gaps Hit Record Levels in 2006, New Data Show
Rich-Poor Gap Tripled Between 1979 and 2006 New data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show that in 2006, the top 1 percent of households had a larger share of the nation’s after-tax income, and the middle and bottom fifths of households had smaller shares, than in any year since 1979, the first year the CBO data cover. As a result, the gaps in after-tax incomes between households in the top 1 percent and those in the middle and bottom fifths were the widest on record. The data reveal starkly uneven income growth over recent decades. Between 1979 and 2006, real after-tax incomes rose by 256 percent — or $863,000 — for the top 1 percent of households, compared to 21 percent — or $9,200 — for households in the middle fifth of households and 11 percent — or $1,600 — for households in the bottom fifth. (See Figure 1, next page.) In 2006, the average household in the top 1 percent had an income of $1.2 million, up $63,000 just from the prior year; this $63,000 gain is nearly two times the total income of the average middle-income household.