Income Gap Among American Workers

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There is an income gap among American workers that prevents the economy from growing and divides the country based on how much money they make. In 2012, a person or household earning over $392,000 a year was considered to be in the nation’s top 1 percent of earners (Stewart). Equal opportunity motivates people to work hard to earn a lot of money. As a result, a gap between the rich and the average worker formed. This gap has continued to grow over the past three decades. Right now the income gap is the largest it has been in the past 100 years. The country’s richest 400 people, determined by Forbes Magazine, have a larger combined income than the bottom 60 percent of America (Kertscher). The income gap only allows those with a high income…show more content…
In order to reverse the income gap, education costs must be lowered to create more equalized classes, infrastructure within the country needs to be increased to employ more people, and the national minimum wage must be raised. The stock market crash in 1929 tanked the country’s economy and triggered a severe recession. The crash basically leveled the income of every American income because so many people lost the money that invested in the market. As the economy improved, the gap between the rich and the poor widened (Leubsdorf). After World War II, unions became common (workers were given fair treatment) and a minimum wage was enacted to help close the gap, but eventually the top percent was the only group of workers that could earn more money. The middle and lower classes suffered. After WWII ended in 1945, the country’s top 1 percent held 10 percent of the nation’s total wealth (Rugaber and Boak). This statistic grew when only the wealthiest Americans increased their incomes. The rest of workers saw little to no economic growth. Nearly 50 years after the United States survived its worst economic crisis, the nation’s class gap widened severely. The percentage of workers represented by unions dropped from 10.8% between 1983 and 2012 (Wiseman). Incomes only grew for the top percent of earners in the country (“A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality”). The majority of Americans saw little amounts of
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