Income Inequality, Class Warfare And Alternative Models

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Income Inequality, Class-Warfare and Alternative Models The fear of class warfare has long legitimized income inequality. The rumor is, that if one belongs to an upper class one will not be in favor of wealth redistribution programs and other equalizing government programs. Hence, there is a divide between the values of equality and freedom: the freedom to keep your earnings versus redistributing wealth in order to equalize opportunities and outcomes. This paper argues that being part of any class is the least predictor of many other behavioral measures. Alternatively, we find that other measures such as altruism, awareness and optimism are better predictors for values of government actions to reduce income inequality. This opens the political discussion for both parties to re-conceptualize income inequality as a struggle to act altruistically, consciousnessly and remain optimistic. Harms of Income Inequality Income Inequality is rising in the U.S. If the wealth of U.S. citizens was like a pie, a very small of amount of people would own a large chunk of the pie. In 2007, 1% of U.S. citizens own 21% of that pie ¬¬1. The average income then for the 1% was $983,896 and for the top 0.01% of earners was $17,179, 318. Including their capital gains, these two groups averaged $1.2 million and $29 million, respectively (Picketty 2007). In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau reported the average household income in 2013 for the bottom 20%-80% of earners was $11,651-$83,519, while the
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