Theu.s. Supreme Court Justice And Lived From Post World War II
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“We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” This is a compelling quote spoken by Louis Brandeis, who was U.S. Supreme Court Justice and lived from 1856 to 1941. His words illustrate the ever-growing issue of inequality that has existed in this country for many years. Being aware of and understanding the changing rates of income inequality in the U.S throughout history is crucial in order to progress by making positive changes in today’s society.
Historically, there have been many instances where the incomes of individuals have fluctuated and caused great changes to the nation, especially post World War II period until the present day. The income share of the wealthiest 1% of Americans was the same in 2006 as it was in 1917 (Jansson, 2012, p.45). The years from the end of World War II into the 1970s were ones of substantial economic growth. In summary, the period from post-World War II until about the late 1960’s, income inequality was not as great as it is today and was more steady, but it still existed and greatly influenced the income inequality in present day America. Beginning in the 1970s, income growth for households in the middle and lower classes decreased, while incomes at the top continued to increase (Stone et al., 2015). Overall, since 1947, the Gini coefficient, which is what the U.S Census Bureau uses to measure income distribution inequality, rose from 5% to