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posted on 18 March 2016

Trend On Income Inequality Not Showing Any Signs Abating In U.S.

by Felix Richter, Statista.com

-- this post authored by Dyfed Loesche

Many people actually still work to earn a living. It then comes as a bit of a downer that it is becoming harder for those with medium to low incomes to actually earn a proper living by working.

While in the three decades following the Second World War, the rational by which workers could increase their salary by increasing productivity held true, this trend broke off at the end of the 1970s.

Today higher productivity, and an ever better qualified workforce, doesn't result in higher salaries. Rather, rising profits are reserved for the top 1 percent of earners, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). This then explains why "over the last three-and-a-half decades, rising inequality has been a defining feature of the American economy." Indeed other western economies worldwide experience this trend.

The evidence pointing towards growing levels of income disparity in advanced economies seems overbearing and the underlying data straight forward enough for critics not to argue the observation might be a socialist figment. However, the underlying reasons why the gap is widening are contested. The EPI concludes that rising inequality isn't an inevitable historically predetermined plight but "largely the result of big corporations and the wealthy rewriting the rules of the economy."

Whatever the cause, the bottom line seems to be that contrary to widespread belief, there are things that defy gravity. One of these things is called wealth generated by income. While many observers still tend to compare this particular compound to a runny liquid, it rather looks and behaves like sticky goo, almost glue-like, at least not naturally inclined to dribble downhill.

Wealth still not trickling down - after 35 years

Infographic: Trend on Income Inequality not Showing any Signs Abating in U.S. | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista.

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