How economic inequality is damaging our social structure
Economic inequality causes serious social problems
Published on February 23, 2011 by Ray Williams in Wired for Success
One of the most significant problems in the world now is that of economic inequality, and the social problems it produces. And the most damaging impact may be in developed nations such as the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. in particular has the greatest gap in wealth among all developed nations, and the problem it is causing is becoming more apparent with each passing day.
During the recession in the U.S., at least 6 million people have lost their jobs; 25 million are underemployed. Eight trillion dollars of middle class wealth has been destroyed in the housing collapse. One out of eight mortgage holders owe more money on their home than it is worth. Fifty million people live at the poverty level. One of out of 8 people are on food stamps. One out of 2 children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives.
But not all people have suffered equally.
The United States is the most economically stratified society in the western world. As The Wall Street Journal reported, a recent study found that the top .01% or 14,000 American families hold 22.2% of wealth, and the bottom 90%, or over 133 million families, just 4% of the nation's wealth. The U.S. Census Bureau and the World Wealth Report 2010 both report increases for the top 5% of households even during the current recession. Based on Internal Revenue Service figures, the richest 1% has tripled their cut of America's income pie in one generation.
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