Income inequality is growing and it is one of the most debated public policy, social-political challenges today. Yet, economists are divided as to whether income inequality is negative or positive and what the actual implications of such disparity are.
The share of national income going to the richest 1% of Americans has doubled since 1980, from 10% to 20%, roughly where it was a century ago. Even more striking, the share going to the top 0.01%-some 16,000 families with an average income of $24m-has quadrupled, from just over 1% to almost 5%. That is a bigger slice of the national pie than the top 0.01% received 100 years ago. – Income Inequality from economist.com
Left to Right: Dennis McCuistion, Robert Lawson, Niki McCuistion, Pamela Villarreal and Richard Scotch
Millions of Americans have been hurt by the recession. Many workers have dropped out of the workforce, since they can’t find an adequate job and there is a growing disparity between the “haves” and those who can barely get by.
By a 60% to 36% margin, most Americans feel the economic system unfairly favors the wealthy. Ironically, America’s middle class is no longer the world’s most affluent, even though America’s rich still make more than other countries rich. Most Americans also believe that the opportunity to get ahead financially exists for those who make the effort (Income Inequality information from pewresearch.org).
The majority of Americans believe our government can and should do at least something to reduce poverty and the gap between the rich and everyone else. The raising or lowering of taxes, raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits are all debates for how to resolve the income inequality gap.
There is truth on both sides. Income inequality has causes; are there solutions?
Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss all sides of this issue are:
- Robert Lawson, PhD: Fullinwider Centennial Chair in Economic Freedom at Southern Methodist University
- Richard Scotch, PhD: Professor of Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas
- Pamela Villarreal: Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.
It’s been suggested that income inequality can lead to negative economic, social and political problems. Is this issue just an American phenomenon? What is the truth behind the income inequality concern?
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Niki Nicastro McCuistion
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
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