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  • United States President Donald Trump made the claim at a press conference during the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York.

    United States President Donald Trump made the claim at a press conference during the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 September 2019

The separation between rich and poor from 2017 and 2018 was greater than it has ever been. 

United States President Donald Trump proudly affirmed Wednesday at a press conference in New York that “inequality is down” in the U.S., less than 24 hours later Federal data shows income inequality in 2018 reached the highest level in 50 years. 

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Richest 10% in US Will Own 100% of the Wealth by 2052: Study

“Wages are up, and inequality is down. Something that people don’t like writing about,” Trump said but Census Bureau figures released Thursday prove the president is far from right. 

The federal survey found that the country’s Gini Index, a standard indicator which measures inequality on a 0 to 1 scale, with 0 representing perfect equality, reached 0.485 in 2018. In 1967, the U.S. Gini index was 0.397.

Moreso "the separation between rich and poor from 2017 and 2018 was greater than it has ever been," the Washington Post reported, a 0.8 percent increase. 

"The gulf is starkest in wealthy coastal areas such as Washington, D.C., New York, Connecticut, and California, as well as in areas with widespread poverty, such as Puerto Rico and Louisiana."

On the claim that wages gone up, although they have increased slightly in recent years, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), "nominal wage growth has been far below target in the recovery."

An analysis made by the People's Policy Project shows that the top one percent in the U.S. increased its total wealth by US$21 trillion between 1989 and 2018, while the bottom 50 percent actually saw its net worth decreased by US$900 billion over the same period.

“We have the worst inequality in this country since the 1920s. Three wealthiest people in the U.S. have as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent. That's three people have as much wealth as 160 million people,” congresswoman and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Pramila Jayapal tweeted back in June.

And if wealth inequalities between rich and poor continue to widen at the current rate in the United States, the richest ten percent will own 100 percent of the wealth by 2052, according to a projection published on Aug. 4 by Dallas Morning News finance columnist Scott Burns.

These studies warn that wealth inequality in the U.S. is deepening and the trend is not showing any sign of changing, especially under Trump whose staple policy of tax cuts to the richest sectors of society has proved detrimental to lower and middle-income families in the country. 

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