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Income Inequality in America

In every society there will be those who are better off than others. There are people who are poor and people who are rich. That is the natural way things are. The American way of life for a long time was to have a society where the majority of the people are not poor or extremely rich, but rather in a middle class. After the end of World War II America enjoyed a time of prosperity where everyone's income rose. Unfortunately that trend didn't last forever and in the 1970's the middle class began to dissolve. From the time after World War II until 1973 the graph of annual growth rates of household income looked like a picket fence, meaning that the poorest fifth of the population income grew at about the same rate as the wealthiest fifth and everyone in between. From 1973 to 1993 that graph begins to look more like a staircase with the farthest left stairs being underground. The poorest fifth of the population actually began to make less money while the wealthiest still enjoyed considerable growth of income. This trend is leading America into an age of huge income gaps between the very rich and the poor.
The best way to demonstrate the new trend in income distribution is to look at the salaries of CEO's compared to that of the average worker and how they changed in the last thirty years. In 1970 the average annual salary in America was $32,522. By 1999 this number grew to $35,864, which is a small increase. In that same span of time the average annual compensation of the top one hundred CEO's went from $1.3 million to $37.5 million. In 1970 the CEO was making thirty-nine times the wage of the average worker. In 1999 that CEO was making more than one thousand times the pay of the average worker. This huge increase in the pay of the top one hundred CEO's shows what is going on in America during the last thirty years While the average workers salaries are growing at a very small pace the richest people&ap…

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