New research from academics at the University of California-Berkeley and the Paris School of Economics shows that during the past 50 years, income inequality has increased significantly in both the U.S. and China, but not so much in Europe, particularly France.
CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.
New findings from the World Wealth and Income Database show that since 1978, the top 1 percent of income earners in the United States increased their share of the national income from around 11 to 20 percent.
Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent saw what the researchers called a “complete collapse” in earnings.
According to Gabriel Zucman, Economic Professor at University of California Berkeley, “Their average income was $16,000 in 1980 before tax, and today in 2016, 2017, it’s still about 16,000. So you have half of the population completely shut off from economic growth.”
The income gap in China also widened with the top one percent doubling their share of the national income to about 13-percent.
“The income of the bottom 50 percent has been growing less than the average income in China just like in the U.S., but there’s a key fundamental difference with the U.S. which is that n China the bottom 50 percent average income has multiplied by about five since the late 1970’s,” Zucman added.
Volunteering at the food bank, Tim Betts also counts on the food to provide for his family. His wife works as a pharmacy tech and he’s on disability benefits after suffering numerous injuries working as a pile driver operator.
His last job as a window salesperson disappeared when the housing market crashed in 2010, also resulting in an underwater mortgage.
“What we are seeing is more entrepreneurism in this state, especially with Silicon Valley, where there’s a demographic of people that are doing their own thing, they are building own companies. The rest of the middle class that isn’t a part of that demographic that is taking the ball and running with and either going up with that 1 percent are those that are staying or moving down. Because they are just trying to go out and get a job and the jobs that are available aren’t the same as they used to be. To climb the corporate ladder, it just seems impossible,” Betts said.
But Betts wants to make sure it is possible for his daughter, Timara, to scale that economic ladder.
“She is phenomenal at what she does in math and geometry, and she’s great in science. Whatever engineering job she chooses, I’m gonna support her… I have no idea how I’m gonna get her there. But I’m gonna find a way.”
You will find more statistics at Statista