Letter to the Editor: A different view of the wealthy
A recent article by “The Economist” illustrated the current state of “income inequality” in America.
The magazine reports that the top 1 percent of Americans are in control of 22 percent of America’s wealth, which is reaching the same levels they were in 1929, right before the Great Depression struck America.
I must say, though, nearly everybody who addresses this fact as a drawback for the rest of America does not recognize several key aspects that could change the prevailing perspective on the wealthy.
Number one is that although the gap between economic classes is greater than previous years, economic mobility has not decreased in nearly 20 years. The data provided by the “concerned” only shows a moment in time, not the advancement of individuals into higher income brackets over several years.
Number two is that total income has increased from $5.923 trillion to $17.06 trillion in the past 20 years. When inflation is accounted for, the average American is making nearly 23 percent more than he did in 1990.
No one takes into account that even with a smaller fraction of total income, the economy has grown much larger than it has in previous years, actually improving the financial standing of average Americans. Do not let yourself be moved by half the story, income equality does not mean you are in an economic lock down, it’s merely proof that capitalism works as intended, just as long as you recognize the rest of the data.
Kyle Gregory Ford, Woodstock