The Income Gap and Its Causes

The Income Gap and Its Causes

Income inequality in the United States is growing with alarming speed. The biggest beneficiaries of this trend are those who least need it, the super-rich, while the most severe victims are those who can least afford it, children. As Leonard Silk reports in the New York Times (May 12, 1989), the 1987 total compensation “for the average chief executive of a big company was 93 times the average pay of a factory worker,” compared to 41 times in 1960. The upper 20 percent of family incomes in 1987 stood at 43.7 percent of national income, down from 5.5 percent in 1973.

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima