COVID-19 Exposes the Depth of Economic Inequality in the US

COVID-19 Exposes the Depth of Economic Inequality in the US

Show Notes

How should we think about inequality?

This pandemic really exposed the extreme amount of inequality in our society. In this episode, we’re going to discuss the depth of the economic inequality, why it matters, and how it is becoming dangerously unsustainable.

  • Incomes for all but the highest-income Americans have been stagnant or falling for decades.
  • Median household income in 2018 was only about 3% higher than in 2000 after adjusting for inflation, according to the Census.
  • For the poorest 20%, Incomes had declined 2%.
  • The richest bracket however saw their incomes gain 20%!

We talk Pickety's inescapable book about Inequality "Capital in the 21st Century" which highlights the change of Capitals role and the problem of inequality in both income and wealth.

Additionally, federal minimum wages have not increased in the last 10 years and still stuck at $7.25. To make things worse, debt of the poorest Americans more than doubled during the housing bubble of the 2000s, Fed data show.

After the bubble burst, borrowers spent several years paying down those loans, which reduced their ability to save. The longer the economy remains shut down, the harder it will be for people to get back on their feet.

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