[QODLink]
Fault Lines
The top 1%
With 1% of Americans controlling 40% of the country's wealth, we examine the gap between the rich and the rest.
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2011 07:15

The richest one per cent of Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country's income and control an astonishing 40 per cent of its wealth.

Inequality in the US is more extreme than it has been in almost a century - and the gap between the super-rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years.

Meanwhile, in Washington, a bitter partisan debate over how to cut deficit spending and reduce the US' $14.3 trillion debt is underway. As low and middle class wages stagnate and unemployment remains above nine per cent, Republicans and Democrats are tussling over whether to slash funding for the medical and retirement programmes that are the backbone of the US' social safety net, and whether to raise taxes - or to cut them further.

The budget debate and the economy are the battleground on which the 2012 presidential election race will be fought. And the US has never seemed so divided - both politically and economically.

How did the gap grow so wide, and so quickly? And how are the convictions, campaign contributions and charitable donations of the top one per cent impacting the other 99 per cent of Americans? Fault Lines investigates the gap between the rich and the rest.

 

Click here for more Fault Lines.
Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
Great white activity off famous Bondi Beach had beach-goers scrambling out of the water, but experts say don't panic.
At least 25,000 displaced people have gathered on the northern border, with more on the way trying to escape attacks.
Remnants of deadly demonstrations to be displayed in a new museum, a year after protests pushed president out of power.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.