[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
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
Part of the joint accord aimed at ending the political impasse establishes an independent National Election Commission.
Rights groups say the US prosecution of terrorism cases targets Muslims and are fraught with abuses.
join our mailing list