Inequality in America
Inequality in the United States is at its highest level in a half-century, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The richest 0.1 percent of households owns between 15 and 20 percent of all U.S. wealth, while the bottom half owns just 1 percent. But this wealth gap is only one part of the problem, economists say. Inequality also extends to education, with the poor lagging the more affluent in academic achievement, and to regions, where high-tech centers are leaving behind areas dependent on agriculture or manufacturing. The coronavirus pandemic, meanwhile, is sending unemployment soaring and is widening the gulf between the haves and the have-nots.
Some liberals want governments to buy stock and then use the dividends to benefit their citizens while employing shareholder voting power to influence company policies.
“These plans are about redistributing the ownership of capital to workers, rather than just improving the wages of workers,” said Peter Gowan, a policy associate at the Democracy Collaborative, a left-leaning think tank.