Thursday Nov 10, 201105:52 PM GMT
Poll: Most Americans concerned about deepening wealth gap
Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:54PM
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Some 60 percent of Americans believe that government action is necessary to narrow the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor. The response to a question in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll comes as statistics show that income disparity is at levels not seen since the Great Depression.

 

The poll also found that 61 percent felt that the gap between the rich and poor was greater than in the past. While most Republicans oppose government action to redress the disparity, Democrats and independents support such action, the Post reported. The Lookout

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Both high- and low-income Americans agree on the existence of the gap, but support for government action mostly comes from those with lower income. Some 75 percent of those earning less than $20,000 a year support government action. News Max

 

Almost three-quarters of Occupy Wall Street supporters believe that the gap between wealthy and non-wealthy Americans is larger than it's been historically, and almost eight in 10 want the federal government to pursue policies to rectify the situation. Washington Post

 

The growing income gap between the country's wealthiest and lowest-earning citizens hasn't escaped international notice. Earlier this month, the United Nations' Human Development Report ranked the U.S. as the fourth best country to live in, based on an analysis of health, education, economic growth and human rights. But, when the scale was adjusted to account for income inequality, that ranking fell to 23. International Business Times

 

FACTS & FIGURES

 

As of 2006, the United States had one of the highest levels of income inequality, as measured through the Gini index, among high income countries, comparable to that of some developing countries. U.S. Department of Commerce

 

CBO study in Oct. 26, 2011 found that the top 1% of American gained the most wealth (about 275%) in the period between 1979 and 2007, and all lower quintiles lost their share of national income. U.S. Congressional Budget Office

 

In 2009, nearly 6.5 million children lived in households with incomes below 50 percent of the poverty threshold which translates to extreme poverty. The South accounted for nearly half of the nation's increase in extreme poverty. Brookings Institute

 

The income gap between Americans with the highest incomes and those with lower incomes has been at the core of the Occupy Wall Street movement that started in New York on September 17. Protesters have criticized what they have characterized as the greed of the nation's wealthiest people. Occupywallstreet.org

 

AHT/SM/KK

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