Land of the Free, Home of the Poor
When surveyed, the average citizen of New York believed the distribution of wealth is mostly equal among all social classes in the United States. However, while watching the video “Land of the Free, Home of the Poor,” the viewer learns otherwise. The survey that was presented to random people on the street consisted of three different charts. The first chart showed a completely equal distribution of wealth, the second exhibited a less equal distribution, with the majority of monies controlled by the top tier wealth. The third and final pie chart showed a completely skewed distribution, where the top tier class holds 84% of the wealth in America, and the bottom tier controlled 0.1%. When the surveyors were asked which chart they believed was most characteristic of the United States, the majority selected the middle one, where it was semi-unequal. Unfortunately, they later learned that the chart most closely related to the United States is the third one, where there is a complete imbalance in the allocation of monies. Warren Buffet, one of the richest people in the world, thinks the best way to merge the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” is to tax the rich more. We also learned in the video that the rich are modestly taxed, compared to other countries like France and Scandinavia. Before watching the video, I knew there was a disparity between classes, but I never realized how far the gap was. The sad reality is that the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poor, and the middle class is diminishing.
Wealth in Equality
Similar to the above-mentioned video, this one showed that there is a major disparity between what people think about the distribution of wealth and what it actually is. According to “Wealth in Equality,” the top 1% of America controls 40% of the nations wealth, whereas the bottom 80% only holds 7%. Surveyors were asked how they think wealth should be distributed, and the consensus was that it should be more equal amongst the classes. However we later learned that the top 1% has more wealth than the average person thinks the top 20% should have. The top 1% is getting richer and richer, and currently consumes 40% of the nations wealth. In 1976, the top 1% earned 9% of the annual income; today they almost tripled to earning 24%. The narrator went on to explain in more simple terms that an average employee has to work one month to earn what the CEO makes in one hour. Even though we all believe monies should be allocated more evenly, “the reality in this country is not what we think it is.”