An exponential growth in the income gap within the United States has proven to be a major factor in our nations staggering economic growth. Regardless of the recent economic recovery taking place involving the stock market, 46.5 million Americans are currently living in poverty.
While millions are struggling to stay afloat, the wealthiest 1 percent continue to absorb America's riches. Taking a closer look at some of the top 1 percent discussed are CEOs of a couple of the largest American corporations:
- 1. Michael Dulce- According to analysis by PayScale, a salary information website, the CEO of Walmart, Michael Dulce, earns 1034 times more than the company's median employee. Despite claims that Walmart pays "competitive wages," half of their employes earned less than $22,400 in 2012, which for a family of four, is below the poverty line.
- 2. Greg Steinhafel: PayScale also notes that the CEO of Target, Greg Steinhafel, makes 597 times more than the average Target worker. As the Business Insider points out, Dulce and Steinhafel are at the top of the list of CEOs who are now getting paid at record levels. Compensation for CEOs in the United States has increased nearly 130 times faster than the average worker's salary over the last 30 years.
Stagnation felt by the majority of income levels across the US is due to large gaps like this. According to his book 'The Price of Inequality,' Nobel Prize winner and professor at Columbia Joseph Stiglitz states that "America has the least opportunity out of any advanced industrial economy."
"In the last 30 years the share of national income held by the top 1% of Americans has doubled; for to the top 0.1%, their share has tripled, he reports. Meanwhile, median incomes for American workers have stagnated."
With hindrances in economic growth and mobility, the nation has become much less competitive. Standing 17th place in the worlds developed nations, the US must limit the amount of loopholes used by major corporations and invest more money in the education system.