Sunday, April 26, 2020



Ingraham, Christopher. “Nation's Top 1 Percent Now Have Greater Wealth than the Bottom 90 Percent.” The Seattle Times, The Seattle Times Company, 8 Dec. 2017,
Naveed, Minahil. “Income Inequality in DC Highest in the Country.” DC Fiscal Policy Institute, 4 Jan. 2018,
Roller, Emma. “Washington, D.C. Has the Highest Income Inequality of Any State in the Country.” Splinter, Splinter, 9 July 2018,
Simpson, Ian. “The Wealth Gap Is Painfully Obvious In Washington D.C.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 1 Mar. 2014,
Yglesias, Matthew. “Everything You Need to Know about Income Inequality.” Vox, Vox, 7 May 2014,

How can you help?

How to Help:

There are many great charities that you can use to donate to low-income families. Below are a few links to direct you to their donation pages. 

REMEMBER*: You do not have to donate financially in order to help low-income American households. You can also donate your time by volunteering at your local organizations that support low-income individuals/groups. You can also just spread the word for other people to donate. 

*Simply informing others on the issue of income inequality can make a difference in society today because there are many who are unaware of the problem*

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Step Up for Students scholarships still available | Local News ...Spotlight: Qlik helps Direct Relief See the Whole Story | Qlik Blog
Feeding America - Wikipedia

Income Inequality for American University Students

Income Inequality for American University Students

Creative Style Guide | American University, Washington, DC
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  • This is a page specifically created for American University students to express their concerns about student income inequality. I am currently a freshman at AU studying Justice & Law. 
  • My AU Experience II course has discussed a lot of issues surrounding race, power, and privilege. I thought it would be helpful to create a page like this on my blog so that more students at my school are able to voice their concerns on the issue of income inequality in the U.S., D.C. specifically, or at AU specifically.
  • Please feel free to use the comments section to express your concerns regarding income inequality. Also, keep in mind that this blog is meant to be a safe space for all (meaning that comments with offensive language and/or hurtful comments are discouraged)

*Comments that are considered offensive will be removed*

Income Inequality in Washington D.C.

Income Inequality in Washington D.C.

Where is Washington, D.C., DC? / Washington, D.C., District of ...
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Key Facts: 

  • Washington D.C. is one of the states in America with the highest level of income inequality
  • Minorities are affected the most by the wealth gap
  • The D.C. Gini coefficient is very high
Now, allow me to explain these facts in a more detailed way...

According to the article, “The Wealth Gap Is Painfully Obvious In Washington D.C.,” the District of Columbia has had a large wealth gap for many years. Ian Simpson writes that it “had the third-widest gap between wealthy and poor among the 50 biggest U.S. cities, trailing Boston and Atlanta, according to a 2012 Fiscal Policy Institute analysis”. Also, the Gini coefficient (a measure of inequality) clearly reflects the wealth disparities among D.C. residents. A coefficient of 0 indicates perfect equality while a coefficient of 1 indicates perfect inequality. The Gini coefficient of Washington D.C. was 0.542 in 2016 (Naveed). The level of income inequality has not drastically improved over the years. 

To add onto this, people who are already in poverty or those who are a part of the minority populations are probably affected the worst by the increasing wealth gap of the U.S. According to the article, “Income Inequality in DC Highest in the Country,” the poverty rate is way worse for Black and Latinx residents than White residents. In fact, “the poverty rate for white District residents is 7.9 percent,” but it is “27.9 percent­—nearly four times higher—for Black residents, and 17.8 percent—more than twice as high—for the Latinx community”. In this statistic, we can clearly see how race plays a large factor in poverty rates. If you are of a minority population, you are more likely to struggle economically according to D.C. poverty rates. Privilege also applies to economic inequality because those who have it can sometimes be blind to the struggles of the poor. It is important to check your privilege in order to be a more well-rounded person and in order to help those around you. 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

What is Income Inequality?

Income Inequality in America

I want to take a few moments to discuss a pressing issue in the United States today. Income inequality has been and continues to be a growing problem in our country. This type of inequality is often associated with limited social mobility which means that a limited number of individuals or groups are able to move upward or downward in status based on wealth, occupation, education, or some other social variable. Income inequality is one of the main reasons that everyone is not on the same "playing field" economically. Also, there is a small amount of our population (the top 1%) that are significantly more wealthy than the remaining U.S. population (see chart below*). They are extremely privileged when it comes to their wealth, occupation, education, etc. because they have so much money. Those who are part of the top 1% in the U.S. are able to create more and more income for themselves by saving the income they have and even turning it into more wealth. This puts very rich people on an “upward trajectory” meaning they keep getting richer even though they might not need the wealth they create. Once this happens, the wealth gap increases further and it is even harder for the less fortunate to catch up with the rest of the world financially.

Income inequality is a serious issue that Americans are currently facing. I think there are so many hardworking Americans that deserve to have the ability to move upward socially and to be afforded the same economic opportunities as wealthy people. Society needs to pay attention to this issue and do more to help all Americans that are struggling economically. 

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This next graph shows us that the U.S. has a Gini coefficient of about 0.38. This is the highest among the ten richest economies in the world. By international standards, America has a very unequal economy.

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Key Terms to Know:

  • Income- money received, especially on a regular basis, for work or through investments
  • Income Inequality- an extreme disparity of income distributions among different groups of people
  • Wealth Gap- the unequal distribution of assets among residents of the United States.
  • Wealth- measures the value of all the assets of worth owned by a person, community, company, or country
  • Privilege- a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group
  • Poverty- a state of not having enough material possessions or income for a person's need
  • The Top/Upper 1%- a group of people who hold the most wealth in a population
  • Working Class- the social group consisting of people who are employed for wages, especially in manual or industrial work
  • Social Mobility- the term used to describe the movement of individuals or groups upward or downward in status based on wealth, occupation, education, or some other social variable.
  • Stock Market- this is where investors connect to buy and sell investments — most commonly, stocks, which are shares of ownership in a public company
  • Gini Coefficient- a statistical measure of the degree of variation or inequality represented in a set of values (used especially in analyzing income inequality)

Key Facts: 

  • Income inequality refers to the fact that different people earn different amounts of money.
  • The wider people's earnings are dispersed, the more unequal these earnings are.
  • Many economists consider income inequality one of the biggest economic challenges facing us today.
  • Even as one of the wealthiest countries in the world, America has a long way to go in order to bridge the gap between the wealthy and the poor.

Why has income inequality been increasing?

  • Technological Advancements- these advancements or improvements raise incomes, but they do so unequally. Highly educated workers are compensated much more.
  • Decline of Labor Unions- the unions reduce inequality both by raising low wages and constraining the high ones.
  • Trade- the increasing international trade with lower-wage countries has reduced the wage share of overall national income (which results in increasing the incomes of people with large stock holdings)
  • Immigration- having low-skilled workers do low-paid jobs raises the measured income inequality.
  • Super Star Effects- the world is much larger and wealthier than ever before which means that being a famous athlete, performer, or author is much more profitable than it used to be.
  • Wall Street- the increased incomes for CEOs and people that work on Wall Street account for 58 percent of the top 1 percent of the income distribution in the U.S.
  • Minimum Wage- it is said that almost a third of the growth in inequality is due to the declining value of the minimum wage.
  • Capitalism- it is argued that high levels of inequality are the natural state of market economies.