The United States is associated and known as “the land of opportunity and equality”, where anyone could be born in any class and not have to stay in that particular social group or hierarchy . Three social classes which the United States builds it structure on are the upper, middle, and lower classes. The upper class, also known as the corporate elite, consists with the blue collar worker such as lawyers, doctors, CEOs, and etc., with a typical income of $250,000 or more. The middle class incorporates a wide range of workers from professors to factory workers and their income might exceed over $100,000. The lower or the working class usually consists of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who are working for minimum wage. As the United States economy grows, the wages of all the classes should grow for equal distribution.
Presently now in the 21st century there is a steadily increase in income inequality among the upper, middle, and lower classes. Some economists are starting to sense that there is a wedge that starting to advance the upper class way above the lower class and starting to squeeze the middle class causing the middle class to eventually disappear. In the course of researching the trend of growing financial inequality, the status of the income mobility among the classes, the Lorenz Curve, and the major factors that seem to promote the expand of the income gap will verify if there might be any truth to the statement we here often that “the rich are getting richer and the poor are becoming poorer”.
Over the past thirty to forty year there has been a development of increasing financially inequality in the United States. According to the National Public Radio analysis, Scott Stroud, the income gap has been long awaited. The years of 1975 and 2005, the bottom 80 percent in the income bracket actually experienced their national income drop. The bottom 40 percent also saw a fall in their income as well. The top 20 percent and the top 5 percent only saw an increase in their income over the past 30 years (Shroud, NPR). The Share of Household Income graph provided by the Bureau of Census explains Shrouds point of view. In the income graph only the top one-fifth has increased in the past thirty years and received nearly 50 percent of the national income in the year 2005.
The upper middle to the lowest one-fifth quintiles, there is a steady decrease in their share of the national income, and they received only about five percent of the national income. Meizhu Lui, a reporter of Yes! Magazine, claims that the middle class is shrinking because of the substantial job losses in the manufacturing section that supports half of the middle classes’ income. In the past three years the Bureau of Labor statistics show that 2.8 billion or about 96% factory job have been laid off. Lui declares even if the laid off workers were to find a new job they would have to settle for less money and benefits than before because of the immigrants that are willing to work cheaper (Lui, Yes! Magazine). Therefore the middle class is losing money and causing some people to move down to the lowest quintile squeezing the middle and expanding the gap between the upper and lower classes.