What is the middle class salary in Florida

USA: The gap between rich and poor has risen to a record high

The drifting apart began long before Trump, but Trump's policies continued to favor the rich, with Democratic candidates promoting the wealthy

According to data from the Census Bureau, the gap between rich and poor widened in 2018 as never before in 50 years. From 1959 onwards, income inequality is measured. However, the poverty rate and the number of poor have declined to what they were before the last recession. Since last year, the median household income has grown by 0.8 percent and, at 61,937 US dollars for 2018, was also the highest since the ACS surveys began in 2005. The poverty rate fell from 13.4 to 13.1 percent. However, growth was lower than in the previous three years, while the reduction in the poverty rate has been steadily declining since 2014. Household income has increased in the ten largest metropolitan regions, but has not decreased in all 25.

So what looks good at first glance and could perhaps encourage those neoliberals who rely on the trickle-down effect of tax breaks for companies and the rich is rather gloomy on the second, because with growing inequality, society continues to disintegrate, which also the conflicts between right and liberals or left and the anger will further intensify - and the tendency to show it to those up there in order to then apparently not vote for politics like Donald Trump or out of frustration.

Income inequality has grown in nine states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Texas, and Virginia. However, it is still highest in some of the wealthy states on the coasts such as California, Florida or New York. However, the poverty rate is also falling here, but this does not reduce income inequality. It is noticeable that where the poverty rate is almost 20 percent, such as in West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi or New Mexico, the over-65s have the lowest proportion and the young the largest. It is therefore to be expected that the poverty rate, especially in the agricultural and industrial countries, will continue to increase, as will the courage of future generations. In Germany, the poverty rate is around 20 percent.

The Gini index, a common measure of income inequality, rose slightly from 0.482 to 0.485 and is therefore still significantly higher than in the EU or Germany. According to statistics from the UN University, inequality is lowest in Sweden and Croatia, with the USA in the middle, along with Venezuela, India and Russia. It is greatest in South Africa or Colombia, with values ​​above 0.56.

If, as in the USA, household income and the Gini index rise at the same time, then that means that even with falling unemployment and higher wages, the incomes of the rich will grow much faster, which has been the case for many years and was accelerated by Trump's tax reform (The wealth of the richest grows fastest). Furthermore, between 5 and 12 percent of people do not have health insurance. Growing inequality comes at the expense of the middle class and is exacerbated by the expansion of the lower and upper fringes.

Tax on the rich to reduce the gap between rich and poor

Apart from Joe Biden, who was probably dragged into the Ukraine swamp with Donald Trump - at least for the time being - the Democratic presidential candidates who do the best in polls and are each ahead of Trump (Donald Trump is the loser according to a poll, Bei the US Democrats are ahead of the elderly), for a higher taxation of the rich (USA: higher taxation of the rich is suddenly eligible for a majority). Elizabeth Warren, who is currently ahead, or Bernie Sanders want to reduce income and wealth inequality or stop it from growing with a wealth tax. The aim is to finance, among other things, medical care for everyone, free studies or measures against global warming.

Warren suggests that a 2 percent wealth tax be levied on assets over $ 50 million. Anyone who has a fortune of more than a billion would have to pay an additional one percent. Always only on the assets that are above the threshold. Sanders outbids Warren and wants to impose a tax of 1 percent on wealthy people with assets of over 32 million. The tax would then rise to 8 percent on assets over 10 billion. Warren and Sanders also want to raise property taxes.

Another way is to increase income tax. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has suggested raising the maximum tax rate to 70 percent for incomes over 10 million, but this would only affect 20,000 people. Now it is 37 percent after Trump's tax reform. The approach is bold only for neoliberal times, in the USA the maximum tax rate in the early 1980s was 65 percent, in the 1960s it was over 80 percent. Joe Biden would also be there when the capital tax was raised. As in Germany, the tax rate for capital income, which is predominantly received by the rich, is significantly lower than for wage income, which is the predominant income of the poor.

The considerations are also not badly received by the Americans (is the USA becoming socialist?). Sanders flirts with democratic socialism (forward to socialism?). The fact that God's own country could become socialist would not promote the rather symbolic ideas on taxes on wealth. (Florian Rötzer)

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