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There are great differences among Americans in terms of income and the reports by the U.S. Census Bureau indicate according to a December 1997 data that in the last twenty years "incomes of the richest fifth increased by 30% or nearly $27,000 after adjusting for inflation." The average income of these people was $117,500 and that is 13 times the bottom one-fifth's income of $9,250. but, are these people still the rich of the country. Not at all, and the best that can be said id that these people are middle income. The real rich and super rich are not included n the data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. The reports by the Bureau provide the figures about the rich, and they did not interview anybody who had incomes higher than $300,000 in a year. Even if by some chance, a person with a higher income was interviewed, the person was not recorded as being above the upper reportable limit as it was not allowed by the computer program being used by the bureau. (the Super Rich Are Out of Sight)
As late as 1994, the reportable limit has been increased to $1 million in a year, but still that does not include the super rich. Thus the super rich are not a part of the data that one gets, as they are removed by the computer, and the reason for this procedure is that the bureau says the computers are not able to handle bigger figures, but that is not likely as the increase to $1 million was handled without any problems. Thus if the figures are to be raised again, one is sure that the computer could handle the job without a problem. Other officials gave the reason for this secrecy as being confidentiality, and the increase in the income figures might identify people with a really high income. Apart from this, the people with a really high income generally declare their incomes at levels 40 to 50% below the real figure. But in hiding the real income figures of the real rich, the result is that many people who are making as little as $70,000 a year are being included in the top fifth.
When the income figure climbs to $100,000 then the individual becomes a part of the top 4%. Well can their behavior be compared to the real rich like Mellon, Morgan or Murdock? The differences in income are of the level of 61,000 to 1 for Michael Eisner the CEO of Disney and a poor guy who earns $9,250. Both of them ideally belong to the top one fifth and bottom one fifth. It is also clear that the more one earns, the more the person saves and this has been noted by the economist Paul Krugman. According to him the top fifth have become richer than the others below them and the top twentieth have become richer than the next three fifth. This logic keeps going on and the top 0.25% has probably more wealth today than the rest of the people - 99.75%. (the Super Rich Are Out of Sight) it is thus really difficult to say whether we really know much about them.
Now let us look at the real poor and we shall find some of them in New Haven - in the tent city near the Yale University. One of the residents there, Charlene Johnson is three months pregnant and is worried about the coming winter. Yet around her are the symbols of richness with the University's stone walls, elegant churches and coffee shops with smart students going about. Charlene is in trouble as she could not pay her rent in time in September and collected $200 from the landlord to move out of her rooms. With this the owner could increase the rent, and she has not had enough money since. She has put in her son with a friend and she was dreaming about moving in with her boyfriend. This came to naught when the boyfriend was sacked from a construction firm where he was working due to lack of work. This tent city was also closed down by the authorities and the residents sent out on their way to a serious winter. New Haven is the country's fourth poorest city, and there the ghettos are cheek by jowl with the university which has $11 billion in endowments. (U.S. In Denial as Poverty Rises)
The university provides the next generation of America's rulers. At the same time, it is also advertised as the birthplace of President George Bush. The wages are very low and in the case of Monica Osborn working in the New Haven hospital it is at $13 an hour. This is in spite of the city considering $17 an hour as "livable wage." Recently her son suffered from concussion and she had to pay for the treatment, though she works at a hospital as she had not paid for health insurance. This led to her employer docking the cost of treatment from the wages and this leaves her with $300 to manage for two months and that with a family of four. According to the official statistics mentioned earlier, one in 11 families and one in nine Americans are poor. (U.S. In Denial as Poverty Rises) This is the sort of differences that exist in the country regarding the rich and the poor. Is it justified or according to the laws of God? It is better that we find some ways to reduce the disparity so that the poor at least have enough to live with.
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Vulliamy, Ed. U.S. In Denial…[continue]
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