In what ways is America unequal?

CEO / Worker Pay Ratio Data Icon

One of the clearest indications of rising inequality between the rich and poor is the ratio between what CEOs make and what workers make.

In 1991, the CEO to Worker pay ratio first exceeded 100, and it continued to rise throughout the 90's, eventually reaching over 200 in 1999.

If you took % from 's CEO's salary, you'd have $, and if you split that equally among all the employees of that company, they'd get $ each. , the CEO, would be left with $.

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Minimum Wage Data Icon

$11 $10 $9 $8 $7 $6 $5 $4 $3 $2 $1 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Nominal Dollars / 2009 Dollars

When looking at the history of minimum wage, many only consider the nominal minimum wage in absolute dollar values. However, if you adjust the minimum wage for inflation, the effective minimum wage has been mostly declining (or remaining level) since the late 1960s.

Not only are American workers earning less, but the gap between those who have gone to college and those who haven't is increasing.

"In 1979, the average college graduate made 38% more than the average high school graduate, according to the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke. Now the average college graduate makes more than 75% more."

NYT: "The Wrong Inequality" by David Brooks


Gap Between Richest & Poorest Data Icon

If you divide the US population into five equal groups (referred to as quintiles) based on their income, it is easy to see that much of the economic growth of the past decade has gone to the richest quintile while the income of the poorest one has remained essentially unchanged.

Unemployment Rate Data Icon

The great recession is recognized to have begun in December of 2007, and the unemployment rate first exceeded 7% in December of 2008 and then 8% in February of 2009. The current rate, 9% is higher than it's been since the 80s.

What is the GINI ratio?

The Gini ratio can range from 0 to 1. The most unequal society conceivable would be where one person receives 100% of total income. This would be given a Gini ratio of 1.

If everyone received an equal share, it would receive a 0.

G8 GINI Ratios Data Icon

According to the GINI Ratio (CIA Factbook) the United States is the most unequal nation out of the G8.
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