The rich get richer, what about the poor?


Arohan Rimal, [email protected]

40 percent of America’s wealth is owned by the top one percent of the population, while the bottom 80 percent of the population share as few as seven percent wealth. I would not believe this statement a year ago when I was back home in Nepal.
Now that I have seen the difference in lifestyle between American people in the few cities I have been to, it seems believable.
The American dream has a big step to overcome.
Philp Alston, a UN reporter was sent to America to report the status of poverty here. He visited cities around the U.S. for two weeks and talked to civic groups, senior state officials and federal government officials. According to him, in an interview with the Guardian, 40 million Americans live in poverty.
And, this number is increasing.
There is a common belief that poor people do not work enough to overcome the barrier. People working 12-hour shifts at fast food stores do not earn as much as the “pocket change” earned by a businessman.
Most of these workers cannot get a full-time job at a single place.
This results in commuting to multiple jobs to support their families.
Couples work alternative shifts to feed their children. Single parents struggle even more.
The problem of homelessness is not new to America either. This is the story of poverty and struggle in the same country where 540 billionaires live with a net worth of around 2.5 trillion dollars.
This difference in wealth is mainly caused because of cheap labor overseas and job outsourcing. For example, even ULM yearbooks are printed overseas and shipped to ULM.
When corporations favor profit over their workers, the companies grow bigger while the workers either face loss or unemployment.
However, wealth inequality is not just an American problem. 70.1 percent of adults, worldwide, own only three percent of the world income. The top 8.6 percent owns 85.6 percent of the global wealth according to This is mind-boggling. Most of the rich people, however reside in the western world.
Wealth inequality cannot be fixed with the snap of a finger. However, ignoring the facts will not do any good either. If this trend of income inequality keeps increasing, the majority of the population will soon have to struggle to feed themselves.
The quality of life of millionaires is not what shapes the economy of a nation. Or, at the very least, it shouldn’t.
The American dream is not just about the top one percent. America has a big gap to fill if it hopes to keep being the top country or even maintain a stable economy.