Mary M. New York

Income gap

Income inequality and the income gap are a big issue that has been growing and dividing our nation for the last 30 years and needs to be addressed by our next president.

Dear Future President,

Congratulations on being elected president! I hope that you will lead our country well and take action towards the problems that exist here in America. My name is Mary B., I am 12 years old, I am in the 7th grade, and I live in New York City. The issue that I am writing to you about is income inequality. Income inequality is an issue because too many hard working Americans don’t earn the amount that they deserve and it has created a huge gap between the rich and the poor. This divides our country into a significantly different upper and lower class and this brings us apart when we really need to come together as a country. Income inequality needs to be addressed and I hope that you as our president will do that.

First off income inequality is not only a big issue, it is an issue that is growing and getting even worse. It has been growing for over 30 years and there is a lot of data to show this. According to a New York Times article, the bottom 20% of earners currently make up 3.4% of our nation’s income but in the 1970s they were 5.6% of our nation’s income. The bottom 60% also used to make up more of the income pie 40 years ago.

Income inequality is also not just an issue of the lower class income decreasing, it is also an issue of the higher earners making more money. The top 5% of earners make 22% of overall income which is 6% more than they did in 1975. The top 1% of earners has doubled their income since the 20th century. The top 1% were also 85.1% of total income growth from 2009 to 2013. Since the lower class income is shrinking and the higher class income is growing, the income gap is getting much wider.

The income gap has gotten wider in every state since 1970. Income is the most unequal in Connecticut and New York. The income required to be in the top 1% in Connecticut is $677,608 and in New York it is $506,051.

Although income inequality is a big issue, there are some steps that we can take to help narrow the gap. We can raise minimum wage to increase income for those who work under minimum wage. We can also lower taxes for the lower class and raise them for the top earners. With these steps and others we can stop this issue of income inequality.

NYC Lab Middle School

NYC Lab Middle School

Lab students have been painfully subjected to three debates where they searched for policy talk. Four and a half hours later.. Now, our students will have the chance to speak about an issue of importance and possibly make a recommendation for improvement.

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