Listen to this article

In his Nov. 22 letter, Joe Bauers pointed out the appalling financial divide between the very rich and everyone else.

The $1.5 trillion tax bill the Republicans ran through Congress placed America in a position to become the most unequal society in the world. According to economist Thomas Piketty, it “turbocharged inequality in America.” By 2027, the richest 1 percent of Americans will control over 82 percent of the wealth. This massive upward redistribution of affluence will add $1.5 trillion to the nation’s deficit.

Between 1993 and 2010, the top 1 percent in the United States saw their incomes grow by 58 percent compared with 6.4 percent for everyone else. In 2017, over a trillion dollars went to corporate shareholders and were not invested in companies or benefits for workers.

CEO pay hikes in 2018 averaged 7 percent, or $800,000. Their median income, including salary and stocks, was $12 million. The median increase for corporate workers was 3 percent. Corporate profits in 2018 reached an all-time high, while workers wages reached an all-time low.

One out of 8 Americans, that’s 47 million people, now live in poverty. One in 5 children come from families with incomes below the poverty line, and one-third of America’s households lack basic savings accounts for an emergency.

The divide between the rich and everyone else is grotesque, and much of it is caused by government policies. You must be asleep to believe in the American Dream.

MIKE WOODS

Champaign