(Photo: Screen Grab via YouTube/Politizane)
Wealth inequality in the United States is much worse than people think. There is a thin line between the collective earnings of the lower-middle class and poor, while the gap between them and the ridiculously rich is a shocking shame.
A videographer working under the name "Politizane" illustrated this in a video posted to YouTube called "Wealth Inequality in America" in which he features the results of a poll conducted by a Harvard business professor and economist that asked 5,000 Americans how they thought wealth was distributed in the country.
The graphic above illustrates the disparity between what people think the distribution of wealth is, what they believe it should should be like and what actually exists.
And what it shows is that wealth distribution in the U.S. is much worse than people think it is.
The six-minute video that was posted on YouTube last Fall has stirred an insightful discussion among viewers who have expressed thoughts from shock to dismissing it as biased.
"I'm sure it's been said before, but for those of you that get all stirred up by the negatively skewed distribution of wealth, consider this. This data is based off of tax information. This says nothing about the wealth that is not recorded," notes critic Ethan Craig on the video.
"In general the poorest people live off of everyone else's dollar. So of course they are not working. They don't have to. What money they do earn is under the table. This video is making the poor individual seem like they are suffering in this Capitalistic society. It's amazing to hear inner city youth talk about how they will never work, because their parents have taught them everything they need to know to milk the system. This is America, it is the country that even the poorest individuals have a better standard of living than most of the rest of the world," he explained.
Julian Thatuser, who describes himself as a "disgruntled American High School Student," blamed the situation on the U.S.'s education and immigration system.
"Well, this can be attributed to a few primary facts of America. First of all, of the Top 1 percent, not many of them are really 'Americans' but rather businessmen, bankers and innovators that immigrated to America. Look at some people like Elon Musk and Sergey Brin. These people, who are the 1 percent, have definitely worked their fair share of time for the money they have. We wouldn't be here if not for them," he noted in part.
He then explained that: "The problem of income inequality can be attributed to a failure in the U.S. education system to provide an adequate education for a 21st century world. Don't get me wrong, there are many other factors that influence this income disparity such as possible corruption, but a failure of many to understand basic economics and other things that should be taught in school is also a primary factor influencing this."
Another viewer of the video, Luke Cleland, argued that wealth inequality was important to keep the U.S. running and the idea of distributing wealth in America is what's destroying country.
"What everyone is not understanding is that the division of wealth is an important part of keeping our country running. A perfect example of how this 'distribute the wealth' phenomenon not only sucks, but is running our country into the ground is my dad," he noted.
"He respectfully had to decline a promotion at work, because if he took it, he would actually lose money, not gain money, because he would go up a tax bracket…isn't this counterintuitive of what our country was founded on? What competition is meant for. … Working 20 years in one job, striving to reach top…no longer carries any benefits…that's what the socialists in our country are doing…sucking away the drive to succeed from our hard working Americans…we are becoming lazy, not by choice, but by the bureaucratic ideologies of this 'perfect world' thought process, which doesn't work, and has been proven by other countries to fail miserably," he added.