In the rancorous beginning to the 2016 presidential campaign we hear about the top 1 percent in the country. Economist Thomas Piketty has warned us we may well be "on the road to not just a highly unequal society, but to a society of oligarchy.” There has been debate how we shrink the income inequality in the United States.
I hope that the bottom 1 percent get their share of the attention in the new year. In 2014 the official poverty rate was 14.8 percent. There were 46.7 million people in poverty. For a family of three in the U.S., it worked out to about $16.50 per person per day.
“Deep poverty” is set at half the poverty line, or about $8.60 per person per day. One in 20 Americans live on an income that is at 50 percent of the poverty line, and nearly 16 million Americans still fall below that 50 percent of poverty line. Perhaps most disturbing is that the number of people living on $2 per day has increased substantially in the last 15 years.