Income Inequality in America, An Illustrated Guide

Includes illustrated infographic

IncomeInequality_slice2A few years ago, Occupy Wall Street protests spread like wildfire in cities across the country, forcing a focus on America’s gaping income gaps. The issue took center stage for a time, making headlines, grabbing the attention of elected leaders and sparking some hope that real change was within reach. But when the protest camps were dismantled and the media crews packed up their equipment, the nation’s attention quickly shifted elsewhere. In the end not much had changed. Today the income divide remains as steep as it was the day the protests began. Cartoon journalist Andy Warner explains just how deep America’s economic divide really is. (Sources listed below graphic)


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IncomeInequality_revise

Sources:


SelfPortraitAndy Warner’s comic journalism has been published by Symbolia, Slate, popsci.com, American Public Media, Campus Progress and more. You can see more of his work at: andywarnercomics.com and andywarnercomics.tumblr.com

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  • fid

    Typo in one graph. “1972″ repeated twice on x axis.

    • http://blogs.kqed.org/howdwegethere Matthew Green, KQED

      Thanks for catching this. It’s been corrected.

  • reverenddude

    why add arrows to finite sets? you dont know what is going to happen in the future, you can make an educated guess but thats it.

  • Dan

    So why doesn’t KQED show Robert Riech’s documentary “Inequality for All”? Instead we get a lot of fluff about the history of Johnny Carson and such. KQED show some grit.

  • John Diep

    #DoNowKQED/ I believe income inequality is normal in America because the level of job competition is so high that it inevitable for people to have different salaries. Despite all the cons this just gives people incentives to work harder in life to become more finically stable and successful.

  • KENNETH CHAN

    #DoNowKQED/ Income inequality will lead to future troubles for our country, as Americans make less money compared to the hours they work. The tensions between the top 1% and 90% will only get worse as the years pass because the income gap between them is widening.

  • Lindsay Tong

    As Obama said, income inequality is the defining issue of our time. An issue such as this should be addressed and shouldn’t even be here in the first place. Between the top 1% and 90% the income inequality should be nonexistent. People who are employed are working the same just as anybody else. I feel as though this problem has been leading on for too long, that closing this gap will be very difficult especially in such a competitive economy these days.

  • Shirley Mei

    The Great Depression and WWII boosted wages for workers because of manufacturing. According to the statistics, ~67% of the bottom 90% were sharing the nation’s income in 1944. In 2012, it was around ~50%. Technology and manufacturing replaced many jobs while making labor less strenuous, but I think the rise in technology created a greater separation in the social status of people.

  • Rosa Chea

    According to Obama, he said that the income inequality is the defining challenge of our time. The growing gap between the different classes of income are becoming a disadvantage for most Americans. I think that Obama is spot on because there’s a big difference in low income families, middle class and the largest gap between the rich.