残破的美国梦

华盛顿—长期以来,美国被称为“机会之地”,只要努力就能出人头地。对美国民族身份的这一基本特征的信念是坚定的,尽管近几十年来不平等性一直在缓缓上升。但是,近几年来,收入和财富两极分化的趋势大大地加速了,其原因是人口变化、经济的技能偏见以及财政政策。美国梦就要崩溃了吗?

1997—2007年,美国最顶尖1%家庭的收入增加了13.5%,相当于美国人民总年收入中有1.1万亿美元流入了这些家庭的腰包——比最底层40%的美国家庭的总收入还要多。

不平等性对个体福利的准确影响仍有待争议,这部分是因为准确测算所需要的方法十分复杂。但是,尽管客观指标并没有给出收入不平等呢高兴和人类福利之间的完整关系图,但如何解读这些指标给社会内外的人们传递了重要信号。

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