Amerikas zerbrochener Traum

WASHINGTON, DC – Die Vereinigten Staaten wurden lange Zeit als das „Land der Möglichkeiten“ gesehen, wo diejenigen, die hart arbeiten, voran kommen. Obwohl die Ungleichheit über Jahrzehnte hinweg nach und nach zunahm, blieb der Glaube in diesen grundlegenden Bestandteil von Amerikas nationaler Identität bestehen. In den letzten Jahren allerdings hat der Trend hin zu Extremen bei Einkommen und Vermögen deutlich zugenommen. Gründe dafür sind demografische Verschiebungen, eine einseitige Wirtschaft und die Haushaltspolitik. Stehen wir vor dem Zusammenbruch des amerikanischen Traums?

Von 1997 bis 2007 nahm der Anteil am Gesamteinkommen, den das reichste Prozent der US-Haushalte für sich verbuchen konnten, um 13,5 Prozentpunkte zu. Dies entspricht einer Verschiebung von 1,1 Billionen USD jährlich hin zu diesen Familien – mehr als das Gesamteinkommen der ärmsten 40% der Haushalte.

Der genaue Effekt der Ungleichheit auf das individuelle Wohlbefinden bleibt umstritten, teilweise aufgrund der Komplexität der Messgrößen, die zu ihrer Bestimmung benötigt werden. Aber wenn auch objektive Indikatoren kein vollständiges Bild der Beziehung zwischen Einkommensungleichheit und menschlichem Wohlbefinden ermöglichen, sendet die Art ihrer Interpretation doch wichtige Signale an die Menschen innerhalb der Gesellschaft und darüber hinaus.

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