Summary: This PBS NewsHour report explores the extraordinary and rising levels of economic inequality in the U.S. The top 20% of Americans now hold 84% of U.S. wealth, and more and more families are falling out of the middle class. Yet, despite drastic increases in inequality, average Americans perceive their country to be relatively equal. While this clip is useful in that it draws upon economic research to support this claim about Americans' perceptions of economic inequality, students might find reporter Paul Solman's survey conducted on the streets of New York City to be espeically compelling. Time and again, Americans underestimate the extent of U.S. economic inequality. The clip highlights that most of the inequality is explained by gains made at the "tippy-top" -- that is, gains made by the super-rich. The clip features research showing that overall, Americans (both Democrats and Republicans) want more economic equality. A transcript of the clip is also available.
Check out other clips on The Sociological Cinema that address the truth about the current U.S. economy and a survey conducted on the streets of NYC.
Submitted By: Lindsey Baker