Share of US Households in the Lowest Third of Income Distribution

Share of US Households in the Lowest Third of Income Distribution

Poorer Americans have the least influence over elected officials even though their basic financial security and opportunities for advancement are highly contingent on government policies, such as the quality of public education and availability of college grants, rules on collective bargaining, minimum wage and overtime, options for public transportation and affordable housing, not to mention healthcare, tax credits to supplement low-wage work, and more. Affluent Americans’ economic success is also contingent on government policies in ways that are less visible but can powerfully reinforce advantage, especially through tax expenditures, bankruptcy laws, trade regimes, monetary policy and financial regulation.

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