- Dec 6, 2007
https://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/10/10/is-economic-inequality-crisis-snowballing.cnnIs economic inequality crisis snowballing?
Despite perennial campaign promises, America is suffering from an ever-worsening income inequality. But it isn't too late to fix it, says a co-author of 'Amerca: What went wrong?"
Vicki Honeycutt lost her job in March, one of millions laid off in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. To make matters worse, Honeycutt, an executive assistant at a bank, had no savings.
- Roughly 1 in 3 households had trouble making ends meet right before the coronavirus pandemic.
- By September, nearly 5 million more people were living in poverty than before the pandemic, according to one study.
- Some groups, like minorities, low earners, women and those without college degrees, have suffered the most, according to financial experts.
Biweekly paychecks of around $1,600, after taxes, were devoted almost entirely to bills, including $1,100 in rent and medical expenses for her daughter, who has a rare autoimmune disorder. Honeycutt’s husband, James, is a veteran with a disability that makes it difficult for him to work.
“I was always finagling, and we didn’t have anything left over,” Honeycutt, 53, said.
Over the last few months, she’s applied to more than 100 jobs but nothing has panned out. She and her family are now being evicted from their house in China Grove, North Carolina, where they’ve lived for 10 years.
“My husband and I used to kid around and say, ‘We’re just a paycheck away from being homeless,’” Honeycutt said. “Our worst nightmare came true.”
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, a large share of Americans lived paycheck to paycheck, teetering precariously on the edge of financial ruin.
Years of stagnant wages, especially among low-income earners and people of color, coupled with the rising cost of living, made it harder and harder for many people to put much if any of their earnings away in case of an emergency, let alone for goals like buying a house, sending their children to college or preparing for their old age.