A detailed look at America’s income inequality by the Globe

The Boston Globe began a news series of articles that will discuss prominent issues for voters. The first focuses on the incredible wealth inequality in the United States, using a family from Colorado to illustrate.

The article begins with Juan and Karla Ayala live in a mobile home near Aspen. Using their story to explain the country’s wealth inequality is necessary, for me. If the story had only focused on the statistics and political arguments, I would have quickly lost interest.

Historical background helps to ground the story and demonstrate how we got to where we are, beginning with the wealthy families of the Gilded Age and the creation of the federal income tax in 1913.

The Great Depression helped to narrow the wealth gap, which continued with WWII. This narrowing continued into the 1970s, but by 1980 the wealth gap began to increase, according to the article.

The article explains recent efforts by the Obama administration to combat the issue, such as an increase in taxes for the wealthiest 0.3 percent and a raised minimum wage. Both proposals were killed by the GOP.

Among all of this historical and political information, the article includes a description of a scene an Aspen airport filled with private jets. There is also a photo of some of the multi-million dollar homes in the area. These details help to solidify the factual information and make it more real for the reader.

There is a chart to illustrate the history of wealth inequality in the U.S., which is important for reference, but I found the format of the graph somewhat confusing. There are several explanations on the graph which help the reader interpret what they see.

This story does an excellent job of balancing the factual examples and numbers with real life examples. I found this helpful to keep me interested in the story and following what was being said. They serve to show the two sides of Aspen and how enormous the wealth gap is.  The story is an interesting look at a major political issue, using the Aspen area to demonstrate larger issues.


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