Documentaries

WRAL's 'State of Inequality' looks at economic differences across NC

Posted March 10
Updated 11:15 a.m. Friday

You heard a lot about wealth disparity and the top one-percent in last year’s presidential election. The top one percent in the United States earns about 38 times more than the bottom 90 percent. The average CEO salary is a staggering 335 times the average worker salary. Such disparities exist between communities too.

Only five out of North Carolina’s 100 counties, including Wake, have average household incomes higher than the state average. Most rural counties lag far behind. The median household income in Wake for example is more than double what it is in Bertie County. Economists say wealth concentrated in the hands of so few shrinks the middle class, stifles economic growth and leaves too many behind, increasing demand for welfare and other taxpayer funded social programs that are designed to help the poor.

The half-hour WRAL documentary “State of Inequality” examines the wealth divide between people and places in North Carolina. It profiles someone in the top one-percent and someone living below the poverty line. It looks at their common bonds, different paths and their shared view on the issue of income inequality. The documentary also profiles Wake and Bertie counties and examines why they are on opposite ends of the prosperity scale. “State of Inequality” also explores the effects of wealth disparity and possible solutions to lessen its impact.

“State of Inequality” premieres Thursday, Mar. 30 at 7 p.m. It is hosted by WRAL News anchor David Crabtree.

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