We often hear people say that America is a land of opportunity, a country built on hope to aspire the greatness on the American dream.
But is the dream as we once knew it dying?
Today's demographics show that the middle-class is disappearing and now the richest 1% of the population has mastered more wealth than the bottom 90%.
Once upon a time, Americans thought that if they worked hard enough, even in the phase of adversity, they would be rewarded with success.
These days, though, the divide between rich and poor is greater than it has ever been. The question is, what is it going to take to change things?
Maybe one day soon real change will actually be made in our nation and the gap will be eradicated. But what happens in the meantime?
Is there something that we can do to help close the gap? Is there something that we can do to prove that a little compassion goes a long way?
If we want to fix the problem of the income gap, first, we have to understand it.
It is a grim reality that you can have one person who only makes around $13,000 a year, or across town, another is making millions.
For me, it is kind of astonishing. And if you ask low-income people what's the one thing that will change their life, they'll say "a full-time job."
That's all they aspire to. So why is it so difficult for so many people to find employment?
It partly comes down to profit-driven business models that are built around low-wage work and part-time jobs that don't provide benefits.
Businesses, in order to boost profits, hire employees as part-time workers only.
This means they are paid the lowest legal wage and receive no health care or other benefits provided to full-time employees.
Simultaneously, technological advancement and a global economy has reduced the demand for well-paying blue-collar jobs here in the United States.
The cumulative effect of these two factors is that many Americans are forced to take two or more part-time jobs, just to make ends meet.
What has become obvious to me when it comes to the income gap is that there needs to be an opportunity for the people at the bottom to push them back up and push them into the middle-class to give them hope in their lives.
Questions 22 to 25 are based on the recording you have just heard.
22. What do the surveys show about America according to the speaker?
23. What did Americans use to believe?
24. What do low-income people aspire to?
25. What do businesses do to increase their revenues?