Economics 102 Group Project (first draft) Introduction The proliferation of income inequality can be attributed to various entities and factors that include the government, firms/market power, and technology. Income inequality is also driven by lack of education and training, discrimination, individual ability, and unequal distribution of wealth. The government is primarily responsible for the well-being of the people for whom the government operates. This point is simply stated according to the Ancient Greek’s definition: “the purpose of a government is to improve the lives of its citizens” (CBSNEWS article 7/12/04).
We have seen before, that it is possible for America to dramatically cut poverty: “between 1959 and 1973, a strong economy, investments in family economic security, and new civil rights protections helped cut the U.S. poverty rate in half” (AmericanProgress). All in all, economic measures that provide benefits for the poor, are the most effective way to deal with
America prides itself on being one of the most effective democratically governed counties. The idea of the American dream is that all people have equivalent political freedoms and a responsive government. However the effectiveness of social equality is being threatened by increasing inequality in the United States. Economic inequality in the US has expanded drastically. The wealth gap has had drastic changes over the past 35 years.
Due to the extremely low wages, lack of food to support families, and the unequal distribution of wealth, it is clear that there is poverty in America. The first and most common cause of poverty within an average american household is the low wages. There is an increasing number of adults who have low paying jobs, and with the increase in divorces, many people have to support their families alone. Most of the population is actually two times below the poverty line according to their yearly income. According to the New York Times, “[h]alf the jobs in the nation pay less than $34,000 a year...
“The American Dream” was instituted by the Middle class through vibrant beliefs. As these aforementioned subjects are strongly represented in both Edward McClelland and Brandon Kings articles. The two author have their discrete and indistinguishable ways of revealing the tale of the “Middle Class.” The article “RIP, the Middle Class: 1946-2013,” by Edward McClelland opens with an emotional experience, making it easier to persuade the
Ehrenreich uses her experiences to expand and illustrate Mantsios’ thesis about economic inequality in America and the lasting effects of class distinctions. Ehrenreich shares her experiences working in low paying jobs and challenges the idea that low income citizens are not hard working people. It obvious that both of these authors want Americans to recognize that our society is unjust and corrupt. Though I do agree with their claims that achieving the American dream is not a simple task, I refuse to believe that hard work and perseverance are not enough to be successful in this country. There have been numerous examples of individuals who have overcame the obstacles placed by their race and social standings.
In Chapter 1, Rich Nation, Poor nation of The Economics of Macro Issues, the author first identifies the common misconception that economic advantages are predetermined by the natural resources made available to that country. Economic growth is developed by political and legal institutions. Stable institutions are detrimental to the success of the economy because they provide a sense of security for investing. These investments raise capital stock and promote long-term growth which leads to a higher standard of living.
John Bodley’s article, “Price of Progress”, argues that America and other developed countries worry about economic development less than developing countries. The economies in developed countries believe that every culture should be full of progress. Progress in economies is defined by how high your income is, how high your standard of living is, greater security and how good your health is. The most common used measure of progress is one’s standard of living. The lowest class of people is the tribal people who have different cultures and lifestyles and they find ways to survive on their own.
In David S. Landes book, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, he decides to take a historical approach on the reasons behind why some people remain poor and how others are so rich by trying to comprehend the reasons that lead to advances in economies and modernization in certain regions around the world over the past few decades. In other words by asking how we have come to where we are today in the sense of making, getting and spending. Throughout the book, Landes talks about how we live in a world filled with inequality and diversity therefore leading to classifying those who are poor and unable to afford medical health care living in the North and the wealthy in the South. David S. Landes aim was to basically make people aware of how it is actually geography that is responsible for this division between countries that have caused a lot of hardship for the unprivileged people by making it impossible for them to improve economically as a result of their geographical location on the map.
As a reader reads Barbara Ehrenreich’s book Nickel and Dimed on (Not) Getting by in America, they get an insight on what it is like to live a low income life. Ehrenreich proposes the argument in the introduction that poverty is a serious matter and just because one has a job does not mean they are not considered poor. She wants to persuade us to realize that American is not the land of opportunity as promised and portrayed and there are regular people who are struggling to live a comfortable life. Throughout her book she mentions her experiences with living on minimum wage, the hiring process, and how she felt being put in that position. After reading Ehrenreich’s book I am thoroughly persuaded.
Even though the optimal American Dream doesn’t promise that all citizens will achieve personal success, it offers equality and fortunes for them to pursue dreams through hard work. However, during the Industrial Age, American Dream didn’t apply to lower-class proletariat. Most immigrants from southern and eastern Europe arrived in the United States to escape religious persecution and poverty in their home countries and also seek new opportunities because of advertisements of the American Dream. But, they did realize that fantasy differed from reality after their arrival. As unskilled foreigners who suffered poverty and lacked experience and English skills, immigrants lived in nasty tenements located in city ghettos, earned little wages that
Nearly half a century ago, Lyndon Johnson began campaigning the War on Poverty with a vision for a sustained and prosperous economy. Back then, poverty in America was associated with graphic images of substandard wooden shacks and impoverished city alleys. Today, the face of poverty has taken a new shape. In societies imagination, poverty takes the form of hopeless Americans and single mothers frantically treading on a rolling barrel that is headed towards the rivers end. For the enormous amount of women living in this situation, the American dream is dead.
Economic inequality in the state of Alabama, not just Birmingham, was quite prevalent in 2005, and is still very prevalent today. According to Weinberg in an article published by the United States Census, Alabama was one of seven states that ranked highest in economic inequality. Birmingham, was also one of the highest ranked cities for economic inequality in metropolitan areas of over one million in the United States. On the Gini index scale, which ranks a score of 0 as perfect equality and 1 as inequality, in 2005, Alabama recorded a score of 0.471, while Birmingham ranked slightly higher at a rank of 0.472 (Weinberg). This shows within the median income in Alabama, which in 2005 was $44,759, while the median income of the United States was $56,122, a 20% difference. While comparing the white verse African American populations in Birmingham in regards to economic inequality, income disparities become even more apparent.
In the 1960’s citizens of the United States were considered to be living in poverty. It was a difficult and controversial time for American citizens due to the lack of food, jobs, and education. Apart from these factors there was both economic and racial inequality occurring at the same time. Throughout the presidency of John F. Kennedy and later Lyndon B. Johnson there was a plan to end poverty not through the aid of welfare, but through opportunities. Opportunities to succeed, advance, and reach prosperity, but even though this was the aim some of the problems discussed in the 1960’s are still being questioned today.
Income inequality, a topic that under normal circumstances is strongly opposed. Many Americans have believe that the wealth gap should be reduced because it hurts our economy. George F. Will proposes that income inequality is actually beneficial to our society and wrote “How Income Inequality Benefits Everybody”, Published in 2015 on The Washington Post. Wills primary claim in the article is to convince readers that income inequality is not necessarily a bad thing. He claims that because America’s capitalistic system permits for enormous wealth gaps it diminishes the gaps between lifestyles. He uses information from initial prices of luxury goods and how they have been reduced by a significant amount over the years. Will begins to establish