Paul Krugman, an economics professor at Princeton, writes “Confronting Inequality” chapter 7 in his book. Equality in America is what makes America, what it stands for. Social and economic inequality still is a part of everyday life in America. Education is making parents struggle because they want to give them a good education; but also, health care for those who need it. Middle-class starts to scramble more every day while the high-class gets more prosperous. Inequality in America is creating trouble to the lives of Americans.
Currently, we have both a wealthy class and common people rule. Everyone (common people) gets to vote, and those votes decide our future. But, because of their wealthy, the wealthy have an advantage when it comes to politics. They can pay a lot for the best lawyer (the best example being the OJ Simpson case) and be proven innocent because the lawyer raised reasonable doubt. Also, wealthy business owners could get the government to move a smaller business/store, using eminent domain, and place their own business at the location, using the words “public use” to tell the people it was for them.
Classism is a major issue that plagues American society. Classism separates groups by their economic status in society. America is perceived to be a middle class society, however in reality the middle class does not hold majority of the nation’s wealth. Most of the nation’s wealth is held by 1% of the population in America which consists of 34% of the nation’s wealth, meanwhile “the richest 20% of Americans hold nearly 85% of the total household wealth in the country” (Adams et al, 2013, p. 151). American citizens that are a part of the upper class are privilege because they have access to majority of the resources.
Consequently, many rich Americans believed in this view, and used it as an explanation of why some are poor and some are rich. Additionally, a similar view is expressed in Progress & Poverty, written by J.M Dent. (Doc. 11). In Progress & Poverty, Dent explains that an uneven distribution of wealth will aid social progress, because it will drive people to work harder, which in almost all cases, never worked, and only caused social unrest and strikes. Conversely, some politicians fought for workers’ rights and developed legislation in response.
The problem with the widened wealth gap is that the inequality may harm the quality. Meaning that those in the higher classes see it as you can use the money with no restrictions. However, economist believe that the “relationship between inequality and economic freedom, with the possibility that policies that are meant to reduce inequality will reduce economic freedom, which will then only make inequality worse.”
Jasmine Ware Ms.Johnson Period 5 28 February 2018 Wealth inequality: a growing issue in America Wealth inequality all but gave birth to our nation. Between taxation, navigation acts, and writs of assistance, the colonies were engulfed with laws that caused disparity and created social classes, leading to the colonies separating from Great Britain during the revolutionary war in 1783. Inequality has been rampant throughout many parts of the world. It also has been widely prevalent within the United States. When it comes to inequality, not many people think of it in terms of wealth.
Nowadays, there is a huge gap of income and wealth inequality in the U.S. and that means the richer people are super rich while bottom people are struggling for basic living standard. There are some direct and explicit statistics from Inequality for All graphic package from which we can tell the phenomenon. In 2010, the typical 1% people earn 33 times of typical male workers but in 1978 the ratio is tenth comparing the male workers with the “1%” people. Also, it says “Today, the top 400 richest people have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans put together” (Inequality for All). This shows considerable wealth of the U.S. is controlled in the minority people, which is totally unlike the period of 1950s through 1980s. Why has inequality been widening? As we see the diagram from the graphic package, GDP was spectacularly booming from late 1980s. However, the growth of wages and productivity was almost stagnated ever since 1970s. At that times, economic globalization was taken place deeply and manufacture was moved from developed countries like America to developing countries like South Korea and Japan while financial capital field was tended to be more powerful.
The essay Inequality Undermines Democracy by Eduardo Porter discusses the income gap in today’s world. The first main point Porter describes how Americans are not concerned with the income gap even though it is wider than other developed countries. The United States government has expressed little concern over this issue as well since they have done little to anything to restrain the trend. I believe this has caused opportunities across classes to shrink and the middle class does not exist anymore. I would consider my family a working middle class and I hear my family talking about how the middle class has diminished and it is either the rich or the poor.
“The bottom 40% of Americans own almost nothing.” Said the video, Wealth Inequality In America. The lower class are scraping by and are not able to invest in stocks or other consuming items whether it deal with money or time. The video, Wealth Inequality in America also said, “The top 20% of Americans own almost everything.” The wealthy community should contribute more to the lower class, allowing more equality of wealth.
The United States is one of the most developed and wealthiest nations on the planet. However, the nation today has more income and wealth inequality as compared to any other key developed nation. In addition, there is a very large gap that exists between extremely rich and the rest of the people. Most of this income and wealth is controlled by a shocking small percentage of individuals. This accrues to only 1 percent of the nation’s total population. Today, there are about 400 billionaires and millionaires who earn billions of US dollars every year through entrepreneurship and heavy international investments (Gornick & Jäntti, 2014). In spite of great technological advancements in the country, as well as productivity, many Americans work for longer hours and get low wages in return. For example, the actual average income for American male employees is about $783 less as compared to what it was 42 years ago; at the same time as the actual average income for female employees is well over $1,300 less as compared to what it in the year 2007 (Gornick & Jäntti, 2014).
Dating back to its inception Congress “has never been a place for paupers (Lightblau, 5).” With each change in the country, the United States Congress rarely deviated away from its long-standing tradition of having wealthy, white men heavily represented in both chambers. Individuals who were elected ranged from “plantation owners, industrialists, ex- Wall Street financiers and Internet executives (Lightblau, 5).” Research conducted shows that “the typical member of Congress is worth more than nine times the typical voter that puts them in Washington (Thompson, 2).” The startling wealth gap explains why there is a disconnect between a Congressperson and its constituents. However, when discussing the wealth gap that is present between the two groups other factors that influence the gap are left out of the discussion. Factors like race, gender, education and other relevant personal factors are aspects that impact the wealth disparity seen among a Congressperson and the average person in the United States.
As McAdam and Kloos write, “the country is now more starkly divided in political terms than at any time since the end of Reconstruction and more unequal in material terms than roughly a century ago and greater, even, than on the eve of the Great Depression” (McAdam and Kloos 4). An increase in inequality has only given rise to protest groups such as Occupy Wall St that protested the rising inequality between the 1%
One of the arguments made by proponents is that creating a public financing system would minimize the socioeconomic demarcation line of political influence between the wealthy and the poor. Additionally, this would augment the U.S.’s overall political participation, specifically voter turnout – currently only 60% compared to the international average of 70% – because if a broader spectrum of people felt that they could make a difference, then there would be greater participation in the political