Social Class Inequality

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Social Class and Inequality: Video Reviews for Lesson Eight
There is no denying that social inequality is getting worse in the US. The Gini index, which is the most widely used measurement of income disparity, used to be 34.6 in 1979; now it sits at above 40 (GINI Index for the United States, 2018). To put this into perspective, the number makes the US the 4th most unequal country—trailing behind Mexico, Chile and Turkey—in 37 major economies surveyed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD Income Distribution Database (IDD): Gini, poverty, income, Methods and Concepts, n.d.). What are the consequences of social inequality in developed countries like the US? Who does it affect? What are the root causes
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As banks require a minimum deposit of hundreds of dollars just to open a bank account, many poor people cannot afford to open one. So when they receive a pay check, they have to go to a check cashing store just to cash it. These stores are conveniently located in poor neighborhoods and charge a hefty fee for providing this service. People from poor neighborhoods also fall prey to loan sharks, tax rebate companies, and rent-to-buy shops, which charge double to triple digits interest rates. When the poor cannot afford monthly installments because of high interests, they have to watch their properties taken away from…show more content…
The root of the problem, according to her, is not that poor people do not work hard enough—the waitresses work longer than the average white collars. The problem is that the minimum wage they receive can barely cover basic necessities such as rent and food. Some might argue that people who earn low wages could get an education to upgrade themselves. The reality is, education is an investment which not everybody can afford. For someone who has to think where the next meal comes from, education becomes a luxury. Ehrenreich confronts a Yale graduate about who the real philanthropists are. She said, “The real philanthropists are those who work for less than they can actually live on, because they are giving their time, energy, talents all the time [to the society].”
This video, like the second one, helps us understand poverty and inequality from a micro level. Many economists and sociologists prescribe education as the magic cure to end inequality. Video clips like this one tell us that if a person cannot support herself while working full-time, her chances of paying for high education while sustaining a living is even
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