Of the many issues plaguing today’s society, economic inequality is one of the easiest to notice. With the vast increase in economic inequality in the United States, the middle class has seemingly vanished. With each passing day, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. For every Warren Buffett or Larry Page, there are millions living on the streets, struggling to even survive. It is often wondered how this issue may be fixed, yet it is rarely asked what leads to this gulf between the one percent and the ninety-nine percent. Everything in today’s society is influenced by money. This provides power to the “haves” and weakness to the “have-nots.” The importance of this issue does not relate to everyone wanting to have money to live comfortably, rather it is the need of money for many to survive. The gap in income equality in the United States may be caused by the level of power the rich have, and the gap may only continue to grow. The roots of the issue must be looked at to figure out how to eliminate it. To quote Walt Whitman,
The greatest country, the richest country, is not that which has the most capitalists, monopolists, immense grabbings, vast fortunes, with its sad, sad soil of extreme, degrading, damning poverty, but the land in which there are the most homesteads, freeholds — where wealth does not show such contrasts high and low, where all men have enough — a modest living— and no man is made possessor beyond the sane and beautiful necessities (Traubel 84).
So what has happened that has led to this vast gap?
Having money is equivalent to having power. Some of the most influential men in America are the richest of the rich, the top 0.1% of citizens. With this power, they can control what t...
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... and the poor. And as most of the middle class is disappearing the wrong way, moving towards the poor quickly.
This matters because it is what determines how we as Americans live. It is at the crux of the way our lives play out. The rich live in luxury and ease, while the poor live in difficulty and desperation. Tons of factors go into the development of this gulf in wealth between the rich and the poor, including education, politics, and opportunity. Overall, this is an issue that needs to be fixed. Generations of families should not live their lives in misery, grinding fifteen hours a day to be able to survive. That is not what life is meant to be. Therefore, the gap needs to be closed. The .1 percent and the 99.9 percent should not be so drastically different. Instead of letting the middle class drift away, it needs to be expanded. Bring back the middle class.
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