Inequality in America I believe that there is too much wealth and income inequality in the United States today. The upper classes have most of the power in the nation and use their influence and wealth to convert the United States income into benefiting their well being and financial stability. In the last fifteen years, the income of the upper classes has risen while the income of the lower classes has generally lowered, further showing the inequality that exists in our nation. It is usually difficult for the lower classes to achieve financial success because a high income job requires good education which the lower classes lacks because they cannot afford it. In the United States there are four social classes : the upper class, the middle class, the working class, and the lower class.
The less a worker makes, the less they have to save and invest with. However, more than two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. The richest one percent of Americans commands more than 40% of the total wealth of the United States. The bottom 80%, which includes upper middle class and everyone below, only owns around 7% of the nation’s total wealth. Wealth inevitably begets wealth.
Because of America’s economy, an important social class is diminishing and causing major issues in families across the nation. The middle class is the social group between the rich and the poor. Usually if you are considered middle class it means that you have enough money to afford the typical American wants and needs and you are neither struggling nor wealthy enough to live a luxurious life. About 45 percent of Americans make up the middle class, while the rest are either upper or lower class (DOC). Leaving 55 percent left which makes them either rich or poor, meaning most of America is included in the class between.
The era of volatility has created a shift from America being the middle-class society to simply rich or poor (Sachs, 2011). A gap this large has not been experienced since the 1920’s (Sachs). “The top 1% of households takes almost a quarter of all household income” but an economy this top heavy will not be able to succeed (Sachs, 2011, p. 30). The working classes are struggling with housing, wage, and employment issues. Rich individuals are ignoring these troubles, shipping their business operations out of the country, thus furthering the downward spiral of the economy (Sachs).
People were buying thousands of shares of stock for as little as 10% down. Then people lost ten times as much as they put in.For the economy to function properly, total demand must equal total supply. In the 1920's there was an oversupply of goods. 60 percent of cars and 80 percent of radios were bought on credit. The U.S. economy was also reliant upon luxury spending and investment from the rich to stay afloat during the 1920's.
The gap between the rich and poor that has continuously increased throughout the decades makes it even more challenging for an individual to jump from the poor class to the rich. The rich, receiving large tax breaks, stay rich. This leaves the Americans in the poor class to carry the burden of the heavier taxes, leaving them in the same class with little to no hope of becoming rich and obtaining the American dream. In addition, delaying and denying citizenship to immigrants hinders their ability to obtain wealth and the American dream. Low wages also decreases the ability for many Americans to gain a higher education, decreasing the likelihood they will receive high wages and the American dream.
During this time taxation on the rich reached an all time high at 94% on the income of the wealthy. Once president Reagan took office he dramatically lowered taxes (below 70%). Some people argue that the top earners in America are taxed too much, where others argue that they are not taxed enough. According to Dan Pfeiffer “The income share of the top 10 percent has grown to 42 percent of our nation’s earnings.” This results in a small
The distribution of wealth in America has been unevenly distributed since 1970. We can see this distribution clearly through some of the wealthiest people in America who make millions of dollars, compared to a homeless individual. There is a huge income gap between rich and poor, the rich stay rich, and the poor, become poorer. Income inequality refers to the unequal distribution of income and wealth between the social classes of citizens. This concept of income inequality has proved over the years, to be a widespread problem, where in the future, economic inequality in developing countries will make up about “95 percent of the entire global population.” Nancy Birdsall discusses this notion of “inequality breeding more inequality” in her article Why Inequality Matters: Some Economic Issues.
Lower social classes hassle to make ends meet, let alone fulfill taxes, nevertheless, the wealthy and large corporations reimburse less than a fraction of their share. Doesn’t that direct the act of unbiased? Republican economist and former White House advisor Bruce Bartlett points out that “the actual tax paid by the wealthy and big businesses is the lowest in several generations” (Kohn). It is detected that our country’s hast and mounting income inequality stretched the wealth disparity all the more. It is upsetting to comprehend that the wealthy does not contribute nearly enough purely portraying selfishness.
Inequality exists around us and Americans more and more each day are asking one question, Is America becoming more unequal? The United States is one of the richest but unequal nations in the world. Compared to every other country, our level of inequality is similar to Malaysia and Mexico, unlike comparing to Western Europe and East Asia (rich nations) who have much lower levels of inequality. Income inequality refers to the amount to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among the population. In the United States, income inequality has been growing strikingly for some thirty years.