Income Inequality In The United States Essay

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Where to Start Fixing Income Inequality The United States has a pervasive issue of income inequality (Volscho & Kelly, 2012). While the wealthy few live in absurd abundance, poor hardworking individuals often cannot afford basic necessities. Such a dynamic is not only an affront to the ideals of equality of opportunity, but also may increase crime as a result of relative deprivation and lack of legitimate opportunities to achieve (Thio, 2010). This essay describes the magnitude of income inequality in the United States, reveals barriers that obscures its magnitude, and suggests a starting point from which corrective measures might develop. Income inequality in the United States, as of 2007, has reached levels not seen since 1928. In 1928, the top one percent received nearly 24% of all income within the United States (Volscho & Kelly, 2012). This percentage fell to nearly nine percent in 1975, but has risen to 23.5% as of 2007 (Volscho & Kelly, 2012). Meanwhile, in 2007 (see…show more content…
From an anomie-strain perspective, for example, societies that have high expectations of their population, but do not give them legitimate means to achieve those expectations, cause a significant portion of that population to achieve through illegitimate methods (Thio, 2010). From this perspective, therefore, we can predict high crime rates in the United States because a significant portion of the population cannot reach success as defined by its emphasis on wealth. This perceived relative deprivation is reinforced by the fact that television and movies generally present the norm as being middle class people wearing expensive attire while the actual middle class, as defined, can barely afford necessities. It is also reinforced by the actual reality of just how much more the wealthy have combined with the obscuring effects of an inaccurate federally defined poverty
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