Income Inequality in the United States Essay

Income Inequality in the United States Essay

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America prides itself on being one of the most successful democratically governed counties. The idea of the American dream is that all citizens have equal civil liberties and a responsive government. However the effectiveness of democracy is being threatened by increasing inequality in the United States. “The dominant view holds that economic development and modernization are the key to the continued growth of democracy” (Snider and Faris 2001; United Nations, 2011). In the last decade especially the American Society has had significant moments of increasing equality. In 1960 the Civil Rights Movement changed how different races were viewed. Also in the 1960s the Women’s Right Movement push for equal rights between genders. Both of these changes allowed all citizen the same political and economical rights that are the building block of democracy. “While America has become equal regarding race, ethnicity, gender and other long standing forms of social exclusion, it has simultaneously experienced growing gaps of income and wealth” (Jacobs et al 2004). The income gaps has not just been growing between the poor and the rest of society but between the rich and the middle and working class. The middle class is now diminishing. “Disparities in wealth and income have recently grown more sharply in the United States than in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and many other advanced industrial democracies” (Jacobs et al 2004). “Putnam’s (1993, 2000) influential work, for example, suggests that a general decline in social capital in the western world could be undermining democratic institutions. Similarly, other evidence indicates that voter turnout has decreased dramatically in Western nations over the past few decades (Franklin 2004).” Thi...


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...versal of Brown v. Board of Education (New York: New Press, 1996).
•Przeworski, Adam. 1991. Democracy and the Market. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
•Putnam, Robert. 1993. Making Democracy Work. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
•Putnam, Robert. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.
•Snider, Erin A. and David M. Faris. 2011. “The Arab Spring: U.S. Democracy Promotion in Egypt,” Middle East Policy, 18(3): 49–62.
•United Nations. 2011. United Nations Development Programme. Arab States Empowered lives. Resilient nations. <>.
•Weakliem, David L., Andersen, Robert and Heath, Anthony F. “The Directing Power? A Comparative Study of Public Opinion and Income Distribution” (Storrs, CT: Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut, 2003) pp. 47-48;


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