Income Inequality in the United States

by bpeddar on February 1, 2016 - 10:35pm

A) The topic of this paper is the income inequality gap among population in the United States. This paper will be both comparative and analytical. It will examine the causes of income inequality and compare the gap with another country whose wealth is more evenly shared among its citizens. Finally, this essay will question how the gap can be minimized and how another country’s income is more evenly distributed.  

The inequality of wealth in the United States is an important social issue contributing to high poverty rates in in many states. It is one of the main causes to preventing many Americans from achieving the “American Dream” or economic and psychological happiness.  

As a result of the income inequality in the United States, Americans have been struggling with staggering poverty rates due to many factors such as unemployment, crime, high cost of living, etc. In the past few decades, the gap has grown as the rich have been becoming wealthier much faster than the poor (“The Growing Income Gap,” 2006, p. 1). Moreover, psychology plays a big role in this economic problem. Americans are struggling to make ends meet due to a constricted job market and high population; just a few factors contributing to the many citizens dealing with depression (Mossakowski, 2009, p. 1826-1832). Thirdly, income inequality is linked with poor health in the workforce (Rosenstock & Williams, 2015, 616-621). With the poor already struggling to find a job to shorten the wealth gap between themselves and the rich, they are having trouble holding on to those jobs due to poor health.

B)

·         What does the income gap mean for the long run? Is it leading to a darker or bright future? (Economics)

·         How does mental well-being of Americans contribute to the aspect of the poor not becoming as rich as the already-wealthy? (Psychology, Politics)

·         Are the rich themselves a factor in the huge inequality gap? CEOs, Marketing Managers, and many high positions in companies using behavioural economics and other theories to manipulate the poor into spending more and more, thus preventing their economic growth? (Economics, Politics)

C) The inequality of wealth among Americans in the United States will be looked at a group level (poor, middle-class and rich). It will also be looked at through communities by focusing on different states and the variance among them. Thirdly, the government will a group as they have the power to affect this social issue.

D)   

Mossakowski, K. N., PhD. (2009). The Influence of Past Unemployment Duration on Symptoms of Depression Among Young Women and Men in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 99(10), 1826-32.

                The Growing Income Gap. Multinational Monitor, 27(1), 4.

Williams, J. A. R., & Rosenstock, L. (2015). Squeezing Blood From a Stone: How Income Inequality Affects the Health of the American Workforce. American Journal of Public Health, 105(4), 616-621.

 

Comments

Excellent topic! Plenty of good articles and there are a lot of studies on that topic due to the fact that the income inequality is very significant in the United-States. Some country for a good comparison would be Sweden or Denmark where their social policies tends more to a leftist side of the political spectrum.

I really like what you have posted on this blog as of now. This is very interesting to me, especially with the American elections coming up next year. I think there might be a way for you to integrate this event in your project by talking about the elections in the context of the US' economy's future. I look forward to seeing what your paper will look like. Have fun writing!

This article discusses the income inequality issue in the USA. The author raises awareness to an issue that is often misunderstood due to stereotypes and preconceived ideas. I found this an interesting subject for discussion because I believe that we tend to see the United States as the glorious country where freedom and equality are two main virtues. Though, unmistakably, they are not a perfect nation and their problems may not be as serious in comparisons to a third world country for example, but these problems are still relevant. It is in fact ironic to think that even such an advanced country as the USA issues regarding inequality of the sexes and the races still exist dominantly. The author of this text constructed the essay in an interesting manner: he/she provided both explanations as well as solutions to income inequality .Although the issue of inequality or income gap is a severe issue not only present in the United States but also globally, we could also state that inequality regarding gendered wage gap does also exist on an international scale. Gendered wage gap is a calculation done to compare the difference between the median male income and the female median income. Historically, females have always been either paid less than their male counterparts or have been subjected to discrimination in the work force. As a result, women have been less capable of becoming financially independent. The absence of family support for working mothers has led many women to be forced out of the workforce and coerced into a job negatively viewed by society: “stay-at-home-mom”. Pay equity laws have been put into practice though this does not discard the continuous presence of gendered discriminations that take place. The concept of a “glass-ceiling”, or, preventing women access to high positions of power simply because of their sex without any account to their educational background or qualifications, solidifies the idea that women’s place should be at home and not in the office competing with men. When speaking of inequality in terms of income gap, we should also take into account gender discrimination in the work force because the two can be linked together quite closely and one is the outcome of the latter. Gender discrimination in the workforce leads to only certain specific groups having the upper hand and power. It also disregards others from marginalized backgrounds. Therefore, in retrospect, we can easily conclude that society as a whole only benefits a certain category of people and the latter do not represent the broader population. Further analysis on the various groups of people who are negatively affected by their background in respect to their income should be conducted.

This link would be interesting to view, seeing that it explains in fuller details the concept of gendered wage gap : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_pay_gap

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