Is income inequality the U.S.A’s biggest problem..?
The ripple effects of income inequality are many poverty, health problems, rise in crime, dependence of social programs, lack of a quality education, the list goes on and on; it is no surprise the income inequality is the biggest and the most important problem in the United States. Now, why is it the most important problem in the United States? Well the most obvious reason is that all humans both in this country and in the world should be able to live a life that is healthy and that a family should not be struggling because the parent’s income is not high enough to support them and their family.
Now if one comes from a poor family then chances are that one may not have the same opportunities as another that is better off. Opportunities like a quality education, education is a key that does wonders, because it gives the people an opportunity to become better than who they were before. If one is knowledgeable about a certain topic then he/she becomes an asset to society. Which is why education is so important because it is able to boost the economy, “In order for the United States to maintain long-term scientific and economic competitiveness in the world, policymakers need to renew efforts to ensure access to high-quality, early learning experiences in childcare settings, pre-schools, and elementary schools” (The Atlantic). The future of this country is based on how we raise the younger generation and the opportunities they have to improve their way of living and being beneficial to this society, and in order to do that one must invest in quality and meaningful education that benefits the students.
In order to explain the gap in science achievement in schools one is able to find a correlation between the socioeconomic status of the students and how their status effect what they know before even entering elementary school, “Children growing up in [such] families typically experience comparatively fewer early opportunities to learn about the natural and social sciences, their parents often have lower educational levels and therefore less science knowledge themselves as well as fewer resources available to direct toward the children’s cognitive and academic growth. Children who are racial and ethnic minorities are twice as likely to live in poverty as those who are white. Children raised in poverty often attend poorly resourced and racially segregated schools that further limit their academic opportunities” (The Atlantic). Income inequality is the factor for the lack education for both parents and children mainly because if both parents are working all the time just to make ends meet then they unintentionally neglecting their child, if the child feels neglected in the home then where is that child going to turn to.? The streets.
Now the streets are a direct reflection of the socioeconomic status of a neighborhood. If an area has high unemployment and a lack of resources that can compensate them for what they are lacking, the young men and women will participate in crime because they have nowhere else to turn to. It is not because they want to commit crime but rather it is a reaction towards their economic status, “One of the leading sociological paradigms on crime, the theory of ‘relative deprivation,’ states that inequality breeds social tensions as the less well-off feel dispossessed when compared with wealthier people. The feeling of disadvantage and unfairness leads the poor to seek compensation and satisfaction by all means, including committing crimes against both poor and rich” (Fajnzylber, Lederman, Loayza).
Through this lens we can understand why there are such high crime rates in urban areas where there is also a high unemployment rate as well. It is fairly obvious that trickle down economy does not work, in reality it just widens the gap between the rich and the poor. The rich use their money different, in a way that does not flow towards the poor and the middle class, “Wealthy people handle their money differently than the rest. They tend to save a much higher percentage of their incremental income, or invest it in fixed assets like vacation homes. These forms of saving and investment do not trickle down to create significant wage income for others. In contrast, incremental money that flows to the middle class and poor people gets spent much more quickly. It’s spent on food, clothing and basic products that are produced in factories and on farms by people who earn wages” (Brodwin, USNews.com). Income inequality is the most important problem in the United States mainly because it’s diverse effects on a population. It does not just produce poverty but crime and a lack of education as well, now what can be the solution for this?
The solution of course would not be to overtax the rich and just give it to the poor, but rather use the money taxed to the rich and implement that on programs that will uplift poor communities. Giving the poor money is only a short term booster shot, there must be long term plan and that means investing in these by creating resources that they can use in order to prosper, like giving more funding to public school systems that are in dire need of it. A solution is not as simple but investing in the communities that need it most should be the first step.
- Brodwin, David, “Suffering Under the Weight of Inequality” Sept. 12, 2013, US News, http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2013/09/12/record-high-income-inequality-threatens-us-growth
- Fajnzylber, Pablo, Lederman, Daniel, and Loayza, Norman, “Inequality and violent crime” The University of Chicago,Journal of Law and Economics, vol. XLV (April 2002)
- “The Consequences of Poor Science Education in Kindergarten” February 27, 2016, The Atlantic, Yahoo News, http://news.yahoo.com/consequences-poor-science-education-kindergarten-130000864.html;_ylt=A0LEViiwDdNWBbwACY0PxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–