American Capitalism Essay

2383 words - 10 pages

Although it holds true that the United States is a global power, the current economic system, capitalism, threatens the state's domestic and global stability; the concept of materialistic success creates inequalities between citizens, which, in turn, leads to deviance and rebellion, and the possibility of a fallen capitalistic society. If the United States were to struggle internally, one of two things would happen: all industrialized external forces would exploit on America's lack of equanimity, or said forces would contribute to an international depression as a result of a chain reaction set by the collapse of an important economic state.
The inequalities that lay between social classes are a product of capitalism, the idea of a privately owned capital used freely by the owners to profit from their enterprises (The Encyclopedia America). Because money is the core of their system, US citizens are self-interested actors. Power and wealth is circulated between an exclusive group which compromises of the top twenty percent of the US's population. Power, in this sense, is the ownership of a private corporation seeking to make profit. The disparity between classes in terms of wealth can best be demonstrated by providing the household distribution of net worth within the country. The top one percent alone holds almost 26% of America's wealth network; the frightening stat, however, is how little the bottom eighty percent own--less than 20% of the network. Combined, the top twenty percent of the population accounts for about 86% (L-Curve), and the inequality becomes apparent. Amidst the division in fortune, there is variance in wealth distribution by race. Recent surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau shows a significant gap between whites and other ethnic subgroups. In 2008, blacks contributed 24.7 percent to the poverty rate and Hispanics were almost as poor, contributing 23.2 percent. In contrast, only 8.6 percent of whites/non-Hispanics fell between the lines of poverty (U.S. Census Bureau). Wealth is so scarce and it hardly gets distributed. Some might argue that inequalities are trivial to democracy, that in any case, people will always remain unequal either by status or pay. The American motto is that if a man works hard, he will receive the most opportunities and will be reimbursed. Since it is a profit-based economy, only those with talent who can assist the CEOs in making profit will reach status in the top twenty percent. However, claiming that the majority of the population, a good eighty percent, is 'untalented' is obscure. A smaller percentage might have been more reasonable to account for. Though it holds true that in any system inequalities preside, the wide gap between the social stratifications in America demonstrates the extremes. This theory of "hard workers to the top" does not regard those who have inherited their power and wealth; the fact that neither power nor wealth are extended to all citizens, at least a fair...

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