This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

An Overview Of Income Inequality In The United States

2267 words - 9 pages

A Brief OverviewOf Income InequalityIn the United StatesI. IntroductionIncome distribution has been critical issue in American society; more and more reports show that the inequality of income has dramatically increased in the last few decades, while the United States' Western European Counterparts are reportedly equal in terms of income distribution.1 When comparing the United States to European countries, America lags behind in terms of income inequality; Western Europe in the early 20th century have developed their own comprehensive programs designed to tackle income inequality in the form of welfare and social security.2 Another comparison that one would make is that the United States' welfare and social security programs are lacking development, hastily derived, and dependant on various entities of authority.3 However, many factors such as attainment of education, race, gender, living status and even the federal government's economic policies play an important role in this issue.II. The History behind Income InequalityFor a few people, history surrounding income inequality in the United States dates back to when Queen Elizabeth was in power in England.4 Queen Elizabeth initialized what was known as the Poor Law in 1601.5 When this law was passed, every town or parish in the area was responsible for the needy.6 The law established three categories for those in need:Those who were unable to work due to sickness or age,People who were unable to find jobs,Those who can work but were reluctant to find a job.7When the American Colonies came to exist, the governments there took a similar approach to helping out the needy and unfortunate.8However, beginning in the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution began to accelerate the trend of poverty and income inequality; fast increasing populations, accelerating urbanization lead to a increasing poor population.9 Nonetheless, the same system enacted two centuries earlier continued, despite being underfunded, poorly managed, and corrupted.10 Eventually, it became obvious that the welfare system at the time became inadequate to support the public.11Meanwhile, European countries by the end of the 19th century were beginning to develop their own complete welfare system to distribute income among the poor and needy.11 In response, American politicians sought to expand or copy the example that the Europeans were setting before them.12 While they failed to initiate an European-style system of welfare and income distribution, and early growth of the American welfare system did not occur until the Progressive Era.13 Examples of the system included workmen's compensation, which incorporated accident insurance to help protect workers from injuries sustained on the job site.14 This seemed like a slow start for American Welfare, but these methods if income distribution we not enormously expanded until the Great Depression.14When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933, the country was in an economic mess and...

Find Another Essay On An Overview of Income Inequality in the United States

The Inmate Subculture in United States Prisons: An Overview

1784 words - 7 pages The Inmate Subculture in United States Prisons: An Overview The Subculture Phenomena within Prisons To be able to discuss the issue of the inmate sub-cultures in prison I will first have to discuss what subcultures are and major reasons that they form. First of all the term subculture in general is kind of like a small culture within and not always accepted by members of a larger one known as a society. Societies as a whole are very large

Inequality in the Legal System of the United States

1970 words - 8 pages In the United States, true equality has never existed. From the Declaration of Independence to modern times, the U.S. legal system has failed in any attempt at equality. The ideology of "all [men] are equal but some [men] are more equal than others" has been present throughout the history of the U.S. (Orwell). Inequality has always existed in the United States legal system and continues to exist today; however, the inequality presently in the

The Issue of Overcoming Racial Inequality in the United States

3276 words - 13 pages based on their physiognomy and an Anglo-American interpretation of a foreign society. Democracy in the United States as recalled in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is a “…government of the people by the people for the people…” (Lincoln). But who is actually granted the privileges of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and who is subjected to inferior treatment (US Declaration Ind.)? Just the color of one’s skin could grant a state of

Gap of Inequality Between Social Classes in the United States

748 words - 3 pages In the article “Confronting Inequality”, Paul Krugman argues that the gap of inequality between social classes in the United States is growing because of self- interest. He cites a “movement conservative”, Irving Kristol, who claims income inequality is not important because there is social equality. Krugman uses Kristol’s statement as a starting position to state his own. Krugman describes the claim as being a “fantasy world” and not the “real

Social Inequality in the United States

711 words - 3 pages Social Inequality in the United States There is a high degree of social inequality within the United States. Of most modern industrial countries, the United Stated has some of the richest and some of the poorest people to be found. That fact is very disturbing, however, explains why much of the inequality exists in the US. In the following essay I will explain to you about the inequality in our country and why it occurs

Analysis of Income Inequality and Policy Representation in the American States by Patrick Flavin

729 words - 3 pages In his article “Income Inequality and Policy Representation in the American States,” Patrick Flavin examined differential policy representation based on citizens’ household incomes. Political Scientists and other scholars have compiled strong empirical evidence over the past 50 years proving that government policies tend to correspond to the aggregated political opinions of the public at both the national and state levels. Flavin hypothesized

Income Equality in the United States? Think Again

1224 words - 5 pages Where do you think the United States ranks against other developed nations when it comes to income inequality? Most people think we are up in the top 5 after all we are the richest nation on the planet right? Now what would you say if I told you that America is dead last; Furthermore, that the top 400 earners in America have more wealth then 150 million of the poorest combined. The United States ranks 64th in the world on income inequality (i.e

United States Taxation on Worldwide Income

2894 words - 12 pages In recent years, the United States has increased enforcement of non-resident tax liability, generating debate surrounding the U.S. moving towards a territorial model of taxation. An increasing number of Americans living abroad are renouncing their citizenship. According to the U.S. Treasury, 1,781 Americans gave up citizenship in 2011. Contrast that with 742 in 2009 and 278 in 2006 (McKinnon 2012). Corporations also bear the burden. In 2008, 12

Critical overview of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States

745 words - 3 pages In Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, history is told from the point of view of the oppressed rather than of the oppressors. Therefore, instead of trying to find a middle ground of truth, Zinn deems it a moral crime to side with oppressors (as he believes traditional American history text books do), and then simply sides with the other extreme (the oppressed). As a result of viewing history through the eyes of the oppressed

The Consequences of Income Inequality

633 words - 3 pages reversed who is deviant (Conrad & Schneider 1980). Unlike the evenly distributed increase in real earnings that marked the period between World War II and the 1970s, the trend in income inequality in the U.S. over the last 30 years has been one of increasing inequality. The share of total income of the top 1% rose from 8% in 1974 to 18% in 2007, and from 9% to 23.5% if capital gains and income from investments are included. For the richest .1

The Problems of Income Inequality

1358 words - 6 pages and Ethnic Inequality). Income should certainly not vary with gender or race. As mentioned in an article of LBO on income and poverty, women make 74% of what men make for doing the same job. For blacks the gap is even larger, they made only 63% percent of whites during the same time period as the women as mentioned in the same article. These discriminatory practices are pure evidence of income inequality. Another section of the negative effect

Similar Essays

Income Inequality In The United States

1043 words - 5 pages shifting out of the United States. Presently the bottom fifth of the socioeconomic ladder is taking much of the hit, this is one of the primary reasons for the rapid increase in income inequality. The systems and regulations currently in place let the rich pile up massive fortunes while the poor suffer the effects of the changes in the global economic climate. As wealth starts to shift into developing markets in the Middle East and Asia, especially

Income Inequality In The United States

3442 words - 14 pages 1968 (qtd. in Babones). The first era of income inequality in the United States lasted from post-civil war to around 1937, but in the following ten years income inequality fell dramatically. Between the end of World War II and the late 1970s, income inequality in the U.S. was reduced; but since 1970s, the situation with wealth distribution has changed. Data from tax returns in 1976 show that the top 1 percent of households received 8.9

Income Inequality In The United States

4067 words - 16 pages involved with. Media, if used correctly could allows citizens to become aware but also have a bigger voice that might not be heard. Regardless of media, public programs and non-governmental institution the importance is in the message they send. Income inequality may seem to be only an economic problem in the United States but because of a democratic system inequality affects the political involvement of the citizens. Democracy is only effective

United States Of Inequality Essay

2276 words - 9 pages Capitalism has been the central force behind the growth of the United States’ progressive economy. Within such advanced economic system the chances of economic disparity are significantly high. In fact, over the past three decades there has being a steady increase in unequal wealth distribution among the economic classes. To sustain the current unequal wealth distribution among the classes of the American population, there are numerous factors