What seems to go unnoticed by many Americans is the evident and growing wealth gap. According to Pew Research Center, the current U.S. income is at its highest since 1928. This large dispersion of wealth can be attributed by the “fall [of the] routine producers” (Reich). Where jobs that were once attainable during the 70s are declining due to advancing technology and corporations finding workers in poor countries who are willing to work at half the cost of the routine producers. What also drives this wealth gap is the power of corporations in an age of extravagant consumerism. Through media, the demand to buy what we want is unavoidable. Corporations are able to gain revenue while people go unemployed because of America’s vast opportunities to buy what we want when we want it.
Adding to this is the notion that the “richer are getting richer and the poor, poorer.” (Reich). When the income of the middle and lower class is either the same or shrinking while the income of the upper class is improving, the wealth gap is evident (Scott). What illustrates this is that today the 10% of richest Americans hold 40% of all the wealth in the U.S. (Scott). Another aspect of the wealthiest staying wealthy is the ability to pass down their wealth; otherwise known as inheritance. Even with estate taxes, the wealthy still manage to find loopholes where they don’t have to pay as much, or even at all. In other words, “lower income people pay a greater share of their income sales and payroll taxes than higher-income people” (Henchman). In America, the wealthy are being favored while everyone else has to pay.
While hard to believe, education and inheritance may play a role in the increasing wealth gap in the U.S.; along with the government’s floundering role via the attitude towards corporations and capitalism’s regressing impact on America’s economy. From the fall of routine producers and the stagnating-to-slowly-falling in-person servers, to the rich passing down wealth for generations, to treating corporations as an individual person instead of single people put together, to capitalism not being what it once was. All of this keeps the wedge driven between the rich and the poor. What can keep our morale but keep everyone afloat is to adjust for the lower and middle to rise up and stay up.
Higher education is in demand for America’s current workforce. Pew Research Center’s article “The Rising Cost of Not Going to College” demonstrates the preference for college graduates by: the wage gaps where college graduates earn around $17,500 more than high school diploma holders as well as the unemployment rate where only 3.8% of college graduates are unemployed while 12.2% of high school diploma holders are unemployed. Essentially, this highlights the different boats in Reich’s paper “Why the Rich are getting richer and the Poor, poorer” because the “symbolic analysts” are represented by the college graduates and everybody else as the “routine producers” and “in-person...