Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.- Andre Gide
The increasing wealth gap between the rich and middle class/poor people in this country is a very concerning matter. As we have observed in other countries, inequality and lack of opportunities create instability and unrest that end up in chaos.The middle class is the one faced with the most challenges. The U.S had once “the work force of the world”, but with the new emerging economies like China and India we now have 70 million+ qualified middle class workers entering the work force every year that can do the same work that Americans' used to do for a lot less. (Time mag.)Also, the lack of regulations on our financial institutions and this culture of easy money at whatever cost, crushed our small businesses that were once the engine of the country. In the 1970s, a CFO earned about 40 times as much as their lowest-paid worker. Today, they earn 400 times as much. (Times mag.) And because of the advances in technology, companies need 1/3 fewer employees to do the same job as before.Furthermore, when in 2008 Germany went into a crises, they didn't bail out the financial institutions, they bailed out the people! They made arrangements with businesses where they would pay the salaries so the companies wouldn't have to fire workers. What did we do here? Bail out the financial institutions; continue to enrich the super wealthy and crushed the working force, even leaving them homeless.Now, what can be done?Regulations on Wall Street need to be put in place urgently. Otherwise, we are facing the reality of the developing countries; 1% of ultra-rich and the remaining 99% working 16 hrs a day to survive. At an individual level, GET EDUCATED! I can't stress it enough. That is our only hope. And I am not talking about a 4-year degree. If there is any hope of striving in this reality a PhD is a necessity, not an option.
Andres Garcia 11/13/11Phi2010The increasing wealth gap is sure to affect the future of the world and the way people carry themselves. The increasing gap is sure to lessen the number of middle class citizens and increase the already growing poverty. Who knows how the world may change if we continue down this destructive path that if left alone will tear apart this nation. I believe that instead of focusing on other nations we need take care of the home front first. There are plenty of citizens that only mange to pay the bills by starving themselves. The average blue collar middle class American is going extinct soon you will either be poor or rich and the middle class will disappear. I wonder if then you would still be able to call America the land of opportunity. Soon those that acquire wealth will be able to buy whole neighborhoods and create communities to their liking. I am interested to see how we transform this nation as the next generation who will take over, which path will we take? What solution shall we find? Will this gap in wealth stop people from pursuing their dreams as well as happiness? I believe it wont as we look at history Americans have a tendency of bouncing back whether it’s a great depression or terrorist attack we fight for our rights and the chance to pursue our dreams.
What can be done to decrease the gap between the rich and the poor? The answer, I believe, is simpler to write than to actually execute. There is an equation that needs to be written and fixed: RICH+CORPORATIONS+LAWMAKERS ≥ 99% OF POPULATIONIn order to make both sides of this equation equal, we need at least one of the three variables on the left side to transfer to the right side. Obviously it should be the LAWMAKERS (elected officials). With their help we can achieve different taxation and distribution of wealth. Progressive tax, where rich are paying more than poor is almost a necessity. To use your vocabulary professor: Progressive taxation is a necessary condition for fair wealth distribution and strong middle class.What Occupy Wall Street is trying to achieve is, in essence, lower this huge gap between rich and middle class/poor. It is quite obvious that a rich will become richer easier than a poor. According to the charts, poor person earns less than $11344 annually (Census bureau). That is a ridiculously low income for one to live a decent life.Just like Carina pointed out, solution is education. Counterargument is, that we cannot all have PhDs. We need people that will drive buses, pick up trash, work in hospitality, retail, farms, factories etc. And this are the very people that need improvement in their lives. Most of those with PhD degrees will be able to provide quite well for themselves. So as important as education is, I do believe that the whole economic system needs overhaul. And it needs to be done by lawmakers. We need to bring them back to our side of the equation.Matej Kasala
i do believe in the statement “the rich get more rich and the poor get poorer.” not everyone in this country has the luck of having wealth in the family. many people, like my parents, come to this country looking for opportunities, for a better life. there is no equality pertaining to the distribution of wealth. i am not saying that they should be the only ones paying taxes since they have a lot of money. i believe everyone in this country should pay taxes. also, i do believe that there are some in the middle/poor class that take advantage of benefits the government gives in a bad way. yes, some wealthy people have worked very hard enough to get to where they are but there are others that have dirtied their hands and become rich. we need to eliminate tax loopholes. no jobs are being created in the united states when companies are taking their businesses to other countries. business needs to happen here, in the u.s., to create more jobs.
I have thought about this topic many times. Of course, I am worry about what is happening in the world today; it seems like the opportunities for the young people are ceasing, each time is more difficult to get a job, to open a new business, and even worse to reach a wished position. However, I do not agree with charge more taxes to richer people because it is true that sometimes people become rich because a hit of luck but other and most times they have to work really hard to get there, so why do we have to punish their effort? We should think another way to distribute wealth or increase the jobs opportunities without affecting other people, or why not to reduce the salary of public officials? That in my opinion is excessive for the work that they are doing; then, to invest that money in the poorest ones.GEOVANA VAZQUEZ
Many people ask me about what I think about the rich getting more rich and the poor losing more money, and I think this is true. I believe that if your poor and don't have some kind of wealthy family member, there is a slight chance of getting a large amount of income. The rich are going to keep getting richer and creating more jobs for themselves, while it is becoming harder for poor people to find jobs. We can keep looking for jobs but we will still be getting paid less for the work we do and getting more stressed out. People can keep protesting and doing what it takes to be heard, but the fact of the matter is that we will still be pushed aside and ignored. The younger generation of today needs to make smarter decisions and avoid what the past generation has created. I say this so we can create a easier lifestyle for future generations to come.
This is like saying; kids who don't do their homework’s should be allowed to get A's just like the kids who actually completed all of their homework? This is unjust and unreasonable. There has always been economic inequality, and always will be economic inequality. Being part of the younger middle-class generation you get to experience what it is to work day-to-day and make minimum wage money, while the upper-class makes so much more and they work less. There are also people that come to the United States looking for opportunities and it becomes very difficult for them to leave some type of “wealth” to their kids because they have to work from zero. Also, as the years pass by, more Americans are getting themselves into debt, especially students. Education has become so expensive that students get into school loans that they will pay off through their entire life, making it even harder for them to have some type of savings. The saying, “the rich keep getting richer, and the poor keep getting poorer” is 100% true especially at these times where our average wages are still falling behind inflation, and social mobility is at an all-time low.
The increase wealth gap between rich and middle/poor class plays an important role in the United States. It’s also very alarming. I see this as a vicious cycle. If you look at a lot of rich or “wealthy” people they usually almost come from rich families. So their practically born with the wealth; from them seen how well of they are they go to school and get into a career that will give them the most money possible, because all they know is that they need money to be happy. In this process they educate themselves, so they know what they have to do to earn that money. Rich people are more likely to be less stress about money because they already have a decent about of net worth. So in reality if you’re smart about your money you won’t lose anything, you’ll just gain money as time goes by. Now you have the middle class and the poor. Most of them don’t have savings and they live pay check by pay check. They don’t have enough money to save up for their kid’s trust fund or college fund. This leads to their kids having school debts. So this alone just sets their kids to make it less likely to step up the ladder to the rich side. A lot of the time is also a matter of education. Some people just don’t know how to save, all they do is spend every cent they have either for luxury or for things they truly do need. A way that someone can break the cycle is to simply EDUCATE themselves. Stay up to date with the stock market, read books on money, savings, and educational marketing strategies. Leave the cycle that their own parents are in. It’s very simple to just follow their parents footsteps because its comfortable and they know where it would take them. I think if you make the effort to actually account for yourself and take risk in the business world sooner or later it will pay off.
It’s no surprise that the wealth gap between classes has been increasing so radically for the last 30 years. The reason of why I think that way it’s because after analyzing the correlations between economics and politics, I realized that the richest people in the country (owners of corporations, top one percent, bankers…) are related in an interest way with the rulers of our country (senators, house representatives and politicians in general). We are able to change our society and close this gap, but we haven’t been allowed thanks to those politicians who due to personal interest (or others’ interest I should say) keep protecting that one percent that once put them in the capitol… Several times democrats have tried to pass bills stating that tax percent should be define by income and that a flat tax rate keeps just harming us in the way of annual deficits. But many other times those petitions have been vetoed by the same people that now in a post-recession period prefer to lower taxes instead of approving a government spending plan that would benefit everybody and would push our economy up. The worse thing is that as long as we don’t really become conscious on voting for the right people and seriously decide who we want to represent us in the government, we won’t stop this cycle of same “kind” of politicians being elected all over again and therefore we won’t change neither the big difference in classes nor the overall situation of our economy.-Armas, Randy.
There are so many varied factors for the wealth gap that it is almost impossible to summarize a realistic solution in so few words. In order to fully answer the question “What can we do?” we have to look at the problem and determine the root cause(s) of the issue at hand. One of the main forces behind this gap is the society in which we live. America is a capitalist society, a system as beneficial and flawed as any other economic system. The reason we as Americans are drawn to this economic philosophy is the idea of that any one, from any background and belief, can become successful (that success being proportional to the amount of effort that individual puts forth and a little bit of luck) in this country. This “spirit” of being independent and self-sufficient, being responsible for one’s successes and failures; it defines us as a country. Even as my fellow classmates offer suggestions and opinions on this topic, there is an underlying, uniting message – take control of your own life and beat the odds. Whether it’s through education or hard work, most people agree that at least one part of the solution (to the economic inequality) is increased awareness and the desire to succeed. Either we can choose to vote new officials, who support socialist-inspired regulations; take it upon ourselves to spread awareness nationwide; or go full force into this dog-eat-dog society we live and succeed on our own without outside help. In my eyes, there is no right or wrong way of handling this issue (no solution is still a solution).
Instead of the government limiting funds for things such as education and employment, they should simply start raising the taxes for upper class citizens. It makes no sense they get richer while the middle class and lower class are trying to get by. In order for America to regain our reputation as the “Country of Opportunity,” the upper class must make a compromise for the greater good of our nation rather than a good for themselves. I can’t find any major drawback in this idea. How can there be a drawback when their money is going to come back on their tax refund? If taxes are raised further for the upper class, the economy might have a better chance of stabilizing itself. The government would have a little more flexibility in their spending. However, it’s our responsibility as American citizens to make sure that our tax dollars are being spent reasonably.
In recent years, increasing of inequality in the distribution of income has been a subject of considerable public concern, political attention, and academic research. According to the economists, the United States has the highest inequality and poverty rates. People who own little or nothing have little to fall back on when they lose a job and face a serious illness, or move into retirement. People who have a lot of wealth, by contrast, are able to exercise a disproportionate amount of political influence; they are able to ensure that their children are well educated and well prepared for careers; and they have substantial buffers when times are hard. Closing the gap should not be the goal, but rather we should try to lift our poorest, regardless of whether or not that closes or even opens the gap. The bottom line is an education, while is not a ticket to a well paying job, is a necessity in this day and age.
The increasing in wealth gap panics a lot of young people. Sometimes even when we go to college and get a degree, we worried about how our future will look like. The U.S used to have jobs everywhere for anybody but nowadays everyone is complaining about the fact that they can't find jobs and can't take care of their families. Therefore, I think the government should create ways for people with business to give jobs to others. Also, wealthy, middle, and low class people should pay taxes fairly. I don't think wealthy people should pay more taxes just because they have money, because certain people work hard to be wealthy.Do I care about the wealth gap? As a young adult of course I care because I’m thinking about my future. Yes I am in college but if every year the employment rate is decreasing how am I going to work and make money to build my life. I think the government should think about this issue deeply so our young people could stop worrying about their future this way.CHRISTINA ALPHONSE
Mr. WilliamsIt is hard to really say where we are right now in the world with this recession. From the looks of it it’s going to gain our country back with all the set back and trail and tribulations we have been put through. All we can do is hope for the best in the futures, and we don’t have to kill ourselves to survive in this world. When I sit back and look at all the cuts and sacrifice our parents and grandparents have to make just to make it in life our generation and generations after use are going to be in trouble if we don’t future our education to the highest level and get good paying jobs, but when you look at they are cutting back on them, so really how do the government expect us young aged people to survive? If you’re constantly taking and taking we aren’t going to have anything left. Before you know it their going to take away social security and we are going to be working for the rest of our lives. I never really understood the wealth gap growth and after reading the article I still do not understanding the situation, but from the looks of the article and graphs it’s talking about the middle and high income people, and how numbers have changes drastically since our whole economic crisis. Above is my conclusion on how I feel about the situation.
The gap wealth between the wealthy and non-wealthy is increasingly alarming. It’s a shame that many companies are creating jobs overseas versus here in our own country where they are much needed. It is understandable that they may do it for certain reasons for example it may be cheaper or there may be more qualified candidates in other countries. It is unfair to see that the rich keep getting richer while investing and going through loopholes to further their net worth, while the middle/poor classes are only able to make enough to get them by just living paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately past generations haven’t been able to advance much in economic status but one very good thing is they have taught a new generation the meaning of work and how valuable an education is. I believe many young adults today are focused on getting an education, not just a 4 year degree but a real education as in a master or doctorate to be able to actually achieve something. In doing so, we will gradually climb the ladder of success and have a natural concern for those not in the same economic standing and hopefully help do something about it. Granted not on their own, the government should help in not allowing wealthier people the use of loopholes just to benefit themselves. Hopefully, in a couple more years this wealth gap will decrease a significant amount to show an improvement in our nation.
Christian Arias, The wealth Gap between younger and older Americans seems to becoming much more of an issue as times goes by. I feel that this is primarily because youth are more like to be unemployed in our current time period. Since youth are unemployed they are less likely to receive money, and will not be able to save or invest their money. Also, many corporations are more like to fire their youngers employees to keep their older and much experienced workers. Being unemployed at a young age have shown to affect future potential earnings by at least 20%. There are things that should be done in order close the expansionary wealth gap between wealth, middle class, and the poor. I believe that the Wealthy should have an increase in their taxes. For some reason, Congress believes that the wealthy class should not have high tax rates. I believe that the more taxes the wealthy pay, the more income the middle class, and the poor will have. Also, this increase in wealth will give an higher opportunity for the middle and poor class, to be able to pass down to their future generations.
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