Since time immemorial, social inequalities in the United States, continue to escalate. Income inequality has increased at a higher rate since the 1980s. Because U.S is a capitalist country, the rich are always greedy to tap resources and keep the poor from reaching them. As a result, the rich have grown into filthy billionaires while the poor continue to dangle in absolute poverty and remain the hoi polloi of the society. The population covering the middle and lower social classes has nothing to smile about since the government has ignored them. Income inequality is measured by ranking the United States population by household income. After the rankings, the population is subdivided into quintiles. The policy makers then evaluate the total income associated with each quintile.
Findings by the U.S Census Bureau of statistics indicate that the highest quintile increased its shares on the household income from 45% in 1988 to more than 50% in 2010. Comprehensively, the highest social class occupies around 20% of the population but owns more than half of the household income. At the same time, the remaining quintiles depreciated their worth since their total shares decreased within the same timeframe. In 2010, the lowest quintile suffered from income inequality by owning only 3.3% of the total income (Social Inequality and Minorities in the United States, 2012).
Robert Reich, a former Labor Secretary in Clinton administration said that, “Of all developed nations, the United States has the most unequal distribution of income, and we’re surging towards every greater inequality,” (Rugaber et.al, 2014). His sentiments were echoed and supported by statistics that clearly showed that the 400 wealthiest individuals owns more than half of the entire population wealth. A documentary by Jacob Kornbluth illuminated the problem of social inequality as historic. The disturbing reality indicated that, despite the doubling of the U.S economy, only the top cream of the rich benefited hugely. Its abnormal for a 1% population to generate more than 22% of the national income. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow due to the observed disparities. In 2009, the process of economic recovery hugely benefited the 1% since they acquired 95% of the total income. This made the former secretary in Clinton administration to pose the following question, “Where will most people get the money they need to keep the economy going?” (Rugaber et.al, 2014). In the whole universe, the united states have the mightiest economy and this indicates that something is wrong somewhere since the population does not benefit from the extraordinary economy of their country.
Nevertheless, when the U.S is compared with other developed countries, it has a less upward mobility. Thus, the poor are intended to remain poor for long duration since policies to control the situation are not well outlined. Reich goes on to state that, “If you’re lower middle class the cards are going to be stacked against you. You will probably never get anywhere,” (OECD, 2008). The public receives the extreme inequality with mixed reactions and this situation may cause damage in the future if left unattended. The administration and the government agencies should prevent social inequalities from worsening the coexistence and harmony of the American people. It is evident that the United States economy does not benefit the low class and only favors the rich to go on exploiting the poor individuals (Doob, 2013).
The trends observed in social inequalities, in the United States can be attributed to structural changes concerned with the labor market, which acts to the advantage of the most skilled personnel. The gaps in salaries and job opportunities continue to expand to those with at least a single diploma obtained from institutions of higher learning. The great depression worsened the condition making the market forces hard to be reversed. There exists dominate forces that oppose any efforts to help the suffering population and impunity seems to prevail for much longer life span. The economy is in a tricky situation and it will be impossible for it to recover.
The level of education in the masses depends on the distribution of income to the population. The kids of the rich benefit participate in the best learning institutions to attain higher credentials compared to the poor population (OECD, 2008). Since the wealthy people amass the highest shares in the economy they will always get what they want. Such inequality instances have the power to propagate social divides and grind down social mobility.
As elucidated above, social inequalities in the United States affect the way of life of the middle and the lower class. The economy favors the rich who continue to benefit from the existing structures exploiting the poor. The government must fasten its stand and implement policies that will reverse this situation to offer a fair ground to everyone to take part in building a productive economy. When an opportunity is presented both to the poor and the rich the participation in the global market will increase and American will be a better place to live.
Doob, B. Christopher (2013). Social Inequality and Social Stratification in US Society (1st ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education. ISBN 0-205-79241-3
OECD (2008), Growing Unequal? : Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/47/2/41528678.pdf
Rugaber, Christopher S.; Boak, Josh (January 27, 2014). "Wealth gap: A guide to what it is, why it matters". AP News. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
Social Inequality and Minorities in the United States (2012). StudyMode.com. Retrieved 03, 2012, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Social-Inequality-And-Minorities-In-The-942120.html