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jump to last post 1-8 of 8 discussions (44 posts)

Why is income inequality so high in the US?

  1. ChristinS profile image95
    ChristinSposted 3 years ago

    Why is income inequality so high in the US?

    There's no arguing the fact that income inequality is at record highs and that the middle class is shrinking - so why is that? Is it simple greed of a few? Is it policies that favor corruption? Is it wages not keeping up with inflation? what do you think contributes to this disparity and how do we fix it?

  2. Zelkiiro profile image93
    Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago

    "why is that? Is it simple greed of a few? Is it policies that favor corruption? Is it wages not keeping up with inflation?"

    Yes. It is exactly all those things. Surprise surprise, Republicans, trickle-down economics didn't work!

    1. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      absolutely right about trickle down economics being ineffective, what can be done to turn the tides though?

    2. dashingscorpio profile image86
      dashingscorpioposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      All of the things mentioned play a role. However the biggest difference is some people never make adjustments to changes. Those who do thrive. We control our lives.
      Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it
      - Charles R. Swindoll

    3. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      While I agree a defeatist attitude helps no one, neither does the mindset of people not "bootstrapping" enough - it's hard to pull oneself up when you aren't even given bootstraps to pull on. education, wages, etc are declining.

  3. dashingscorpio profile image86
    dashingscorpioposted 3 years ago

    Most people never bothered to learn how to play the financial game!
    Sure we can blame the government for signing some bad trade agreements, corporations for outsourcing manufacturing jobs to increase their profit margins, and technology eliminating certain jobs.
    However the reality is no one ever got anywhere by yelling:
    "Life is not fair!"
    The people who climb to the top are (always looking for ways) to increase their wealth. They're trying to come up with new inventions, phone apps, creating products & services, investing, seeking out degrees in fields that are in demand, networking and staying abreast of changes in government and industry.
    Most successful people (planned) for their success.
    The average person simply wants to put in their 40 hours, come home have some dinner, chat with the kids, watch TV, go to bed and start over the next morning. They're trading (time) for (dollars) instead of trying derive their income from (profits). I've heard people often admit that they don't want the (responsibility) of being in management and yet they're upset when they hear about the bonus checks managers received.
    People who hustle will generally have more than those who don't.
    No amount of legislation will ever create income equality because (individuals) have their own levels of talent, ambition, determination, and intelligence. We're either producers or consumers.
    We have more millionaires and billionaires than at any other time in U.S. history. One is either the driver or the passenger in their life.
    People who make adjustments thrive and those who don't barely survive.
    Anyone who is counting on the government for prosperity is likely to be disappointed. "If it's going to be, it's up to me."

    1. Zelkiiro profile image93
      Zelkiiroposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      You missed the point of the question.

      The question isn't, "How does one get rich?" It's "Why are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer?"

    2. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Just because people want a more even playing field without a stacked deck doesn't mean they want govt. handouts so your peptalk is good for building wealth, but you still need people working in the businesses and they deserve living wages.

    3. dashingscorpio profile image86
      dashingscorpioposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Zelkiro I think you missed my point. I said people are getting poorer because (they are NOT adjusting to changes).Anyone expecting to work 30 years at a company receiving steady raises and bonuses will likely get left behind. One can't relax!

    4. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      RIGHT-ON answer.  It is UP to the person to be what HE/SHE wants to be.  Mr. Dashing, YOU are my PERSON.  Smart, intelligent answer!

    5. dashingscorpio profile image86
      dashingscorpioposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks gmwilliams! ChristinS I wasn't talking about government handouts. I'm talking about expecting government to make life "fair". Government and business have always been in bed together. An individual has to look out for #1. That's my point.

    6. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Mr. Dashing, what you have stated about successful attitude is TRUE. The average person works frrom 9-5; the successful person works nonstop, finding ways to better his/her brand-HIMSELF/HERSELF.  TOO MANY people DON''T want  THAT responsibility!

    7. profile image0
      twodawgsposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Some people not wanting to play *your* game doesn't automatically make them losers.  There is more than one game to play, and it will be interesting to see in the next decade which game ends up being the game of choice for society at large.

    8. dashingscorpio profile image86
      dashingscorpioposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      twodawgs, I never called anyone a "loser"! People who choose not to "play" simply cannot expect to reap the same rewards of those who do. My main point is the (individual) has more power over their own life than anything or anyone else.

    9. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      The funny thing is that the complaints about pay inequality are usually about someone making too much money, not those making too little. Therefore their gov't solution is to take away from those making too much.

    10. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      That about sums up the situation succinctly.This exemplifies the culture of anti-achievement/failure that's prevalent among the lower classes. It's analogous to D-F students hating on A students because the latter worked hard while the former DIDN'T!

    11. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks G! I spent my younger years thinking that mediocre grades in school was good enough, but when I got mediocre returns, I was not happy. Eventually I grew up and applied myself. I realized one has to work harder to get more. Mediocre is not ok!

    12. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Nonsense, demonizing the working class as though they don't work hard enough.  If not for working people corporations wouldn't be profitable..

    13. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I didn't demonize the working class.
      And as for no working class, no corporations. If there were no corporations, there would be no working class, so it is symbiotic, don't ya think?

    14. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      symbiotic yes, but corporations have become more and more greedy - pushing a once thriving middle class (which drives the economy) into the ground. Balance needs to be restored.

    15. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Ok, Christin. How do you suggest restoring balance. It seems you already know the answer or are you just shooting down ideas today?

    16. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      That's exactly what my question was about and the ideas to explore. I think you missed the point of this question...

    17. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Umm, no. I think you missed the point OF a question. It is to get answers to something you don't know. You obviously just asked it to lure people here so you can tell them they are wrong.

    18. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not going to argue with you Biz. I've asked and answered questions here for years on a variety of topics and it's never been a problem.

  4. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 3 years ago

    https://usercontent2.hubstatic.com/9128683_f260.jpg

    The industrial age as we know is in its death phase.  This is the computer age.  Jobs are either becoming automated or completely phasing out.  This especially applies to lower level jobs.   In some stores, cashiers are being phased out in favor of automated cashier systems.  People in lower level jobs are becoming increasingly unemployed due to rapid computerization.  To add to the equation, jobs are being outsourced overseas as a cost effective measure for corporations.

    Intermediate to advanced computer skills are necessary in order to succeed and a have a modicum standard of living.  Those with little to no computer skills will become the new poor as I read in a book two decades ago.  With the advancement of societies, it is imperative that one has beyond a rudimentary education, one must have specialized and relevant education.  It is no longer enough that one has a Baccalaureate Degree, one must have an advanced degree in order to even get an entry level professional position.  The economy favors those with specializations while it disfavors those with a general, rudimentary education.

    Besides the tangible qualifications, those who are savvy and know how to advertise their brand are the most likely to be successful.  Those who do not have the ability to broadcast their brand will fall through the socioeconomic cracks.  The corporate world is more of a jungle that it was.  It is hunger games to the 10th power.  People have to know how to play the game in order to succeed; they must know their corporate culture. 

    It is also a particular mindset.  There are people who are poor yet become highly successful and affluent because they refuse to succumb to the negative mindset and consciousness of their immediate environment.  Many people are mired in the lower socioeconomic classes because of their fatalistic and passive mindset, they portend that their class or what sociocultural component precludes them from going beyond their socioeconomic class.  Also, people who take calculated, intelligent risks are more likely to succeed while those who play it safe, either remain the same socioeconomically or even falter when times becomes rough.

    1. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Great comment!. People become 1%'er not because of their bank accounts, but because they have a special skill that 99% of people haven't utilized!

    2. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      THANK YOU!

  5. wingedcentaur profile image84
    wingedcentaurposted 3 years ago

    This little essay is in response to a question posed by ChristinS: Why is income inequality so high in the US? read more

  6. Tusitala Tom profile image68
    Tusitala Tomposted 3 years ago

    It's more than likely that this isn't a problem just common to the USA.   It appears to be worldwide.   Certainly there are countries like India where some people are fabulously rich, their incomes being derived from landholding which goes back generations.  However, the other end of the spectrum is grinding poverty almost inconceivable to the typical American.

    In the West we reward not so much what is done as by what the public worships.  For example, a fellow playing baseball, or football or golf, who happens to be at the top of their game can earn more in one match than, say, a blue-collar worker in a factory can earn in a year.   This is ridiculous and we know it!   But knowing it doesn't change it.

    The inequality comes from what we're willing to pay.  Or willing to reward.    It gets down to our own values - most of which are dictated to us by the World of Advertising which we unthinkingly go along with.

    1. profile image0
      twodawgsposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      As much as I lament this, your observation is true enough.

    2. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      You make many good points and it makes me wonder why we celebrate the kind of things we do, or glorify "success" that is earned by taking advantage of others.

    3. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Tom, you are right. It is about supply and demand.

  7. rclinton5280 profile image79
    rclinton5280posted 3 years ago

    As many posters are attempting to say, there are a number of factors that are adding to the income inequality in America. The first of which is the laws in place that allow corporations to constantly cheat the system. They operate under laws designed for individuals and small business owners, not for huge wealth collection companies. Then, they spend millions every year paying attorneys to find new loopholes, so that they can continue to cheat the system even after a law is made to prevent them from repeating last years scams. Couple with that our allowing their lobbyist to buy new votes each election cycle to protect those laws and make new ones like them and you have a perfect storm. The corporations are running American politics, and they aren't about to start buying laws to level the playing field. The bottom line is the wolves are watching over the hen house.

    The solution is to make new laws that are designed to protect the citizens instead of the corporations. A few examples of good ones would be to create a flat tax rate, pass and enforce anti-corruption laws with very stiff penalties, raise and keep raising the minimum wage to a level that can sustain an average person's living expenses, outlaw American companies from outsourcing their jobs, and increase taxes on any foreign entity that wants to do business in the US until their products are cost comparable with our own. That would create a new demand for labor in the US, give the people who do the work the opportunity to make a living, protect the national budget from large scale corporate cons, and also give people incentive to buy American products.

    1. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      But you are putting the cart before the horse. Corporations started out as small businesses, but gained their wealth by providing something that people want.

    2. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Most don't have an issue with gaining wealth, it's when the wealthy demand more and more and take more liberties for themselves that create problems. Profit, but why should tax payers for example subsidize walmart workers?

    3. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Everyone demands more, Christin, not just the rich. More is in demand.

      If you have something against capitalism, I hear Obama is loosening restrictions to Cuba.

    4. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      BizWhiz why the sarcasm? Unfettered capitalism is just as bad as unfettered socialism. The truth of the matter society needs both, but that's not what this question is about. Let's stay on topic shall we?

  8. profile image0
    TheBizWhizposted 3 years ago

    The shortest answer is its your fault. I don't mean this in a negative way, but another way to say it is supply and demand. If you demand something, someone will supply it and make money. Same goes for jobs. If you have a skill someone wants then you will get paid for it.  If you have a common skill, it is likely you will get a common pay.

    I hear a lot of people complaining about stores like Wal-Mart. I usually address this with the question "Do you go to Wal-Mart?" and the answer is commonly yes. The American people want quality, but they demand cheap, so this is what you get.

    My suggestion is that if you don't want there to be such a big gap, keep your money for yourself. That should narrow the gap by at least one person! lol

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      HEY, THERE YOU GO!  Great answer, rated an A!

    2. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Simplistic and focused only on self - sorry, not a good answer.

    3. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Simple, not simplistic. Focused on self? We can only control our own actions. Good answer? I am not sure, but it is reality, which is pretty much all we have. I haven't seen your solution yet or are you just dolling out complaints today?

    4. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Posing a question to ponder is not complaining - telling people "it's your fault" is simplistic - it's a societal issue in this country that hard work is undervalued stepping over everyone to get ahead is somehow noble or "successful".

    5. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      So why did you ask this question, Christin? It sounds more like a loaded question to me. Next time you want only to those that think like you to answer, please put a disclaimer. Otherwise, sit back and learn.

    6. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      You didn't answer the question BizWhiz and your sarcasm is not required. I'm happy to listen to ideas from others that don't agree with me when they have something meaningful to add. "lol keep your money for yourself" is not a meaningful answer.

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