Summary: The Great Divergence

Superior Essays
The Great Divergence by Timothy Noah explores the potential causes and solutions for the crisis of rising income inequality in America. I would label the book as enlightening and informative because even though I knew income inequality was an issue in the United States, I had a very limited knowledge as to the causes and solutions of this growing problem before reading Noah’s book. I found Noah’s book to be written in a much more comprehensible manner than that of previous books read for this class due to the more commonly used style and rhetoric that I am more accustomed to reading. The book has a logical structure as it starts by dispelling commonly believed myths about the causes of income inequality and ends with presenting possible solutions. …show more content…
The idea is that an immigrant will do the same work as an American but for less money, which not only decreases the income of the employed lower class, but also forces Americans who need higher wages to live out of a job (Noah, 68-69, 2012). Not only are wages not rising with inflation, they are actually decreasing when compared to wages before the 1970’s. I was not aware that this kind of issue existed because I believed that minimum wage would prevent workers from being paid low wages. A possible solution to this issue may be to raise the minimum wage slightly to compete with inflation so that immigrants can’t provide as much competition for American workers. Additionally, a higher minimum wage would allow lower-class workers to increase their income, therefore decreasing the gap in income between the classes. However, the theory of raising the minimum wage has several drawbacks, such as bosses potentially decreasing their number of employees or cutting hours so workers still cannot get enough income on which to survive. Additionally, a high minimum wage makes it more difficult for beginning entrepreneurs to hire enough employees to keep their business running. Oftentimes a small business starts out with an already low budget that would be difficult to stretch enough to pay workers. The difficulty involved in decreasing income inequality certainly helps explain why the gap has increased so

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