Social Benefits Of Income Inequality

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Our society runs rampant with all kinds of inequality. Racism, sexism, and xenophobia are just a few of the problems that plague our world. These problems all have the potential to hurt people socially and emotionally. However, there’s another type of inequality whose impacts go beyond social and emotional harms. Income inequality hurts people psychologically and economically, and its implications span a global scale. Andrew Carnegie writes in “The Gospel of Wealth,” “The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship” (Carnegie). This problem hurts the whole world, but it tends to be more severe in third world countries. Income inequality …show more content…
These effects are -- at their roots -- economic, yet they mean different things to different groups of people. For the upper class, this is a sociological impact. The article “The Benefits of Wealth” by David Henderson analyzes a quote from Tyler Cowen, an American economist, when he says “Wealth does protect you from the depredations of others, such as being treated very badly by the police or legal system. In this defensive sense wealth can give you a good deal of power” (Henderson). This article talked about how money is power, but it only included one half of this quote; the other half addressed the limitations of the “money is power” argument. For example, while money gives people defensive power to protect themselves, it doesn’t have as much offensive power for rich people to just buy other people’s opinions. It’s possible, but not as easy or accessible. Even so, the social status of the wealthy is defined by just that: their wealth. Wealth gives the upper class political and social power that they use against the lower class. This creates a complex social dynamic, especially since developing countries are typically trying to recreate the social and political dynamics of first world countries to experience similar successes. This leaves the lower class with their own issues, mostly of a psychological nature. The lower classes in many third world countries are unable to participate in their own economies, and are therefore reduced to laborers with no political power, which is detrimental to a person’s psychological state. A presentation from the American Psychological Association outlines a study by Boyle et. al. in 2011 that found the effects of poverty on an individual can lead to psychological issues, such as developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, and intellectual

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