Social Class And Income Inequality In The United States

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1. “The rich and the middle class are now living in parallel universes, and the poor are almost invisible to both” (Marger “American Class System”). This is a quote by Robert Reich and it shows that social class and income are important in the United States and that we use it to base our lives. Just like race and gender, class is a sociological concept that puts people into specific groups with people that are like them. Social class can be defined as grouping people into a category who share roughly the same income, wealth, occupation, and educational levels. Early in life people are taught to understand the division of people and where they fall in the class system. There are three main aspects of class- income and wealth, occupational prestige, …show more content…
This allowed the standard of living to go up and began to close the gap between the rich and the poor, but that came to an end in the 1970’s. For the first time since the Great Depression, families were on average worse off than they ever were before. In the twenty-first century income inequality began to pick up speed again. The only reason middle-class families were able to live was due to them working more hours. When productivity starting increasing in the 1980’s, the upper class began getting more wealth and not much was going to different classes. Due to the increase in productivity, the wage gap expanded more in the 2000’s due to federal tax policies that benefited the people at the top of the income scale. Another thing that hurt every social class, but pushed the lower social class even farther down was when the financial system suffered greatly. The housing market collapsed and consumer demand went down which declined the labor market. More than 7 million jobs were lost between 2008 and 2009. “In sum, at the onset of the twenty-first century, the American class structure appears to have evolved into a three-part configuration, with the rich taking the bulk of income and wealth, the poor receiving little, and those in the middle scrambling to maintain their standard of living” (Marger “American Class System”). Income and wealth are two different things, but they are related. Income is the money you make from your job and wealth is what a person is worth, material things a person has and what they invest. People that have the most income normally are worth the

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