Modern Wealth Inequality

Decent Essays
Our world economy is experiencing a rapidly growing income gap between the poor and the rich, having a dramatic effect on the economics and politics of the world. Although many Americans are aware of this, we underestimate how extreme the modern wealth gap is. “In a national survey, Norton and Ariely (2011) found that U.S. respondents estimated that the richest 20% of the population owns around 59% of total wealth, but believed that this richest quintile should ideally own just 32%. In reality, however, the richest 20% owns closer to 84% of total wealth.” (Norton) We live in a world where a small percentage of the population owns the vast majority of wealth in the United States. This is not, however, only seen in the United States. Instead, …show more content…
Our economic system is ruled by the rich and largely benefits them at the cost of the majority of people. The wealth of the world is concentrated in the small upper class and does not move down to the lower classes. Instead, the opposite is happening. As the issue of wealth inequality is getting worse, more money is moving from the lower classes to the upper class, creating an even larger divide between the two. In the United States, “the top 1 percent of households… owned 35.4 percent of all privately held wealth [in 2012], and the next 19 percent… had 53.5 percent, which means that just 20 percent of the people owned a remarkable 89 percent, leaving only 11 percent of the wealth for the bottom 80 percent.” (Wood) The divide between the poor and the rich is not only growing in “‘hubs such as Wall Street and Silicon Valley, but also in virtually every corner of the world’s richest nation: Inequality has increased in 49 of 50 states since 1989,’ with Mississippi being the only exception, even as it still ‘ranks worst in the nation on both counts.’” according to a 2012 Reuters investigative report. (Wood) Not only are the rich getting richer, but the lower class is also growing, as “according to the latest census [2010], fifty million Americans qualify as poor and another 100 million qualify as low income.” This is not only an American problem, in fact, when analyzed from a global perspective, the issue of income …show more content…
There was a massive gap between the many peasants who worked the farms of the kings and rich elite. The kings became rich off of the peasants’ labor, and in return hardly paid them enough to survive. This is similar to modern life, where workers make around minimum wage to do the labor of large companies, who turn their founders and CEO’s into billionaires. While leaders should be paid more than their workers because of the skill and education required to do their job, their worker’s salary should be proportionate to the massive profits these companies and their founders make. Minimum wage is hardly livable for many Americans, and yet CEO’s incomes are only rising as the wage gap continues to grow, with “the wealth gap between the top 10 percent and the bottom 90 percent… reaching record levels in developed nations. While in 2012, the United States had the seventh highest average wealth holdings per adult in the world, ‘among nations with at least a quarter-million adults, only Russia, Ukraine, and Lebanon are more unequal’ than the United States.” (Berman) The wealth gap between the rich and poor is a growing problem, causing a negative social, ethical, economic, and political effect on the world. The only solution to this is political change. In the United States, a closing of tax loopholes and an increase of taxes

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