Inequality In All Hollowed Out

1570 Words 7 Pages
Inequality hinders the quality of life for everyone affected by it. This lower quality of life can have lasting and devastating effects. Victor Tan Chen’s article, All Hollowed Out, highlights one instance of the destructive effects of inequality. The article discusses how inequality has led to a decrease in life expectancy for white members of the working class. The book Hollowed Out, written by David Madland, discusses many ways in which inequality has hampered the social environment in America. Inequality has decreased the quality of life for many Americans by creating a harmful social environment, which our institutions have failed to adequately respond to. Four ways in which inequality has created negative social conditions that could …show more content…
The study found that between the years 1998 and 2013, the life expectancy for white working class members between the ages of 45 to 54 decreased. In particular, those who have the least amount of education appear to have been the most affected by this trend. In the past, Americans who did not have a higher education were able to work factory jobs and experience growing prosperity. However, the availability of manufacturing jobs in America has decreased drastically, as the amount of outsourced jobs in less developed countries has risen. This has resulted in a shrinking of the once strong middle class, and a rise in unemployment in America. The number of manufacturing in America began to fall around the same time period that Case and Deaton found the working class quality of life to diminish. As NAFTA and global factories began to wreck havoc on the amount job opportunities for Americans, the white working class saw a surge in substance abuse and suicide related fatalities. Another factor impacting the working class is the decline of unions. Without the strength of numbers, workers are put in a poor position to bargain for fair wages and …show more content…
These social conditions have worsened the quality of life for many Americans, and may account for the decrease in life expectancy discussed in All Hollowed Out. One way in which inequality has created a harmful social environment is by weakening the amount of trust since the 1960’s. As inequality has increased, it has created a greater social distance between people of different income levels, resulting in a loss of trust and cooperation between classes. This is because people inherently trust those who they feel are similar to them and hold shared values. As trust has declined in America, the economy has weakened. A high level of trust is essential for the smooth functioning of the economy. Trust is involved in some way in almost every economic transaction. When people trust one another, they cooperate more and there is higher reciprocity. As trust goes down, the cost of transactions goes up. This is because people feel that others are untrustworthy, and thus hire a greater amount of lawyers and security guards are safeguards. Decline in trust has created a harmful social environment by weakening the social bonds between people. When people in different classes do not feel they have anything in common, they trust each other less, and thus there is less interaction between them. This can create a type of social isolation between the

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