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American Socioeconomic Equality Essay

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Updated: Apr 11th, 2022

The USA has been seen as the country of opportunities and the country where equal people live. Nonetheless, researchers claim that American equality is somewhat overestimated. More so, there is an ongoing debate on wealth distribution in the USA. Researchers stress that Americans are unaware of the level of inequality in the country.

Notably, average Americans are used to certain inequality and admit that the rich may have 35% of the wealth (“Americans Underestimate US Wealth Inequality,” 2010). Thus, people think it may be quite fair if 10% of people own 35% of the wealth.

However, even this ideal society is far from being a reality for the USA as the rich possess 85% of the wealth (“Americans Underestimate US Wealth Inequality,” 2010). Officials, researchers and scholars also note that the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing due to the policies provided.

A number of surveys suggest that in the 2000s the top 0.01% of Americans own 976 times more than bottom 90% of Americans, which is a sign of an upcoming crisis as similar distribution of wealth was in the USA in 1928 (“Plutocracy Reborn,” 2012).

There are lots of factors contributing to this distribution. One of these factors is quite an inadequate tax policy in the country as the rich people’s income increases and taxes reduce, whereas average Americans have to pay more in taxes.

Gilson and Perot (2011) note that this illogical tax policy can be easily explained as those who make laws (including tax laws), i.e. congress members, pertain to the top 0,1% of Americans. The researchers also state that such tax policy contributes to the increase of the wealth gap even though the productivity is on the rise (Gilson & Perot, 2011). Admittedly, these are only some of the factors that lead to the gap.

Another factor is lack of mobility within the American society. DeParle (2012) claims that the American Dream is becoming an illusion as only few people can move from rags to riches. This is closely connected with socioeconomic background. Thus, young people coming from well-to-do families have many more opportunities compared to young people from poor families.

One of the central factors contributing to this is availability of education. Richer people can invest in their children’s education which provides the latter with more opportunities as employers tend to pay higher salaries to well-educated employees (DeParle, 2012).

At the same time, poor families do not have such an opportunity and poor remain poor. Researchers also note that the lack of mobility is a bad sign for any country. The USA used to be the country of high level of mobility, but now it lags behind some European countries.

Even Great Britain which has always been regarded as a country of certain stratification has higher mobility. Admittedly, this makes the USA lag behind other industrialized countries in some respects.

To sum up, the gap between the poor and the rich is increasing in the USA. The socioeconomic inequality is increasing due to a number of reasons. For instance, tax policy is one of the potent factors leading to the increase in the gap.

Lack of opportunities also contributes greatly to the unequal distribution of the wealth. Researchers also claim that the majority of Americans are unaware of the changes in the US society which can be quite alarming as people do not understand the real danger.

Reference List

. (2010). Web.

DeParle, J. (2012). . The New York Times. Web.

Gilson, D. & Perot, C. (2011). . Mother Jones. Web.

Plutocracy reborn. (2012). . Web.

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