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Equal Wealth: the Income Gap Research Paper


Abstract

The income difference between the poor and the rich has been widening despite measures that have been put in place by the government to reduce it. The government has used progressive taxation as a way of transferring wealth from the rich to the poor, but this strategy has yielded minimal fruits. Most of this wealth that is taken from the rich rarely reaches the poor because of the corrupt system that makes this money flow back to the rich.

The government should consider using other approaches to minimize this gap and to fight absolute poverty. Education is one of the strategies that have been confirmed to be effective in minimizing the gap between the poor and the rich. Other strategies include empowering women and fighting negative ethnicity that hinders development. These strategies can help the government reduce this gap in a more natural way than using direct financial strategies.

Introduction

The gap between the rich and the poor has raised a lot of concern among various stakeholders in the United States of America. Recent statistics show that the gap between the rich and the poor is on the steady rise despite some of the government programs that have been put up to fight it. According to Page and Jacobs (2009), various stakeholders have been debating whether the government should step in with measures that would help fight this income difference between the poor and the rich.

Others have supported the need to have government intervention as a way of improving the human development index in this country and fighting criminal acts such as robbery and other related vices. However, other members of society have strongly rejected this move citing numerous loopholes in the current programs that are meant to fight this gap.

Capitalism has become the predominant ideology in many countries around the world, including the previous crusaders of communism such as China and Russia. In the United States, this ideology has defined the lifestyle of individual citizens. The rich are using their riches to generate more income as the poor languish in poverty. Programs that have been set up by the government such as progressive taxation have done very little to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. Some members of the society have urged the government to come up with stronger measures that would help transfer money from the ultra-rich members of the society to the poor (Page & Jacobs, 2009).

In this research, the focus is to determine how the income gap (dependent variable) can be fought using such virtues as education, gender equality, and racial tolerance (independent variables) in American society. The paper seeks to analyze whether there is a need for the government to do more to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.

Literature review

Education

Education has been considered as one of the main ways through which the gap between the rich and the poor can be eliminated. According to Jarman (2012), education has proven to be the best way through which the poor can climb the social ladder. This scholar says that the importance of education has been demonstrated in the twenty-first century where firms are forced to hire qualified personnel in various positions in their firms. The era where a manager would hire a relative for the sake of giving him or her a favor is long gone. Firms now have to go for competent individuals who can deliver good results on their respective assignments.

The need to remain competitive in the market is forcing firms to pay their skilled labor generously as a way of retaining them within the firm. This means that the best way through which the United States’ government can reduce the gap between the poor and the rich is by educating all members of society. The poor may find education to be very expensive. The rich have realized the benefits of education, and they are giving their children the best education within the country so that their wealth can be retained, and the gap maintained or even widened. However, with the equal provision of education to all members of society, the government will be making the right step towards fighting inequality (Jarman, 2012).

Gender

The issue of gender has raised a lot of heated debate, especially the need to empower women in the corporate world. According to Taylor-Robinson (2010), the society had been used to having women relegated to caregivers at home, always depending on men for all their needs. This is no longer the case in this century. Society has come to embrace women empowerment, especially through formal education. Just as their male counterparts, women are now getting a decent education. This has seen an increased number of women in the employment sector. Empowering women helps in fighting the gap between the poor and the rich.

As Taylor-Robinson (2010) says, the essence of fighting this gap does not emanate from the need to reduce the wealth of the rich. It is an attempt to eliminate absolute poverty in society and make it possible for all members of society to be able to afford basic needs in life. It is an effort that is focused on ensuring that the poor can also afford decent meals, proper housing, decent clothing, and have access to quality healthcare.

By empowering women, it means that American families will have more than one source of income. Both partners will be working together to ensure that they can provide the basics to their families. It would result in more income as compared to cases where women are forced to depend on their husbands. It will help in fighting income disparity to a given percentage, even if this percentage will be minimal. It will help in fighting absolute poverty in this country.

Race/Ethnicity

Negative ethnicity has played a role in widening the income gap between the rich and the poor. According to Dumanio (2010), American society experienced a long period of racial discrimination soon after gaining independence. When slavery was abolished, the Black slaves were absorbed as citizens of this country. However, American society did not accept the Blacks as equal citizens of this nation. They could not access quality education as Whites. A few who managed to get higher learning education could not get good jobs as their White counterparts. They were always relegated to slums where living conditions were pathetic.

This happened for several centuries until recently, when society came to appreciate the equality of all members of society. Because of this, the income gap between the Whites and the Blacks widened. Other races such as the Indians also suffered during this period of racial discrimination, and this created some form of the income gap between them and the whites that still exists. This means that to fight this income gap, society must find a way of dealing with the negative ethnicity that is currently witnessed in this country.

According to Dumanio (2010), negative ethnicity that was very common in the United States one century ago is slowly dying down. However, its effects are still being felt in this country in various ways. For instance, some of the largest slums in this country are still dominated by Blacks. On the other hand, the richest states in this country, such as Maryland have Whites as the dominating population. Some of the worst facilitated schools, hospitals, and other social amenities are common in regions dominated by Blacks. Juvenile delinquency is highest among the Blacks meaning, that some of them rarely complete their education. This helps in maintaining the vicious cycle of poverty among this race.

The above literature demonstrates that one of the ways through which the income gap between the poor and rich can be eliminated is through fighting negative ethnicity in society. Although racial discrimination has become a rare incident, some employers are still reluctant to hire Blacks. When offered the opportunity of choosing either a Black or a White who has similar qualifications, they would choose a White. This mentality should be stopped in society. It will help fight the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Hypotheses

Research hypotheses are always very important in forecasting the possible outcome of the research. According to Gilbert (2008), hypotheses may be developed based on the findings from the review of the literature as a way of helping the researcher determine the possible results of the research. In this research, it was important to develop hypotheses based on the findings of the literature review. The researcher will seek to confirm these hypotheses through a successful analysis of data. The following are the guiding hypotheses developed for this research.

  • H1o. Education does not play an important role in fighting the gap between the poor and the rich.

The above null hypothesis is developed to help confirm the fact that education is one of the most appropriate ways of fighting the gap between the poor and the rich in this society. The researcher seeks to reject this null hypothesis upon the successful completion of data analysis by confirming the alternative hypothesis below.

  • H1a. Education plays an important role in fighting the gap between the poor and the rich.

By confirming the above null hypothesis, the researcher will be confirming that education is one of the policies that the government should rely on when fighting the gap between the poor and the rich. It is one of the most appropriate ways of fighting absolute poverty in this country.

The following second hypothesis focuses on the role of gender in fighting absolute poverty and the widening gap between the poor and the rich.

  • H2o. Women do not play any significant role in the fight against absolute poverty and the elimination of the gap between the poor and the rich.

The researcher seeks to reject this null hypothesis upon the successful analysis of data. Various scholarly articles have confirmed that women play a significant role in the fight against absolute poverty, especially if they are given the necessary education. The researcher will, therefore, be seeking to accept the alternative hypothesis to the one above, which states as follows.

  • H2o. Women play a significant role in the fight against absolute poverty and the elimination of the gap between the poor and the rich.

When this hypothesis is accepted, then it is an important policy recommended to the government as a way of fighting poverty. It is a fact that women have held various high-ranking positions in the government in this country, and their performance has been considered above average. This makes it very likely that this alternative hypothesis will be confirmed.

The third hypothesis was based on the third variable in this research, which is on culture. The review of the literature confirmed that culture plays a very important role in determining the living standards of people.

  • H3o. Negative ethnicity and racial discrimination are not to blame for the increase in the gap between the rich and the poor in the United States.

Researchers have claimed that one of the main reasons that have helped in widening the gap between the poor and the rich is negative ethnicity. Scholars have noted that long years of negative ethnicity experienced in this country have made some races poorer while other races are given a better opportunity to get economically empowered. The researcher seeks to reject the above null hypothesis by accepting the alternative hypothesis below.

  • H3o. Negative ethnicity and racial discrimination are to blame for the increase in the gap between the rich and the poor in the United States.

This third hypothesis will be recommending the need to fight any form of racial discrimination in this society that has inhibited economic growth among a section of the society members. These three hypotheses will form the basis of this research.

Methodology

Every research project employs a given research method to obtain the desired results based on the available resources (Bryman, 2012). In this study, stratified sampling was considered as the most appropriate method of selecting the sample population. The researcher will then make a generalization of the entire population based on the results from the sampled population. This research will take a quantitative form. It is important to note that all the data that will be used in this research will come from sources within this country.

Data Collection

Data will be collected from a sampled population described in the section below. The researcher will use questionnaires to capture important questions that would help in the collection of relevant data. The researcher will send the questionnaires through e-mail to the sampled population and inform them through the phone of the sent questionnaires. The questionnaires will be received back through the same channel for analysis.

The participants

The research will use 15 respondents to participate in this research. The researcher will select the sample population through a stratified sampling method. It means that the researcher will first identify different strata that can give authoritative information about the need for the government to step in and reduce the inequality between the poor and the rich. In each stratum, the researcher will use random sampling to select participants. In case the selected individual turns down the request, the next candidate will be chosen in the same category. Most of the respondents will be academicians or administrators who are directly involved in this field.

Research questions

It is always important to have research questions clearly defined to guide the researcher when collecting the relevant data, and when analyzing it. The following research questions were used to guide this research.

  • Should the government reduce the income differences between the rich and the poor?
  • What are some of the best approaches that can be used to fight this difference?
  • What are some of the benefits that this country shall gain by fighting the difference?

Data analysis

This research will use descriptive statistics in analyzing the data. This will make it possible to understand the demographics of the respondents, their views, and some of the background information that could have guided their response. This makes it possible to determine if the responses given are biased in any way due to the beliefs held by the respondents. The approach will also make it possible to determine the percentage population of those sharing different views on the questions posed to them. The analysis will culminate in confirmation or rejection of the set hypothesis. It is also expected that the analysis will provide answers to the research questions.

Discussion

It is clear from the review of literature above that the income gap between the rich and the poor is constantly on the rise. The United States federal government has tried coming up with various policies to reduce this gap, but the result has remained unsatisfactory. Most of the finances collected through such initiative as progressive taxation find their way back to the rich (Jarman, 2012). Such incentives are also considered as impractical in a capitalistic state like this.

Any initiative that may attempt to take wealth directly from the rich to the poor may be considered to foster communism that the United States has been fighting for a very long time. It means that other initiatives should be used to minimize the income gap between the rich and the poor in this society.

Education has been considered as one of the variables that can be used by the government to fight the rising gap between the rich and the poor. Through education, children from poor families and those from rich families are offered equal grounds to develop in life (Jarman, 2012). They are allowed to develop skills, which will enable them to earn a fair income that can help fight the gap. Empowering women is another way to fight the income gap between the rich and the poor.

When both parents are involved in providing for the family, the amount of income shall be increased. This helps in fighting absolute poverty in these families. Finally, it is important to fight any form of negative ethnicity in this society. All races and ethnic groups should be considered as being equal. They should be given equal opportunities. Such practices as those that discourage girl-child education should be fought.

Conclusion

The debate on whether the federal government in the United States should come in with stronger measures to fight the income gap between the rich and the poor has been raging on for some time. Some people believe that in this capitalistic state, the government can do very little to fight this gap. The opponents of this move have cited progressive taxation in this country, which was meant to protect the poor. However, most of the beneficiaries of this system are not the poor. The advocates of this initiative have argued that the United States’ government is not doing enough to fight the income gap between the rich and the poor that has been on the rise.

The government should consider using other approaches, such as making education available to all members of society. It will help in empowering children of the poor and the rich in equal measures. Another approach can be empowering women to ensure that both men and women participate in generating income for the families. The government can also consider fighting racial discrimination or any form of negative ethnicity that could be taking place within this country.

References

Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dumanio, G. (2010). Racial discrimination in American society and its effects. New York: Cengage.

Gilbert, G. (2008). Rich and poor in America: A reference handbook. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

Jarman, M. (2012). Rich world, poor world. North Mankato: Smart Apple Media.

Page, B. I., & Jacobs, L. R. (2009). Class war: What Americans really think about economic inequality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Taylor-Robinson, M. M. (2010). Do the poor count? Democratic institutions and accountability in a context of poverty. New York: Cengage.

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IvyPanda. "Equal Wealth: the Income Gap." January 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/equal-wealth-the-income-gap/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Equal Wealth: the Income Gap." January 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/equal-wealth-the-income-gap/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Equal Wealth: the Income Gap'. 11 January.

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