The modern economy of the United States cannot be discussed as perfectly developed because there is still a large gap between wealthy and poor people. The difference in people’s social status and job position is often associated with significant differences in wages. This situation leads to the problem of income inequality characteristic for American society. Many Americans have to live in poverty because of being unemployed for a lot of years or because of receiving inadequate wages. As a result, these persons can be discussed as deprived of the rights to accentuate their human dignity. While being deprived of receiving adequate wages, many persons also lose the opportunity to live in dignity, to support the family, and to use social benefits and rewards.
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That is why, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), income inequality is considered as one of the main challenges to human dignity, and it is necessary to promote dignity while providing the specific conditions for employment and decreasing the gap related to the people’s welfare (“USCCB Labor Day Statement by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire” par. 2-3). I am inclined to share the opinion that the issue of income inequality should be addressed and resolved in the American society effectively because income inequality can lead to losing hopes and dignity, to increase the gap in wages and negative changes in the employment levels, and to intensify the problem of social injustice.
Work is an important factor for a person to concentrate on his or her dignity because, having a job, a person receives the opportunity to perform social roles effectively. This idea is reflected in the USCCB statement on the problem of income inequality declared in 2013 (“USCCB Labor Day Statement by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire” par. 2-3). The problem is in the fact that the question is still urgent today. I agree that the fact of being employed plays an important role while discussing the dignity in relation to the concrete person because the regular wage is often the only guarantee to avoid poverty, misery, and hunger. In addition, while working, a person feels that he or she is on firm ground. That is why, this individual can support the family, relatives, and children while understanding his or her personal importance (“USCCB Labor Day Statement by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire” par. 5-6).
I can state that this factor plays a critical role in affecting the person’s dignity while focusing on the individual who is worthy of respect. Furthermore, income inequality, as a result of the inability to receive an adequate wage or become employed, often leads to the situation when people lose their hopes and become to suffer from depression. In this case, the problem becomes even more complex, and human dignity can be discussed as challenged most of all.
Income inequality is closely associated with such tendencies in the social economy as the increasing level of unemployment, the increasing number of persons seeking a job, and the consequent decrease in wages. According to the USCCB statement, such a situation can only lead to the growth in numbers of people living in poverty because of the impossibility to adapt to the new situation (“USCCB Labor Day Statement by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire” par. 3). Referring to the observed trends, I am inclined to state that income inequality is the logical result of increasing the gap in wages and significant unemployment levels.
Thousands of workers today can forget about their dignity and definite moral values because their desires and intentions are focused only on satisfying their basic needs. On the contrary, the government pays little attention to addressing these persons’ dignity and basic needs, and the number of people willing to participate in social programs also increases because of the impossibility to cope with income inequality independently. The issue of income inequality addresses the problem of significant differences in the life of rich and poor persons, which are reflected in their social activities and opened opportunities (“Income Inequality: A Catholic Concern, a Presentation by Donald Clemmer”). The increase in income inequality leads to increasing poverty, and poverty makes people suffer, concentrate on their basic needs, and fight for surviving. In this situation, it is almost impossible to promote the idea of human dignity.
Justice is the notion that should be discussed in association with the concepts of equality and dignity. From this perspective, income inequality is closely connected with the issue of social injustice because the representatives of the American society become divided into rich and poor, employed and unemployed, having a chance to choose and without any choice (“USCCB Labor Day Statement by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire” par. 6). This important idea is properly developed in the USCCB statement, and it supports my opinion that not to cope with the problem of income inequality means to intensify injustice in American society. Focusing on the unemployment statistics, it is possible to note that African Americans and Hispanics have the lowest levels of employment in the country (USCCB Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development 1-2).
Moreover, American females are less frequently employed in comparison with American males. The wages of female employees are often lower than the wages of male employees. This situation not only supports the idea of the significant income inequality in society but also contributes to accentuating discrimination and disparities. As a result, the African American and Hispanic families often face the problem of poverty, and many families where breadwinners are women can be discussed suffering from hardships. That is why it is possible to note that these social conditions prevent people from becoming aware of their dignity and rights.
Having analyzed the provided points, I can note that the problem of income inequality is associated with all the aspects of people’s social, family, personal, and religious life. Noticing inequality in wages and employment opportunities, people can lose their hopes, forget about dignity, and become victims of social injustice. Thus, the USCCB should take action in the field and focus on developing campaigns to stress the idea of human dignity and its dependence on the concept of income inequality. The problem can be resolved while focusing on promoting the idea of human dignity in social and work environments. To resolve the problem of the wage gap and income inequality, it is necessary to implement different complex economic and business models. However, to avoid challenges for dignity, it is important to address the workers’ rights and to provide compensation in the variety of forms in order to emphasize the role of the individual’s work.
USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development. Worsening Economic Inequality. 2014. Web.