As our generation begin to enter society fully as adults, we face a large number of societal problems, some more glaring than others. One such issue, especially prevalent in Western culture, is the difference in living conditions between socioeconomic groups. A small percentage old our society holds a majority of the wealth, while a huge portion of our society lives in a destitute situation riddled with poverty. As a society, we need to push for legislation that balances out this sharp contrast in living conditions.
Income inequality is one of the most important issues we face. According to an article posted to The Balance titled Income Inequality in America, Over a quarter of American works are receiving wages that put them below the federal poverty line, while the top 10% of society are earning 50% of all income, and this gap only continues to grow. This inequality had extremely adverse effects on the living conditions of those making low wages. These people are unable to afford healthcare or save up enough money to receive an education that will help them get out of their situation. They no longer have control of their lives because they are unable to work out of their poverty.
There are many steps we can take as a society to solve this problem. How to Solve Income Inequality by John Divine touches on some of the more important steps we can take as a society. One of the most important things we need to change as a society is to make education more accessible and affordable for the people of lower socioeconomic status. John Devine says, “education is arguably the single most critical tool poorer segments of the population can use to ascend to the middle class and stay there.” By having the ability to receive a higher education which will lead to a better paying job, people will be given the opportunity to work their way out instead of being stuck. Many of the other things talked about in this article revolve around the idea of reducing and fully getting rid of discrimination. Not only are people facing hardships because of the income gap, but because of the way they are born and identify. Creating an inclusive society where people from all walks of life can thrive would greatly decrease the gap between socioeconomic groups.
A majority of people desire such a change in our society. In The psychology of social class: How socioeconomic status impacts thought, feelings, and behaviour, the author discusses that most people support capitalism but believe wealth should be more evenly distributed. Most people aren’t calling for socialist society, but would like to see that everyone is able to live a fulfilling and healthy life. As a society we need to push for legislation and change that reflects these desires. It seems widely unfair that such a small percentage of the population holds a majority of the wealth while a large percentage of our population suffers. These policies do not have to be pure taxes on the wealthy, but legislation that promotes the rich to spend their money instead of saving it up. This idea is discussed in detail in Robert Reich’s book Aftershock. We have the responsibility to change our society for the better.
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