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Essay: Income Inequality in America

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  • Subject area(s): Economics essays
  • Reading time: 2 minutes
  • Price: Free download
  • Published: 19 January 2020*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 559 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 3 (approx)

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Income inequality has been a long-term issue in the United States but more recently an article came out about how racial economic inequality benefits the richest 1%. Americans are consistently struggling when it comes down to African Americans and Caucasians and the inequality between the two is baffling, not only in income, but all aspects of life.

The inequality is no surprise as it has been this way for decades with little to no progress. One study showed that, “Black and Hispanic men, for their part, have made no progress in narrowing the wage gap with white men since 1980, in part because there have been no improvements in the hourly earnings of white, black or Hispanic men over this 35-year period. As a result, black men earned the same 73% share of white men’s hourly earnings in 1980 as they did in 2015, and Hispanic men earned 69% of white men’s earnings in 2015 compared with 71% in 1980.” This show there is a huge income gap between Caucasian and African Americans making it harder for African Americans to succeed with this income inequality. It is hard to break this cycle due to the difference between races. “…the 1% are profiting off ongoing racial economic inequality.”

Going back to the roots of this racial inequality go back to when blacks were forced into slavery. This issue is still present and African American’s are still seen as less than Caucasians and there are many articles and evidence to prove this. Racial discrimination is present, and it has not disappeared in the United States as many would like to believe. The injustice and inequality effect many across the US and the world and not just within income but across all aspects of their life.

In the US today, education is the main contributor to the income inequality. A majority of African Americans are at a disadvantage not only because of their income but they can’t afford college due to their income. Tuition, as well as getting loans for college are difficult which affects the potential income one makes. The difference between income based on graduating high school and college is huge.

The impact of slavery on current income disparities is associated with a higher degree of income inequality. Today, former slave counties are more unequal and have a higher poverty rate and higher racial inequality. Inequality still stems from the past. US slavery exerts a lingering effect on racial income disparities. “After the Civil War, a new kind of capitalism arose, in the United States and elsewhere. Yet that new capitalism characterized first and foremost by states with unprecedented, bureaucratic, infrastructural, and military capacities, and by wage labor—”

Not only are there injustices between African Americans and Caucasians in income but there is discrimination between applying for college, residential segregation, rent prices and health inequality. “African Americans are disproportionately treated at health care facilities with the fewest technological resources, the most poorly trained professionals, and least experienced clinicians serve predominately black patient populations.” These injustices have been around too long and we need to be better as a country to better understand the discrimination and income inequality happening in our country today. As a country we can come together and fight this inequality by proposing a wealth tax for the one percent wealthiest as well as educating and addressing the country on the racial wealth divide.

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