Despite the attempts to reduce social discrepancies, economic inequality is still a burden on American society. This problem is related to disparities in wealth and income distribution and results in an unbridgeable gap between rich and poor. Although income inequality is an inevitable part of society, studies reveal that there is a tragic gap between the supposed and actual distribution of wealth in the United States (Zenicaone, 2013). This paper reviews some factors that lead to income distribution inequality and provides suggestions for reducing the income gap in the country.
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Factors for Income Distribution Inequality
There is a complex of factors that determine discrepancies in income division. Some of them are technological development, globalization, and change of working-class role.
- Technological advances are leading to change in many spheres of life. On the one hand, they empower many activities that demanded more time and effort earlier. At the same time, technology allowed automation of processes in industries thus reducing the need in unskilled workers and increasing the demand for highly-qualified professionals. Another aspect of technological progress is the rapid development of IT corporations due to the high need in products they suggest, which results in the rapid growth of their revenues.
- Globalization is another factor that contributes to wealth redistribution leading to making the rich richer and the poor poorer. In this context, China should be mentioned as a provider of the cheap labor force. Involvement of low-skilled Chinese manufacturing workers and the shift of some production locations to China resulted in a decrease in demand for low-skilled staff in the United States and the growth of unemployment in these fields. This outsourcing led to lower wages in the US for low-skilled workers and boosting incomes of big corporations that have their producing powers in China, thus contributing to the growth of the income gap.
- Finally, the change in the role of the working class can be also treated as a factor for income inequality. Development of the contemporary labor market led to the decline of working class political power. Unions of workers that were protecting employees and securing their social rights as well as work conditions faced rapid decrease in membership and were losing their influence. Consequently, employers received an opportunity to accept workers on conditions that allowed them to receive more income through paying less and cutting expenses on social guarantees.
Suggestions to Reduce the Income Gap
The income gap at the rate it exists now can be reduced on a national level through government policies. First of all, the US government should provide support for small and medium businesses that hire local employees and pay taxed to state budgets. This support can include granting for startups, individual tax policies, or creation of government contracts. These interventions are expected to provide small and medium businesses with development opportunities. Another suggestion is to increase tax rates for the top-earning companies (Frank, 2018). It is expected to provide budgets with extra money to support smaller companies, thus contributing to their growth and further reduction of the income gap.
Summarizing, it can be mentioned that the problem of inequality in income distribution is burning for the United States. It has been developing for decades due to a complex of factors and demands solutions. Nevertheless, the gap can be bridged through thoughtful governmental policies aimed at stimulation of small and medium businesses.
Frank, R. (2018). Why is income inequality growing? In D. B. Grusky (Ed.), Social stratification: Class, race, and gender in sociological perspective (4th ed), (pp. 85-92). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.
Zenicaone. (2013). Wealth inequality in USA or rich vs poor in America. Web.