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Wealth and Social Gaps in the United States

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Wealth distribution in a population is a subject of concern in every society and nation. In the United States, ideal wealth distribution in people’s minds reflects that ownership of resources is to the advantage of specific individuals. It is believed that the top 20 percent of the wealthy class own American properties. About 92 percent of Americans have in their minds that the wealth distribution is such that even the poor class owns some resources. However, the reality is that the top 20 percent own the biggest share of the country’s wealth, with the bottom 20 percent persons barely owning a resource (Politizane, 2012). According to American thinking, even the poor and middle-class individuals in the economy are better off in their living standards. The reality, however, contradicts the expectations of Americans, with middle-class people having no distinction from the poor individuals in the economy. Moreover, the top 10 percent of the rich class has a great share of the United States economy (Politizane, 2012). The economy of the United States is owned by people who are advantaged in resource ownership. It implies that the American economy exhibits the partial distribution of resources leading to a huge economic gap.

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Economic problems stem from inequality in wealth distribution in a population. Americans are faced with a bigger gap between the rich and poor which presents a problem. The one percent richest people in the population have had control over more wealth for the past 50 years. Approximately 61 percent of the population view it as a challenge to people’s well-being, making them refer to the situation as a rich people’s country. If expressed under the economic pie, the imagination of people brings that the middle class has the highest number of resources (CBS Mornings, 2020). Moreover, the ideal situation people are struggling with is to have both the lower middle class and the poor on an economic level like the rich. However, the reality is that 90 percent of wealth is owned by the richest class. The upper middle class, middle class and lower middle owning slightly tangible shares and the poor owning debts of 20 percent in advance (CBS Mornings, 2020). People hold the opinions that only rich people should be taxed in the United States. The situation in the United States is totally unbearable to poor people.

The system in the United States is open since there is no equality between the rich and poor with regard to ownership of resources. As the rich continues to get better, the poor become subjects of debt, leading to a wide gap even in the level of household income between the wealthy and poor individuals. Thus, the deviation in the ownership of resources among citizens should be breached by political initiatives leading to equality.

Race and Ethnicity Stratification in the United States

The race is the stratification of humans according to phenotypic characteristics, regional distribution, sociological differences and socioeconomic differences of significance. The social construction of race means that race is not biologically related but socially related (OpenStax, 2015). For example, there is no gene that codes for skin color differences, but the differences are based on evolutionary environmental adaptation to withstand sunlight intensity which depends on melanin deposit into the skin (Siebers, 2017). In Brazil, class is more significant than phenotypic characteristics when identifying racial groups as opposed to other parts of the world where skin tone and regional differences seem to be more significant.

Ethnicity is the word used to explain the cultural relations based on morals, various cultural activities and faith of a group. The culture includes; languages, religions and traditions. The minority group is the category of individuals or people who are isolated from others in society, they face inequality treatment since they are less or more powerful because of cultural, physical differences, or socioeconomic class differences, including political class ideological differences (OpenStax, 2015). Within the society, they can also be people with a lower population (Siebers, 2017). Scapegoat theory is the propensity of the powerful group to put their own mistakes and failures on the less powerful group.


CBS Mornings. (2020). Americans know wealth inequality is a problem, but what does it look like? [Video]. Web.

OpenStax College (2015). Introduction to sociology 2e. Rice University.

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Politizane (2012). Wealth inequality in America [Video]. YouTube. Web.

Siebers, H. (2017). “Race” versus “ethnicity”? Critical race essentialism and the exclusion and oppression of migrants in the Netherlands. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(3), 369-387. Web.

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