Income inequality is the asymmetrical distribution of income throughout a population. The rate of income inequality is higher when the distribution is less equal. From the end of World War II to the 1970s, America witnessed substantial economic growth. During this period incomes grew speedily and almost at the same on both sides of the income ladder. Therefore, during this period, the gap between the wealthy and the less fortunate did not change much. However, economic growth slowed down at the beginning of the 1970s, and the income gap expanded. As those at the top continued to grow, wages for households in the middle and low classes grew slowly.
Income inequality sets the gap between the wealthy and less fortunate in society. Unfortunately, African Americans are the primary victims of income inequality. African Americans are granted job opportunities but paid less compared to their white counterparts. Income inequality hinders people from the minority race from enjoying the leisure readily available to whites. A majority of the people up the income distribution ladder are whites—African Americans flock at the bottom of the income distribution chain. Personal income inequality hinders me from attaining the American dream. As an American, I envy to live in a society where I have access to quality health care, education, food, and security. But acquiring all this is extremely difficult due to the unfair distribution of wages. The inequality also affects my level of happiness and how I perceive those around me. The disparity discourages me from participating in most social or civic activities.
Income inequality forces people from minority communities to reside in poor and unsafe neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the government considers the wealth of people residing in regions when assigning developmental funding. As a result, a neighborhood with wealthy people will have the best amenities and infrastructure. Housing discrimination significantly attributes to the wealth gap between white Americans and African-Americans. Unfortunately, some neighborhoods are meant for a particular race only. This is done by initiating policies that make it difficult for undesired persons to rent a house in some areas.
Various measures can be taken to change the norm of income inequality. For starters, states should empower their citizens equally. This can be through education. We should all have access to quality education regardless of our social class or ethnicity. As people acquire quality education, they will land well-paying jobs. Raising the minimum wage is another initiative that can reduce income inequality. Most African Americans are underpaid, and as a result, they continue to live in poverty despite going to work daily. Increasing the minimum pay for workers will not slow down economic growth nor hurt employment (Powell, 2014). Instead, it will improve the livelihood of many citizens and reduce vices/crimes associated with income inequality.
Income disparity entices people to indulge in crime. Most youths who participate in crime do so because they have needs and lack of fulfilling them, yet they see other super-rich people. New York Coty is a place where you can find people who are super rich and, at the same time, people who can barely put a meal on the table. People living in such a state and are poor are prone to consider using force to acquire property from the wealthy. The government should deploy the necessary policies to ensure there is an even distribution of income to improve people’s living standards and help minimize the crime rate.
Powell, J. A. (2014, September 10). Six policies to reduce economic inequality. Othering & Belonging Institute. https://belonging.berkeley.edu/six-policies-reduce-economic-inequality