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Wealth Inequality

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Wealth inequality is a major issue that pervades the American society and is a barrier to

social mobility. Wealth is a major problem that determines the opportunities that an individual

has in the society. People who are born into wealthy families or are wealthy have more

opportunities than poor individuals do. The current issue of inequality has emerged due to

minimal opportunities and lack of mobility. In this context, mobility means the evolution form on

social class to another that is much better with more prospects for the individual.

Childhood wealth inequality

Children born wealthy are bound to remain wealthy and will still die wealthy. This arises

from the inequality. The wealthy children have more opportunities in life. Essentially, this begins

with their parents who have developed linkages in a society that are used to amasses wealth or

even find opportunities to become wealthy. The wealthy children attend a school where most of

the students are from wealthy families. These children are socialized in a life of wealth and are

accustomed to a life of wealth. They have better opportunities as their parents have the finances

to ensure that they attend the best schools that are quite expensive for the poor to attend. These

schools act as a stepping-stone to wealth (Bernstein & Spielberg, 2015). This will be the case

from lower high school until the child has finished college. The child either can get opportunities

such as working in prestigious firms, or will be required to run businesses run by their families or

parents. This also them to remain wealthy as they have the opportunities to do so. Additionally,

these children of wealthy individuals can also inherit properties and money once their parents

die. If the individual uses this wealth well, they will be able to gain more wealth, and they would

die wealthy. If the individual has children, then the cycle of wealth will remain in the family.

On the other hand, low-income families and children from these families have minimal

possibilities of acquiring wealth. The struggles begin in childhood where their parents do not

have sufficient finances to take the child to a good school. It becomes difficult to determine the

best use of resources due to competing needs. These include food, shelter, healthcare, clothing,

and education. It is difficult to ensure that the child goes to a good school, yet their family needs

food or even money for rent. The socioeconomic status of the child is directly linked to their

education performance. This will mean that the child will have a poorer quality education in

comparison to the rich (Bernstein & Spielberg, 2015). Additionally, even if they have been

educated to college, it becomes harder for the child to find the linkages in the industry that would

allow them to have a job and even gain wealth. Life will be a constant struggle, and the

individual will die poor. A large number of individuals who are born wealthy will die wealthy

while a very small number of people who are poor will die wealthy. Due to capitalism and the

configuration of the economy, wealth is not distributed equally. It remains concentrated to a few

individuals, while a large number of the population remains poor.

This is a problem as it limits the development of an individual. Every individual has an

ability and potential to become rich, but this is limited due to lack of opportunities. The countys

wealthiest individuals comprise the 1%, and they hold about for a huge share of incomes in

comparison to the remaining 99%. The wealthy often make policies that are favorable to them, or

they ensure that the poor do not take up their position in society (Bernstein & Spielberg, 2015).

This is often achieved by minimizing payment for employees or placing stringent and tough

restrictions of doing business. An individual will require additional finances to start a business,

but this would not be possible without collateral. Essentially, since the individual is poor, there is

a minimal possibility to have sufficient collateral to get a loan that can be used to start a business.

Moreover, the poor individuals are often characterized by a lack of knowledge due to poor

education. This means that they lack the expertise of how to invest the limited resources they

have, or what kind of business that would prove beneficial to them. Additionally, a significant

number of poor people are engaged in crime due to frustrations. This becomes a limiting factor

as they cannot find a gainful employment if they have a criminal history or will find it difficult to

work for poor wages.

Figure 1: Link between inequality and mobility (source: Bernstein & Spielberg, 2015)

Based on figure 1 above, children born in low-income areas will be trapped into a life of

poverty. These areas with a higher income inequality minimize the chance of upward mobility.

The increase in productivity and growth often goes to the wealthy. In this context, the resources

and wealth will rarely reach those who are poor. This would mean that it is impossible for the

poor to invest in their children (Bernstein & Spielberg, 2015). The low-income families could try

to take loans to assist their children. However, they will remain in debt and can risk losing the

little they have.

Improve social mobility

Social mobility can be improved through social and economic policies. Essentially, all

individuals in the society should be guaranteed to have a good education. This means that they

have the opportunity to go to one of the best schools, and this will allow them to meet and link

up with individuals who can be of assistance in the long term. This allows them to improve their

skills and knowledge, allowing them to find ways of coming up with an innovative idea that will

enable them to be self-employed, and create more jobs in the society (Bernstein & Spielberg,

2015). There should be fewer restrictions when it comes to accessing loans and other services in

the society. This will allow more people to take loans and begin business.

Social mobility will also be improved through an increase in taxes for the wealthy

individuals, and reducing taxes among the poor. This will allow the poor to have more finances

that would enable them to develop in the society, and lack sufficient finances for their daily

sustenance. Additionally, the taxes from the wealthy can be allocated towards programs to help

the poor. This can involve programs to educate the poor on ways of investing, opportunities for

them and advising them on how they can use their limited finances. This could prove beneficial

to the larger American society.

To conclude, wealth inequality is a major issue that pervades the American society and is

a barrier to social mobility. Inequality is a major issue in the society. It is characterized by the

differentiation in wealth between the poor that limits the prospects of development for the poor.

Essentially, wealthy individuals will die wealthy while poor individuals from low-income

families have little opportunity to be wealthy, and they will die poor. Inequality is a major social

issue, and it should be resolved to ensure that all citizens in a country can find opportunities to

develop equally.


Bernstein, J., & Spielberg, B. (2015, June 5). Inequality Matters. Retrieved from The Atlantic: