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Inequality Between Rich and Poor: Wealth Inequality

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“A nation will not serve morally or economically when so few have so much, while so many have so little.” Bernie Sanders. Wealth Inequality is defined as the unequal distribution of assets among residents of the United States. Wealth is considered to be the value of homes, cars, personal valuables, businesses, savings, and investments. Factors contributing to income inequality include technological advancements, stalled growth in educational attainment, globalization, and less progressive taxation. Wealth Inequality and inequality between rich and poor should be prioritized by the government because it causes higher crime rates, poorer public health, and lower average education levels.

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One of the most important effects of wealth inequality is on crime rates. Inequality causes higher crime rates around the United States, mostly among men. When a man cannot show his status by the car he drives and the job he has, then he relies on respect to show his worth. When that is compromised, and they are made to feel unworthy that’s when violence comes into play. In particular for low-income men that feel they don’t have much to lose in the first place, committing these acts of violence can be their way to earn respect from others. Studies have also shown this gap in income leads to more property crime. People from low-income neighborhoods go into richer ones and steal because they feel it won’t hurt the rich and they can make income from stolen property.

Wealth inequality also has a big effect on public health. Researchers have found that the health of the wealthier class has remained about the same while the health of the lower incomes is dramatically declining. There is also research that suggests that it’s stressful to live around people who have more money than you do. That stress can directly translate into mental health problems or cardiac disease for lower-income people. This is one of the reasons the lower-income person has a shorter life span. A greater level of wealth leads to a longer life because people with more money have the capital for doctors’ visits, hospital visits, and medications. Whereas a person with a lower income many times will just deal with poor health because they feel they have no other choice when they can’t afford it.

Wealth inequality also has effects on higher education. The students that are more likely to attend college are those that come from higher income, wealthy families because they are prepped for just that from a young age. Parents of these students have the means to pay for after-school activities like tutoring that prepare their kids to go to college. Another reason they are more likely to attend college is their parents went to college and it’s something they are told is going to happen no matter what after high school. For these kids never to have to worry about paying for tuition, the prices of books, or even having to go to work and school at the same time, the path is easier laid out for students of wealthy families. For low-income families, many times paying for college is a stressful time, having to take out loans, apply for scholarships, and pay for books are things that weigh heavy on the minds of parents in these families.

In conclusion. Inequality between rich and poor, wealth inequality is something that has become worse in the last few decades, and it is something that has to be dealt with before the gap between the high income and low-income families becomes bigger. One way the government can help to try and bridge the gap is to make more housing and make it cheaper. Many people live their lives on a check-to-check basis, where more than half of what they make goes towards their rent. If rent was cheaper these people would be able to use their income on other necessary things. Another way government can improve the wealth inequality situation is to raise the minimum wage, if low-income people made a better hourly wage it would take off a lot of the stress they feel every payday and when it comes time to pay bills. Making higher education cheaper and more attainable can also help with wealth inequality. If people find college easier to attend it will help them to be able to get out of the low-income status they were born in. The only way we can make these improvements is if the government gets involved to try and make wealth inequality a thing of the past.      

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