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Inequality in the United States

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Inequality in the United States In today’s American home life, the pressure of living the American dream has strained society. According to the article The Dangerous Consequences of Growing Inequality, the authors state that “a powerful consequence of growing inequality is an erosion in the amount of free time that families have.” (Collins and Yeskel 155) Though advancements have been made in the work environment, many are working harder to earn the same wages to try to keep up with the changing economy. While unemployment and debt are increasing, there has been a decline in health insurance, retirement security, and ability to earn a proper education. The United States’ gap of inequality is continuously increasing with the changing economy. Presently, many Americans are faces stresses that they did not in the past. The cost of living has risen, yet many cannot afford to maintain a comfortable lifestyle with the wages that they are receiving. The article Dangerous Consequences of Growing Inequality states, “Families continue to make up for falling wages in order to maintain a certain standard of living is by going deeper into debt.” (156) Because debt continues to grow, people are not able to save for their families. The use of credit cards has fueled this problem because people are allowed to borrow money constantly, but do not have the means to pay it back. The income of the average family should increase as the standard of living increases in order to lessen inequality among the classes in today society. Because the standard of living has increased, society has had a harder time accessing certain things in life. First, the cost of health care has increased, but wages have only gone up a fraction compared to that cost. According to the article, “The United States is the only industrialized nation that views health care as a privilege, not a basic human right.” (Collins and Yeskel 156) This is unfortunate because many who cannot afford health care, cannot even afford to pay their own medical bills so some chose to not seek medical attention even though it could be life threatening. Also, the affordability of education has diminished rapidly. According to the article, “Student debt has dramatically increased from an average of $8,200 per student in 1991 to $18,900 in 2003.” (Collins and Yeskel 157) The ability to receive loans in easy, but the interest does not help students with the debt issues they face. Luxuries that would help quality of life have now been set to a higher standard that many cannot reach. Wealth is a combination of everything owned by a person minus liabilities, yet the amount of wealth per family has changed drastically. Because many are in debt, their wealth or net worth is not very high which determines their “social class.” Though the wealth of our nation may be increasing, the article It's the Inequality, Stupid talks about the fact that it is only about 20% of people receiving about 85% of the nation’s wealth while 80% of people are receiving 15% (Gilson and Perot 2011). These numbers would surprise many Americans because many do not think of the difference as being so much, but it is. According to Is the US Becoming a Third World Country?, the article states, “if a country becomes wealthier because rich people are getting richer while everyone else treads water, that country is no better off than it was before.” (Chachy 2009) The United States needs to adjust the division of wealth in order to mend the extreme differences in social inequality. Social inequality has become a great issue in the United States because of the changing in the economy. The distribution of wealth needs to be reevaluated so that everyone can receive a nice piece of the pie. Not everyone is able to go from “rages to riches” like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. To be successful in any way people have to put themselves into debt whether it is to further their education or open their own business. We are trained to fantasize about climbing up the class spectrum to be successful.

Work Cited
Chachy, . "Is the US Becoming a Third World Country? ." The Map Scroll. 15 APR 2009. Web. 1 Nov. 2011. <http://blackboard.jcu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=/webapps/blackboard/execute/launcher?type=Course&id=_5654_1&url=>.
Collins, Chuck, and Felice Yeskel. "The Dangerous Consequences of Growing Inequality." Readings for Inequality and Social Justice. 2. (2010): 155-162. Print.
Gilson, Dave, and Carlyne Perot. "It's the Inequality, Stupid." (2011): n. page. Web. 1 Nov. 2011. <http://blackboard.jcu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=/webapps/blackboard/execute/launcher?type=Course&id=_5654_1&url=>.

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