The consequences of being poor are severe. Children growing up poor have a high stress level which impairs memory and language acquisition. Children from poor families are almost two times more likely to be born underweight, two times more likely to repeat a grade in school and three times more likely to have children without marriage than better off individuals. Furthermore, poverty stricken parents have to choose child care options that are not beneficial for the intellectual growth of their children.
From a utilitarian view, our economic system is unethical. Utilitarianism is the theory that we should try to achieve the greatest happiness for the highest number of people. The flaw is that we are not providing more for the economically challenged, consequently increasing their happiness and the happiness of the individuals concerned about them.
However, utilitarians would argue against a perfectly equal system i.e. egalitarian. A system of equality may take more happiness from the wealthy than is given to the poor. Consequently, utilitarians feel that some level of poverty is adequate. Meaning that in order to achieve the greatest amount of happiness some people may have to be less fortunate. The question is how less fortunate do some have to be in order to achieve the greatest overall happiness? Also, how should the disparities look in