Social Income Inequality

Topics: Social class, Sociology, Working class Pages: 4 (1154 words) Published: March 7, 2006
A major social problem in America today is its inequality of the distribution of income. "Income inequality refers to the gap between the rich and the poor. The United States has the most unequal income distribution in the industrialized world, and it is growing at a faster rate than any other industrialized country" (Eitzen & Leedham, pg. 37). The main reason as to why income is distributed so unequally is because of the gap between social classes.

Each social class has a certain power, and that power is their economic ability to change society. The four major classes are the capitalists, managers, small entrepreneurs and the workers. A persons clothing, housing and educational opportunities usually depend on their class, but that is a direct reflection of their income. A person does not gain any class or power without their income being taken into consideration. The only problem is, is that there is also class inequality, which further prohibits people to earn an equal income.

Typically the working class is unable to afford a luxurious lifestyle because they have less access to life's goods due to their lower income (Feagin & Feagin, pg. 36). They don't have the prestigious lifestyle as someone higher up on the social ladder. The capitalists consist of top corporate executive; the managerial class consists of the managers, the small business class is your small risk-taking entrepreneurs and the working class is both white and blue collar workers. The income of these four groups goes from high to low respectively. The reason for this unequal income gap is that top positions are held by those more qualified and are therefore paid more.

Aside from being paid more and holding more economic power, capitalists control how much money the working class makes. "The yearly earnings of the low paid and less skilled have fallen by a large percentage than their hourly pay. In addition, the likelihood that employers will provide low skilled workers with...

Cited: Eitzen, D. Stanley & Craig S. Leedham. Solutions to Social Problems: Lessons from other Societies, "A Better Kind of Tax", Allyn & Bacon Publications, 3rd Ed. pg. 39-41.
Eitzen, D. Stanley & Craig S. Leedham. Solutions to Social Problems: Lessons from other Societies, "Income Inequality", Allyn & Bacon Publications, 3rd Ed. pg. 37-38.
Eitzen, D. Stanley & Craig S. Leedham. Solutions to Social Problems: Lessons from other Societies, "Toward an Apartheid Economy", Allyn & Bacon Publications, 3rd Ed. pg. 45-53.
Feagin, Joe R. & Clairece Booher Feagin. Social Problems: A Critical Power-Conflict Perspective, "Class Relations and the Problems with Inequality Printice Hall, 5th Ed. Ppg. 51-57.
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