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Social Inequalities In America

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Social Inequalities In America
Inequality of Social Classes in United States Democracy While United States is one of the most powerful and successful countries in the world, it has many flaws in need of attention. One of the most prominent issues is the unequal representation of citizens in the government. Many factors contribute to this, but one significant cause of inequality is the representation of social classes. Even in the 1800s, Alexis De Tocqueville determined that the social class that held the most power would pass policies in their own favor (1835). Because of separation between social classes, the upper class has the most influence in government, the middle class is decently represented, and the lower class has a weak effect in democracy. Evidence shows that …show more content…
Due to the government favoring the upper class, the needs of the poor and struggling lower class do not get the attention they need. In his book, White-Collar Government, Nicholas Carnes explains, “The effects on the well-being of working-class Americans are staggering. Business regulations are more relaxed, tax policies are more generous to the rich, social safety net programs are stingier, and protections for workers are weaker than they would be if our political decision makers came from the same mix of classes as the people they represent” (2013). His book also mentions that eight of the last twelve presidents were millionaires before coming into office (Carnes, 2013). The U.S.’s presidents often come from the most affluent people in the country, but presidents with a poor background have rarely emerged in our recent history. Politicians who have experienced the lower class understand the issues pertaining to them, and they are more sympathetic and proactive for the benefit of the U.S. lower class. Jacob Grumbach explains, “politicians hailing from working-class jobs can do a great deal to make American politics and policy more responsive to the needs of the average citizen … because they will likely do more than other privileged officeholders to advocate policies that expand economic opportunities for all Americans” (2015). Because previously privileged politicians do not vie as much for the wellbeing …show more content…
People argue that the dominance of the upper class in politics does not cause them to poorly represent the lower class. Patrick Flavin argues this because he analyzes to see if as public opinion becomes more conservative across the states, elected officials voting behavior also become more conservative. He then compares the responsiveness with different amounts of rich and poor voter turnout. He concludes that an increase in voter turnout of the lower class does not improve representation (2012). While the amount of poor voter turnout may not be the cause of bad representation, they still are not well represented. Pew Research Center gathered data showing that the most financially struggling usually support democratic candidates more than republican. This shows elected representatives might be more republican than the public wants (2015). If the representatives are not equally derived from the different classes, there can still not be accurate representation. Regardless of the amount of poor who vote, upper class representatives will not be as motivated to benefit the lower class. Joshua Kalla and David Brookman conducted a field experiment on access to members of congress in which political organization contacted 191 congressional offices requesting meetings to discuss a pending bill. They randomly identified the organization’s members as either constituents or as campaign donors. The results

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