Free «Income Inequality» Essay Sample
From the ancient times, human beings tended to categorize themselves into various classes on the basis of their level of education, income, material wealth among other parameters. This essay seeks to establish the causes of income inequality amongst people and the effects of this inequality. This knowledge will help to solve the problems that arise from this issue, which threatens to bring about class struggle and destabilize the society. As a matter of fact, high-income earners strive to maintain their position in the hierarchy while the middle-income earners attempt to join the high-income brackets. At the same time, the low-income earners struggle to join the middle class, and thus, there emerges a class struggle between the three categories of society (Pannini 824).
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Income inequality refers to how fairly or unfairly income is distributed among individuals in the society. To measure the level of income inequality the Gini coefficient measuring the extent of the distribution of consumption and expenditure in individuals or household is used. The results obtained identify the extent to which consumption and expenditure deviate from the expected perfect equal distribution (Tavernise 3). The 0 rate measure indicates that the stands are perfectly equal whereas 100 means that a single individual carries all the income.
It should be noted that the major causes of income inequality are cutting down of taxes imposed on rich individuals, which provides them with an opportunity to generate even more income. The development of technology has also resulted in income inequality as machines replace human labor thus leaving the former workers jobless with no income while the rich continue generating income through the machines that they buy to use in industries (Tavernise 4). Income inequality creates a wide range of problems, for instance, individuals with low income tend to consider education as a secondary need, which thus lowers their overall literacy levels. It, therefore, means that this group of people will have a limited access to information. Lack of access to information denies life opportunities, resulting in low-quality life. Income inequality, therefore, remains a crucial issue regarding education (Wilkinson, 2).
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Poor people have low literacy levels due to their limited access to quality education. Unfortunately, their low income denies them the opportunity to access and advance their education, particularly in the institutions of higher learning. It is also obvious that scarcity of schools exists in areas with high poverty index. Unavailability of schools makes it difficult for children from such backgrounds to pursue their studies. Schools in such environments experience an acute shortage of essential equipment and manpower to implement the curriculum (Tavernise 4). It, therefore, results in low-quality education, which denies the same students a chance to compete favorably with their counterparts.
Income inequality also prevents parents with low income from enrolling their children in institutions of higher learning and thus limits their progression in the field of academia. Universities require substantial income in terms of fees and other academic requirements. Students who excel in their studies miss out on scholarship opportunities since they cannot sustain their livelihood at the institutions of higher learning (Sutter 13).
What is more, income inequality also creates classes in the institutions of learning. Students from wealthy backgrounds tend to undermine those coming from low-income families. It has a strong psychological impact on the learners, which, consequently, negatively affects their performance. Teachers may also practice favoritism amongst students basing on the income factor, which may create an unfavorable learning environment with negative effects on the students’ performance (Sutter 13). However, income inequality in the society has two sides that may be perceived differently depending on the social category one belongs. On the positive side, unequal income distribution results in competition. As it was mentioned above, low-income earners strive to join the middle-income bracket whereas the middle income earners strive to join the high-income bracket as the high-income earners, on the other hand, struggle to maintain the status quo (Wilkinson 5).
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This competition and class struggle result in innovations and inventions all over the world as individuals target to generate more income. Industries emerge, creating employment opportunities in the society. Employment enables individuals to get income, which they, again, invest thus spurring economic growth. The low-income earners, on the other hand, will turn to innovations as they attempt to find solutions to their problems (Sutter 13). These innovations also help to create employment opportunities and generate income. On the flipside, unequal income distribution breeds hatred, violence and class struggle. The low-income earners hold grudges with the high-income earners all driven by the belief that high-income earners stand as the immediate cause of their misery (Tavernise 5). Cases of violent incidences also emerge as individuals attempt to restore social justice through illegal means.
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The society also devalues people while holding some of them in high esteem. The high-income earners stand as the role models in the society, being highly respected and valued. The respect arises out of their ability to influence issues in the wider sphere of the society. They influence opinions, decisions, and trends. They also hold power and determine the direction that the society takes using the same instruments of power at their disposal. This kind of inequality polarizes the society and builds two blocks of competing factions. It undermines national unity, which plays an integral role in economic development. It also compromises cohesion amongst the different classes. The end result of all this is a society of very rich and, at the same time, very poor individuals. This kind of inequality dehumanizes other human beings as it turns them into slaves of the rich (Sutter 13).
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Income inequality can, however, be eliminated if appropriate measures are advanced at the appropriate time. For instance, countries can opt to establish policies that guide the distribution of natural resources among the citizens. Such policies will ensure that each individual enjoys or benefits from the natural resources. The government can also ensure that the taxes imposed on individuals vary depending on the amount of income one earns.