It is one of the clichéd sayings that “man is a social animal”, (Hombres, 59) but is it? Still there is a widening economic gap, social inequalities and discriminations present through out the US in this age of technological marvels and mind blowing innovations. It should be noted that the aspect of economic gap cannot be seen in isolation; it is a social variable within other components of the society and is directly influenced by social aspects like social inequalities and discriminations. While the cause of economic disparity is unequal distribution of the wealth, racism and other factors contribute to the development of social inequality and widening economic gap.
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Widening Economic Gap
One of the very important issues in the aspect of social inequality is a constantly growing gap between the rich and poor. In this case we can discuss the aspects of economic inequality to understand the reason of the constant gap between the rich and poor. Before going to the topic we can say that social inequality is quite different from economic inequality, but these two are greatly linked. And in this aspect one must discuss about economic inequality, before drawing any conclusion on the subject. In other words, it is nothing but the difference between the income and wealth of classes. “In popular usage, the term typically refers to the inequality among individuals or groups or even countries” (Korpi, 19). This is one of the most prominent economic trends present through out the ages.
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded - here and there, now and then - are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right thinking people (Trannoy, 932).
This was said by Robert A. Heinlein regarding the discrimination of the rich and poor. This is true for all the ages. In recent times we are going through an open market capitalist society. The control of this type of society is directly in the hands of the entrepreneurs and other industrial leaders and capitalist powers. “Here, in this type of condition, the rich gets richer in all the senses and the poor gets poorer again in all aspects” (Korpi, 18). And the gap between two classes gets wider day by day.
If the case is different in any sense like, the rich is not free to get “richer” or in other words to develop or invest in the ever-increasing productivity, the poor class of people will never be able to improve their conditions. They will also not get hold all the tools of expanding productivity in any sense.
Let us take an example of a natural phenomenon. “In terms of natural resources, Africa is the richest continent of the World” (Trannoy, 929). In the continent there are a lot of minerals and thousands of acres of unutilized farmlands. Most of the World’s diamonds and chromium are found in Africa along with a number of other natural resources. To be more precise, the continent can produce more than 40% of the hydropower of the World. All these cn make Africa to be the richest continent of the World. But in reality it is different, as it is the poorest continent. “Out of the 41 ‘black’ African nations, only three nations, Senegal, Mauritius and Botswana have democratic Government and all the other countries are mostly autocracies” (Korpi, 21). Only two of these countries, Botswana and Mauritius have the freedom of speech. It has been reported that “ethnic genocide, constant violence, civil wars, famines and other natural disasters” (Korpi, 22) claimed thousands of innocent lives in the continent every year. One will be shocked to know that slavery is still very much in practice in countries like Sudan and Mauritania.
While discussing these aspects we can strongly make a statement, that capitalism is nothing but a natural phenomenon in today’s social condition. International inequality is one of the subjects that are now dealing with the inequality of earnings between countries (Easterly, 299). In this aspect we can look at a survey which was conducted by the World Institute of Development Economics. “It shows that the richest 1% of the population of the World has the total of 40% of the global assets, and the richest 10% of the World directly controls 85% of the wealth of the World” (Hombres, 71). These figures can really show us the massive gap of the so called “rich and poor”. After that the study shows that other 42% of the population generally controls 9% of the total earnings (Hombres, 69). There are a number of causes behind the staggering poverty of the World. In the following part we will discuss about some of the most important aspects:
Structural Adjustment factor
The issues like cutback in health system and other social services ultimately result in structural adjustment in this case. Generally the condition of poor people in the developing countries is worse than in the developed countries. In many cases the developing countries have huge loans from the World Bank and this adds the pressure. To control the poverty these economies can open their economies to improve the overall condition of their country and the poor people.
As already mentioned, the division between the rich and poor generally happens due to the lack of individual responsibility, wrong and bad (probably in most cases both) Governmental policies, exploitation of the poor people by the rich and powerful people. According to some sociologists, these inequalities often lead up to the social cohesion and increased crime and violence. Food and other related issues of farming, lack of education, population explosion, mostly in the third World countries are also the general causes of poverty that increases the difference between the rich and the poor in many aspects (Cohen, 29).
This is a very delicate topic. To handle this problem, every country that deals with extreme poverty has to change its structure thoroughly. There should be a massive campaign. It is easy to say that lets eradicate poverty, and give some statistics that will show the effects of poverty and the economical gap between rich and poor. In this case the main challenge will lay on the fact how the Government will take the necessary steps. The question will also arise about the fact why rich people will give away their resources to help poor people. This is always a complicated problem for the human race and the solution will never be that easy (Trannoy, 931).
Social inequality and social hierarchies
Social inequalities and social hierarchies are two very important aspects in both a political movement and economic progress. In this aspect let us look at some of the great political movements that shaped the course of history. If we take a close look into any of those movements we will see that economy play a very important part in the shaping of the movement. In most of the cases, rich people became richer by terrorizing poor people with the state backed powers. At a point of time the poor people fought back hard and tried to regain their rights (Easterly, 307). If we look at the course of history we will always see that poor is always the oppressed class.
In the ultimate analysis it can be strongly said that in the socio-economical context of any political movement or economical progress the social inequality plays a very big part itself. In this analysis, one thing can be said: social inequality is one of the most important aspects of recent sociology and economics. The increasing poverty is a typical result of globalization and political decisions (Cohen, 41). Both these factors are always driven by the rich and powerful class of the society and so poor people do not get any chance to become equal with them in most cases. Most of the rich countries play lead roles in all the global matters, while all the developing countries face with problems related to population and poverty among others. Still no effective steps have been taken. Actually all the poor countries are generally under tremendous pressure from all the big and influential countries for many aspects. This enormous power struggle often leaves the majority of the people behind to make only a few rich (Hombres, 71).
Economic gap and social inequality is a factor that can determine the course of progress of a country like US. It comes from economic deprivation or difference between races and creeds. However, it may appear that it will always be one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a country. The success of a Government can be measured by the aspects how they handle the social inequality problem. In many cases poor people form the crux of the country.
By looking at the development process of these people we can surely develop the condition of the country. Actually social inequality, economical inequality and poverty all are directly linked together and the final results of all these factors are wealth discrimination. By the direct effect of globalization and economic colonization poor people are constantly getting poorer and the rich are getting richer in all senses. But still constant efforts are needed to cure the problem. It is believable that total cure of the problem is impossible, but still governments can try to solve it. This will ultimately help the society to advance in all the respects.