Wealth means ownership to property, whether tangible or intangible. For example, savings accounts, mines, real estate, stocks and bonds, factories, forests, or natural resources. It should be noted that, wealth is generally unevenly distributed in America. Moreover, there are striking inequalities concerning the wealth of various social groups.
There are numerous differences between wealth and income. Income is the flow of money over time, which is in the form of a rate, while wealth refers to a collection of assets that are owned individually or collectively. In simpler terms, income refers to what individuals receive through work, social welfare, or retirement, while wealth is what these people own in general.
The two seem related; however, income by itself is not sufficient since it does not portray the seriousness of economic inequality in the United States (Charles, 30). Moreover, it does not reflect the economic position of an individual accurately. It is also important to note that, the gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is wider now than before. There has been a sharp increase in economic inequality since the late 1970s; this fact has made wealth distribution more unequal than in Europe.
This despairing inequality in wealth has great implications because it affects things like relative political power of different groups; the opportunities in life that these groups have; and the security that individuals and groups have when experiencing economic adversity. The poor have nothing to depend on when they experience hardships in life and economy. The wealthy can have unequal amount of political influence; they can ensure their children get the best in education and in life.
In my opinion, reducing or eliminating inequalities in income and wealth is not a necessary step towards helping the poor. Income inequality makes it possible for a group of wealthier citizens to have more influence in politics than the rest of the groups. Despite the negative effects of inequalities, there are some which can be perfectly just and necessary, for example, economic efficiency.
In a society like the United States, income inequality should not be much of a problem since every individual has the same opportunity to be economically stable. However, there can be negative implications on the society being cohesive.
Unlike the poor, the wealthy do have an advantage in getting the information necessary to increase their amount of wealth (Charles, 32). The rich have a network of other wealthy individuals or businesses to improve their accessibility to opportunities for acquiring wealth. They also have an additional advantage in attaining advanced professional or graduate training, which will increase their chances of being given high positions in wealthy corporations. The rich can also afford to risk in investment portfolios and gain very highly in the end. All these facts point to the notion that wealth acquires wealth.
Various scholars have come up with remedies for the current level of income and wealth inequality in the United States. Some have suggested tax remedies, as well as, remedying social obstacles that do exist for the economically disadvantaged.
With wealth acquisition, most Americans will be able to get the best education and live a healthy life. Wealth provides for short and long-term financial security and presents social prestige. Moreover, wealth accumulation gives out many options and eliminates existing restrictions about how an individual or a community can live life.
In conclusion, the creation and persistent of inequalities in wealth can be attributed to money allocation and financial resources (Charles, 31). It is a fact that the rich in the United States keep on accumulating numerous assets while the rest try hard to sustain their daily lives. There are other various reasons as to why there exist inequalities in the United States. Part of it has to do with the issue of race. For example, there is a difference in the way blacks and whites own homes; there is a persistent huge wealth gap. There are numerous reported cases of discrimination against business practices and mortgage associated with residential segregation. This discrimination usually affects home ownership.
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