HOW ECONOMIC INEQUALITY HARMS SOCIETIES 7
HowEconomic Inequality Harms Societies
HowEconomic Inequality Harms Societies
Inthe video, , Richard Wilkinsoncontends that societies that are closely equal in terms of the incomegap tend o be happier and healthier than communities with significantincome difference and status apprehension. Previously, economistsbelieved that poverty was the main contributor of social vices suchas teen pregnancy, crime, and obesity. However, Wilkinson and Picketthave charted solid evidence based on ordinary data to prove that thestability of society has no relationship with per capita income.Instead, huge economic disparity causes most of the social problemssuch as mistrust, poor mental health, and short lifespan in apopulation.
Iagree with the authors because societies with huge income differencestend to manipulate the system in a way that will favor the wealthy.For example, the wealthy control lawmaking institutions througheither lobbying for the positions or giving grants to prospectivecandidates. The sponsored candidates are then responsible forcreating favorable regulations such as tax and punishment policiesthat will favor the rich (Varjavand, 2013). A good example of abiased community based on high-income inequality is the UnitedStates. Since the taxation rate of personal income is lower than thatof corporate returns, many wealthy persons record their businessreturns as personal income. This enables them to save huge amounts ofcash that further increases the gap between the rich and the poor.Similarly, the poor persons are on the receiving end when it comes toserious convictions that may include death penalties. Since theycannot afford the attorney fees required for hiring competentlawyers, they tend to be more susceptible to being convicted ofserious crimes than the wealthy (Oak, 2013).
Similarly,huge income disparity may contribute more to social problems such asteenage pregnancies as opposed to poverty level since the wealthy canlure teenagers into random sexual activities. On the other hand,there is a low likelihood that another poor person, suffering frommental anguish, physical weakness, and poor health associated withpoverty would manage to engage in exploitative habits that wouldresult in teenage pregnancy (Varjavand, 2013).
Previousresearchers had also attributed the high rate of crime to poverty.Nonetheless, Wilkinson and Picket’s analysis indicates that thehuge income difference is, in fact, the main cause of criminalactivities. In my opinion, poverty can help to unite people asopposed to making them open. However, a huge income difference raisesthe class of the haves and have-nots. The rich tries to manipulatethe poor through introducing unfavorable policies and liferestrictions that can trigger the poor to engage in conflict as a wayof claiming their deserved honor in society. The have-nots are likelyto engage in violent activities in an attempt to acquire a portion ofwealth from the affluent society (Varjavand, 2013). For instance, alarge income difference between the African Americans in the UnitedStates can be partly blamed for the high vulnerability of the blacksengaging in violent crimes.
Lastly,the income difference does also affect life expectancy, mentalhealth, and addiction rate in societies. According to the latest datafrom the US Bureau of Statistics and Food and Drug Administration(FDA), the Spanish, Latinos, and the African Americans are the mostaffected by obesity condition (Varjavand, 2013). This could beassociated with their tendency of consuming junk. Healthy foods,quality health services, and access to addiction and mental healthfacilities are limited for the poor persons because they are socostly that only the rich can afford them. Low-income earners sufferfrom psychological problems and drug addiction problems than thewealthy since the major health care institutions are likely to hikethe cost of their services as a way of capitalizing on businessreturns from the rich. Obesity and mental diseases cause seriousdiseases that in turn result into low life expectancy (Oak, 2013).
Insummary, huge income difference is the main cause of major societyproblems such as obesity, crime, poor mental health, and teenagepregnancies among other vices.
Varjavand,R. (2013). RisingEconomic Inequality in America: Its Causes and Consequences, Part 2.OpEdNews.http://www.opednews.com/articles/Rising-Economic-Inequality-by-Reza-varjavand-130316-793.html
Oak,R. (2013). America`sGrowing Income Inequality Problem.The Economic Populist.http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/americas-growing-income-inequality-problem-5339