In Robert Reich documentary “Inequality for All” he makes a compelling discussion about the serious crises that the United States faces due the widening economic gap. He looks to raise awareness of the U.S. economic gap between the rich and poor. According to Reich the widening divide in America is real and growing. Income levels at the middle and labor class is stagnant and are at it’s lowest levels compared to upper class incomes since the beginning of WWII and is growing wider each year. Reich suggests that the economy runs more smoothly when the middle class has jobs with fair wages, when unions are strong, and when middle class workers have some extra money to spend if possible when the government uses the tax policy properly and when it raises the minimum wage regularly to control the income gap between labor and management. In other words Reich argues that economically healthy middle and labor class equality is the foundation of a thriving economy and is necessary to maintaining a sound national infrastructure and educational system within
There are many inequalities prevalent in the US, and as a capitalist society, one of the most common is economic inequality. The Equality Trust defines economic inequality, as the gap between the well off and less well of in regards to overall economic distribution (“How Is”). See, our capitalist society strongly benefits those with a capitalist mentality and can afford the means to invest/own capital. Over the years there has been an increasing wealth gap between the top one percent earners and the general population. So why are the rich flourishing while the poor are struggling in this capitalist environment? The policy decisions of our country allow this inequality to permeate throughout our industries, thus creating a culture of power and greed. One result of this culture is the explosion of high salaries in the US and Emmanuel Saez explains this trend in Striking it Richer. Saez affirms, “Indeed, estimates based purely on wages and salaries show that the share of total wage and salaries earned by the top 1 percent wage income earners has jumped from 5.1 percent in 1970 to 12.0 percent in 2006” (Grusky 89). Too bad that the 99 percent of America missed out on this massive economic growth spurt. When economic growth is not evenly distributed among the general population, people tend to question our entire system. This has been an increasingly controversial issue, where corporate America is responsible for the constant exploitation of low-level employees. Through my
("America Is the Richest, and Most Unequal,) For more than 10 years workers fought to raise their proportion of wealth, but by the 1970s the social classes had turned a copious amount of what the working class earned into what most middle class would earn. In this aeon, we started actualizing laws to provide employees and laborers a decent chunk of the wealth. (Czajka, Kirtley, and DiSalvo, 2016) These laws include, workers’ compensation, federal income tax and child labor
The American government has struggled with the issue of taxes and the budget for over a hundred years. Class conflict, adversarial political parties, and convoluted economic philosophies have resulted in a never-ending debate over taxation. The New York Times newspaper article, “Senate Panel Vote Backs Budget Plan”, from June 1993, discusses the current feelings of the time in regards to the budget and taxation. Moreover, the article mentions factors such as democrat-republican debate, trickle down economics, and high verse low taxes for the middle class. The issues discussed in this 1993 article differ only slightly from the taxation conversation of today. However, now in 2011, we face a budget crisis that threatens the American economy
There is no doubt that wealth inequality in America has been escalating quickly; the portion of total income earned by the top one percent has doubled since the beginning of the 1970’s. The wealthy are the main beneficiaries
Reich explains that the top wealthiest 1% has more money than half of the United State’s population combined. Today, the rich make more money than they can spend, which, they invest. When their money is kept from the market, it leads to stagnation. On the other hand, The middle class is paid just enough to meet their daily needs. To add, Since most of the high paid CEOs’ money is put into investments, it is taxed at a much lower rate than the
Throughout the years, the gap between the poor and the rich has only increased. The wage percentage has decreased, while the productivity percentage has increased. During recent years, the wealthiest of the American population, also known as the top 20%, control over 80% of the American wealth, while the “poorest of the poor” barely control 5% of the wealth. An example of this income gap would be CEO of companies and their
In “inequality for all”, a documentary presented and narrated by Robert Reich, Reich discusses what is happening in terms of the distribution of income and wealth in the US, why it is happening, and is it a problem. “Inequality for all” is directed by Jacob Kornbluth, it premiered in 2013, and it runs for 90 minutes. Reich studied at the University of Oxford in during the late 1960’s, where he befriended future president Bill Clinton. Subsequently, they kept in touch, and in 1993, when Clinton was elected president, he reached out to Reich, to be secretary of labor. Reich was in office for the following four years, and today he is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. For about three decades now, Reich announced that out of all developed countries, the US has the most unequal distribution of wealth, and that inequality is getting even greater in the US. In the documentary, the most compelling topics covered by Reich, are the changes that started happening in the late 1970’s, the fact that 42 percent of Americans born into poverty stay poor, and that nowadays, money controls politics.
After watching the video Wealth Inequality in America (2012) and reading the article Apple’s Retail Army, Long on Loyalty but short on Pay by David Segal (2012), I started reflecting on how blind we have become to the conception of America’s growing economy. While the social stratification is an ideal ladder, for the poor to middle classes to seek for economical growth to reach the top, the wealth class. There’s a misconception on how corporations are helping society’s economic growth. While growing in value for its shareholders, corporations are rising inequality among the workplace. The reality of an uneven economy is notorious for the poor, yet its magnitude is not imaginable by many. President Barack Obama has tried to address this issue with a proposal of raising
In the Documentary, “Inequality for All”, scholar Robert Reich forces viewers to dissect our Nation’s wealth distribution model and the shattering effects it has on income equality. Reich begins his argument with a staggering piece of evidence that was shocking to learn that the upper 1% of the nation, the wealthy portion, makes up over half of the national income. This means that the remaining 99% of the population of the United States makes up less than half of the income in our nation. This is a gigantic gap that almost seems unfixable in a day where wages are decreasing and expenses keep rising. He identifies that the middle class is rapidly sinking and no longer has the purchasing power to keep the economy stable.
Income inequality is often presented as the percentage of income to a percentage of populations. To put it simply, wealthy households of the top 1% are holding a greater share of the nation’s income than everyone else. “The United States in particular has much higher rates of income inequality than other developed countries” (Brooks, 2014). In recent years, economists have debated whether it has become a hindrance, has had no effect, or has helped sustain the American economy. That is to say has an increased concentration in the top 1% increased or decreased the economic well being of the country. There has been debate over the role of progressive taxes, which is taxes that are directly proportional to income earned, in the combatting income inequality. Finally, a question that often is central to the debate on income inequality is whether labor markets naturally create imbalance in wages.
America was once known as the land of opportunity. However, that is no longer the case. Americans are still suffering from a depression that began three years ago in 2008. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2007, the United States unemployment rates were 4.6 percent. In 2009, one year after the depression began, the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent. Millions of Americans are living in poverty, unable to afford the basic necessities. On the other hand, there is a minuscule percent of the population that are billionaires. Written in 2005, Holly Sklar’s essay “The Growing Gulf Between the Rich and the Rest of Us” argues that if something isn’t done about the growing inequality between the rich and the poor, the American
Long accused that the nation’s economic downfall was the result of the massive difference between the super-rich and everyone else. In Long’s opinion, this abundance of money among only the minority of people (wealthy bankers, entrepreneurs and businessmen) limited its availability for average citizens - these citizens were the people working in harsh conditions for minimal pay. 
Many proponents of capitalism argue that the wealth is shared with the workers. But is it true? According to an annual report in 2008, an average American CEO makes as much money in one day compared to what an average worker earns in one year1. And the disparity between business leaders and average workers continues to grow over time. From 1990 to 2005, the CEO’s salaries increased almost 300%, while a worker received a scant 4.3%2. The social consequence of this disparity is the concentration of wealth on a small percentage of population.
In 2003 the average pay for CEOs at 200 of the largest U.S. companies was $11.3 million--but there are a good number whose compensation packages approach the $100 million mark. Faced with these figures, Americans from all walks of life--who revile CEOs as greedy fat cats--are overcome with bewilderment and indignation. Astonished to learn that what an average worker earns in a year, some CEOs earn in less than a week--people ask themselves: "How can the work of a