Alex de Tocqueville's Teachings on Inequality and Poverty in the United States

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French social philosopher, Alex de Tocqueville (1805-1889), once said, “However energetically society in general may strive to make all citizens equal and alike, the personal pride of each individual will always make him try to escape from the common level, and he will form some inequality somewhere to his own profit.” Through the ages, income inequality has caused class conflict, created political systems (communism), and has simultaneously promoted vast increases in wealth and technological advances. The purpose of this paper is to research and examine the benefits and detriments, or pros and cons, of income inequality and to then render my opinion regarding my findings. Because income inequality is vast in nature, this paper will…show more content…
According to Gary Becker, the labor market is placing a greater emphasis on education and dispensing rapidly rising rewards to those who stay in school the longest. Numerous studies have shown that the greater the education, the greater the medium income (Bureau of Labor). People who want to earn more money have the incentive to pursue a higher level of education. Between 1915 and 1950, the demand for education was lower because there were fewer high paying jobs. It was not until 1950 that number of people who returned to college rose, and after 1980 this number skyrocketed (Cowen). The new increase in returning college students called for an increase in supply and demand. As the demand for an education level beyond high school increased, so did the amount of high paying jobs. However, some individuals such as Charles Murray, co author of “The Bell Curve,” argue that only a certain amount of citizens are educable at a high level and it is these people who receive the benefits of a seventy percent income increase. This trend of pursuing higher education to receive higher income has significantly risen as well as contributed to the growth in overall earnings of Americans (Bureau of Labor). Unequal income is beneficial for American society because it rewards the better educated with a more satisfying income, making for a more productive society, ultimately raising the overall

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