Income Inequality Sociology

Decent Essays
Poverty and income inequality is an enormous obstacle in which certain Americans may face daily. Poverty refers to economic or income deprivation (Iceland 2006). Some may refer to poverty as having material hardships, or having one’s income and assets compared against a standard. If an individual’s income falls below the standard, they’re considered “poor” (Newman and O’Brien 2011). Poverty may be currently measured in two common ways, either through an absolute measure or relative. The poverty measure I am proposing would be looking at “family/couple/household” as the unit of analysis, cost of food, childcare, housing, and transportation as scale of resources, and the threshold will be using a more relative dimensional perspective.
The social
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Consumption may be a better indicator of one’s true income one might argue. A person’s actual consumption of goods may be more related to an individual’s well being, that is considering they have enough to meet basic needs (Coudouel1996). It is important to consider income in the ability to access basic necessities, but we must also include an individual’s access and availability. Consumption may better reflect a household’s true standard of living (Coudouel 1996). Consumption expenditures do not solely reflect the goods and services a household can command based on their income and monetary assets, but the ability for a household to have access to credit markets or capability to have household’s savings when their income is low due to certain circumstances. However, one should not be dogmatic about using income as a sole source of measure of…show more content…
Households of different sizes will have different needs, which are not typically reflected in current poverty measures. Adjustment should be made on the age of household members. If one of the household members is retired, they’re currently not pulling in any income. Instead, they’re most likely having higher expenditures because they’re dipping into their savings. If household members are at the age in which they’re attending college and tuition is considered one of the bills of the household that must be taken into consideration as well. Another big question that must be taken into account is whether households of different sizes should receive differential treatment because they’re able to purchase goods in bulk at cheaper rates. We may want to use an equivalence scale to adjust for basic needs for different age groups and gender (Coudouel 1996). Equivalence scales is standard means of determining whether a household is poor by comparing per capita spending or income to per capita poverty line. An equivalence scale should not be used as a “pure” measure of determining poverty, but instead be used to test the degree of poverty in combination with alternative scales and
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