Income Inequality in the United States Essay

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The highest earning fifth of U.S. families earned 59.1% of all income, while the richest earned 88.9% of all wealth. A big gap between the rich and poor is often associated with low social mobility, which contradicts the American ideal of equal opportunity. Levels of income inequality are higher than they have been in almost a century, the top one percent has a share of the national income of over 20 percent (Wilhelm). There are a variety of factors that influence income inequality, a few of which will be discussed in this paper. Rising income inequality is caused by differences in life expectancy, rapidly increases in the incomes of the top 5 percent, social trends, and shifts in the global economy.
Variations in life expectancy and its
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The highest earning fifth of U.S. families earned 59.1% of all income, while the richest earned 88.9% of all wealth. A big gap between the rich and poor is often associated with low social mobility, which contradicts the American ideal of equal opportunity. Levels of income inequality are higher than they have been in almost a century, the top one percent has a share of the national income of over 20 percent (Wilhelm). There are a variety of factors that influence income inequality, a few of which will be discussed in this paper. Rising income inequality is caused by differences in life expectancy, rapidly increases in the incomes of the top 5 percent, social trends, and shifts in the global economy.
Variations in life expectancy and its changes are one major cause of rising income inequality. How long a person lives, as well as their quality of health, can have an important and huge impact on their income and social mobility. The life expectancy of the bottom 10% increases at only half the rate that the life expectancy of the top 10% does (Belsie). This shows that improvements in medicine benefit the wealthy more than the poor. The less wealthy have decreased access to good medical insurance and cannot afford more expensive, quality medical care. The poor are less likely to invest in healthy food and exercise, lowering life expectancy and overall health. These changes result in a cycle that causes the poor to be less healthy, and the less healthy to become increasingly
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