Gap between the rich and the poor

By Andrew Ojemann

The gap between the rich and the poor is a growing problem in our current economy.  Not only is the actual gap growing, but surveys show that public perception of the gap is growing as well.

Why is this a problem?  As the average American finds it harder to make ends meet on a daily basis, they see the rich becoming increasingly frivolous.  In fact studies show that an increasing number of Americans see the rich as greedy.  This discord can already be seen in protest movements like the ones on Wall Street.  As more of the country struggles however it’s not only those on the left who are increasingly dissatisfied.  Those on the right are beginning to talk about the issue as well.  Once sentiment becomes strong enough the rich will be facing bipartisan discontent from the poor.  As the gap only show signs of widening this discontent can only grow further in the future.  There starts to become a risk of social, economic, political, and even military uprising if this problem is not eventually dealt with.

So what can be done to avert this growing problem.  For starters companies need to change they look at employees and stockholders.  As it stands now companies sink all their efforts into making short term returns for the stock holders.  This includes numerous decisions that actually hurt the company in the long term, however the current mentality is to get rich now and worry about the fallout later.  We need to foster a business culture where making strong long term choices is rewarded, this will strengthen our businesses and also plays into my next point.  One way to go about this is to focus on training and retaining a more highly skilled work force.  Provide employees with advanced training opportunities, invest in creating a smarter, more efficient work force as it will save costs over time.  Then invest the money to retain that work force by raising salaries.  I think we should enable companies to take this rout by allowing retraining companies and investors to look at the work force as an investment into the future, rather than a cost for today.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/fed-gap-between-rich-poor-americans-widened-during-recovery-1409853628

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/05/americans-see-growing-gap-between-rich-and-poor/

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6 responses to “Gap between the rich and the poor

  1. I still find it very ironic that a country as developed as the US can be so unequal. From my experience living in the US so far, I’ve noted that this inequality is mostly due to the way the country’s education system is built. I’m mostly referring to the fact the college system seems to be run as a business. It is unreasonably expensive; if you’re from a poor family, your chances of being enrolled in college are undeniably low and the cycle of poverty in your family continues. And if you’re from a middle-class family, you usually come out of college with a very overwhelming debt that you’ll probably end up spending decades to pay. The US should try to follow the lead of European nations such as Sweden or Norway which make tertiary education accessible to everyone, rich or poor.

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  2. It is without doubt that inequality is inevitable, especially in developing countries. It is actually very unfair but it is the way it is. Life would be very enjoyable if you happen to be the fortunate minority, however for most people, it is not always the case. While this continue happening, some actions have been taken. Some developed countries offer free education (and I think every country should do the same too!), which might hopefully bridge the gap in the future.

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  3. Now I agree that the wage gap is completely absurd in this country but I have to disagree that this can lead to potential military or political uprising. In fact, I believe much of this country is run by money and corporations and the military is controlled by its commander and chief. I very much agree with you however, that we need a much more skilled workforce. We do indeed need to work on training our employees more and teaching them how to be more productive. In this way, we can become more profitable across the board. I very much buy into the idea that we need to see the work force as an investment into the future. Very interesting! Great Job!

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  4. The gap between rich and poor in the United States is widening. The rate of income increase of top 10% earners is faster then the rate of income increase for the bottom 10% (or the poor), causing a bigger gap between the rich and the poor. It is estimated that the top 10% income earners earns approximately 20% of the country’s income while the bottom 10% accumulates for only 5% of the country’s income. When it comes to wealth, the gap is even wider. This is due to multiple factors: 1) more people are getting better education and thus earning more money but the poor still stay uneducated 2) United States attracts skilled people from all over the world, who are high income earners 3) US’s diverse culture makes it hard for unskilled worker to find jobs. I think the government should pose restrictions and introduce policies to control this movement or the gap between rich and poor will get worse.

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  5. This problem is a worldwide problem no matter where. And the poor people usually have conflict with rich people because the quality and environment of their life have huge distinction. Rich people’s children have better education, better working opportunities after graduate and never have a trouble in economy. But people who are powerful also hold a bigger responsibility. And the best way to break the gap is that let people who is high level social status help people who is common or low class, such as providing more position and opportunities for people who are intelligent. Government also can play an important role for breaking the gap. They can provide free education for every civilians.

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  6. Dear Andrew,

    It is true that the gap between the rich and poor is a great problem for many people in many different parts of the world. And this has especially been the case post recession. Given the fact that is issue of economic disparities affects us all, it is important for us all to try to find solutions that can help to reduce all of the different gaps.

    ~Professor Myra Chaudhary

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