Tradeoffs for success stories

By Nathania Vena

Newspapers and magazines often cover a person’s success story.  It discusses the struggles and process they went through before they obtain the position they are right now. Their stories inspire the readers to be hardworking in hoping that one day, they would be able to be success too. In reality, wealth and income distributions are not always fair. Sometimes, the poor are still unable to earn enough money although they devote all their efforts. It is very easy for the rich to prosper more; yet, the poor hardly make their way to the better life.

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Although lack of resources is a problem today, another thing to look at is the distribution of resources among our societies today. The rich becomes richer and the poor buys things from the rich, who intend to maximize their profit. Income is the wages and other earnings such as interest and profits. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the top 3% of the world population earn 31% of total income while the bottom 90% only earns 53% of total income. Even worse, the top 3% owns 54% wealth, which means total assets they have such as houses and cars subtracted by the debt. The bottom 90% often makes just enough to live, or some of them even do not make sufficient money for their living. The statistics showed that the bottom 90% only has 25% of the total wealth.

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It is proven that successful cities such as New York City has a higher inequality gap. Often times, specialized jobs in cities require professional skills that most poor people couldn’t acquire due to lack of education. These specialized jobs pay very high wages, leaving the poor people with jobs that don’t require education, paying only minimum wage. Although a person may work long hours, the income they receive would still not compare to people working specialized jobs.

The statistics showed that resources are actually available. Yet, some people have too much and the rest are just lacking. As 54% of wealth is shared only among 3%, the rest wouldn’t have enough resources to help them sustain. This doesn’t help promote development, as 90% of the people that have the minimum portion couldn’t afford their basic necessities. It’s sad when I realize that a person somewhere did not have their stomach filled with anything for the last couple of days while another person could throw away their lunch simply because they did not like it. These are wasted resources; the thrown lunch would mean a lot for those who are not able to afford one. Inequality hinders development because resources are allocated in an inefficient manner. This means that the poorer ones are not actually living the decent life as some of portion is going to the richer that don’t necessarily need more resources.

Work Cited

Stone, Chad, Danilo Trisi, Arloc Sherman, and DeBot Brandon. “A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality” 20 February 2015. 27 March ​

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