Pazzanese the academic journal, Going Back in Time? Gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            Pazzanese (2016) proposed “increasing economic mobility,
increasing taxes on corporate profits and investments, raising the minimum
wage, cutting college debts, and improving K-12 education.” The author
additional proposed “, reducing the influence of money in politics, taxing
carried interest at higher rates, mentoring low-income children, boosting
vocational education, and lastly making business taxes a compliance issue, and
evening disposable family incomes.”  Of
course, most of these solutions are easier said than done. However, it seems
that the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” will
only continue to widen without the proper steps being taken to reduce income
inequality.

            The question that remains is: “How to solve income
inequality?”  Some solutions can be
substantially controlled, such as getting an education (Ganguli, Hausmann, and
Viarengo, 2014) and others cannot. An example of a situation that cannot be
controlled is The Great Recession, which lasted from 2008 – 2013 (Miranda,
2017). The occurrence extended income gaps because it forced many companies to
move employees to part-time or to lay them off. 
As the recession came to an end, not only was job creation a problem but
how to incentivize companies to help in closing broadening gaps in earnings (Neumark
and Grijalva. 2017).

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            Income
inequalities have long-term impacts. For example, Social security, which was never
designed to be a sole source of retirement, but 75% of minorities rely on it
for their income compared to approximately 67% of whites, links income
inequalities to race (Green, 2005).       Minorities
disproportionately pay more into the program in a given year than those elder
beneficiaries receive (Ozawa and Yat-Sang, 2001).  Additionally, their findings indicated
recipients over 65 could be represented by 35% white, 55% Hispanics and 49%
black and Asian which was corroborated by the Social Security Administration.

            While race and gender play intercessory roles in
eliminating the income gap between men and women, especially for those of
color, it does nothing for solving income inequalities. According to the
academic journal, Going Back in Time?
Gender Differences in Trends and Sources of the Racial Pay Gap, 1970 to 2010,
the authors noted that the racial gaps sharply declined between 1970 and 1980
and continued to fall, but at a slower rate, until 2000. Mandela and Semyonov
(2016) say racial discrimination is the major contributor to racial pay gaps
among men, but not among women. Nonetheless, please don’t mistake the mention of
the above statement to mean income inequalities doesn’t exist for women,
especially for women of color, but the gap is just narrower.  The decline in racial disparities for both
genders declined between 1970 and 1980 but fell at a slower rate for women
until 2000 (Mandel and Semyonov, 2016).

            Garris (1998) gives a compelling argument of the
overwhelming  disadvantages children
occur in a single-parent environment have in acquiring high earnings. While
there exists some opportunity for income mobility for these children, it is
mainly concentrated among the middle quintile (Davidai and Gilovich, 2015). Significant
percentages of children born into the top and bottom quintiles remain there
throughout their lives. The likelihood of Millennials achieving the ‘American
Dream,’ defined as earning more than their parents, has fallen from ninety percent
to fifty percent over the past fifty years (West and Friedline, 2016). Upward
mobility rates vary by geographic regions within the United States. Furthermore,
wages for the bottom 50 percent have remained stagnant while salaries for the
top 1 percent have boomed (Corak, 2013). Parts of the Midwest and Northeast and
the West have higher rates of ascending mobility, while prices are low in the
South and parts of the Rust Belt (West and Friedline, 2016).

            According to Larrimore (2014), the changing family
dynamics of single-parenting has deepened the income gap. There have been many
surveys and reports completed on the single-parent factor showing there are both
positive and negative factors on employment and earnings. For instance, while the
unemployment rate for single mothers is higher than those of mothers who are
married, single mother’s incomes were higher (Mathur, 2015). The difference is
slight, but the outcomes are likely contrary to what many believe to be true.  However, the impact of income inequality on
the children of single parents doesn’t give the picture of a ‘land of
opportunity.’ Children from single families face additional challenges. For
instance, when a single parent works full-time, to include multiple jobs, there
is less time with the child (ren). Subsequently, this situation typically leads
to behavioral and academic challenges (Hill, 2017).

            Various reasons have contributed to the increased level
of income inequality in the United States. Breen and Salazar (2001) suggest the
growth in earnings of elite professionals and their choice of mates has
contributed to the rise of income inequality. Lindsey and Teles (2017) agree, however,
using this theory, the increase in income inequality implies other problems,
such as decreased accountability, concentrated power, and rent-seeking middle
class (Piketty, Saez and Stantcheva, 2014). According to the Congressional
Budget Office (2016), market income, before-tax income, and after-tax income
all became less equally distributed from 1979 to 2013. The rise in inequality
of before and after-tax revenue was attributed to the increase in the difference
in market income due to the significant increase in income at the top of the
market income distribution.

            Melly (2005) asserts that in the United States, the top
quintile of households earns 7.4 more income than households in the bottom
quintile. Under these circumstances, there are individuals or groups in society
that have unearned advantages over others. Those born into wealth would
naturally have better opportunities and face fewer barriers than those born
into poverty. The wealthy also exerts more political power and has more access
to political systems. That being the case, income inequality puts democracy and
capitalism in conflict because market economies cannot serve an equal amount of
wealth (Chien and Lustig, 2010). Preferably, each person must get his share of
the wealth. For example, a furniture maker creates wealth through making
furniture and having people willing to give him money for it in return.

According to Lindert and
Williamson (2016) just three decades ago, it didn’t matter how much money you
made; incomes tended to increase at approximately the same rate.  The argument by many during those times as if
the system affords all people in the economy the opportunity to obtain
education and the freedom to compete in business and labor markets, then the
system can be judged as economically fair. While this idea sounds impartial in
theory, there is still the issue of equality of opportunity. As a result, the
gap between the rich and poor has been steadily rising in the United States
since 1960 (Piketty & Saez, 2003). In fact, this phenomenon has affected
most developed economies (Petit, 2010).  Nevertheless,
the United States is the only affiliate of the Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development (O.E.C.D.) which has experienced a sharp rise in
the top 1 percent’s share of income, and no other member nations are as unequal
as the United States (Rothwell, 2017).