Blog #1: Inequality and its Reality

 

The videos “Wealth Inequality in America” and “Land of the Free, Home of the Poor” show the unequal distribution of money in the United States. I always understood there was a gap between the top 20% and the bottom 20% however I did not realize it was such a wide gap. I would have fallen in the category of what people “think” it is. The “actual” middle class closely represents what we think “poor” distribution is. Marx’s ideas of a ruling class owning the means of production and a subordinate class that lacks the means of production and the ability to sustain itself without selling its labor power to the ruling class lives on. The statistics are especially surprising, it is jaw dropping to see that 1% of America has 40% of all the nations wealth, and the top 20% holds 84% of wealth! This adds to Marx’s theory of capitalism, we can clearly see how capitalism produces inequalities. A complete equal society in a capitalist nation is unrealistic, however the reality behind the inequalities should produce alarming attention. 

The video makes you question the reality and the American Dream. Can we still call America the land of opportunity? The first thing that comes to mind is that the people at the bottom of the social triangle are resistant to work and the people at the top are the ones who have worked hard to reach their wealth. However, the video shows how this is not the case, its unlikely that the CEO is working 380x harder than the average worker. After learning the reality it is amusing to see everyone so confident about what they think the distribution is. Naturally we don’t notice these inequalities on an everyday basis, it seems as if everyone is more or less equal considering the packed malls and designer clothing many people have. The truth of the matter is the inequalities are present and corporate profits continue to grow and the inequalities continue to grow with them. 

After learning this information, one thing I wondered is how to overcome this class struggle and reduce the differences and inequalities. 

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One response to “Blog #1: Inequality and its Reality

  1. Yes, M, that we don’t notice these inequalities on a daily basis is a key point. The video suggests this has a lot to do with neighborhood segregation by wealth, but you point to another reason: how consumer credit (or debt financing) allows us to spend more than we earn, keeping the shopping malls full.

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