After watching “Land of the Free, Home of the Poor”. It was shocking to see the reality of our income inequality. I would of liked to have seen more people realize the issue than a bunch of seemingly oblivious drones. Being that I work in the Financial industry it’s easy to see how the rich seem to get richer and those not at the level are stuck struggling just to scrape by.
I especially enjoyed watching “Wealth Inequality in America” since it broke it down in several graphs and images which make it simple to see how skewed income inequality actually is in the U.S. The chart of the U.S. income breakdown is a clear example of Marx’s idea that capitalism causes inequality. Also, since Sweden’s “chart” was among the favorite as an ideal breakdown of income, maybe we should be taking notes as to how they run their society. All in all, it is clear that the U.S. has a major income inequality problem that seems to only be worsening. Hopefully some change is able to occur to relieve the issue.
During these times the economic crisis is making everyone struggle, unfortunately some more than others. There is a controversy with the president’s proposition to raise the minimum wage to $9 mostly coming from those who have money and are employers. The rich fail to realize that everything that we need in order to survive increases except the salary. This January the taxes increased about 4%, which caused worker to earn less than they did last year, even with a raise. Imagine if you didn’t get a raise? how much less are you making now than what you did a month ago? I am speaking from personal experience with myself and coworkers. We receive a raise every year, and this year when we saw our first paycheck we realized that even with the raise we were making less money per week then we did last year; mind you we get paid by salary and not by hours. Seems like the more money companies make; the harder it is to give their employees a substantial raise. For example there was an article about McDonald’s complaining about the president’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $9 which I found to be very disappointing. Why is it so difficult for them to raise their employees hourly salary from $7.25 to $9, when one of their meals is about $9? Is not like their sales are low. People are always going there to get food at any time of the day. In whose right mind can a person who has a family live comfortably with $7.25 and hour? No one can. I just hope that the minimum is raised because it will help a little bit every family that is struggling. When you are in the lower class branch every penny counts. I believe that the more company makes the less they want to pay its employees. These employers might argue that they have things to pay for the company such as taxes, bills, etc, but they don’t stop to think that if their employees are happy they might work better. instead of exploiting their services.? Apparently not. I see thir dilemma in a way, but at the end of the days the consumers are the ones paying for all of that. I just hope that one days these employers see the struggles that its employees go thru every single day and how hard they have to work in order to make ends meet, and realize that every dollar that is taken away makes a big difference for them and their family. Things are only getting harder in this country and in many others, if it keeps going i don’t know where will we end up.
Here are a few links that i thought would be useful.
The Minimum Wage STILL Isn’t a Good Idea
$9 Minimum Wage to Hurt McDonald’s?
The article, “Economic Crisis, Unemployment Take Emotional Toll,” was sad because it is during a time that we are living in. The fact that these suicide hotlines have had an increase of 35% in one year is frightening and an outrage. It’s scary to see how people feel as if they have no where left to go or turn to, and how embarrassed they feel about losing their jobs. The depression rate and/or desire to commit suicide is due to the fact that they feel unneeded, unwanted and unnecessary in life.
Durkheim expresses in, “From Suicide: A study in sociology,” she clearly states that it’s factual the connection that suicide and an economic crisis have with one another. The stats she gives us of suicides during the crisis in Vienna in 1873 is quite similar to the rise of suicide calls during present time. She also says, “every disturbance of equilibrium, even though it achieves greater comfort and a heightening of general vitality, is an impulse to voluntary death.” (p.125) Society has such a major impact in all that we do, and maybe society seems to be too understanding of suicides and feel a sense of lingering sadness when we hear of this, only because we too at one point in our lives have thought death would be better than what I’m going through.
The fact that we have so many hotlines to help people out or try to talk them out of it is great to read about. Not like it will end suicide, but they can definitely be used as a voice of reason. The economy is indeed in crisis, but no crisis last forever, so why take away your life when you never know what can be given to you tomorrow?