Controversy — Economic Inequality   Leave a comment

Over the past several decades the income disparity between the lower and middle classes and the upper class. According to a recent study, PBS reports that the top 20% of Americans hold about 84% of the wealth. This has always seemed “unfair” to me in a sense, there seem to be a lot of benefits the rich get from the tax code. While lower-class families suffer and are even frequently blamed for not contributing enough in taxes corporations get out of paying taxes through loopholes in the tax code or through certain tax cuts like those passed by Bush, and then renewed by Obama.

As someone from a middle-class background, I don’t really affiliate with either extreme end of the spectrum, so in a lot of ways one might think that income disparity doesn’t effect me as much as someone who runs a large corporation, or someone who is part of a family that collectively makes less than $30,000 a year. However, this is an issue that so frequently gets glossed over by politicians–the poor tend to vote less, and/or have harder times of getting to polling places/registered to vote–so by their very nature politicians aren’t usually too worried about what lower-class families think. On the flip side, large corporations can put in large sums of money into donations to try and “buy” politicians that look out for their interests in Washington. (We can start to see this if we tie back to Colbert’s Super PAC–using unlimited funds for “unlimited free speech.”) So as the income gap continues to widen we can see how the potential effects can effect not just lower-income families, but middle-class citizens too, and it really already has. Middle-class families bear the majority of the tax burden of the United States. So while the rich are getting their cuts–and using these cuts to influence policy in Washington, middle-class families foot the bill.

This economic inequality is a controversy that’s potentially dangerous to what we consider our democracy today, and in my mind needs to be addressed soon, lest we only allow the problem to get worse.

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Posted September 7, 2011 by tylerdaelemans in Uncategorized

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