Economic Inequality Courcework Example
In modern world, people from various parts of the world have a common tendency of being influenced by a very important problem known as economic inequality. It is important to understand that this term means an unequal distribution of various resources among people according to different factors such as religion, gender, race, or social status. Furthermore, there is a close connection between financial question and economic inequality that can be defined as the unequal distribution of wealth and income, which contradict all principles of citizens’ social rights. Thus, the United States and India are the two countries whose current conditions of economic inequality will be discussed in the paper. For example, the economic inequality in India represents one of the widest gaps between the levels of extreme poverty and the level of great wealth of its citizens. Although the US is considered one of the most developed countries of modern world, it also has problems of economic inequality.
Keywords: economic inequality, poverty, wealth distribution, India, USA
Financial inequality has recently become one of the most significant issues for entire global society. Thus, this problem is caused by economic inequality. Furthermore, the low performance of healthcare institutions, rising crime rates, and the elitist basis of public and democratic policies are the consequences of racial, general, and age inequality are also caused by economic inequality. Unfortunately, this problem is common for all countries of the world regardless of their current financial conditions. For instance, approximately 90% of society of Africa’s region as well as 80% of citizens of the USA state that economic inequality is a significant problem in their countries (IC4HD & NIAS, 2015). Although India and the United States have different modern financial situations, there are no doubts that economic inequality is one of the most important problems in both countries. On the one hand, economic inequality in India is caused by national religion, Hinduism, that creates social diversity, while on the other hand, the major reason of economic inequality in the USA is racial problems.
The Current Conditions of Economic Inequality
The citizens of the USA and India face various expressions of economic inequality in their countries that are determined by two drastic systems of the problem. Furthermore, both countries have a common tendency of the constant increase of economic inequality, but there are completely different factors of the development of this problem. Unfortunately, in India, the labor market and the level of unemployment have not changed for last 20 years, although the level of labor forces is 15% of the total world economy, with a significant increase in these years (IC4HD & NIAS, 2015). For instance, this country has had 8.5% increase of its GDP during 2004-2012, while the employment rate increased only 0.5% per year (IC4HD & NIAS, 2015). Furthermore, the economic positions of people, living beyond poverty (nearly 276 million workers) and earning less than $2 per a day, decrease and they are not influenced by the economy growth, whereas 92% employees are still employed informally (IC4HD & NIAS, 2015). Moreover, the gap between the urban and rural areas of India constantly grows since people have decreasing rates of incomes and increasing rates of expenditures. Thus, 23 years ago, 10% of the country’s richest people as well as 40% of its poorest citizens controlled the same percentage of the country’s wealth (25%) (IC4HD & NIAS, 2015). However, five years ago, the control over 30% of the country’s assets was in the hands of 10% the richest citizens and only 21% of the poorest people (IC4HD & NIAS, 2015). Unfortunately, the best scientists leave India, searching better life conditions and helping other countries with achieving commonwealth. Moreover, the most basic things, such as clothes, are not affordable for the poorest households of the country. Nevertheless, many issues of economic inequality have already solved by the government of India.
At the same time, in comparison with developed countries, such as Great Britain and Australia, the USA shows the highest rates of economic inequality. For instance, in the middle of 2013, the market of housing grew and many working places were created, but the GDP of the country increased by 4.1% (Joint Economic Committe, 2014). Furthermore, in the USA, the overall percentage of economic inequality has grown since the 1950s by 8% according to the problem of wages (Stelzner, 2015). Moreover, the low level of social mobility of society and lack of opportunities are the contributing factors to inequity, which the country’s authorities will eliminate soon, although an average US citizen is still richer than people in other countries (OECD, 2014). However, the levels of income of the poorest people (10% of the population) stabilized only in 2011-2012, while these rates had declined from 2000 to 2010 by 15% (OECD, 2014). Nevertheless, the richest people (1% of all US citizens) had showed the highest rates of national income - 20% during the same years, which led to the permanent increase of the highest salaries and of the gap between salaries (OECD, 2014). Additionally, the growth of employment and economic rates, caused by artificial regulation, globalization, and technological progress, contributes to the creation of such a great contrast of salaries (OECD, 2014). Moreover, the income of two thirds of the households in the United States had decreased because of the economic crisis. One of the major signs of economic inequality is low social mobility in the country, which is clearly shown through the unequal distribution of all resources among the population of the United States (Dadush et al, 2012). Finally, the creation of new working places, the efficiency of public services, tax benefits, and the input of authorities into citizens’ welfare should be the main points of struggle with economic inequality in the country.
Supporting Evidences of Economic Inequality
The facts, which show the difference of living conditions of the rich and poor people in India, are quite significant. For instance, among 1.2 billion citizens in the country, more 25% are rather poor; yet, some rich man can afford himself to build a 27-story home for all his family members (Cohen, 2013). At the same time, the current financial conditions of the poorest citizens of the USA have almost the same rates, and the permanent growth of economic inequality been much higher nowadays as compared to previous years. As a result, the poorest households in the USA, just like those in India, cannot satisfy their basic needs (Cohen, 2013). Furthermore, India has plenty of universities to provide the richest people with the best quality of education, but the majority of the poorest citizens cannot afford to study even at a bad university (Cohen, 2013). The same tendency is observed in the USA, where the value of education and healthcare has significantly increased since 1989 while income rates have remained the same, even considering the process of inflation (Joint Economic Committee, 2014). Consequently, these problems contribute to the inability of the poorest citizens of the USA and India to acquire a degree. Furthermore, many Americans simply could not find full-time jobs, which put many of them beyond poverty line (Joint Economic Committee, 2014). For poor Indians, it is almost impossible to succeed in lives because of the oppression from the government.
To solve the problem of inequality, the US authorities should raise minimal wage to avoid complete poverty since this shows the low economic ability of the country and its citizens. On the other hand, the Indian government should equally distribute the resources among all citizens of the country. Moreover, students should be inspired to acquire the required working knowledge and skills, to improve governmental corporations, and to make the higher education available for all levels of population in the USA. Furthermore, Indian men and women should be provided with equal opportunities of social security and access to higher education and employment opportunities.
The Most Important Factors
The official religion, the structure of population, cultural background, traditions, and geographic location are the major differences between India and the United States. Thus, the social differentiation of the population of India is caused by the existence of its official religion, Hinduism, that uses social differentiation as a powerful basis for the economic inequality in the country. On the contrary, the social class of a person does not play an important role in the determination of the economic inequality in the USA, but it is determined based on one’s race, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration status. As a result, the national diversity, religion, traditions, culture, and location of a country are integral factors that influence the phenomenon of economic inequality in a country.
Social inequality is one of the most important factors that determine the principles of Hinduism, the official religion of India. Moreover, this type of inequality has become a tradition passed through generations. According to the surveys of 2011, 82% of citizens of India are Hindu that uses a strict order of society’s structure as its major concept (Kumar, 2014). Additionally, four main groups are determined in the 9th chapter in the sacred text of Hindu known as Rigveda; they follow each other in hierarchic manner and they are called Varna, thus defining the social order of Hinduism (Kumar, 2014). According to the researches of Hinduism, such groups as Shudras, Vaishya, Kshatriyas (Rajanya), and Brahmin are four major strata of the social structure of the population of India (Kumar, 2014). Nevertheless, various socio-economic, political, educational, and religious functions are determined by Ashprishyas (untouchables), who are the social order’s 5th group, and, if people use these principles, they will be able to break the cycle of belonging to a certain group based on their origins (Kumar, 2014). Unfortunately, the strict rules of the Hindu social order claim that the lowest classes do not have the rights, owed by the highest classes (Kumar, 2014). Although the United States is a multinational country, which consists of the representatives of numerous religions, the economic inequality is not caused by various concepts of these religions. As a result, the most radical forms, which express social inequality in society of Hindus, are created because of the official religion of India, which, in its turn, proclaims the unequal distribution of privileges and rights.
As stated above, the USA is a multinational country, and this causes the economic inequality of people to depend directly on their race, although religion is not an important factor of this inequality. For example, in 1987, 9-10% of Whites suffered from poverty, while minorities constituted 29% of poor people (Mather and Jarosz, 2014). However, these rates have been reduced significantly by nowadays (Mather and Jarosz, 2014). Nevertheless, since 1980, the percentage of racial minorities had increased from 20% to 37%, while White households’ clear annual income in 2011 was $110,000; at the same time, for Blacks’ and Latinos’ households these incomes were $6,300 and $7,000 respectively (Mather and Jarosz, 2014). India does not represent such a percentage of social diversity, so it is not the major contributing factor of economic inequality of the country. Finally, in the USA, racial question is at the core of the problem of economic inequality in the USA.
In conclusion, different aspects of people’s lives are impacted by one of the most influential problems of modern world - economic inequality. Thus, the phenomenon of economic inequality in India and the USA, rather different countries, has been investigated in order to understand the issue. The culture and the geographic location of both countries determine the differences of the problem in the USA and India. For instance, the economic inequality in India is mainly caused by Hinduism since this creates social differentiation. At the same time, fast inflation and ethnical diversity of the USA contribute to the growth of the number of citizens living beyond poverty line. Finally, the richest citizens of both countries do not provide an access to the nation’s wealth for the poorest people, which increases the gap of economic inequality. As a result, significant actions needed to be taken in order to eliminate economic inequality successfully and to give everyone equal opportunities for development.
Cohen, R. 2013, December 19. Inequality, Indian style. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/opinion/cohen-inequality-indian-style.html?mtrref=undefined&assetType=opinion.
Dadush, U., Dervi?, K., Milsom, S. P., and Stancil, B. 2012. Inequality in America: Facts, Trends, and International Perspectives. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.
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