Analysis of Class Inequality in the US

Analysis of Class Inequality in the US

Class inequality is considered as the main social problem as a result of the differences in the capacity to generate income in addition to variations in ownership of property. It is considered to be counterproductive to lay emphasis on inequality amongst races rather than considering the poor and the increasing group of the rich elite.  Most individuals generate lower income as compared to others, particularly those that are inactive, economically, which is attributed to age, poor health or failure to secure employment. The aim of this essay is providing an analysis on class inequality in United States as well as discussing the causes and the effects that are as a result of inequality.

Research has been conducted to evaluate the level of class inequality in the United States. Recent studies done have established that a child’s future may be influenced by the societal status and although most children may bear comparisons in their capability, dissimilarities in the environments that a child was born could have an influence in determining who will be as well as who will not be successful in future. In a research conducted by Stanford and Harvard, it is estimated that class inequality is greater in the United States as compared to other industrialized nations. For instance, considering Ray (Lawyer’s son) and Bob (Secretary’s son) both perform well in class, the study unearthed that it is more likely that Ray will secure a high profile job whereas Bob had a slight chance of being paid an average salary.

In the United States, upward income mobility among the Hispanics is high across all generations. This puts them in a position of closing the income equality disparity gap with the white Americans, in regards to the research conducted. On the other hand, Americans of black race also have high rates of downward mobility in addition to having lower percentage of upward mobility (Packer 20). When contrasting the outcome of both black and white children that are brought up in two parent families that have a similar level of income, wealth as well as education, it was concluded that black men still earn lower incomes in adulthood. For children of black race specifically, class status isn’t perpetual, and is not an assurance of prosperity in future.

In a study conducted by Congressional office bureau in 2007, discovered that the fortune possessed by the wealthy elite is one percent of the American population that totalled to 16.8 trillion US dollars, that adds up two trillion dollars more than the pooled fortune of the bottom ninety percent of the American populace. In another study conducted by the Center for American progress in 2007, it established that between 1979 and 2007, there was a growth of six percent in the average income of fifty percent of the American households whereas incomes of the top one percent grew by a staggering 229 percent. This indicates that the disparity between the poor and the elite in the United States is broadening and this may have a negative impact on the children’s future that are brought up in families that are economically disadvantaged.

Topography does not make much of an impact. The report by Stanford and Harvard revealed that most of young boys of black race earn less in their adulthood as compared to the others who are brought up in families that earn equivalent income in ninety nine percent of the neighbourhoods in United States. Lack of economic flexibility and the racial inequality disparity depicts an image of two dissimilar Americas. Upward mobility is for both races in areas perceived to be good where the poverty rate is low and high test scores as well as a large portion of graduates.

Causes of Class Inequality

There are many reasons as to why class inequality is prevalent in United States. They include:


Some individuals are brought up on a silver platter and the wealth inheritance enables most to have a good start in life and if one is careful, then they are able to keep up the lead. On the other hand, most individuals are brought up with no wealth to inherit while others are able to inherit a few acres of land while some acquire large chunks of land. This implies that children raised in poor backgrounds have a lower chance of becoming rich in future than children brought up in well off back grounds. Inequalities are bound happen in such instances as long as the system of wealth inheritance still exists.

Dynasty Influence

Any job a person secures is largely determined by the influence in the family due to the power and freedom given as a result of social status. Graduates manage to secure well-paying jobs as a result of relatives and friends’ influence while the brilliant graduates have to be contented with low-paying jobs as a result of not having access to influential people in the society. This results to different individuals having unequal income as well as the society diving itself in various social classes based on the economic security. In United States, family influence has a great impact on the earnings that people make.



Careers and Jobs

This factor has become the basis of class discrepancy amongst people.  Studies indicate that measure of the variance in earnings between highly skilled and less skilled workers has drastically changed in the last thirty years (Florida 79). There was an increase in the wage difference within the labor market from the 1980s. The differentiating factors being either education or experience. Laying emphasis on education caused graduates from institutes of higher learning earn more as compared to similar employees that only acquired diplomas in high school. Higher wages are then paid to employees that are highly skilled than staff that are manual labourers.


Globalization has brought about increased class inequality. This process is exemplified through the assimilation of economies and beliefs. In addition, it is considered as a steady progression whose effects on the economies are not as much progressive in nature. One of the results of globalization is mass migration as individuals move looking for openings for work and better salary. The migrants and their kids are affected because of “inconsistent separation” which exists between their local language and the language of their host nation. According to Rodriguez‐Bailon et.,al states that the foundations in the nation of origin are saturated by the way of life of predominant factions and hence, just the individuals who acquire this culture can perform well (99).

Effects of Class Inequality

Class inequality results to various commercial and societal consequences that are deemed to be negative. They include:


Increased Crime Rates

Disparity grows the impetus to carry out criminal related activities. Legitimate procedures that can be utilized in the acquisition of assets are less and not accessible to the unfortunate members in society. In any event, the disciplinary action involved is considered, unlawful techniques for acquiring wealth may be preferred over legitimate means for obtaining resources. A huge difference among rich and poor will in general increase the crime levels by reducing decree implementation expenditure disadvantaged areas. Wealthy individuals from a general public will in general gather in underprivileged communities, especially as the discrepancy amongst the elite and unfortunate increases.

Decrease in Quality of Health Care

The disadvantaged individuals of the society are exposed to lop-sided occurrence rates of various kinds of infirmities. Poor people are therefore unable to gain access to quality health services in addition to solid nourishment. The result of a considerable underprivileged population, a describing characteristic on inequality, is a work force that is less effective, increased chances of contracting diseases and death levels, increased social insurance expenses, and increasingly deepening poverty levels. Disadvantaged Americans have been particularly influenced by the country’s average value of health. Americans living in the least fortunate neighbourhoods are bound to be overweight than Americans living above the poverty levels.

However, not all the effects of inequality are considered to be negative and therefore inequality may lead to progression in society. Piketty states that without disparity, there would be no inspiration for anybody to acquire more than the remainder of the individuals (53). In any case, given the numerous antagonistic impacts that grow from class inequality, the virtue of disparity as an inspiring element appears weak in comparison. This will there therefore promote the formation of capital which facilitate the culture of savings. It is only when revenue unevenly distributed that people that are considered as rich that in their case saving is automatic.


Inequality is widely regarded as a barrier in terms of economic and social success. Even though equality in society may never be totally accomplished, expanding equality is a reachable objective that can be achieved should the legislatures and other significant establishments apply policies to manage the factors that instigate class inequality that have been laid out in this paper. Approaches that diminish disparity for a solitary age, for example, brief money moves, the lowest pay permitted by law increments, or fundamental pay programs, isn’t sufficient to close the hole after some time. Nor are moves to lessen school and housing isolation that don’t expand cooperation inside schools and neighbourhoods.

Works cited

Florida, Richard, and Charlotta Mellander. “The geography of inequality: Difference and determinants of wage and income inequality across US metros.” Regional Studies 50.1 (2016): 79-92.

Rodriguez‐Bailon, Rosa, et al. “Social class and ideologies of inequality: How they uphold unequal societies.” Journal of Social Issues 73.1 (2017): 99-116.

Packer, George. “The Broken Contract-Inequality and American Decline.” Foreign Aff. 90 (2011): 20.

Piketty, Thomas. “About capital in the twenty-first century.” American Economic Review 105.5 (2015): 48-53.


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