Roy LeeHolmesLA 4th 26 January 2017Socioeconomic Inequality in Present-Day America Socioeconomic equality means that people in all branches of wealth have equal access to certain goods and services, and it is the goal of all economic structures developed for the people who live by them. An argument that derives from this idea is whether or not Americans partake in this socioeconomic equality.
In present-day America, economic equality has not been established because the financial aid the government provides the lower class is not enough to compensate for the monetary gap between them and the upper class, and that the upper class are statistically more likely to graduate from a higher education institution. A primary form of government provided financial aid comes in the form of food stamps, but these stamps are not nearly enough to rid the gap of inequality between lower and upper classes. Food stamps, as well as other forms of financial aid are widely and thinly dispersed across millions of impoverished families, allowing them the minimal amount of support required for them to survive, an unfavorable living condition that is harshly underscored by the expensive palettes of the upper class.
‘According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “On average , SNAP households currently receive about $253 a month” (par. 11). However, Gallup News claims that, “Those Americans with incomes of $75,000 or more per year are average $180 per week” (Mendes par. 6).
These figures show that the amount an impoverished family living on food stamps spends on food is unequal to the amount an upper-class family might spend on food, spending just a little more in a month than the upper class do in a week. This shows the inequality that exists between the different classes because it helps to reveal the fact that their different economic statuses cause them to spend different amounts on food, with the upper class being able to afford better and more food. Food stamps and other forms of financial aid are insufficient in removing the gap between different economic classes, leading to socioeconomic inequality between them. Forms of economic inequality are also prevalent in different issues, such as education, with the upper class having an astonishingly higher rate of college graduation than the lower class.
In a truly equal society ,the rate of college graduation would remain consistent among all levels of wealth, but this is not so. An article from Forbes Magazine states, “Only 9 percent of U.S kids whose families are in the bottom quartile get a bachelor’s degree by age 24, versus 77 percent of those from a top quartile background” (Sherman par. 4). The difference between these two statistics is an inarguable example of the existence of socioeconomic inequality in present-day America.
The gap between the lower and upper classes is wide and undeniably unequal, with the rich not only being able to afford better foods, but also having a significantly higher rate of college graduation than the poor. A commonly used argument against the existence of socioeconomic inequality in modern-day America is that the monetary gap is eliminated due to the poor having to pay little to no income tax, compared to the upper class, who have to pay a large percentage of their income as tax. However, this is incorrect because although higher-income families do pay a larger percentage of their income as tax, they only pay that higher tax rate for the amount they earn above the minimum for that particular tax bracket. A Bankrate article states, “Those in the highest bracket don’t pay the highest rate on all their income. For example, in 2018, single individuals pay 37% only on income above $500,000” (Bankrate par. 1).
In the example given in this quote, an individual earns income over $500,000 annually, but he or she only has to pay the 37% income tax on the amount he or she earns above $500,000, the minimum amount of income in the tax bracket of 37%. By showing that the high percentage tax being placed on the rich is only attributed to their income above the minimum for that tax bracket, this example voids the argument that the poor and rich are equal because the poor pay less in taxes. Although the rich do pay a higher tax rate, they pay the same amount of taxes the poor pay on the portion of their income that is the same as the poor. Unless the tax rate breaches one hundred percent, higher-income citizens will always be earning more money than their low-income counterparts because of their difference in revenue. Different tax rates do not result in socioeconomic equality because the rich still receive more money than the poor for their high-income jobs, just at a slower rate.