How to write an income inequality essay

How to write an income inequality essay

The topic of the wealth inequality in the United States is invariably relevant not only among the American historians, but also among public figures, politicians, in the broad circles of the US public. Important ideological motives always were at the heart of their perception of this problem.

The main one is connected with a different interpretation of the category of “equality” which, since the emergence of American civilization, has acted as one of its core values. In the minds of many Americans, it meant and means equality of opportunities. It may be emphasized in the upside of income inequality essay that this interpretation provides a basis for justifying economic imbalance, since, in the presence of equality of opportunities, individuals with different abilities achieve different results.

But the number of Americans who believe that the society is obliged to ensure a certain leveling of the results of citizens’ activities through reforms increased in recent years. They state that there is no exemplary equality of opportunities in real life, and poverty is unacceptable in a developed modern society.

Such a worldview difference seriously influences the approaches and conclusions of American researchers addressing the problem of economic inequality. The discrepancies between theories are also determined by the difference in methodological and methodical approaches, used sources.

In general, all researchers can be divided into optimists and pessimists. The representatives of first group believe that the economic inequality in the US did not acquire a threatening or dramatic character and did not contradict public justice. The second group is convinced that there were sharp economic contrasts at all or many stages of American history, and this inequality deserves a critical evaluation.

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In the course of writing an income inequality exploratory essay, you need to develop own point of view, to formulate it in a clear thesis and to provide worthy arguments. The best evidence is examples from life. To use them skillfully, you have to consider the history of the United States in detail.

Tendencies of colonial period for income inequality research paper

Referring to historical examples in effects of income inequality in America essay, it’s worth recalling that the colonial period (1607-1775) was the first stage on which economic imbalance was clearly visible. Its specificity was largely determined by the specifics of the social and ethnic composition of the North American population:

  • The main social groups were represented by the white settlers: by the end of the XVII century, their number reached more than 200 thousand people, and by the end of the colonial period – 2 million.
  • The other social group consisted of black Americans the vast majority of whom were slaves. By the end of the XVII century, there were about 25 thousand of such people, and by the end of the colonial period – 0.5 million.
  • The third major group consisted of the Indians. They were not included in the society created by the white settlers (although they interacted; most part of contacts had a conflict nature due to the desire of the whites to expand the territory of residence at the expense of the Indians).
  • Black Americans were part of North American society as a lower class of slaves. The contrast in the positions of black slaves and white Americans may be considered as the most profound manifestation of economic inequality. But it deserves separate research. Here, we will talk about the differences in the positions of white citizens.

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    The white population of the colonial era was divided into two main economically and socially unequal categories: free settlers and so-called contracted servants. The labor of white servants was used because of the lack of sufficient manpower. In Europe, the servants were chosen from the poor or declassed strata. They agreed to perform any work for their master on the terms of providing meager food and clothing (but without monetary compensation) during a stipulated period of time (usually 4-7 years).

    By 1700, there were more than 100 thousand colonists who emerged from the number of white servants, i.e. 2/5 of all immigrants. Between 1700 and 1775, even more contracted servants than in the previous century were imported – 190 thousand. In general, in the colonial era, they accounted for about half of the total number of white immigrants from Europe.

    Contracted servants existed in the mode of physical survival, were close to a legal serfdom. But after 4-7 years, they became free people and passed into different layers of free Americans. For this reason, the servants were in a clear minority in the white population.

    By the end of the colonial period, white servants were strongly squeezed out of the labor market by black slaves (the maintenance of the former was 2-4 times more expensive and, in addition, white servants received freedom after 4-7 years, while the black slaves were exploited till death). The work of white servants was completely abolished after the revolution of the late 18th century.

    At the end of the contract, most white servants got to the lower class of the free white population. Only 20% of them managed to become farmers and artisans.