Income Inequality Gap Over the years America’s inequality income gap has been growing, between the rich and the poor. There are many reasons why this is happening. Andrew Carnegie, John Kenneth Galbraith and Joseph Stiglitz may agree with me, but believe there are different reasons why and how it should be dealt with. I would have to say that I agree that Galbraith’s idea is what is better for America now. In the essay “The Gospel of Wealth” Andrew Carnegie says that the rich should invest their money to do good for the public (396).
He argues that the rich should do something with their money instead of put it to waste when they die. Many people tend to not enjoy their money; they save until one day they realize it is too late. Carnegie believes that this money should be put into good instead of waste. One way that Carnegie mentions that the rich should do is charity. He used the example of a free public library in New York City to support his argument. A public library helps families and children economically, and educationally.
If the children get the education they need they have better opportunities and less chance of living in poverty in the near future. Carnegie tries to convince us that; if the rich invest money into improving the community then there will be a slight chance of less poverty. I agree, but it also depends on the person. Some people take advantage of the help they are getting from government or even from higher class society. Carnegie idea could work but it may also backfire and make things worse.
If the poor start to rely on the rich to help them with their problems, they may not do anything about it because they know there will be someone to “bail” them out of trouble. This is a bad thing because people would not want to start making effort to start doing better. A great example in America today is unemployment. Today the citizens receive unemployment money if they are layed or fired. Carnegie might say many people take advantage of these benefits, by not looking for jobs in the meanwhile, or even getting fired on purpose. Ledezma 2.
As Galbraith states, “insular poverty— that which manifests itself as an “island” of poverty” (409). This is one of the problems of why we have this situation of poverty; people who are trapped in this “island” have lack of healthcare or good education, which does not help them move on. Galbraith tries to make us understand that most of these families who are stuck on this island, are trying to get out, but the government is restraining them. The government does not give enough help for poor families to believe they can get higher in life; economically, and social wise.
Galbraith states that the reason why insular poverty exists is because there is lack of health care, education, jobs, and money. If the society gives them a push then they may take it and help themselves get out of this island. An example today would be people who receive money from the government or help from Citizens who receive these benefits take advantage of the help they are receiving and use the money for bad. Instead of citizens taking advantage and trying to do more, and actually doing something to receive even more money, they do not.
This is the reason why these people stay in this island. Another example would have to be immigrants. Many of them come to America with nothing. These hard working families are restricted from the social world. All they can do is work hard to remain in the same class. They are not allowed to do many things citizens can, but if they had the resources to help them not be stuck on this island then they may be able to become successful. If this solution is used now, it will have to be with restrictions.
This is why Galbraith states that we should give families a minimum amount of income so that the problem of income inequality does not keep repeating generation by generation. Galbraith believes children are our future, and in order for them to be successful this problem needs to stop repeating. Kids need resources in order for them to be in the same situation as their parents, but how can this happen if they are stuck on this island? This is the reason why Galbraith says they need schools for these kids. They need healthcare, and employment, so they can financially and physically be able to slowly get themselves out of poverty.
Stiglitz on the other hand, thinks income inequality is deadly because, the top 1% that he considers; the rich, make these decisions of who to fight, when to fight, and where to fight. The problem is that the 99% has no say of their interests, but yet the 99% is the one fighting in these wars. Even though, the 1% decides what to do, the 99% suffers the consequences. I have to say this is harsh, but true. In Ledezma 3. America people with the money has the say because they are higher than everyone else. The ones that end up getting hurt are the lower class citizens.
Stiglits mentions “people outside the top 1% increasingly live beyond their means. (3)”. I would have to agree; citizens are buying things that they cannot afford, but yet do it to trick themselves in believing they are not low in the charts. That 99% who dine at fancy restaurants and drive expensive cars and dress in new clothes but have modest salaries and no pensions or other sources of income tend to live “beyond their means. ” This is part of why he believes it is deadly. People are dying for the decisions of the 1%.
Stiglitz in his essay also tends to talk about the self-interest of people and how it is important that citizens understanding personal interests, and not the interests of the nation. By doing this it will show build some type of appreciation. This is not just good for the soul, but is good for business, Stiglitz states. He may agree that once people start to realize the other 99%, the gap will increase. Stiglits, Carnegie and Galbraith both believe that the reasons that people are successful are because they have these resources of houses, education, doctors, and lifestyle.
These are things that help you get to the 1%. As Galbraith was saying throughout his essay, if there is lack of this help then they are stuck on an island that cannot help them move forward. Therefore, I agree with Galbraith when he says that there should be some type of support to get them started. Carnegie and Galbraith are in the same page of education, employment and healthcare should be available to everyone, inorder to start making a change. I believe they are right. Galbraith though, is not giving away money like, Carnegie believes, Galbraith is just opening doors slowly.
In other words giving opportunity to people, so that this problem is repeated, and people suffer from it. Therefore, Galbraith’s position would be correct for today’s world. Work Cited Carnegie, Andrew. “The Gospel of Wealth,” in A World of Ideas. Lee. A. Jacobus. 8th. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010 Galbraith, John Kenneth. “The Position of Poverty,” in A World of Ideas 8th. Lee. A. Jacobus. 8th. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010 Stiglitz, Joseph. “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%” Vanity Fair May 2011. < http://www. vanityfair. com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105>