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Patricia Stegall 63099 Sociology 1B Midterm 2 Essay Identify and discuss sociologically the issues about wealth and poverty in American Society What do you believe and why The distribution of wealth economic inequality and the growing numbers of people living at or below the recognized poverty level are issues that must be dealt with in the United States In general Americans subscribe to the concept that everyone has a right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and family but the reality is much different Depending upon which statistics you believe either the disparity in the distribution of wealth is growing greater and greater or statistically it has remained static Nevertheless it is apparent that the country has a growing problem of more and more people becoming homeless and more people living it poverty In Issue 8 of our readings Paul Krugman indicates that this inequality in living standards arise from technological advances that have eliminated low-skill jobs imports from low wage countries and more importantly the decline of the labor movement He argues that unions provide a political counterweight to the power of wealth In opposition to his position Christopher DeMuth claims that the inequality has been greatly exaggerated that it is a small tick in the massive and unprecedented leveling of material circumstances that has been proceeding for nearly three centuries Mr DeMuth sees the fulfillment of material needs as creating a need to change the way we gauge economic welfare and equality from income to consumption Each author uses different indicators to support his thesis Frankly I dont accept either premise In my opinion the issue is much larger than just the failure of the unions to maintain power or changing the way we determine economic equality It is a basic gut-level issue of survival for those people who do not have the jobs the income the means to
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