Which statistic on wealth inequality in the US (discussed on p. 29) made the biggest impression on you? Explain why?

The statistic that made the biggest impression on me is the one that states the top 1 percent of the population own between 40 and 50 percent of the nation’s total wealth. It is impressive. I would have never imagined the common American was so poor. Actually, it is definitely shocking when Parenti states “ The real wealth is the very top superrich stratum, a tiny fraction of 1 percent of the population, some 145,000 individuals” (Parenti, 31). That means, in a country with a population of more than 331,000,000 people, that very small group of people controls almost everything. Moreover, it is very shocking that to be in the top 20% you must only have an income of $75,000. That’s not a lot of money to even be considered upper class. That type of salary makes it very hard to afford a house. Specially in a State as expensive as New York. If even the top 20% of the country won’t make enough money to afford quality of life, I can’t imagine what it might be for the bottom 20%. It’s ironic that something like this gets to happen in a so called “First world country”.

What could be some of the implications of living in a society that has such huge wealth inequalities? Do you see this dynamic getting played out in everyday life in our society? How so? Example?

The main consequence of a society with such wealth inequalities is : that it forbids people to obtain a better quality of life. It stops upward social mobility and shrinks technological development. Likewise, it creates recessions and monopolies that make prices for essentials more easy to manipulate. I definitely see this happening in our society today where businesses like Amazon become huge monsters that easily devour the competition, meanwhile businesses have closed their doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unbeatable prices that a giant like amazon can offer. It’s obvious that an already underpaid crowd will prefer to acquire their products from a cheaper retailer. Hilariously condemning others in their same situation to surrender and submit to the same owning class that helps perpetuate their financial status.

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