Many Americans have become wealthy and famous because of their hard work and determination and many others can too. The problem lies in the fact that not everyone in America can attain these hopes and dreams of being successful and rich. Even though a certain amount of income inequality is valuable as it gives people incentives to work hard and try out new business ideas. I believe that income inequality harms society because greater inequality lowers upward mobility between generations, making it harder for people to get the rewards they deserve. Having too much income concentrated at the top compromises the main function of democracy. Inequality limits opportunities for the poor to get rewarded because it does not give enough resources to the poor, not allowing them to break the barrier.
The most important reason income inequality harms society is having too much income concentrated at the top compromises the ability of a democracy to give equal political voice to all citizens. The Great Gatsby Curve explains “the more inequality between incomes the more concentrated the wealth is in wealthiest families. This shows that children from poor families are less likely to become richer than their parents when income inequality was higher”(Corak 2).
While as there are plenty of examples that show men and women rising from nothing to everything, in reality a majority cannot achieve this as what their parents make, directly influences their own success rates. Having a more balanced economy would level the playing field and allow for less of a drastic influence from your parents earnings to that of your potential earnings.
The same article later describes intergenerational immobility, a strong relationship between what the parents made and what the future generations will make and claims it is directly caused by inequality (Corak 2). This brings up a point of how the longer we let our economy do its thing the two ends of the spectrum will drift farther and farther apart from each other. Having an imbalanced economy will lead having stagnant classes of minorities and groups that may never reach a feeling of success.
Although a certain amount of economic inequality is resourceful as it gives citizens incentives to work hard and try out new business ideas. This is not the case as greater inequality chokes upward movement between generations, making it harder for talented and hard-working people to get the rewards they are untitled too. But most importantly, having too much income concentrated in the top ten or twenty percent compromises the ability of a capitalist system to give equal voice and opportunity to all. Having generations know they will not succeed because of their economic class is horrific for the economy. It removes the incentive factor from a capitalist system almost creating the same problems as communism. If this is the case, is a communist economy greater for our people?