How Can Economic Inequality Be Reduced?

How Can Economic Inequality Be Reduced?

Sambhav Jain

Many Americans live in stress and poverty due to a lack of resources, which can cause them to become depressed or simply unsatisfied for the majority of their lifetimes. Elizabeth Bruenig, a renowned American journalist that works for the New York Times, stated that the richest 1% of people will eventually have more aggregated wealth than the remaining 99% of people due to the current wealth gap trend (Bruenig). Daniel Kahneman, a world-renowned Israeli-American psychologist, and economist that has won a Nobel Memorial Prize claimed those who have a salary below $75,000 have several difficulties that can be only solved with financial aid, such as the emotional pain resulting from sicknesses that can be only cured with expensive treatments (Kahneman). Kahneman also illustrates how tragedies and unfortunate life situations such as divorce, asthma, loneliness, etc. are exacerbated by poverty (Kahneman). Jeana Smialek, a Federal Reserve and Economics Reporter for the New York Times, stated during Covid-19, 39% of former workers that earned a household salary of $39,000 or less lost their jobs while only 13% of Americans that earned a salary of $100,000 or more lost their jobs (Smialek). John Stuart Mill, one of the most influential thinkers in the history of classical liberalism, stated that general happiness is more significant than individual happiness (Mill). Mill stated that general happiness provides happiness for the greatest number of people, and therefore, provides the greatest good for the greatest number of people (Mill). Essentially, economic inequality in America can be solved most efficiently by gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 over six years and by slowly eliminating the subminimum wage for tipped workers throughout all 50 states. Economic equality also needs to be mitigated especially because of the stress many families are facing during this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving on, mitigating economic inequality will also allow for equal rights for minorities such as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and etc.