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Utopia and Reality: Finding Equality in Wealth at the Expense of Pipe Dreams - Essay Example

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Summary
There was a time in history where land was given to those who wished to work it and a chance for survival and building of wealth was accessible to all people. This time has passed, but new methods of giving everyone a chance must be developed in order to create the best possible America.
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Utopia and Reality: Finding Equality in Wealth at the Expense of Pipe Dreams
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Utopia and Reality: Finding Equality in Wealth at the Expense of Pipe Dreams

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The problem in the US with changes that would cause a redistribution of wealth is that the American Dream has changed from the house with the two car garage to the belief that everyone is likely to become an earner of more than a quarter million dollars a year and be a part of the upper middle class.

Because of a system of beliefs that create a mythology about the nature of the economy of the United States, it is unlikely that the government can do anything substantial in creating a redistribution of wealth that can elevate the overall wealth and well-being of the nation. The United States government should take measures to correct the unequal distribution of wealth in American society. Novak states that “In actual fact, it is the poor who gain most from capitalism” (665). While it is true that the poor have some advantages in this nation, the fact there is such an inequity combined with a mythology that supports keeping workers in drudgery and in debt has caused problems that should be fixed by governmental intervention. Half of Americans have 2.5% of all the wealth in the country with the top 10% holding 71.5 % of all the wealth (Lupin). This inequity causes a great deal of economic fallout that causes a great many social inequities as well as financial divisions. Americans are in debt, the level that they try to live to accommodate social expectations far exceeding their actual means. While it is the responsibility of the individual to manage their own debt, the availability of debt is sold to them, the devices of marketing outweighing the level of information that is given. Debt is a trap, and it is well set through marketing of supposedly favorable situations or easy terms that deceive the user. It would be nice to think that everyone who enters into debt does so knowingly, but that does not seem to be the case. The idea of ‘later’ is part of the mythology of how the world works that US citizens buy into as they go through life believing that there is a much higher level that can be attained. This is an indicator of the expectations that people in the US have of the level of income they should reflect, but it is not a reflection of their actual socio-economic status. Rector, as he tries to evaluate the nature of poverty in the United States shows that statistically 42% of those suggested as poor own their own home (645). A large number of the poor own cars, have air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a washer and dryer, and cable television. Rector goes on to discuss how the poor are not really poor because of these statistics. There are several problems with discussing levels of poverty in terms of what they possess. Possessing items is relative to how much debt was acquired to have those items within their possession. This may mean that there is a great deal of debt in the household or that a great deal has been offset due to non-payments. Another issue is that the poverty line is a level that is set by the government and only reflects what is desired to be reflected. Another issue is that as those below the poverty line are set there because of their income, it is clear that there is a number who are among the working poor. The argument that Rector tries to argue that it is because the poor within the United States largely do not live in the kind of poverty seen in other countries, their situation should not be taken too seriously and that this nation and the economy that has been constructed is the best possible because of that evaluation of the poor. It might be said, however, that because of the overwhelming ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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