Current Events–Income Inequality
Economic inequality, specifically income inequality, is among the most prominent issues in our society today. Income inequality has left many homeless, with others suffering from the effects of mental illness, such as depression.
Income inequality makes it harder for hardworking people to maintain a sustainable living. The political voice of many are diminished the lower they are on the class system, whereas those closer to the one percent have a louder and more powerful voice. With a louder political voice comes greater political influence. Such influence allows those at the top to maintain and sustain their wealth and assets by supporting policies in their favor. For example, according to an article, I read called: â€œIncome Inequality in the United States,â€ defines income gaps among the wealthy and the poor, â€œthe top one percent of American earners have nearly doubled their share of national income. Meanwhile, the official poverty rate for all U.S. families has merely inched up and down (Institute for Policy Studies).â€ In recent years, average income among the poor and working-class has dropped quicker than the income of those in the upper class and one-percenter. This gap is affecting many, leaving them with unstable housing and little to no financial savings to fall back on.
Furthermore, vast income inequality feeds into all kinds of health outcomes and can directly impact mental health, Depression in particular. According to an article â€œIncome Inequality and Depression: A Systematic Review and Metaâ€Analysis of The Association and A Scoping Review of Mechanisms,â€ Depression was one of the mental health outcomes considered in studies showing a positive association with income inequalityâ€ (Patel, Vikram, et al.). As reported that there is a correlation between income inequality and mental health illnesses. Research studies show that between subdivisions of groups, one-third of whom experience income inequality can also display psychological symptoms such as Depression (Patel, Vikram, et al.). I believe the reason why inequality leads to Depression is that it can create competition and division between societal groups that, in turn, foster environments of isolation and stress.
When there is a vast disparity of power and wealth, it can lead people to feel impoverished as well as blame themselves for failures. Many of us have witnessed individuals who have been treated unfairly due to economic inequality, whether it is intentional and explicit or subconscious and implicit. Conversely, when people feel that they are fairly treated, there is a sense of security and equality. We are all sensitive to a slight difference of status and when the income gaps continue to grow between the poor, middle, and upper class, more people feel inferior, while others feel a sense of deserved or undeserved superiority. Extreme inequalities and fear push us into a type of survival mode. It can lead to feelings of resentment, inadequacy, envy, longing, a sense of being left out, and shame, all of which can lead to various degrees of depression. As we can see, inequality, specifically income inequality, can lead to a number of other negative outcomes for Americans.
What type of support should the government provide for all citizens to receive equality and human rights responding to a COVID-19 pandemic?
Do you think that the government should make wealthy people pay a higher percentage on tax fees?
We are all aware that COVID-19 does not discriminate and everyone is affected by this virus in multiple ways; financially, physically, mentally, etc. Do you agree that the coronavirus legislation should design something to protect those in vulnerable situations? And should there be a second round of stimulus check?
I would love to read everyone’s input. Also, please share some coping mechanism during shelter in place.
Income Inequality, Inequality.org, inequality.org/facts/income-inequality/. Accessed 16 April 2020.
Patel, Vikram, et al. Income inequality and depression: a systematic review and metaâ€analysis of the association and a scoping review of mechanisms, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 19 Jan. 2018. Accessed 16 April 2010.
York, John. Does Rising Income Inequality Threaten Democracy, The Heritage Foundation, June 2017. Accessed 16 April 2010.