Term Paper: Growing Inequality in America

Pages: 3 (958 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Topic: American History  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … United States in the aftermath of World War II experienced a growth unprecedented in world history. The rise of a strong middle class and virtual elimination of poverty showed the successes of industrialization in the post-war era. The return of veterans of war, with the aid of government grants for developing businesses and returning educational contributed the overall growth of the middle class. Massive suburban migrations reduced the crowding of cities and the virtual growth of new industries permitted unparalleled growth in job opportunity and general wealth within the United States. The economic factors that provided for growth between 1945 and 1973 were not the only factors that contributed to the building of the middle class and poverty reduction, but government policy as well. Under the leadership of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, massive reforms helped shift the United States to focus on the poor and underprivileged. The culmination of all of these factors led to an unparalleled era of prosperity and equality within the United States. During this period, we saw the emergence and victory of the civil rights movement, the feminist movement and a greater shift towards societal consciousness. Yet, a look at today's society shows few of the remnants of the glorious economic wealth and equality of a mere three decades ago. A look at "Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich reveals the deplorable way in which a growing class of American's poor now live. There is a growing inequality within the United States that has been brought through a myriad of economic, social, and political factors.

From an economic perspective, the United States is not on a downward trend in the least. In fact, the United States is currently sitting at the peak of economic proweress, with the highest GDP and consumer spending power in American history. The growing problem is not in the growth of the economy, but rather the growing wealth gap that exists between lower, middle and upper class within the U.S. While the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s were known for the emergence of a strong middle class, the last three decades have been known for the growth of the "mega rich." Currently one percent of the population accounts for fully one third of earnings within the United States. This staggering figure reflects the disparity between not just the lower and middle class, but the middle and upper class. The overall effects of this wealth gap are that the middle class has become bigger, but the average spending power of individuals within the middle class has actually decreased. The poor are becoming poorer, while the rich continue to make incredible profits.

There are several economic factors that have led to this growing situation. While during the 40s to the 70s the United States was primarily a manufacturing super-power, producing the majority of the world's processed goods, this is no… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Growing Inequality in America.  (2007, April 10).  Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/growing-inequality-america/14532

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"Growing Inequality in America."  10 April 2007.  Web.  21 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/growing-inequality-america/14532>.

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"Growing Inequality in America."  Essaytown.com.  April 10, 2007.  Accessed July 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/growing-inequality-america/14532.