Income Inequality

Essay by kristanw22College, UndergraduateA-, September 2014

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Income Inequality

The rich, the middle class and the poor. These so-called "titles" are defining Americans today. What is income inequality and why is it a problem? Income inequality is the extent to which income is distributed in a population. In the United States, that gap between the poor and the rich has expanded immensely over the past ten years. Income inequality is a constantly debated topic today with different opinions and solutions; economists, writers, and politicians all have different views. For example, Paul Krugman and Robert Reich have different opinions than Maura Pennington. As people of different social status, religion, and political preferences view inequality differently, the solution is vastly different amongst these groups. This paper will explain how Krugman, Reich, and Pennington extend, qualify, and complicate each other's claims and arguments about income inequality.

The three authors all have a specific target group in mind and each of these authors write or speak in a specific way to get these audiences to follow their views and solutions about income inequality.

Paul Krugman in, "Confronting Inequality" a chapter in his book The Conscience of a Liberal, says that income inequality is not a problem until it becomes social inequality. His audience is more educated the common person; he writes in a very scholarly way and gives complex solutions to a complex issue. Robert Reich in the documentary film Inequality for All, directed by Jacob Kornbluth, says that income inequality is a problem because the gap is getting bigger. Reich's audience is comparable to the common person because in his film he uses colorful graphs and representations to make his point clear and easy to understand. While these two people agree about inequality, Maura Pennington, a contributor for Forbes, writes that when dealing with "wealth" inequality it is...