Income inequality is a major concern globally. Income inequality is a measure of income distribution among a population. The measure assesses the gap between the rich and the poor by examining the income distribution among a population. In the last three decades, income inequality has grown remarkably in the United States. This means that the rich are becoming richer while the poor remain worse off. Widening income gaps reflect diminishing income opportunities and mobility among the population. This is an indication that certain segments of the population are disadvantaged. High levels of income inequality in the economy may have severe consequences on the growth and development of the economy. Policymakers should implement income redistribution measures to ensure that the gap between the rich and the poor closes.
High levels of income inequality may lead to large social costs. Large income inequalities in the population can affect the ability of the individuals to access education opportunities and consequently influence their career choices negatively. High levels of income inequality may hinder the larger segment of the poor population from accessing educational opportunities, which translates to large social costs. High levels of income inequality in the economy may discourage the poor from working hard to close the income gap. In such a case, the poor may result to seeking favors or protection from the few who are rich, leading to high levels of corruption, nepotism, resource misallocation, and other vices. Poor income distribution affects growth and development of a country. According to Dabla-Norris et al. (2015), there exist an inverse relationship between marginal gain of income among the rich and the economic growth of a country. Lastly, income inequality affects key growth drivers such as physical and human capital accumulation.
Education can greatly help reduce income inequality in the society. Education determines the occupational choice of individuals (Dabla-Norris et al., 2015. Through education, individuals gain knowledge on different occupations and field of practice, enabling them to earn an income in the future. Education gives people access to jobs. Educated people are able to find jobs and improve the standards of living by earning an income. Education promotes entrepreneurship in the economy. Educated people are more likely to develop their own entrepreneurial ventures and thus create employment in the economy. This can help reduce the income gap as more people become involved in production. Rajan (2015) contends that education is the key to attaining wealth in society (as cited in Dabla-Norris et al., 2015). However, it has become unaffordable to majority of individuals in the middle class.
Studies have shown that high levels of income inequality leads to erosion of democratic values held by individuals. According to Griffin (2015), democratic values are highly regarded in countries having low income inequalities. In countries with high-income inequalities, support for democracy tends to be low. Income inequality leads to political protest or unrests. In the last decade, various countries have experienced political protest owing to widening gaps between the rich and the poor. Some of these countries include Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Greece, Turkey, and among others. A study by Griffin (2015), concludes that countries with high levels of income inequality experience polarization among citizens, which spur nonviolent protests. High levels of income inequality lead to low political participation among the poor. According to Solt (2008), the poor often become uninvolved in political engagements since they feel powerless. In addition, they perceive that involvement in politics does not improve their living standards.
The question at issue relates to the problem or issue at hand (Ahuna & Tinnesz, 2003). The question posed must be clear and relevant in order to guide thinking. When vague questions are posed, the answer will most likely lack distinctness and clarity. In answering the three questions at issue, a number of aspects were taken into consideration with regard to the standard. First is the analysis of the complexity of the questions. If the question is complex, detailed answers may be required. The other consideration is whether the questions are clear. All the questions were clear and thus distinct answers provided. In answering the question, it was also important to consider their particular domain. For instance, the three questions are in economical, educational, and political domains. In answering the question, the standard provokes one to examine what they need to do in order to answer the question correctly. For instance, one is able to consider whether there is need to collect data.
Inference refers to the conclusions that one draws from analyzing the issue at hand. Interpretation refers to the mental representation of a particular situation, which involves drawing meanings (Ahuna & Tinnesz, 2003). Inferences are drawn from the evidence presented. The standard helps assess the conclusions or inference that one makes in a particular situation. This standard is important since it helps gauge whether the conclusions made are logical. The standard helps determine whether the conclusions reached follow the data used in referring. The standard also helps examine whether there are other alternative or suitable conclusions. The standard is important in determining the suitable mechanisms to use during interpretation of data. Lastly, it helps determine the best possible conclusion during the examination of a particular issue.
Point of view is important in answering questions. The standard represents the focus or angle that an individual takes in answering questions. The standard is important in this context since it enabled me to identify the appropriate viewpoints and use them in the analysis (Ahuna & Tinnesz, 2003). The standard is critical in helping one assess multiple viewpoints regarding an issue. Thus, one is able to draw comparisons between his or her own thinking and the thinking of others. The standard enables one to identify faults in own thinking or judgment. For instance, one may be in denial that a particular situation is true despite evidence from data showing otherwise. The standard is important in the context since it can help one to identify the most reasonable argument. This is important in drawing a logical conclusion.
Question of facts refers to those questions whose answer should have backing from relevant data or evidence. The above is a question of fact since it requires one to find data comparing income inequality to the economic growth or performance of a country. When answering questions of fact, an individual makes inferences from the available facts. It is possible to proof or disproof a question of fact by referring to particular standards of evidence or proof. Proof about the questions of fact may merely require factual points to be more against the opposing views, while in other cases there is need for proof beyond any reasonable doubt (Ahuna & Tinnesz, 2003). In the question above, there is need for proof from statistical analysis of available data on income gap and performance of the economy.
This is a question of judgment. Questions of judgment require reasoning and the answers may vary. There are no standard answers for questions of judgment. The answers to the above questions are debatable and depend on how well arguments are constructed concerning the role of education in bridging income gaps. If arguments are supported using relevant evidence or data, they are more likely to be accepted. Assessment of questions of judgment involves looking at various intellectual standards such as depth of arguments and logic (Ahuna & Tinnesz, 2003). In analyzing the effectiveness of the answers, one may choose the best answer from a range of possibilities.
This is also a question of fact. As earlier mentioned, questions of fact require one to substantiate his or her claims using data. This question requires a researcher to analyze data on how income inequality alters the political landscape of a country. Answering the question requires the use of standards of evidence (Ahuna & Tinnesz, 2003). The consideration of this problem demonstrates deep learning by expanding my knowledge on income inequality in the U.S. and other parts of the world.
In conclusion, income inequality has been a major challenge facing most countries in the world. Income inequality reflects widening gap between the rich and the poor. Widening income gaps reflect diminishing income opportunities and mobility among the population, which is detrimental to the health of the economy. Consideration of the problem enabled me gain new insights about impacts of income inequality in the economy of the United States. Additionally, it helped in developing different perspectives regarding the issue.