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The research for this paper was conducted by two economists, Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson. The information was obtained by these economists through local directions, historical reports, and tax records. The data was utilized to conduct analysis and draw conclusions on income disparities in America.
According to this article, Americans were originally egalitarian. They had social and economic equality. This was especially noticeable throughout the colonial period. Lindert and Williamson went on to write a book called Unequal Gains based on their results. The book shows the comparison between America, Europe and Netherlands during revolutionary era. Apparently, income inequalities in the former were way much lower than the two countries. However, in the present times, America is featuring the least on social and economic equalities. This situation is attributed to a number of factors as described below.
The slavery of the black Americans deprived of an opportunity to earn from their hard work. Instead they were only given shelter and food. A sharp increase in population in 1800s led to a reduction in wages of those living in rural areas. Conversely, those residing in urban areas doing white collar jobs saw an increase in their wages. The advent of industrialization and globalization phased out the middle level skills and techniques. Only the highly skilled would benefit from this revolution. Industrial investors reaped huge profits.
How the article relates to the topic
The article is relevant to the topic since it clearly describes the phases of economic transitions in America and the various factors that contributed to these scenarios. For instance, the change of political regimes resulted in a rise in income inequality. During the colonial government, income distributions were fairly good. However, after independence, economic parities rose to the present alarming rates. Therefore, the article stands the test of relevance in this particular topic.
In addition, income inequality resulted from historical injustices and oppression. Enslavement of black Americans denied them their rights of earning from their efforts. As a result, economic gap between them and the natives increased. This led to non-uniform wealth distribution among the population.
Furthermore, the article relates to the topic at hand since it clearly outlines the economic profile of America in different time periods. America started at an egalitarian state. However, with attainment of independence, economic parities started to emerge. This was further escalated by industrialization, globalization and technology advancements in the present times. A boom in financial industry also contributed significantly to this situation. Therefore, income inequalities in America have undergone a lot of transitions with time.
Analysis of the article
Income inequality in America has been contributed by various factors. For instance, slavery of African American is one of the contributors. This worked by depriving the black Americans a chance to pursue growth and development like the Native Americans. Instead, slavery forced them to work for the later which further increased the margins. Therefore, the absence of an enabling and a fair environment for all the citizens led to huge differences in income inequalities.
Secondly, industrialization contributed adversely to the skyrocketing of income inequalities. The industrial moguls eliminated the middle class artisans as a result of robust industrial capacities. Investors became highly rich as well as the skilled personnel employed to run their firms. This pattern is also resonated in the current economy with the expansion in technological advancements. Therefore, industrialization and advancements in technology have created enormous margins between the rich and the poor.
In conclusion, income inequalities in America have continued to rise and if no efforts are done to correct the situation, the nation is doomed to total destruction economically.
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