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Slow Down the Inequality, Article Writing Example

Pages: 2

Words: 656

Article Writing

In his article, Krugman argues that inequality can be tackled through government policies. According to the author, taxation, income, and social changes can lead to a fairer, more equal society with a strong middle-class.

One of the reasons the author identifies behind the lack of equal opportunity and upward social mobility in the United States is the lack of universal health care. Krugman states that children from low income families that cannot afford health insurance would be less likely to have health problems, and this would negatively impact their chances in life. Likewise, nutrition value of the food served at home for children affects their development, therefore better off families have a greater chance of providing their kids with opportunities to grow and develop. By suggesting the introduction of universal health care, the author makes an argument that high health care costs for the uninsured are partially responsible for the society’s inequality. While much has been done to provide children in America equal opportunities, such as free school meals, and the Every Child Matters program, there are still gaps between the academic achievement levels of advantaged and disadvantaged children.

Further, Krugman suggests that the U.S. taxation system is designed to favor the few people who earn the most, while disadvantaging the middle class. The tax system is indeed designed to tax the middle class more, while providing exemptions discounts for the highest earners. Providing tax break for hedge fund managers, allowing tax loopholes to exist, the government is missing out on potential income that could fund programs that can create a fairer society. Comparing the taxation rate of the top income category with other Western countries’ tax brackets, the author finds that most people in the United States believe that the government is designed to protect the interest of the “few advantaged individuals”, instead of serving all citizens. Today, the top tax on earned income, long-term capital gains, and corporate profits is significantly lower than it was in 1979. The author mentions the example of the United Kingdom, where businesses need to pay two types of social security: one standard rate, and one based on income. The latter amount is designed to make sure that those who can afford pay more into maintaining public health services. A similar model in the United States could potentially make it possible for the government to develop a universal health care system.

The article also mentions the issue of market inequality, as a threat to a fair society. The author argues that – despite claims that raising minimum wage would increase unemployment levels  – the entire economy and society would benefit from higher minimum wage, resulting in higher wages for the lowest paid 10 percent of workers in the United States. Further, it would increase the living standards of people who currently earn less than the new minimum wage. The ripple effect of the minimum wage increase, however, would affect an even larger proportion of American workers. As – according to the article – higher minimum wage would not significantly affect the number of jobs available, increasing the lowest amount to be paid for workers, adjusted to inflation rates could provide employees with a greater spending power. Higher average compensation of workers would, on the other hand,  increase the government’s tax revenue.

Low union participation rate is also mentioned by Krugman as a factor that reduces workers’ equality in the United States. Comparing union membership in the U.S. and Canada, the author finds that strong participation in workers’ movement is an effective tool to reduce wage inequalities. The article states that unions do not only raise the wage of their members, but consequently start trends within industries, and even those who are not members could benefit from higher earnings. Indeed, unions are designed to shift power to the workers, so they no longer have to fight a David-Goliath battle with large

Krugman, P. “Confronting Inequality”. In: The Conscience of a Liberal, Krugman, P. 2007. Print.

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