BARELY LEGAL | Income Inequality and Proposed Solutions

While income inequality has come to the forefront of American politics, most Americans are unaware of the impacts that it has on our country. The effects of income inequality impact everything from our economy’s performance to access to healthcare to the fairness of our judicial system. A variety of solutions have been proposed to help combat the impacts of income inequality, however it is important that we confront not just the unfair outcomes, but the root of the problem as well.  Rather than just pouring increasing amounts of money into ineffective welfare programs, we should focus on incorporating measures for fairer access to education. The rise of income inequality has reached devastating proportions in the United States. The OECD reports that the U.S. has “the second-highest level of inequality, after Chile.” Moreover, the problem worsens when we account for not only disparities in income, but also disparities in wealth.  As the Center for Poverty and Inequality notes, almost half of income advantages are transferred from parent to child, making the problem cyclical and intergenerational.