Sample Essay on Wealth Disparity and American Democracy

According to Winston Churchill, democracy remains all favorite and best alternative form of governance. Democracy explains the continued rise and stability of the United States, making it the most powerful and richest nation globally. However, the growing gap between those who are rich and economically deprived poses a challenge to the old age governance principles. According to the Gini index, which measures the income distribution or inequality/equality, the income disparity is higher in the United States than in any other nation globally (Page et al. 55). Also according to the Gini index, there is a high probability that in the United States one’s income will mirror that of his or herparents. In other words, people rarely rise above the social class in which they are born. These sad statistics speak of unequal educational opportunities and the fact thatwealthy Americanscan afford a much better education than the average American family. Such anoccurrence is failing the country as it denies it the chance to develop its intellectual capital. Additionally, such a state of affairs represents a potential threat becauselow-income families, who hold onto the belief that their children cannot get equal education and employment opportunities, may resort to violence due to frustrations. Riots rise due to continued frustrations with the outlined education, economy, and governance systems, as well as inequality in accessing social amenities. Democracy is based on the wishes and demands of the majority of the population. It is impossible to serve the citizens of a democratic country if the majority does not have equal opportunities and an all-inclusive stake in the government. Since the majority represents theworking, middle and lower social classes, it is unlikely that they are adequately represented in their government, which the democratic system of governance advocates.

According to Page et al. (54), political inequality and economic inequality are intertwined. To maintain the principles of democracy, a just system of legislative power that supports people’s needs remains the core center of the ideals of freedom. However, the concentration of wealth encourages the concentration of power. In the past three decades, the United Statesthe power continues to concentrate in the hands of a few influential individuals who have the means to manipulate the system to their advantage, influence election campaigns and the entire election and political processes. According to Page et al. (62), politicians need everyone’s votes, especially the votes of the economically disadvantaged majority. However, policies and legislations often only mirror the interest of the rich. For example, landmark legislations passed during the Bush administration, such as NAFTA, deregulation in the financial sector, and the Bush tax cuts only reflect laws that favor the rich and support their whims. The legislations in most cases bringsbenefits only to the secluded members of the business community and to the wealthy Americans who have the means and ability to influence both Democrats and Republicans (Page et al. 63). Additionally, over the years wealthy Americans have continued to assert their control with the sole purpose of increasing their power. For example, they have passed certain laws whichmake voting challenging for the middle class. For those reasons, the majority of people, which consists of the lower and middle working class that forms the largest voting body does not have the opportunity to equally participate in the elections and let their voices indeed be heard. Money can buy political influence, thus muting out public discourse and stamping out democratic ideals and impulses (Bartels 96). The rise in the gap between the rich and the economically deprived further continues to grow. Wealthy Americans thus have the advantage of imposing their values and policies and creating a culture that reflects the desires of the rich instead of the public interest and the majority. The arrangement further puts a strain on political ideals and the principles of governance in which the majority does not matter, while only the most affluent have the chance to grow (Page et al. 65).

Undoubtedly, money corrupts politics and undermines the political system, which is not supposed to be unjust and discriminatory. In addressing the imbalance, unions have led campaigns to initiate changes and speak about the dissatisfaction or the majority regarding the negative influence of money on the political system and processes. According to Bartels (167), the media have often taken a central role in advocating for economic equality and passing of policies that mitigate the needed changes. Althoughover the years the media have championed for policies that address suppressed voting amongst lower income earners and raisedthe political profile of the marginalized communities in the country, it did not have much success.Even though unions and leaders from different spheres of influence in the society have what it takes to initiate a change, they are not in a situation to adequately and effectively respondto the issues related to the economic disadvantage ofthe working class (Bartels 167). On the other hand, for instance, the Obama administration has tried to increase the minimum wage to proportionate levels intended to close the increasing gap between the wealthy and the impoverished. However, such an initiative has never been realized as most powerful and wealthy individuals know how to fight such legislations and directives. Additionally, over the years, interest groups and unions have urged different minority and disadvantaged groups to take part in voting.


Works Cited

Bartels, Larry M. “Economic inequality and political representation.” The unsustainable American state (2009): 167-96.

Page, Benjamin I., Larry M. Bartels, and Jason Seawright. “Democracy and the policy preferences of wealthy Americans.” Perspectives on Politics 11.01 (2013): 51-73.