Science Journal of Sociology and Anthropology
March 2015, Volume 2015, ISSN:2276-6359
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
The Rich-Poor Gap: A Synopsis
Affiliation: National University of Singapore (retired)
Accepted 2 February, 2015; Available Online 10 March,2015
Abstract: The most intractable disparities prevail in rewards garnered by individuals whether for their personal efforts, inheritance, or just good luck. A dramatic concentration of income and wealth, disproportionally rewarding relatively small elites in society, has become evident especially in the last four decades in the United States, but similar disparities also exist worldwide. The phenomenon has become perhaps the most glaring deficiency in the functioning of modern capitalism. Economists address this issue in terms of free-market and nonmarket (government policy) solutions or approaches; but government interventions have not worked and even free trade has rewarded owners of corporations rather than workers, including in the foreign countries where investment has migrated. The strong rationale for rewarding capitalists is still lauded as the source of entrepreneurialism and innovation, but rising inequality and decreasing social mobility have discredited "trickle-down" theories and foment social discord. The most intractable disparities prevail in rewards garnered by individuals whether for their personal efforts, inheritance, or just good luck. Corporate payroll systems are clearly out of balance, which indicates that shareholder capitalism has not been functioning properly. Few governments believe that regulation and taxation of higher income and wealth are the best or only recourse. Resolution must revolve ultimately around notions of social control, especially realistic shareholder control over managers. However, getting rich as an executive in a top-tier corporation indeed seems appropriate, perhaps as much as for talent in professional sports or Hollywood. Of course, the issue may largely disappear in a growing economy.
Keywords:Rich-Poor Gap, Middle Class, Globalization, Technological Unemployment, Utility Maximization, Protectionism, Trickledown Effect, Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals, Shareholder Capitalism, Integrity Of The Market, Incentive Pay, Minimum Wage Law, Redistribution