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Classism and income inequality

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Kal HakunaMatata

on 21 April 2014

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Transcript of Classism and income inequality

Income inequality is the norm in any capitalist or free market society

It becomes a problem in a society if income and wealth is too concentrated

Income inequality has increased significantly in the last three decades. From 1970 to 2008, the average annual income of the middle class increased by only 10%. In the same amount of time, the average annual income of the top 100 CEOS went from being 39 times the amount of the average salary of a middle class worker to 1,000 times the amount

Beginning in the mid 1970s, corporations have worked to decrease regulations placed on them and lobbied extensively to receive tax cuts

Government gave tax cuts to companies with the idea that the profit would "trickle down." In reality, a large percent of profit went to top executives and shareholders

Why should income inequality matter?
Prejudice and attitudes about low income people or people unable to move upwards in socio-economic status
Prejudices and Rationalization
Those with lower income tend to become concentrated in urban areas and rural areas

In some low income urban communities, there is the threat of crime, gang violence, and lack of quality public schools

Lack of heat in the winter, the presence of mold, and crowding are some of the negative consequence of living low income housing

The declining well-being of people is one such consequence that has occurred due to a widening gap in income inequality

Researchers have found that individuals living in states with higher levels of income inequality had a 21% increase risk of mortality
Classism and Income Inequality in the U.S.
Why should income inequality matter?
Most people who are living on low income have little to no savings.

Most live from paycheck to paycheck. Losing a job is significant because
for most people that are barely making it, it could mean sinking into
poverty or further into poverty if they are already there.

Most low income work conditions have high levels of stress and tend
to be more controlling.

Low income jobs tend to take a lot out of people physically and emotionally
and yet the reward is not equivalent of the effort that’s put into it.

Why should income inequality matter?
Is the American Dream still possible for the Majority?
Mobility is the idea that if one works hard enough, one can move up in socio-economic status.

The idea that most Americans have about working and moving up the socio-economic ladder is unlikely, especially for people whose families start off lower in socio-economic status

The more education and skill one acquires, the more income they can potentially acquire. Therefore, lack of education can trap people in low paying jobs for the rest of their lives with no possiblity
of mobility unless they acquire more education.

Since 1979, college graduates experienced growth
in median weekly earning while the median earnings
of high school dropout decrease by 22%
Income inequality acts on other variables such as where one lives, how much access they have to goods and services, and what kinds of jobs are available to them. The negative consequences of those living and working conditions can lead to stress accumulation, lack of autonomy lack of support, and
decreases the overall wellbeing of people
What is Income Ineqality and Classism?
Income inequality refers to how evenly or unevenly income is distributed in a society. The United States has a relatively high level of income inequality because the very richest people take home a large share of the economic pie -- and there is a relatively large gap between them and some of the poorest people in America.

Income Inequality leads to economic and social oppression of the majority of Americans, and more specifically those of low socio-economic status.

Classism refers the systematic oppression of subordinated class groups to advantage and strengthen the dominant class groups.
- individual attitudes and behaviors
- systems of policies and practices that are set up to benefit the upper classes at the expense of the lower classes, resulting in drastic income and wealth inequality
Income Inequality
Income Inequality
Income Inequality and Fresno
Fresno is a city of the working poor, with many families falling significantly below the federal poverty line.

Even within Fresno, there is income and residential disparity.
The region of South and West Fresno has historically and currently been the poorest parts of Fresno city with a poverty rate of 40% above national average

The majority of the jobs available in West Fresno through agriculture or retail are unpredictable and seasonal which means residents of West Fresno experience unemployment at a greater rate.

Policy: 60% of all government subsidized public housing units and 40% of all low income housing tax credit properties are located in West Fresno

Concentration of low income housing in one area of Fresno not only limits the choices low income families have as far as where they want to live, it segregates the poor into one area of Fresno
They are lazy
They are uneducated
They don't work hard enough
They value instant gratification
They are unmotivated
They just want a government handout
Therefore, if the rich are getting richer,
and the poor are getting poorer, it's their
What can Social Workers do?
Bauman, Kurt. Extended Measures of Well-being: Living Conditions in the United States, 1998.
[Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S.
Census Bureau, 2003.

Curtis, Sarah. Health and Inequality. London: Sage Publications Ltd, 2004.

Cytron, N. (2009). The Enduring Challenge of Concentrated Poverty in America.
Case Study of Fresno, California.

“Inequality and Health.” ineqality.org. Institute for Policy Studies, n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012.

Leon, David A. Poverty Inequality and Health. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Social workers can help people access resources

Community organization and outreach to help bring awareness about barriers to progress such as generational poverty and lack of education

Help people redefine goals and aspiration: reducing consumerism and desire for status goods

Help clients budget

Help clients come up with short term and long term goals towards achieving a better life
Full transcript