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The USA - Inequalities

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Laura-Jane Inglis

on 12 April 2015

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Transcript of The USA - Inequalities

Median Income
White - $57,009
Hispanic - $39,005
African American - $33,321
Asian American - $68,636

Welfare/ Benefits are very limited and there is very little support for people on low incomes in the USA
Inequalities and race are inextricably linked in the USA.

Demographics (2014):

White - 63%
Hispanic - 17%
African Americans - 13%
Asian Americans - 5%
Native Americans/ Pacific Islanders 1.5%

Context - the USA
Are minorities more likely to experience economic and social inequalities?
The basic answer is yes, they do.

However, a thoughtful and analytical answer to this question will not racially stereotype minorities and recognise that many minorities are middle class and successful.

In particular, African Americans are making social, economic and political progress

Hispanics are socially mobile and poverty in this ethnic group is linked to recent migration

Asian Americans have been called the "model minority" due to their economic success.
Economic Inequalities - The Facts
Unemployment By Ethnic Group 2014

White - 5.6%

Hispanic - 7.9%

African America - 12.2%

Asian American - 4.5%
Educational Attainment
- Whites and Asian Americans are more highly educated and less likely to drop out of high school ( Korean Americans are the the most successful ethnic group in the US)

Employment Opportunities
- Are related to education and low paid jobs pay poverty wages which in turn perpetuate the cycle of poverty.

Discrimination/ Stereotyping
- Racism is alive and well in the USA which can limit young people's opportunities to succeed. This is evident in education, employment and in the criminal justice system.

Income and Life Chances

Minorities are more likely to live in poverty and therefore more likely to live in neighbourhoods with poor housing and social problems such as higher crime rates, drug problems and with less well resourced schools.

The Evidence

Life expectancy race and gender

A greater proportion of African Americans are now well educated members of the suburban middle classes

Not all Hispanics are poor migrants - many are middle class and well established in the US e.g Cuban Americans

Otherwise intelligent students are drawn to writing racist nonsense in essays dealing with inequalities so bear in mind:

- Half of African Americans are middle class, educated, in work, have savings and live in the suburbs.

- However, African American graduates still earn less than their White graduate counterparts.

- Not all Hispanics are Mexican, nor are they illegal immigrants.

Percentage of Adults in Poverty, By Ethnic Group:

White - 11 %

African American 25%

Hispanic 24%

Asian 12%
How Does The Government Try To Reduce Inequalities?

The US is a highly individualistic, capitalist society, where the efforts of an individual are held in great esteem and there is a very limited belief in government intervention to help the disadvantaged in society.

In the civil rights era - 1980s there were a range of affirmative action programmes but these have been all but dismantled. In some cases university admissions may consider race ( or gender or disability) as a factor but this remains a divisive approach.

The welfare state is practically non existent and benefits are very limited.

No Child Left Behind

Healthcare reform.
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