Unraveling the Intersections of Inequality

This week let’s use the crowdsource to have a general conversation about economic inequality, and to lay out some of the specific intersections and disparities that exist within the realm of economic inequality. Moreover, I want us to consider how we think these disparities have come about, and what material and social and political consequences they may have.

Please feel free to refer to any and all of the readings assigned this week, and be sure to review previous responses so you can either build on ideas that have come up, and/or bring new ideas and angles to our conversation.

REMINDER: You are not posting to the blog for this assignment.  You will include your thoughts and responses in the comments section of this post.

Comments due by 12noon, Monday 2/13/17.

For more general information on the weekly crowdsource, click here.

Crowdsource, Topical


  1. The Great Recession affected the United States labor market as a whole; however, upon further examination, specific groups felt the impact more than others. According to The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the US Labor Market, there were two primary challenges: an increase in demand for skilled workers, and a polarization of job opportunities (Autor 1). The latter challenge included an increase in high-skill, high-wage job opportunities, as well as low-skill, low-wage opportunities. There was also a sharp decrease in opportunities for middle-skill, middle-wage occupations (1). In the past three decades, college-educated individuals are often paid more than those with only high school diplomas (5). Not only did the recession decrease demand for middle-skill jobs, it made it more difficult for people without college degrees to obtain jobs in general.

    In New York City, data shows that job polarization has affected different races and genders differently. One chart shows that while White, Black, Asian, and Latino women all office and administrative support as their top profession—23 percent, 22 percent, 18 percent, and 22 percent, respectively—men have much more variance. White men’s top occupation is management, Black men’s is office and administrative support, Asian men’s is food, and Latino men’s is transportation (Hum 27). While these statistics were taken before the recession, it is still important to note that Asian and Latino men are primarily in what is often classified as low-skill and low-wage. Another report shows that White job candidates are most likely to get callbacks or job offers, followed by Latinos, and then Black candidates (Pager & Western 3). Lack of job opportunities leads to a lack of social mobility, which only contributes to the cycle of poverty. Gender also plays a role for the wage gap between college-educated men and women. Economists have stated that from 2000 to 2016, the average salary for college-educated men has increased by 8.1 percent, while it has decreased for college-educated women by 6.8 percent in that same time span (Kasperkevic). The article claims that women are not pushed into higher paying fields such as STEM, which contributes to this gap.

    There are other financial issues that affect racial and ethnic minorities. Pew Research polls show that the wage gap between White people and other minority groups is widening. According to the article, “the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households” (Kochhar, Fry, & Taylor). The same research shows a more shocking statistic: in 2009, typical black households had $5,677 in wealth, the average Hispanic household had $6,325, and the average white household had $113,149 (Kochhar, Fry, & Taylor). Even black individuals who were able to pull themselves out of poverty saw their finances tumble down during the Great Recession. The median income in black households decreased by 83 percent during that period from 2007 to 2009, while median income in white households only decreased by 24 percent (Washington).

  2. Economic inequality can be simplified into three categories: pay inequality, income inequality, wealth inequality. Unfortunately, sex discrimination in the workplace carries much of an influence on the gender wage gap (pay inequality) that seems to be continuously growing. According to Jana Kasperkevic (2016), female college graduates earn $8,000 a year less than males; on average, males are earning $4 more than females. Many exclaim that the difference in pay between men and women stems from the types of careers women select, ridiculously insinuating that we choose lower paying jobs. However, it is well known that even within occupations, women are making less than men. Researchers from Yale University asked 100+ science faculty members at different academic institutions to assess two student resumes. The resumes were identical except for the name shown: John or Jennifer. Despite both students having the same qualifications and experience, the faculty members were more likely to identify John as competent and select him for a hypothetical lab manager position. Additionally, faculty members offered John a higher salary than Jennifer. Sex discrimination continues to portray women like “Jennifer” as less competent, hirable, and valuable than identically qualified males. I believe sex discrimination, and ultimately pay inequality, continues to exist due to long lived differences in responsibilities throughout history. Woman needed to produce children and care for them, leading to an idea that women are not as capable of other responsibilities. I also agree with Sara in that women are not pushed or welcomed into higher paying fields such as STEM. Moreover, the idea of gender inequality fails to be recognized in the United States, which will only result in a problem gone unresolved.

    Likewise, I believe race discrimination continues to influence both income and wealth inequality in the United States. Research completed by Devah Pager and Bruce Western (2005) reveals ugly truths of race discrimination in the workplace: blacks are about more than half as likely to receive consideration by employers to equally qualified white applicants, Latinos are preferred relative to their black counterparts, employers view minority job applicants as equal to whites just out of prison, blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be channeled down while whites are more likely to be channeled up. This alone implies that blacks are not given a fair opportunity at receiving employment, stalling their social mobility, which can lead to income and wealth inequality between whites and blacks, where blacks are led towards lower paying jobs or channeled down. Furthermore, according to Jesse Washington (2011), black individuals, such as Deborah Goldring, were able to pull themselves out of poverty yet fall back into it during the Great Recession; this tells us that this tragic period in history continues to affect the United States labor market. The median income in black households decreased by over 80% during this period, while median income of white households were slightly effected. Also, Rakesh Kochnar, Richard Fry, and Paul Taylor (2011) reported that at the end of the Great Recession, black households had approximately $5,677 in wealth while white households had $113,149. However, it is quite difficult for black households to rise back from this hard hit during the recession by climbing up the income and wealth ladder when they aren’t given a fair opportunity to climb it in the first place.

  3. This week’s crowd-source contained many detailed readings about the phenomenon that is income inequality. Through the readings it is evident that income inequality is created mainly through discrimination. Explaining the forms of discrimination shows how the readings are tied together. The first form is not necessarily a type of discrimination (as this means against a person) but it is still discriminatory to a level of job. According to David Autor, the job market is becoming incredibly polarized, there is a large demand for high-skilled workers and a large demand for low-skilled workers; middle-skilled workers have become increasingly frozen out in this modern era where it pays to be college-educated and also apparently pays to be simply high-school educated (The Hamilton Project). I hypothesized that this is so because increased automation has diminished the need for certain levels of worker and thus the demand only exists for those at the very top, usually the creators, maintainers and organizers of the automated era and those at the very bottom, usually those involved in the people service industries such as retail, food service and custodial positions (just to name a scant few). This is referred to as economic polarization and is a key component in the explanation of economic inequality as those in the middle-skilled areas have lost their jobs, those in the high-skilled areas have very healthy salaries and finally those in the low-skilled areas have barely survivable incomes.

    The second reading really starts to unpack at the idea of discrimination in the job market, especially among racial and nativity lines. However an entirely new perspective was opened to after completing the second reading, the sheer concentration of racial/native workers in particular fields was astounding to note (Persistent Polarization). For instance, the stark contrast of Black immigrants in the health-care field compared to native Blacks. Reading two connected itself to The Hamilton Project reading by showing statistics that most Black and Hispanic workers (both native and immigrant) tend to be concentrated in the low-skilled work areas, hence creating economic inequality among the races; this is shown by the Transportation job field. The median income for the Transportation field in NYC is about $28,00 and 13% of Blacks in the labor force are employed here, in contrast, only 5% of Non-Hispanic Whites are employed in this area (Persistent Polarization).

    Race at work by Devah Pager and Bruce Western does an excellent job at pointing out the discrimination in the hiring process of the job market. A frightening example is the one where the White tester with a felony was given the job in question on the spot whilst the Black and Hispanic testers were told to await a phone call (Race at Work). This type of discrimination forces non-whites into low-skilled areas or sometimes out of the labor force all together and thus generates more economic inequality.

    The NBCnews and PewResearch Center pieces help to show how Black-owned properties have plummeted in value much more so than White-owned in the aftermath of the Great Recession. The net worth of Black households (already at a terrible low) fell aboout 53% while the net worth of White households fell about 16% (Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs). The cause of this is not quite obvious to me. The calculation of net worth based on a plethora of factors, which includes income, seems to create a slippery gradient considering it has been shown that Blacks are less likely to get the same job as a white person.

    Discrimination can also occur based on your gender and (apparently) when you were born. The article from the guardian shows that college-educated women are earning significantly less than men for a job in the same field. An interesting point i drew from this article was, “It’s an interesting idea when you say that out loud: ‘Women chose lower paying jobs’. Who would chose a lower paying job? How does that even make sense?” said Gould. She added that it’s true women might be likely to select different majors than men and that men tend to end up in higher professions.” This retort from Elise Gould is brilliant because it is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that women willfully and intentionally accept lower paying jobs, the obvious discrimination that is still present in the workforce does nothing but create more economic inequality. The group in the workforce that is most targeted by the affluent and successful are (my era) The Millennials. The New York Times article, ‘We’re Making Life Too Hard for Millennials’ shows how America is creating a large economic imbalance between its Millennial generation and the one before it. Today’s young people are highly educated but stacked with heavy student loans and can’t find proper jobs to acquiesce their debt. The only jobs available are those that do not pay enough to survive and pay bills, we’re being left in debt and behind the previous era (We’re Making Life Too Hard for Millennials). It does not pay to be born in this generation.

    All in all the readings have hypothesized and proved that economic inequality can come in many shapes and forms, however it is largely present in today’s society in the form of racism and/or sexism.

  4. Economic inequality has been as aspect in American society that has impacted all groups throughout time. When the great recession hit in the early 2000’s many people suffered greatly – even more so if you were a minority or a woman. I believe it’s safe to say a person is more prone to dealing with certain inequalities based on their sex and/or race. This has been proven time and time again In each of this articles and in society as a whole. Throughout history, women and minorities had been put on the backburner to defend for their selves in a society that already wasn’t made for them. American society, in my opinion is aimed for the success of the white man and leaves almost everyone else behind regardless of how much their motivated or how much they work. The articles use terms like ‘wiped-out’ and ‘lopsided wealth ratios’ to help get at the seriousness of these issues.
    Personally, I have had many arguments with people trying to convince them that inequality between the sexes is real. While reading “College-educated women earn $8,000 less a year than men as gap widens” helps me prove my point, it also disheartens me considering no solutions are being put in place. The crowdsource asks “how we think these disparities have come about” and the answer is simple – outdated views of women’s abilities. Before women were effectively in the workforce’s people like Henry Ford implemented paying men more considering they were taking care of all the financial obligations in the household which made sense at the time. Even when women were accepted into the workforce they were forces into maternal jobs like teaching and nursing (much like you see in the article “Persistent Polarization in New York’s Workforce: New Findings of Segmentation by Race, Gender and Nativity). If we fast forward to 2016 we can see that times have clearly changed. More women are graduating college than men. There are more women living on their own not seeking out husbands to take care of their financial responsibilities. There are more single moms who are forced to do it on their own yet regardless of how hard they worked to earn that degree they are still likely to make less than their male counterpart. This is an issue that definitely (I feel) has to be put on the front-end and dealt with.
    In each of these articles the authors mention Blacks, Hispanics and Asians consequences when the recession hit. Many lost their jobs, their homes and their savings leaving them to struggle greatly or rely on other methods of making an income – whether it be legal or illegal. In “Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics” researchers show the percentages of net worth each group lost through this time. For Blacks it was 53%. For Hispanics it was 66% (the most of all). For Asians it was 54%. These are huge numbers compared to the 16% for whites. Honestly, I’m surprised they even called it a recession considering the ‘majorities’ of the country didn’t take nearly that big of a hit as the minorities. The crowdsource asks “how we think these disparities have come about” and I feel the answer is simple – the failure of minorities are embedded in American Society. The economy and opportunities are geared towards making sure the top stay the top and the bottom stay where they are as well. Even when Asian groups were doing better than white groups the recession hit them 38% more causing them to fall below the majority again. These facts have serious consequences one in which I think is most important is incarceration rates of minority males.
    In “Blacks economic gains wiped out in downturn” the article has a section called “becoming a drug dealer” when they talk about Horace Davis going to jail for drug smuggling and coming out having even less job opportunities than when he went in. Not only was he punished for his doings in the four years he was in jail, he was again punished by being unemployable for a crime that wasn’t too serious. The article also mentions “harsh drug sentencing laws have send a disproportionate number of black people to prison, even though blacks are not more likely than whites to sell or use drugs” (Washington). This just help further prove that inequality on all levels has to do more with who you are (sex and/or gender) than really WHO you are.

  5. In our nation, economic inequality is a huge crisis that has not been taken care of. There are different causes for economic inequality, which include: race, sex, and class. “In the Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market, there are many issues that face classes when it comes to jobs. Certain aspect of society contribute to what kind of work individuals are capable of, such as education. Autor states that, ” the rise in the U.S. education levels has not kept up with the rising demand for skilled workers..” (1). Due to a lack of education, this separates upper and lower classes. This causes an increase in both high skilled high wage jobs, and low skilled low wage jobs. However, this also decreases the labor in middle skill middle wage jobs. Autor includes that individuals who don’t attend a four year college tend to end up in these lower skilled jobs, and most people are finding harder to complete their four year education.
    In Race at Work , Pager discusses how racism is one of the biggest causes of economic inequality. According to studies, 75%+ Americans believe that whites and blacks are treated the same in society (1). A experiment was conducted, where a black, white, and latino male applied to a job with similar fictitious resumes. multiple groups were sent to apply, and the results indicated large difference between the races hired. It consisted of almost double the amount of white individuals being called back, compared to the black individuals. Also, based on a study of restaurant jobs, white individuals were channeled up with prior experience. Black and Latino people with even more experience were channeled down, with even more experience. There is also a huge difference in wealth gap when comparing white, black and latino, according to Kochhar’s article, “Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics”. White people have wealth that is 10x the amount of black and latino people combined!
    Sex is also a factor of economic inequality. In, College-educated women earn $8,000 less a year than men as gap widens, the wage gap between men and women is stated to be rising. Women only receive an average of 79% of a male’s salary (2). I agree with Shevin’s point of women accepting lower paying jobs being ludicrous. Men dominate fields that yield higher paying wages, but that’s because there is a lack of encouragement for women to enter these Stem fields (2). Because America decides not to view sex, race, and class as a problem is why economic inequality is still present.

  6. In regards to Joseph E. Stiglitz quote, I agree that economic inequality is not inevitable, and is rather unfairly distributed among those who are negatively impacted more than others due to certain laws put in place. Economic inequality deals with issues of gender, race, and socioeconomic status. According to a report published by the Economic Policy Institute, female college graduates now earn $8,000 less than people college graduates. The gap has been widening for quite some time as several misleading excuses have been brought forth to justify the fact. One belief is that women are simply settling for the lower wage jobs which is not credible being that certain jobs such as those pertaining to the Stem field, which are male dominated and do not often cater to female workers, are less encouraging to women to take part in such positions. Women also have been paid a lower starting salary than man who have the exact same position and credentials to go with it.

    Like gender, race has also been seen as an issue for economic inequality for a very long time. The Great Recession of 2007 disproportionately affected African Americans in terms of economic status and employment opportunities. While the median wealth of White households had fallen by 24% by 2009, the median wealth of Black households fell by 83%. On average, White households were worth $97,860 while Black households were worth $2,170. Several African American’s shared their experiences on being the first fired/last hired and some were forced to turn to drug dealing as means to make a living after being unemployed for several years. Blacks were not likely to find jobs due to their skin color alone but definitely not with a felony. According to a 2003 study conducted by the University of Chicago, whites with felonies were more likely to be hired for low wage jobs than blacks without felonies.
    While race and gender have played major roles in determining outcomes for job opportunities, some people are born into economic inequality due to family history. While others are born into wealth and will go on to live prosperous lives, many who are born disadvantaged due to their geographic location will not have the same opportunities. Economic inequality exists because people in power as well as ordinary citizens are so tolerant of it because it may not effect them and until we act on this it will remain and serious problem in our society.

  7. After reading the articles for this week I came to the realization that economic inequality is driven by discrimination of race and gender. A common factor of economic inequality expressed in many of the articles is race and gender when it comes to the distribution of wealth, types of jobs typically held according to race or gender, and skills obtained to do certain jobs. The article that best described the connection between economic inequality and race and gender was the research report by Tarry Hum. The report highlights the “occupational niches” that New York City workers are put into based on race and gender. This becomes an issue when certain jobs are associated with a race or gender in mind which could lead to discrimination and lack of opportunity in the job market due to a person’s race or gender. I believe that race and gender play a major role in economic inequality because it is discussed the most and from the other articles it can be seen that race and gender is a factor in the job market and research studies for determining why economic inequality exists. Mainly, there is a large gap of wealth between non Hispanic whites and other races such as blacks and hispanics as highlighted in the Pew Research article. The article shows that blacks and hispanics have a considerably lower household wealth than whites to begin with and landed them in more economic troubles during the Great Recession. A gap also exists between men and women for wages. According to the article written by Jane Kasperkevic, female graduates earn $8,000 less than male graduates. Similar to the research report by Tarry Hum, men and women are put into “occupational niches” that could influence what jobs a person chooses to pursue and the discrimination that comes with it. Women are often discriminated in the workplace, especially when it is male dominated. They are seen as inferior to men and thus remain separated through the wage gap and earning less than men. Women are often discouraged from going into work fields with higher paying positions dominated by men because of what society has instilled in us and even then women faced with the “glass ceiling” barrier that prevents them from moving up in rank in the field because of their gender.
    Economic inequality and discrimination of race and gender could negatively impact society because it promotes the idea of blaming who a person is for their disparities and economic standing. Similar to when we discussed poverty as a pathology in class, discrimination can lead people to give into what is being said about them and continue to limit them to the occupational niche they are in based on what society says. This limits the chance of social mobility becoming a reality and improving the distribution of wealth equally among race and gender.

  8. Economic inequality, as gathered by all of the articles, is a product of our system and our society that is so deeply rooted in certain traditions and expectations.

    Beginning with race, black people are at a disadvantage already because of their history in this country and the stereotypes that have developed over time regarding their history. In Washington’s article “Blacks’ economic gain wiped out in downturn” begins with a rebuttal to the argument that poverty is a pathology by telling us that Deborah Goldring pulled herself up by her bootstrap, but it didn’t matter when the recession hit. Discrimination, although not technically legal nor as overt as it once was, is a dog whistle. From the Harvard study done, it suggests that black people are less likely to get the same opportunities as white people. This cycle, if perpetuated, creates a gap in opportunities and then further separates each group of people. This can lead to poverty if black people are not given the same chances, which proves that poverty is not pathology but a systematic problem. If equal opportunities are not presented, it cannot be expected that black people meet the same standards as white people without the same resources. For women, equality is even harder to achieve because of our cultural and societal. The recession, which was a culmination of many different economic problems, hit women and POC hard.

    Women, throughout most of American history, were given trivial tasks and domestic duties and were prescribed to a life of coverture, legally bound to their husbands. Women to this day still do not hold positions of power in America, not because they’re not capable, but because it is not encouraged. As Jana Kasperkevic points out in her Guardian article “College-educated women earn $8,000 less a year than men as gap widens,” people tend to think that the wage gap exists because of women’s career choices and the fact that they are mothers, but it’s been proven that even within occupations there is gender inequality.

    In a way, millennials are discriminated against as a whole. Many adults tend to believe millennial unemployment is a matter of choices, much like the poverty is a pathology theory. As discussed in Steven Rattner’s New York Times article “We’re Making Life Too Difficult for Millennials,” baby boomers are not retiring early enough (to no fault of their own, many do not have enough money saved for retirement) are still in their respected positions, creating a lack of opportunity for millennials. We are also doomed with large student loans and debt from the ever-rising college costs . Even the jobs that do exist, they are paying less even when accounting for inflation. The idea that millennials are lazy and unnappreciative perpetuates discrimination. Millennials have less experience which in turn results in less desire to hire them or even view them favorably.

    Negative stereotyping and cultural problems play a huge role in poverty and wealth distribution. Poverty is a clear result of the system it exists in, not the people that exist in it.

  9. Two key contributors to job polarization and consequent economic inequality are the automation of routine work and international integration of labor markets through trade and offshoring (Autor 2). The price of information technologies has declined making it a great substitute to expensive manual labor. Routine tasks are evident in many middle-skilled jobs and they are now “increasingly codified in computer software and performed by machines or, alternatively, sent electronically to foreign worksites” (Autor 12). As a result, there is an increase in demand for abstract and nonroutine tasks. However, since nonroutine tasks don’t require an education, the supply of workers is very large “and this is likely to mute the potential for rapid wage growth in these occupations…causing no potential for wage growth” (Autor 12). The author argues international trade and offshoring as consequences of the advances in information technology and a cause of economic inequality. Trade and offshoring with other countries has led to a decline in job opportunities in the U.S. because goods and services which were once produced domestically are disappearing and this has led to a decrease in participation from the labor force (Autor 13).

    A social consequence of economic inequality is an increase in crime. This happens because individuals who are upset with their economic positions or are jealous towards those who are “stealing” their opportunities want access to the resources everyone else has and all the legal ways to go about doing so don’t result in a standard of living they aspire to. Chris Wilder, a Philadelphia journalist, said “I see why people become drug dealers” in response to realizing the lack of opportunity for black people (Washington).

    Besides the obvious personal consequence of losing personal assets, a personal consequence of economic inequality is health. With limited or no access to health care and sufficient food, these individuals are vulnerable to acquiring diseases. A less effective work force arises therefore, and this significantly alters the success of several groups.

    On a political level, economic inequality yields political inequality. Individuals part of high-income groups primarily dominate politics and shape government practices to suit the needs of their financial supporters and themselves. In the process, those who are not educated or are not as blessed financially are unable to participate in the political sphere. This is because they are heavily occupied with acquiring their basic needs that they don’t have the time or money to become active participants in the conversation. Participation by the poor also decreases because they know their opinions don’t matter and they therefore can’t impact change. As this mindset spreads, there are less people who actually stand up for a transformation and in the end, we remain stagnant as a society.

  10. Economic inequality is associated by many factors such as gender, race, and social status. The polarization of employment is a social factor of economic inequality. This idea of polarization states that there is more demand for high-skill, high-wage jobs and for low-skill, low-wage jobs (The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market) while the wage gain of the middle-skill, middle-wage jobs are lower than high-wage and low-wage jobs. One cause of this are the certain skills that is required in certain jobs, for example, occupations that require one to think theoretically must have workers who are cognitively skillful with the ability to reason and are usually given to people with the completion of a high education (The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market). Occupations that require physical engagement must have workers who are mechanically skillful and have basic language ability; this job is usually given to people who at least have a high school degree (The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market). Thus, the middle class don’t have a room of opportunity to be employed in a certain position as there is only room for either earning a sufficient/high income or insufficient/low income. Also, during the Great Recession many businesses and markets decreased in many middle-skilled jobs compared to high-skilled and low-skilled jobs. While the upper class jobs barely diminished, the middle-skilled jobs had experienced most of the economic lost.

    To this day, racial and hierarchal discrimination overtakes the privileges of minority groups in obtaining a stable job in which they can earn a decent income and have economic stability. When it comes to race, Hispanic and Black individuals are impacted the most with economic inequality. Black individuals are usually employed in health care, office or retail affiliated fields, which account for 16% of individuals (Persistent Polarization). Latinos are usually employed in transportation, office and retail related fields and immigrant Latinos are employed in food, building services, construction, and industrial production jobs, which account for 48% of individuals (Persistent Polarization). Such occupations in these certain fields don’t offer average or enough income to support their living expenses; the average income for working in retail is $31,927, while working in transportation is $33,480, and community service providing the lowest income of (Hispanics are most concentrated in) $24,876 (Persistent Polarization). The minority groups occupy low-wage jobs while White individuals are earning the most with sufficient jobs that reach up to $98,279. Because of the very insufficient and low salary Hispanics and Blacks earn, during the Great Recession, both races were impacted the most in terms of decline of housing and overall net worth, while White individuals barely experienced a decline. Rather than a ‘Great’ Recession, White individuals just experienced a short and very slight economic slump within 4 years. From 2005 to 2009, the net worth of Hispanics diminished by 66%, 53% for Black individual, 54% for Asians, and 16% for White individuals (Wealth Gaps Rise to Records High Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics).

    Such racial discrimination goes back a few years ago, such as through the Jim Crow laws when Black individuals experienced segregation in where they work and other public places. They were closed-off from the same rights that White individuals were entitled to and we can clearly see a reflection of these laws in today’s era. The society has yet to open their eyes to the inequalities minority groups are susceptible to. White individuals are ahead of economic downturns when minority groups are suffering from falling behind economic stability and are suffering the consequences of not having enough to pay for housing expenses and even acquiring basic necessities because of the favoring of one race over the others, even with the amount of enough experience minority groups have. In an experiment, when applying for the same position, a Black individual was told that the only position left was for someone who had specific experience in that field, a Hispanic individual was asked about his experiences, and a White individual who had a criminal background was automatically given the job (Race at Work).

    It is sad to say that we are still living in a society and generation where men are still viewed as the ‘breadwinner’ or the dominant lead in the workforce. In our society and throughout history, women were and are still viewed as having to be employed in places that qualify for non-dangerous activity or associating with children; such jobs include nurses, teachers, retail, housewives, and many more. In 2014, despite the fact that 29.9% of men and 30.2% of women completed and earned college degrees, women were still earning less than men (College-educated women earn $8,000 less a year than men as gap widens). Just last year, it was studied that women earned $4 less of wages compared to men, which resulted to men earning $8,000 more than women in the year (College-educated women earn $8,000 less a year than men as gap widens). Nicole makes a point that there are many women who carry the burden of being single mothers. Despite their consequence, they have no other choice but to earn a degree and obtain an acceptable job to earn enough to financially provide for their families and yet these women are still earning less than men.

  11. Many disparities have taken place during United States history, and these inequalities have created many gaps between our society, them being political, social and economic. Focusing in the economic differences, there has been job polarization. During the 1950s and 1960s, the US labor market has had a demand for skilled workers and the accessibility to education went hand in hand with the demand for skill; although in the 70s and 80s we begin to see breaks between this hand in hand method and the education attainment does not match the demand for skilled workers, in which we progressively see a sharp inequality for wages. This being one of the causes for polarization: 1. the declining real value of federal minimum wage. For example, from 1979 to 1989 minimum wage drops from $7.50/hr to $5.29/hr. However, in 1989 to 2006 we see a rise from $5.45 to $6.50 an hour. At least now in NY minimum wage has risen to $11 an hour for business with more than 11 employees (inflation has also played a role here). Another 2. Routine task-replacing technologies change: even though technology has made our day by day easier, it has also made everything more accessible and cheaper, therefore replacing expensive labor. 3. International trade and offshoring of goods and services: the growing of English speaking workers worldwide, literate people has risen that most jobs are being done offshore, where labor is cheaper and more convenient. 4. Declining private sector labor union penetration.

    There are not only differences between decades of polarization, but between those years we also see gaps between race and gender According to Tarry Hum, “black men ages 16-24 have endured exceptionally high unemployment rates, exacerbating an alarming level of detachment from the formal labor market.” When it comes to women, their jobs are also marginalized, most of them being administrative assistants, secretaries or receptionists. These so called niches are following certain patterns, and setting in a mentality that most view as acceptable because it just seems to be the way society is organized and structured. Maybe in the 1980s and 1990s, or even around 2010 we would have imagined that the gender wage would be equal in a close future, but it is already 2017 and there is still a significant gap. According to data from 2016 by the Economic Policy Institute Study, men make $4 more an hour than women, making it $8000 less a year. Critics signal out, that the reason for the gap is the careers and paths women take.

    Even if we want to believe that we all have the same opportunities, we do not. Depending on your gender, education, ethnicity and race you are already categorized and classified into a group, that either will benefit you significantly or drastically diminish your chances of prospect.

  12. Inequality exists everywhere in our life. Economic inequality is one of them, it exists decides people life quality. there are some cause of economic inequality are discrimination of race, gender.

    discrimination of race always is a big problem in any country, even in for getting a job, as the article “race at work” by Devah Pager, Bruce Western, it intends to investigate the reaction of different types of racial discrimination in a workplace. The research method used three types of racial groups including whites, blacks, and Latino who would all apply to certain jobs with the same resume. as the result, that the White men got more opportunities to get hired for good jobs over Latino and black applicants. Regardless of all the males having the same skill set, it was found that more than half of the employers preferred to hire whites. Although some of the employers interviewed the applicants from the other two racial groups, they did not offer them jobs. Therefore, racial discrimination does affect people at in the workplace.

    discrimination of gender also is a big problem for women. wherever in the work, home and society Woman always is a Socially vulnerable group. as the article “College-educated women earn $8,000 less a year than men as gap widens.” showed that “women earn less than men. According to the US census, women were still earning just 79% of men’s wages in 2014.” which meaning the gender of cause leads to income inequality, and unfair. therefore, the gap between the rich and the poor will big.

    In conclusion, economic inequality will bring lots problems in the social, such as economic inequality leads to polarizing into relatively poor people more and poorer, and rich people more and richer. finally, when poor people can not offer daily necessaries by themselves, and then, they will do some bad things, such as robbing, stealing, killing etc. the crime rate will increasing because they need to survival. hence, if we can solve the problem of economic inequality, I think the society will more safety.

  13. People usually misunderstanding the ideas of how well a person get pays due to their degrees of studying, which is parts of the truth. There are a lot of elements that cause the economic inequality in the society, which is no just the simple ways of saying that if you going to a famous college, you will have a decent pay after the graduation. Base on the reading from this week, the economic inequality has to do with the ideas of high or low skills of working, racial background, gender difference and also the government structures. The ideas of high skill with high wage and low skill with low-wage are shown in the “The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market” article that shows the market as a whole now are looking for more high-skill jobs due to the development of technology. An example from the article is that the routine works, the works that take fewer skills but more practices or known as the activities for middle skills, are taking by computers. From the other hand, in order to let the computers do works for people, high skill program workers require to programming the details into the computers that allow them to functions correctly. These jobs are abstract tasks, which takes problems solving that only high educated people can take the position. The high skills people get more pay, but at the same time, the low skill jobs are replacing by computers or cutting the pay for people that create the inequality. In addition, comparing with the high school graduates’ students, the college graduates students have more benefits not only they get to pay more, but also from the nonwage benefits including sick and vacation pays that pull the inequality gap even bigger between high skill workers and low-skill workers. The main idea from the article is polarization that happens also because of the international trading between countries or known as the offshoring that takes over the jobs in the countries, which leads to the unemployment of wage cutting for some people in the labor force. The trading makes life easier, but some people still get suffer from it. Other facts cause the economic inequalities are the racial background and gender difference. The racial difference plays a huge role in New York City due to the high rate of immigration. Base on the research from “Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics” by Rakesh Kochhar, Richard Fry, and Paul Tayor, the earnings for different races are all decreasing throughout the three decades, but the blacks end up having fewer earnings compare with other people. From this evident, the idea of separation and poverty of structure come in because of the race difference and unequal jobs opportunity or education stop them from getting jobs in the society or facing the wage cutting because their jobs do not require many skills. The few examples of the “Blacks’ economic gains wiped out in downturn” show they are poor and trying to looking for ways to survive in a difficult situation. The gender difference will cause the economic inequality in the society. “College-educated women earn $8,000 less a year than men as the gap widens” argue that the inequality is a gender gap that women get less pay than men and also some jobs that are unwelcoming for women such as math or science. These facts cause the economic inequality between men and women who are both graduates from college but get different pays.

    From my opinion, I think the economic equality is huge in our life from different angles. Some people will say that the rich people will be going to be richer and the poor people will stay at poor. We are willing to believe that idea is not true but look at the society, the racial difference, gender difference, structure and so on… These causes stop people both from going up another level in life and from achieving their American dream in real life. I am glad that our government is willing to step out for those people who need help and giving out different supports to people and helping them improve their life standards.

  14. Economic inequality is no stranger to our country, especially in the field of jobs. There are many ways in which we see inequality in the job force the most common one however may be in race, however this is not the only form of inequality.
    Often times we see that the levels of unemployment in minority groups are higher than those of white people. An example of this can even be seen right here at Queens College where most professors are white males. During the economic recession minorities were affected much more than white people. According to Pew research after decrease in median wealth“the typical black household had just $5,677 in wealth (assets minus debts) in 2009; the typical Hispanic household had $6,325 in wealth; and the typical white household had $113,149.”(Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics) people of color were given the short end of the stick, giving them a slim chance of getting back on their feet in the future.
    Minorities are often times judged based on appearance with jobs. A black, latino, or other person of color is less likely to get jobs or as high a pay simply because of the way they look. In the article Race at Work an African American man, Dathan, shares his experience (page 3) he had seen the manager speaking to a white blonde woman, giggling and laughing; but upon seeing him the manager’s face turned to a serious expression. He recalls the conversation as follows:
    ‘Hi,I’m interested in applying for
    a position at [your store].’ She
    asked, ‘To do what?’ I said, ‘I
    have customer service experience
    and sales experience.’
    She said: ‘I haven’t been with
    [company X] for too long, but I
    imagine they want [company X]
    type of people, who can represent
    [company X]… ‘“ (Race at Work, 3)
    From just this conversation alone we can conclude that this attitude shown from the manager was firmly based on his race. She had barely let him get a word out let alone look at his credentials before turning him down. She had allowed stereotypes and her prejudgement of black people to get in the way of this man’s job, causing a disadvantage toward not only him but other people of color who would want to apply to this job.
    Situations like Dathan’s are not uncommon. In my opinion minorities especially Black people and Latinos are always discriminated against when applying for jobs. The stereotypes we see of these two minorities are very negative especially in the media and in the news, because of this more people are led to believe that they are lazy, unqualified, or unfit for jobs. It is unfortunate but I feel that one of the major reasons for economic inequality, especially in our country, is a form of systematic economic oppression created toward minorities based upon judgement and racism that started a very long time ago. From the very beginning of this country minorities and people of color were repressed, from slavery to laws, we have had a history of finding ways to economically disadvantage our minorities. This in my opinion is one of the biggest reasons for the economic difference in our country between races.

  15. “The most educated generation in history is on track to becoming less prosperous, at least financially, than its predecessors,” Steven Rattner says in his Sunday Review article, “We’re Making Life Too Hard on Millennials.” As median earnings of millennials in the last decade become almost $4,000 less than what it was in 1990’s, we find ourselves wondering how and why this has come to the generation that followed Generation X. As a millennial, and the same as almost everyone in this comment section, we ask the question: Why am I already discouraged when I haven’t even reached my full potential yet?

    The first thing I can think of that hinders a student or a newly-grad from reaching his/her dream is student loan. I am probably one of the lucky few who receive Pell Grant, TAP, and other financial aid from the government, but there are other students who make just a little bit more than I do financially and yet are no longer part of the aid bracket. Instead of going forward to live an independent life from parents and maybe get an approval for a mortgage loan to build a future home for a future family, most millennials choose to stay living with their parents in an attempt to pay up their loans while barely having enough money to save up for future plans.

    Personally, I would rather save my money than invest it into something no matter how smart that move may seem. The country where I came from and America has had its drawbacks in investing to the point that I’d rather be safe than someday become (maybe) prosperous.

    Reading, “College-educated women earn $8,000 less a year than men as gap widens,” further disheartens me as a millennial and as a woman. Because it was said in the article that women tend to choose lower paying jobs, like teaching, nursing, etc. I would like to propose an argument saying that since these types of jobs are just as important as any other job, why can’t we consider them as ‘high’ profession, just as a field in science or technology? We have teachers who teach future scientists, mathematicians, engineers, etc. and nurses who take care of sick people from all walks of life. Why do only occupations dominated by men get to be called “higher profession” and get to be associated with higher paid position?

    It’s almost senseless to think that women would choose a lower paying job. As much as I am not personally discouraged into entering fields like engineering, or technology, I’m also owning up to not having a talent in fields as such. Biology dictates that men tend to be more effective in problem solving and perform better in mathematical tests, while women are more nurturing, efficient in expressing of emotions, and are more aware of feelings of their surroundings. It is because of our innate structure that women tend to perform better in the jobs that they choose to pursue and the same goes for men. Because of that, men or women do not necessarily outdo one another in job titles or work performances, (although this is going to be complicated to prove and disprove given the nature of the jobs and the variations of job descriptions, e.g. nurse VS engineer, teacher VS scientist) and yet we still find ourselves with a gender wage gap and continues to widen.

    1. The questions you raise in your second paragraph – about what makes a job a ‘high profession’ is a worthy one. How CAN we explain that?

      I also encourage you to reject such a gendered analysis as the one you pose in your last paragraph. If gender is so strong, how can we explain the transgender experience or other complicated experiences that don’t conform to traditional perspectives on gender?

      Lastly, I challenge you to think about the relationship between gender and those jobs that are considered ‘high professions”. When you think about these together, what do you notice about the jobs considered ‘high professions”? Is there a pattern? What can that tell us about what jobs are associated with higher salaries and which are not? Of course, this can not explain the whole story, but it does point to some factors that may influence these trends.

  16. Employment inequality seems to be nothing new to American society. Men were hired more than women and blacks were hired much less often than whites. Reading the articles brought up some interesting in points in terms of why inequality actually exists. The point that stuck out to me the most was from “Race At Work” by Devah Pager and Bruce Western. Basically, they claimed that inequality isn’t seen as much of a problem in today’s world, not because people think it is okay to discriminate in the job market, but simply because they believe the discrimination problem is really not a problem anymore. Granted, we do see all types of races in all types of fields when walking past an office or entering a building in the heart of a city, but what we do not see are the statistics behind the office doors and cubicles. So since we only see one side of the story, we think everything is going well in the job market. Meanwhile, blacks are only half as successful as whites in getting callbacks for jobs

    Another point that was hidden within the context of a few of these articles was that much like poverty to middle or upper class people, it is easier to “not look at it,” meaning we pretend as if discrimination in the workplace does not exist. It is hard to imagine that a company one has worked for for years fails to hire a more racially diverse group of people “just because “. Just as the millennial generation does, people do not want to deal with the problems that go on in the workplace because it is too hard to handle or they do not know what measures to take to deal with it. At this rate, none of these companies, whether big or small, are going to bother trying to hired people of color because their employees do not seem to have a problem with only seeing one race of people in the workplace. Furthermore, although racial discrimination in the job market has been discussed time and time again, nothing has actually been done to change anything. No policies were put in place and no opportunities were made for people of color to get jobs as often as whites do. Talking about this and bringing awareness is great, but until we actually do something on the matter, everything will stay the same and we are just going to keep repeating ourselves over and over again.

  17. Economic inequality is also referred as income inequality, wealth inequality or the wealth gap, all of this means the difference of economic well-being between individuals in a group. Throughout my entire life I have always heard that most of the jobs pay less to women in comparison to men. While reading “College-educated women earn $8,000 less a year than men as gap widens.” This reading gave me more prove of how unequal is our economy “Young male college graduates earned 8.1% more in 2016 than in 2000, while young female college graduates earned 6.8% less than in 2000,” it’s clear that inequality doesn’t help our society to grow but to keep the difference which could lead us into a civil war. How female adolescents will get motivated by these economic measures, instead this could also lead us to more poverty because there’s not enough opportunities for the minorities.

    In our next reading “Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs between Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics” Explains the wealth inequality or the wealth gap among Whites, Blacks and Hispanics. The wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households, it’s surprising how big is the gap between these groups but there are still people who think that our economy is not divided. I think that the reason these disparities have occurs are because of the lack of opportunities that should be offered to minorities in this country. My biggest question is how did the wealthy people didn’t get hit hard compared to the Blacks with a decline of 53%, Hispanics with a decline of 66& the largest among of all groups.

    In Race at Work, three-person team in which a white, Hispanic, and black tester applied to the same set of employers presenting identical qualifications, according to the results of this experiment the proportions of plosive responses depends strongly on the race of the applicant. Latinos and blacks pay penalty for the minority status even though outcomes suggest that blacks are only slightly more than half as likely to receive consideration by employers about equally qualified white applicants. Even though the three groups have same set of employers presenting identical qualifications, I think that the fact that Hispanics are bilingual this could make them a bit more valuable. Two years ago me and my best friend then apply for a job with same qualifications but different race, three weeks after applying I got the position over my friend and the interviewer told me that because i was bilingual they gave me the job. So these results kind of surprise me but sadly inequality plays an important role in our economy. All these reading just help further prove the raw truth of our divided country and like I motioned before inequality doesn’t help our society to grow but to keep the difference which could lead us into a civil war.

  18. Economic inequality has greatly raised in the past decade. It is not only proven by facts, but it is very evident throughout everyday life. In my opinion, the majority of this economic inequality stems from the never ending racial inequalities and discrimination that has been apart of our county for ever. Even those who are lucky enough to find a job, wont be considered equal. They make a measly $9 an hour, and are usually given the maximum hours, without having to provide benefits. I recall someone in our class mentioning they were scheduled 39.5 hours a week, just a half an hour below the requirement to be provided with benefits. This is a prime example of how government structure is a large contributor to economic inequality.

    Like Lauren mentioned, the structures of occupations is clearly corrupt. They particularly discriminate against race and gender when they consider who they are going to hire. The statistics that Lauren mentioned make me sick. Having to live with the fact that the government is evidently discriminatory. The studies done ate Harvard University shine light on the ongoing epidemic in America. It seems that this economic inequality is the root of all evil. It eventually leads many to fall below the poverty line.

    On top of the discrimination among our county, the ever growing advancements in technology is quickly replacing many peoples jobs. It is seen in David Autor’s article “The polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market.” When referring to the rapidly growing epidemic of the tech take over, Autor mentions “increasingly codified in computer software and performed by machines or, alternatively, sent electronically to foreign work sites.” (Autor Pg,12)

    It is clear that Economic Inequality’s present in our county, and in my opinion it is only going to get worse. It is our responsibility to reject supporting companies or organizations that discriminate against people based on their race or gender. We need to stop buying products that are manufactured in a completely robotic facility. It is our obligation to take action before these issues continue to get worse.

  19. Economic inequality is all over America. It is a sad part of society. But it is one that does not need to exist and is a trend that can be broken if the government and people take progressive steps in the correct direction together. Economic inequalities stem from racial, social and gender discriminations. Some people are born into low income households which make it more difficult for them to better their life. Gender pay discriminations is something that I am profoundly against, because my mother is a woman who goes through this issue. She knows she gets paid less than other men working in her field even though she may be putting in more work or even be at a higher position in her company. This was highlighted in, “College-educated women earn $8,000 less a year than men as gap widens”, as my mother is a college educated woman as well. The article states woman take on lower paying jobs but I don’t think it’s that women choose these jobs as much as society chooses the jobs for them.

    With the gaps continuously growing between the classes economic inequality is only getting worse. The middle class is a thing of the past nowadays. You’re either wealthy or struggling. There is almost no comfortable middle class where you aren’t out of the norm wealthy or not in a tight situation. I feel as though in this new era, one financial mishap and you could be in poverty. The markets have been steady going up since the great recession of 2008, but it is 2017 now and the sad truth is that another crash is due to come very shortly. With the government and officials, we have in place now I think the inequality in our country is only going to get worse before it can get better.

  20. Economic inequality has been around for years. Even after some major movements there is still inequality in today’s society and we are still far from getting to a solution. Some of the articles talk how inequality is seen more because of gender and race. We can see how woman usually make $4 dollars less than man and the wage gap only keeps increasing as man climb to higher position. Usually this happens due to the fact that women do not go into Stem fields like science, technology,
    engineering and math. This is due to the little encouragement and discrimination at younger ages, where usually the salary is higher. Also we can see that after the Great Recession the black community was one of the most affected pushing many from middle class back to poverty. In 2005 we can see how the net worth of white households was $134,280, compared to $13,450 for black households and in 2009 a white household fell a 24% while the median black net worth fell an 83%. This shows how much of hard time are spending people due to the gender or race and these are almost recent events one may think that but now we could live in a society that is more equal to everybody yet we face and see this type of issues in everyday’s life.

  21. economic inequality has been an ongoing problem over the past decades in this country yet it seems to be brushed aside and hidden. When it comes to economic inequality there are many factors that coincide with it such as gender, race, and a lack of attention. All three playing vital roles in the rise of economic inequality, the first being the inequality among genders which has always been a key role in this, being that males where always top priority its stayed that way even until the modern era we are in now, when it comes to gender there is a 20 percent gap difference in pay between men and women and that right there is something has to be taken into consideration and remodeled because with such a gap difference it clear at how large the inequality is. Race is yet another long time factor, because with race not only is there inequality there is vast amounts of stereo typing and discrimination that only makes it harder for people such as minorities to obtain jobs, as stated in the Goldsmith & Blakely article “New separation and political use of differences in race, social background, and place become the unavoidable consequences of new competition. In turn, these practices then build upon discrimination against the poor and minority persons in offers of employment, the assignment of status, and the distribution of income (2).” What it does is create an inequality of job opportunities leaving the poor and minorities in poverty. Perhaps the biggest factor in all of this is the lack of attention the government is putting towards resolving this problem. Their resolution was separation, pushing the poor away and separating them from the rest of society as well as offering minimum assistance. As stated in the article 3 Facts that Poverty-Deniers Don’t Want to Hear “The United States stands out as the country with the highest poverty rate and one of the lowest levels of social expenditure.” That is where the government should come in offering better assistance to those in need and not just those who qualify so that the poor don’t have to live in such hard conditions. In all something has to be done before this inequality reaches new heights ruining this nation.

    1. You seem to have read the wrong readings for this Crowdsource. Make sure you look at the schedule and ask if you’re unsure of what to read that week.

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