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BUSINESSES

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BUSINESS

WRITTEN BY DOMINIQUE DINARDO

Businesses give people in society an opportunity to become employed.  Without these businesses, whether they be large or small, there simply would be fewer places of employment.

Because the wealth in the country is growing primarily in the top three percent, there has been a disparity in the amount of middle class jobs throughout the country.  

The wealthy keep accumulating money and the poor keep running into debt, thus erasing the entire middle class. This has been proven so much so that society is not even sure how to define the social status.

According to Pew Research, 69 percent of Americans said that one does not need a college education to be considered middle class.

However, 89 percent said that in order to gain the middle class status, one has to have a secure job.

In an age where nothing is guaranteed due to budget cuts and businesses going under, what is the realistic expectation for companies today?

Klaus Volpert, mathematics professor at Villanova University, believes that where money falls seems to be situational to whose hands it may fall into.

“Imagine if you can distribute all the money in the world evenly,” Volpert said.  “Inequality will be back in an instant because one man will take his money to the bank, the other will take it to the bar.”

Is the middle class truly missing or is it just the type of characters that fall into it?

“Inequality is woven into the fabric of life, it’s already there in the different abilities and skills and initiatives and working habits of people,” Volpert said.  “We have to recognize that and the idea that we can all have equal money is utopian and probably not really even desirable.”

In order for society to function, businesses, both small and large, must find ways to operate.

Many large corporations are doing away with jobs that are singular in responsibilities and skill sets.  

Companies now find that potential employees can handle the job of three people, thus leading to layoffs and reorganizations of departments.  

Small businesses run under similar stresses.

Debora Smith, three-year small business owner of The Right Fit, knows the struggles of having to manage a company and all that goes with it.

“In order to run a business, you have to love what you’re doing,” Smith said. “Because it’s hard and not very rewarding in the beginning.”

According to a study performed by Pew Research, 86 percent of Gen Xers and millennials agreed that since 2010, small businesses have positively helped the job market.

However, their views on large corporations are much different.  Only 36 percent of those questioned believed that large corporations are helping today’s economy.

“When you’re in a larger company, unions take precedent,” Smith said. “It may seem more secure but in a smaller company it’s more personal. You don’t just seem like a number.”

When working with topics such as business, inequality is inevitable. One cannot control fairness in a workplace due to the hierarchy of positions and responsibilities.  

However, when it comes to wealth, the U.S. needs to work to close the gap between the top one percent and the rest of the working-class.

The Problem

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Public sector policies also effect private sector practices, and together they are the root problems encouraging wealth inequality.  Since public sector policies are created by politicians and their staffs, reforming the ways politicians are elected could be the the beginning of  policy change.  Changing campaign financing and rectifying voting injustices are two places to begin reforming election procedures.

“So basically if you think about any issue anybody cares about whether it’s on the left or the right,” Lawrence Lessig, 2016 presidential candidate and Harvard Law professor, said. “All of these issues are impossible to address sensibly unless we address the fundamental corruption in our democracy first.”

Before diving into money’s involvement in wealth inequality, it’s important to take a look at the history of how the United States got to this point. While many people feel that campaign financing and voting injustices are equally feeding the policy decisions that are promoting wealth inequality, as far as chronology goes, it is unethical campaign financing that reared its ugly head first.

Take a walk down memory lane and have a look at the unethical political funding by the wealthiest Americans throughout history.

The problem is not that these wealthy families are providing most of the campaign funding, thus calling the shots, it is that the shots that they are calling do not benefit the vast majority of Americans.

Some people currently in policy-making positions base many of their decisions on self-interests, experts say.

“Our country, in many respects has been taken over, whether it’s capitalists or politicians, by a lot of psychopaths,” Stephan Clyburn, professor of political science at West Chester University, said.

According to Clyburn, those in power can range from the podiums of Washington to behind the desks of big businesses. Regardless of where they reside, they both hold immense power in political decisions.

“It’s the politician who tries to play both sides of the issue, and tells every audience what they want to hear,” Clyburn said. “It’s the capitalist who only cares about accumulating wealth and doesn’t care about the impact of his or her behavior on society as a whole.”

Like Clyburn, Lawrence Noble, general counsel at The Campaign Legal Center, holds similar views about those currently making policy decisions.

“If you define evil as being purely self-motivated, not caring about what happens to the rest of society–yes, there are a lot of people out there like that,” Noble said.

Noble uses this definition of evil to describe those who use money to dictate what policies to enact. He dubs this practice “free market politics.”

“Free market politics means that those with money feel as though they can buy all the politicians they want because they know how to run the government,” Noble said. “But that’s not what democracy is all about.”

Clyburn and Noble’s views mirror much of the American public’s.

According to Pew Research, 74 percent of Americans believe that most elected officials put own interests ahead of the country’s, and only 19 percent trust the government always or most of the time.

“I think what not being talked about, what’s not being recognized, is just how grotesquely our democracy has been wrecked,” Lessig said.

The two most malevolent ways that our current political system perpetuates this cycle of wealth inequality and maintains the status quo is through unethical campaign financing and voting injustices.

 

 

 

 

Moving Forward

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WRITTEN BY MACKENZIE HARRIS

Americans all want their cake but can’t quite eat it too.  They want to live in a perfect world with the American dream as their day-to-day lives…to have money, comfort, security and safety.  In order to do this, structures like laws, taxes and safety nets are needed. A utopian society where every American does their part – their fair share – is just not happening today.  But if more people worked towards a true democracy where the citizens care about policies being created and actually vote in elections, this idea that “one vote doesn’t matter,” would cease to exist.

In 2014, according to Pew Research, approximately 36 percent of eligible Americans voted in the midterm election, which was the worst turnout in 72 years. So, what about the other 64 percent of American citizens?

If eligible voters choose not to vote or do not have the means to do so, there will not be a change in anyone’s favor. All aspects of American society – education, jobs, justice services and social safety nets – begin to suffer because of the breakdown and this is not the first time that it has happened.

In 2012, the United States trailed most developed countries in national election voter turnout with a shocking 54 percent who showed up to the booths to vote out of the 84 percent of registered voters. That means that 30 percent of registered voters did not vote in the national election, according to Pew Research.