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In a society where working hard and earning money is so deeply valued, why are some of working-class America’s earnings being taken away?  

The answer is simple: taxes.

Corporate taxes take money away from salaries of workers in businesses during a taxable period. This causes a depreciation of revenues for both the companies and the individuals themselves. That does not include putting money aside for a 401k, health benefits or social security.

For example, an employee’s corporate salary may be $40,000. However, after taxes have been taken, both city and state, and deductions for savings, health insurance and social security have been made, the individual may only be left with a little over half of that.

In the state of Pennsylvania, there is an income tax of 3.07 percent.  If a person pays $500 monthly, $250 bi-weekly, to take care of those additional deductions, their once over $1,500 bi-weekly paycheck has now been diminished to a little over $1,100 bi-weekly. While $500 may not seem like a lot to lose, over the course of a year, a once $40,000 salary comes to a total of $30,000.



This is often one of the reasons that so many flock to working for big businesses. The profit a corporation makes from its shareholders is taxed. Additionally, the corporation then taxes the shareholders, which is called a dividend. This is where the double tax comes in from working with big corporations.

“The regulatory environment has grown so much, they’ve created thousands upon thousands of new regulations that are not just I need a dollar here,” Eric Hunt, PR manager of HuntRomanGroup said. “It’s I need ten dollars there.”

So, what are the big businesses doing about this? They do not want their money to be taxed so highly so how can they avoid it?  Many companies such as Apple and Microsoft will store their billions outside of the United States to avoid this corporate tax.

Throughout every presidential campaign, there is much discussion about taxes.  Many agree with conservatives, while others have a more liberal approach to the topic.

“Basically if you think about any issue anybody cares about, whether it’s on the left or the right, there is a difference in opinion,” Larry Lessig, general council of the Campaign Legal Center  said. “Bernie Sanders talks about single care health care, climate change legislation, dealing with minimum wage. People on the right talk about simplifying taxes or getting us a shrinking the size of government. All of these issues are impossible to address sensibly unless we address the fundamental corruption in our democracy first. Really the way to think about that is at the core of our democracy, there is a failed institution and that institution is Congress.”

In reality, Congress is the only one who can control the percentage of taxes that comes out of the working man’s paycheck, thus causing tension throughout any presidential election. Among all countries with an established economy, the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate.

With so many being unemployed or working under the table, the reason behind this may be more clear.  

Why work if Congress will just take an employee’s hard-earned money?

How the Education System Creates Inequality




Wealth and economic inequality directly affect public education. Students are put at a disadvantage based on fissures in the education system, in addition to simply being a victim of circumstance.

The White House has developed strategies to reform the educational system, including higher standards and assessments, smarter data systems and detailed attention to low-performing schools, according to their website about K-12 education. Other strategies include reformation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, redesigning high schools, investing in teachers and more.

“All of these major institutions of society, like education, doesn’t operate on its own,” Vontrese Deeds Pamphile, a doctoral student in management and organizations and sociology at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, said. “So it touches everything else like the economy, housing, everything kind of comes together so it’s just one slice of the pie but it’s a very important slice because that’s where the majority of time is spent, especially in childhood.”

Disparities also exist between races and ethnicities. A study from the National Center for Education Statistics found that, in regards to public education graduation rates in the year 2011-12, 85 percent of white students graduate on time with a regular diploma, compared to 68 percent of black students and 76 percent Latino students.

In Oxford Journals’ The Punishment Gap: School Suspension and Racial Disparities in Achievement,” as cited by Journalist’s Resource, authors found that black and Latino students were more likely to be suspended, schools with a higher concentration of black students had higher rates of suspension, in addition to this staggering statistic: “Even after controlling for socioeconomic status, special education and gender, black students were predicted to be almost three times more likely to be suspended than white students.”

But can education itself fix these racial and economic disparities? The American dream may romanticize that idea but it’s not the reality for everyone.

“Everybody in this country can go to a public school where they live and people can take advantage of [working] hard and [taking] advantage of a free public education and then working hard enough, hopefully have an opportunity to expand their education,” Cheryl Logan, chief academic supports officer for the School District of Philadelphia, said. “So that’s pretty much essentially how that works for us here in this country in that the more education you have, the more earning potential you have by every measure that’s out there.”

Education reform needs to be sustainable in order for any progress to be made and it needs to include strategies for improving every other factor that perpetuates inequalities.

In UNESCO’s “Educating For A Sustainable Future,” they reiterate the fact that education is a force for change. However, they point out that education cannot solve every issue related to inequality.

Education, to be certain, is not the whole answer to every problem,” the study says. “But education, in its broadest sense, must be a vital part of all efforts to imagine and create new relations among people and to foster greater respect for the needs of the environment.”

One thing is certain: education can serve as a catalyst for change and investments throughout a child’s life can greatly reduce the chances of being a victim of inequality.