Income Inequality is Costing the US on Social Issues
Over the past few years income inequality has become a major topic of discussion within our society. Now this income inequality as shown in this NY Times article, Porter believes that income inequality is costing the US on social issues.
Thirty-five years ago, the United States ranked 13th among the 34 industrialized nations that are today in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in terms of life expectancy for newborn girls. These days, it ranks 29th.
“On nearly all indicators of mortality, survival and life expectancy, the United States ranks at or near the bottom among high-income countries,” says a report on the nation’s health by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.
What’s most shocking about these statistics is not how unhealthy they show Americans to be, compared with citizens of countries that spend much less on health care and have much less sophisticated medical technology. What is most perplexing is how stunningly fast the United States has lost ground.
Three or four decades ago, the United States was the most prosperous country on earth. It had the mightiest military and the most advanced technologies known to humanity. Today, it’s still the richest, strongest and most inventive. But when it comes to the health, well-being and shared prosperity of its people, the United States has fallen far behind.
Pick almost any measure of social health and cohesion over the last four decades or so, and you will find that the United States took a wrong turn along the way.
As our government continues argues over the budget deficit and the national debt, debate as to what our country should do about income inequality and the minimum wage are not being answered. Our society is blaming globalization and technological progress for the stagnation of the middle class and the precipitous decline in our collective health is too easy. Jobs were lost and wages got stuck in many developed countries.
Do you think that these are reasons why the US is falling behind other countries on social issues? Or do you think that there are other reasons for our social decline?