A Political History of American Inequality

A Political History of American Inequality


Over the recent past the world has witnessed increasing forms of inequalities that have been mainly caused by emerging issues such as globalization and technological changes. United States of America being one of the world’s developed and leading country isn’t an exception, it is characterized by several areas in which inequality is rampant. The country experiences different forms of inequalities such as income inequality, political inequality, healthcare inequality, and racial segregation as a form of inequality[1]. This therefore necessitates for a thorough research on the different forms of inequalities, its history, causes and the ways to alleviate them. This research will focus on the various forms of inequalities in the American history as well the possible mitigation solution as explained by Lichtenstein in his book.

Economic inequality/ income inequality

Economic inequality is a one of the major inequalities that is experienced by Americans. This can be measured based on the distribution of wealth and income within the population. Although America is considered the most developed country in the world, this doesn’t mean that poor and poorer people do not exist in its population. Through income inequality, people within a population are classified into socioeconomic statuses based on income. Due to income inequality in the American population, classes such as the middle-class, upper-class, and working-class have emerged[2]. Income inequality in America varies based on age, gender, race and ethnicity, and sexual identity. These factors lead to the wide gap that exists between the working class and the upper-class.

One of the common reasons for income inequality in America is due to cheap and readily available labor. The American population is made up of different people and mostly immigrants from countries such as Mexico or rather South American countries. These immigrants provide cheap labor to companies and corporations that are owned by upper-class individuals. Several companies in America are outsourcing cheap labor from overseas since the native individual at some point won’t work in those factories. Education level also proves to be a cause of income inequality. Statistics show that “Over a lifetime, Americans with college degrees earn 84% more than those with only high school degrees”.

Racial segregation

Racism is a form of inequality that for several years has been the norm in America now. The American population is made up of different races and ethnicity mostly because immigrants are allowed in the United States. Due to the fact of racial discrimination, some jobs are solely not offered to other people other than the Native Americans. For instance, some jobs are meant for the “Whiteman” and a Blackman cannot take up the job even though they have the qualifications needed for that specific job. These as seen them go for odd jobs to make ends meet and support their families.

Racial discrimination also portrays how people in American societies are being treated based on their skin color. This inequality hinders some people from accessing some of the basic services because they are different. Police brutality is more concentrated on the black people more than on the indigenous Americans. Several movements nowadays are experienced in America that tries to fight against racial discrimination. The histories on racial discrimination point out that school were segregated to avoid mixing black children with white children[3]. But with time the norm is being dropped and children from different races attend school together.

Political inequality

The political arena in the United States American is a male-dominated one. Female counterparts are discriminated against for holding public offices or allowed to vie for top political positions in the country. The history of America shows different women who have for several years tried to vie for top positions loss to their male counterparts, this is due to the fact based on political inequality.

Political inequality in America has led to the formation of the two most popular and powerful political parties that majorly operate under ethnic basis. These two political parties include democrats and the republican Political Inequality is changing in America as more women are allowed to vie for top positions and people from different races to hold offices in America.

Health care inequality

Health care is the most important aspect of society. The health care policy in America is based on two schemes namely Medicaid and Medicare. HealthCare is a public service that every member of the society is subjected to but that turns out to be not the case due to inequality. Accessing such schemes of health care are limited to people based on sexuality identity, religion, race, and ethnicity identity. This witnessed some changes during the administration of President Obama who introduced Obamacare that was accessible to every people regardless of income level, gender, race, or religion.


From “Growing apart: A political history of American inequality.” by Lichtenstein, Nelson, the History of American inequality is based on several inequalities that face the American people. These inequalities range from political, economic to racial segregation are as a result of pressure experienced due to advancement in technology and development of countries. A country experiencing inequalities will grow but a part in the sense that social classes will come about. The government should try and offer a balanced economy, health care, and other factors that result in inequality.

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