TED talk : 1 Richard Wilkinson
How economic inequality harms societies
For some time now in world societies, especially in America, the gap between the rich and the poor has been thickening, growing farther and farther apart. We can witness this in multiple ways, even by just walking outside in our local communities. The gap that is growing between the social classes is putting a strain on our nations, a strain in health, lifespans, and trust between one another. As we try and build our economy we are not realizing how much of a difference is being built between us. Richard Wilkinson says “If the Americans want to live the American dream they should go to Denmark instead”. What he means by that is our country is causing such a large gap that the people in the category who are considered poor are not going to be able to reach their dreams rather than something who is placed in the wealthy category. He shows us with many charts of different data from countries around the world, including America and our 50 states. He allows us to see that, “societies that have a greater amount of equality and a smaller gap between rich and poor are healthier and much happier than societies with greater distances in the distribution of wealth”. He showed a chart that we looked at in class, the Great Gatsby curve, it shows the viewer that depending on how wealthy your parents are when you are born is how wealthy you will become and where you will end up in the class system. If our society keeps on as it is that curve will continue to be the same and it will be harder for those who want to move up class levels to move up. In the book The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, you can see the difference between the wealthy and the poor and how much the book is basically a financially warning for those of today’s times. In the book you see the difference between the west egg and east egg residents and their new money and old money and how that can put them up on the wealthy side of the class system, like Tom, Daisy, Nick, Gatsby, and Jordan Baker. Myrtle and her husband mister Wilson were of a lower class they lived in a house across from the valley of ashes making business through a small gas station, struggling to make money. Although you distinctly see the difference between the rich and the poor you do not really see those who are climbing their way up the ladder working hard and challenging themselves to make the best of things, For example, Gatsby, He went from being a poor man when he was younger before he joined the war to a high class citizen living in east egg throwing the most extravagant parties. Each one of us has the chance to come up with an American dream whether we are rich or if we are poor but certain things in the society are causing obstacles in our lives that cause some people to give up and the green light that we are looking towards goes out. The gap between us is causing many people health and life to become in danger, violence and crimes are rising and the amount of people in prison is growing in numbers by the minute. I agree one hundred percent with what Richard Wilkinson has presented us with, he has given us plenty of evidence and has proven his point that there is a large distinction of inequality from the rich to the poor and it puts a large burden on our societies and mainly on our American dreams, causing some people’s green lights to dim out.