Rich get richer, status of others stagnant

The widening income gap between the rich and the poor is not an urban legend, but a reality that is a perennial threat to democracy and the stability of our capitalist economy.

Despite the fact that unemployment has decreased and the gross domestic product is up, we cannot ignore what lies ahead as the wealthy steadily become wealthier and the state of the poor and working class is stagnant.

A good education at the high school level is difficult to ensure if the area in which you reside cannot financially back it with taxpayer money. By and large, good schools are schools that are in affluent areas; schools that suffer are public schools in impoverished and urban areas.

Furthermore, to say that higher education is expensive is an understatement. The future of the next generation’s college education is in jeopardy. Soon, the astronomical costs of colleges and universities around the country will not be feasible for students to pay, even with all the financial aid a state has to offer.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan specifically attacks the high school system. He notes that at the fourth-grade level, U.S. students test above world average levels, but at the 12th-grade level they do not. There is no doubt that the aforementioned problems with the educational system explain this drop.

A recent overview of the economic state of America reveals that 80 percent of the workforce has seen little or no income growth. When considering hourly wages in the past two quarters, there has been little to no increase. In other words, we are observing a suspension in class mobility.

The poor aren’t getting poorer but the rich are getting richer and financial representatives expect us to attribute all of this to education. The fact is, our economy has lost an entire dimension. The overall fiscal policies need to be revised because the state of our economy is more than just a conversation piece, it’s a vital component in determining our future and the future of our children.

U-Wire, The Pitt News, University of Pittsburgh.