Blaming the Poor for Inequality in the British Society
In the British society, the aspect of criticizing the poor has been on the rise due to the high rate of inequality. The public attitudes towards the lower classes have always been negative. The less fortunate people have always suffered from condemnatory sentiments from the mass media and the public. Online blogs have also been notorious for blaming the less fortunate in the British economy. Numerous opinion polls and surveys on attitude have also proved that the lower classes in Britain are accused. However, the truth of the matter is they have no tangible evidence to defend their stands. The sentiments are rooted in stereotypes and put the poor people in an unfair social position. This aspect has depicted Britain as a society that is less sympathetic to the lower classes. It has also been the primary reason for the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the country. Focusing on the causes of income inequality rather than the drivers of poverty is the most efficient way to tackle the problem. This paper critically opposes the idea of blaming the poor in the British society for entailing inequality.
Most researchers have always been in pursuit of knowledge on how people conceptualize the issue of poverty. However, they have established that the public perception of the poor is not good. The primary reason for this phenomenon is based on the stereotypic information and ignorance. Most people are no informed that the poverty levels experienced by the lower classes are about bad governance. They end up blaming the poor people instead of accusing themselves of electing corrupt officials. The corrupt government officials who have always been in the headlines for looting the taxpayer’s money should be blamed for inequality.
If critically analyzed, inequalities are significant in an economy because it provides individuals with the incentives to compete, save and invest. For instance, the returns accrued from education and differentiation in labor earnings can be used to encourage human capital and enhance economic growth. This secret has not been identified by the critics who blame the poor for inequalities. Perhaps, if they understood this concept, they would have given up on accusing the lower classes and focus on the available opportunities for entrepreneurship.
High level of structural and long-term unemployment is to be blamed for the rise in inequalities in Britain, but not the poor population. There is a high rate of unemployment in the country because most individuals rely on the welfare benefits. This factor makes them ignore the aspect of working to supplement the government efforts. Therefore, the disparities between the rich and the poor increase making the low-wage earners stagnate in their positions. The poverty levels have also grown tremendously due to the high rate of unemployment. Furthermore, Britain has been de-industrializing for a long time. This aspect has affected the national economy together with other global forces. The high rate of the deteriorating national economy has also influenced the income equality in the British society.
The rising rate of income disparities between the rich and the poor can be symptomatic of the underlying institutional problems. The rate of growth of the executive remuneration in financial institutions cannot be delinked from the significant relationships that the government and financial institutions have. The implicit guarantees to the banking sector have led to the excessive risk taking and leverage that translates to high bonuses. For those who care for the welfare of the poorest and the most vulnerable populations in Britain, income inequality is not a significant measure. This is explained with the fact that the rate of income disparities does not tell anything about the living conditions and the health conditions of the lower classes. Moreover, the reduction in inequality levels can be associated with the quality of living conditions of the status quo in the society.
There are regressive policies that have tried to influence the aspects of material disparities directly to intensify them. The critics who are worried about the living conditions of the poor people should advocate for the elimination of regressive forms of taxation. This model can be described as a criterion for taxation where the more the taxable income increases, the more the tax rate reduces. This strategy is one of the most injurious because it favors the high-income earners while robbing low-income earners. Before people start blaming the poor, they should call for changes in the public education systems that disproportionately discriminates students from less fortunate backgrounds. Additionally, they should direct their malice to the government that seems to plan its expenditure in the name of welfare that is aimed at the wealthy but brings a little joy to the people who are in genuine need.
The idea of the minimum wage legislation is another example of the policies that hurt the poor people in the British society. In principle, it is a strategy that should be meant to advocate for greater achievement in the wealth equality. Conversely, it is more likely to increase the level of structural unemployment among the low productivity workers who earn wages below the minimum threshold. The undue emphasis that is placed on the income redistribution is another aspect that is slowly killing the British economy. Therefore, the baseless blames that journalists keep posting in The New York Times should be terminated because they have no facts. They should be aware of the significant aspects that will reduce the rate of economic disparities. Instead of posting about how the poor people have led to the rise in inequalities, they should be publishing on how to bring the marginal tax rate to zero and encourage people to work.
It is also not clear which measures the British government has put in place to ensure that the idea of redistribution is going to be effective in the context of the contemporary politics. It is indeed correct to say that some countries have succeeded in successive redistribution which has led to a drop in the levels of inequality. However, it is futile to generalize their experience into broader policy recommendations for other states in the world. The point is that the stereotypes about the poverty stricken people should end and general public should base its arguments on facts.
It would also be plausible to say that the rise in monetary inflation within the UK impacts more on the issue of inflation. It is likely to favor the wealthy people but is detrimental to the poor ones. The rich in the financial industry and those enjoying high profit margins are probably the first to have a hand in the new money. The people from middle class and the poor tend to be the last handlers of the money from inflation. This aspect makes it difficult for them to cope with the high living standards, the cost of foods and housing. The rise in taxation as a result of inflation makes them the most vulnerable classes hence unable to save extra money that would have been used for development. The banks are usually the first to receive the newly inflated money. The low-income earners are compelled to take loans from financial institutions with a high-interest rate. When they are unable to pay, their hard earned properties are mortgaged and have nothing more to lose. If critically analyzed, in such a situation, the rich are to blame for money laundering that increases the level of inequality.
The aspect of inequality can also be considered as a global challenge that has been catalyzed by globalization. Many people are retrenched from their workplaces due to advancement in technology and artificial intelligence. The effects of being unemployed decrease the wage rate for the majority. This aspect makes a small portion of the society controlling the money and the economy. Therefore, the income gap between the workers depending on labor intensive jobs and the investors widens causing inequality. The British society is also suffering from this challenge; hence, the poor are not to be blamed for the inequalities. Additionally, gender discrimination in the labor market also plays a significant role in the broadening gap. In Britain, women are paid lower salaries compared to those of their male counterparts for overtime working. This aspect usually contributes to the rise in economic inequalities.
In conclusion, shifting the blame for the British inequalities to the less fortunate in society is pointless. The minor things such as corruption in the government and poor policies are the key contributors to inequality. Therefore, the public should stop blaming the lower classes but rather determine and evaluate the existing barriers that are detrimental to the economic growth. It is also an obligation of the government to reform the regressive tax policies that disproportionately favor the wealthy people at the expense of the poor. If the above-discussed issues are put into consideration, then Britain and the UK at large will be the country able to come to a stable economy. The government should also work on a strategy to conquer unemployment and ensure that welfare benefits are given to the people who genuinely deserve it. This strategy will assure that participation in the economic growth is universal, and there will be a reduction in blame games.