By: Mary Schaefer
America is a country where wealth is concentrated in the top 1% and people will most likely end up in the same social class as their parents. Today the medium income has decreased in the last decade, but the income of the wealthiest Americans has increased 40%. However, according to certain members of Congress it makes much more sense to cut welfare programs then to let the bush tax cuts expire for those that have been economically successful in the last couple years. Not only is the country suffering socially and economically from inequality in our society but it is suffering politically as well. The rise in poverty correlates with increased polarization in congress, which has made it almost impossible for congress to get anything done.
Is this what the American dream is supposed to be? In many states welfare programs are being cut more and more to the point where only 27% of children living in poverty receive aid from social welfare programs.
In order to restore the middle class, the government should let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for those that make $250,000 a year or more, and establish a tax on stock trading (dubbed the Robin Hood tax). By passing both tax initiatives, the government will be able to raise funds to reestablish government programs that will help people fight their way out of poverty.
If the middle class is able to thrive then there will be a larger educated public and a greater chance for democracy to thrive. Creating more equality in the system will correlate with a decrease in polarization in congress, which will cause Congress to be able to pass laws more efficiently again.