Social and economic inequality


Social and economic inequality

Social and economic inequality can be described as the gap that exists between persons or populations in the allocation of income, wealth or asset. The term social and economic inequality can also refer to dissimilarity among groups and persons, on the other hand, can also refer to dissimilarity among nations. The issue surrounding inequality revolves around:  impartiality, the similarity of upshot, the similarity of occasion and life expectancy. Whenever people think of social dissimilarity, what comes into their minds is the socio-economic class. In society, it is evidenced that, people who have acquired much wealth takes the top echelons of society and enjoy the greatest privileges which are brought to them by their social status and money.


Conversely, those who are poor do not get the opportunity of enjoying such privileges and these people are often marginalized when it comes to social and education services. Social stratification and inequity come in various forms.  For example, in the US, it is noticeable that most of the social dealings are mitigated by race and gender; there is an existence of a wide gap between the genders.  In spite of the laws that govern pay equity and the growing consciousness of gender prejudice and women’s rights, there is still the existence of salary disparities between men and women across a wide array of occupations. Socioeconomic dissimilarity is caused by several non-economic factors like racial discrimination and stratification.

Factors such as racial discrimination and stratification in the long run bar the marginalized groups from completely benefiting from social institutions like workforce and education. The economic inequity would be ample cause for concern, but its impact could well be compounded by its social consequences. Rising social inequality in many different domains such as family life, education or civic engagement could magnify the burden of rising poverty for the most vulnerable and sustain the effects of inequity far into the future (André et al 2013).

To take one not entirely hypothetical example, economic inequality could lead to widening gap into education outcomes because rising incomes among affluent families bring new resources to suburban school districts, or because more affluent families bring public schools into higher quality private education, while falling incomes among the poor make it more difficult for them to improve or escape their underfunded public schools. Rising economic inequality might also widen the gap in access to high-quality preschool to private college education and to other privately financed educational services, such as tutoring or prep courses for college entrance test (Boulhol, 2013).  With so much riding on education; particular access to secure, well-paying jobs, it is very clear that the rising educational inequality could have very significant long term effects.

Despite the possibility of these far-reaching implications, the rise in economic inequality has received little public attention. This might be because inequality has risen so gradually over the past 25 years or because changes in inequality are distributed over the entire population and are therefore difficult to perceive in any immediate way. In addition, although inequality is an intuitively meaningful idea, measures of inequality are less familiar to the public than are the indicators used to track other economic phenomena.

Family life and neighbourhood are highly salient for the immediate well being of the children and for the eventual economic and social status of the next generation.  The growing up in a single parent family can marginally but significantly impair school performance, raise the odds of teen pregnancy and criminal involvement and depress future employment and earnings. There is, therefore, a growing class difference in the incidence of single parents’ families. It is clear that educated women are postponing both marriage and childbirth but marry when they already have children while the less educated women are also postponing marriage but not childbirth. This leads therefore to the rise in childbirth amongst uneducated women (Bollé, 2009).

Education is another dimension of inequality with transparent importance for the next generation. Over the past three decades, the economic value of education has risen dramatically.  High school dropouts are marginalized in every competitive job market and strong cognitive skills and college credentials are increasingly important to economic attainment. Americans have responded to this rising demand for skill by getting more and better education wherever they can. The only question remaining is whether the families at the bottom of the income distribution have the opportunity to improve their educational preparation as effectively as more advantaged groups. Education inequality has its most immediate consequences in the labour market as new workers are sorted into good and .bad jobs (Denisova, 2012).

Given the very long relationship between social and economic status and health, people might expect growing social and economic inequality to be mirrored in the health status of the population. There are many channels through which income might improve health including better material living conditions, access to better medical care and protection from environmental hazards. If inequality in health widens, there may be long term reciprocal consequences for economic inequality; for just as income can affect health, so health can impact income (Jones, 2007). Illness and inability make it difficult to hold a job, of course, and recent research shows, poor health in childhood leads to lower education and earnings in adulthood.

There is virtually no dimension of social inequality that is unaffected by law and public policy. For example, the divorce laws that affect the formation and well being of single-parent families or the legal action driving school finance reform, or public investment in health and environmental protection. If economic and social inequality reduces the political influence of the poor while it improves the wealthy, public policy is likely to shift towards the interest s of upper-income constituencies deepening economic and social inequality (Fournier & Garcia, 2013).

There are long-standing differences of opinion about the implication of economic inequality for public policy. As inequality rises and the affluent become increasingly capable of purchasing private substitutes for public social provisions like education, health care and a retirement pension, they might use their increasing economic and political resources to lobby for a reduction in progressive taxation and cut social programs. On the other hand, growing economic inequality might spur more redistributive public policies, if the ranks of the have- nots begin to outnumber the ranks of the haves, and politicians respond to a growing constituency of economically frustrated voters by taxing rich and distributing benefits to the poor.

Economic inequality can be reproduced over the generations as families accumulate wealth and bequeath it on to their children.  Questions remain about trends in wealth inequality over the last 25 years, but it is clear that racial inequality in wealth is very large (Immervoll & Richardson, 2011).

Poverty inequality is acknowledged as ethical, political, social and economic importance to human beings according to the World Social Summit. It is necessary that all the primary needs in a family are provided for all to end poverty, by making sure that all the less fortunate can be able to get industrious properties which are; funds, learning and teaching among other skills. Targets were set up by the 24th extraordinary sitting of the Un General Assembly to decrease the proportion of people living in severe poverty by one half by the year 2015. The targets have been consequently approved by the Millennium Summit as Millennium Development Goal 1.

It is essential to discuss about poverty inequality from all angles by supporting human-centred advance and asking for the economic empowerment of human beings with extreme poverty from their own complete contribution in all directions regarding social, economic, and political, particularly during the plan and execution of policies that have an effect on the most poorest and less fortunate groups of any community. Additional, an incorporated approach towards poverty suppression necessitates advocating for quality national policies propelled to the additional equitable allocation of riches and returns and social protection treatment (James Et al.., 2013).

During the celebrations of the Eradication of Poverty International Day on 17th October, 2006, the UN Secretary-General then Kofi Annan said that, “The operation to make poverty past history a central ethical struggle of our age will never remain a task for the few individuals, it must develop into a true calling for the many individuals. I recommend each and every individual to join this fight. United we will make genuine and adequate development towards the finishing of poverty inequalities in our societies in the world” (Jones, 2008).

The ceremony of the Eradication of Poverty International Day started on 17th October 1987 when over 100,000 individuals gathered at the Trocadero in Paris, where the UDHR was signed in 1948, for the honour of the sufferers of intense lack of wealth, aggression and starvation. They claimed that poverty is a contravention of a person’s rights and acknowledged the main reason to come together in making sure that these constitutional rights are appreciated (Jones & Urasawa, 2012). From then, groups of people from all the backgrounds, attitudes and social origins have come together every year on October 17th to refurbish their dedication and to show their cohesion with the less fortunate in the society.

Consequently, the United Nations declaration 47/196 which was adopted on December 22nd, 1992, the General Assembly acknowledged October 17th as Global day for the Poverty Eradication and welcomed all partner Countries to dedicate the day in presenting and encouraging as suitable in the national context, solid activities with the special interest to the eradication of paucity and hardship.

The Day recommends the attempt and struggle to survive for the individuals who are less fortunate, and provides an opportunity for them to make their problems heard, and an instant to be familiar with that poor person are the first ones to fight against poverty. The contribution of the less fortunate themselves has been a key element during the Day’s commemoration from its very establishment. The remembrance of this Day also focuses on the readiness of persons living in poverty to use their knowledge to assist to the abolition of poverty (Joumard & Londoño 2013).

During the execution of the FDEP (1997-2006), numerous UN-extraordinary summits and conferences, which brought about negotiated findings with interests in the national, regional and global measures in reducing poverty levels in our societies? They comprise the UN Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2005 World Summit Findings. On the other hand, the development made in dropping poverty internationally has been irregular with some countries experiencing poverty reductions, while in other several third world countries poverty is always on the rise, specifically the children and ladies in societies (Lewis, 2011).

The 2nd UN DEP between 2008 and 2017, was declared by the UN General Assembly in December 2007, restated that eliminating poverty was the utmost international difficulty that the whole universe faces and the main obligation for maintainable development, specifically for third world countries.  Here in the 2nd Decade, it aspires at helping, in a well-organized and harmonized manner, the globally recommended development strategies similar to poverty eradication, as well as the Millennium Development Goals.

It maintains the principle of strengthening the good steps in poverty eradication in many states and expanding such steps to assistance individuals globally. The declaration distinguishes the significance of uniting monetary funds for improvement at country and global levels and identifies that continued monetary development hold up by increasing productivity and a favourable atmosphere, together with the private venture and entrepreneurship is very important for increasing living costs (Leschke & Jepsen, 2012).

In an example of India, it is being noticed that giving a unique act of kindness to the poverty-stricken individuals in a community will not work in reducing poverty. An instance is where after a period of over 60 years since Independence and free learning and quota for programmed castes and ethnic groups, the number of persons qualified for the quota advantage has consistently risen.  This means that anything that is returned grows (LüBker, 2007). When poverty-stricken people are compensated in any way, they are destined to develop. It would be important to recall a Chinese proverb which says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

Less fortunate persons are supposed to be inspired with self-confidence that yes, they will be able to change their lives. This can be accomplished by making them understand that somebody in their current situation has already gained important feats. Poverty stricken individuals are supposed to be given role models they can emulate from them so that they will be able to model their lives in the same direction hence changing their lives completely. They are supposed to be reminded that people come from rags-to-riches, so they will shock us by growing out of poverty in the shortest duration as possible (Sassi et al…, 2009).


Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh has may be done more in eradicating poverty than anybody else in the whole universe. He established an organization that gives out funds in the form of credits to very poor persons who are in need to establish their own businesses. They put people in small grouping to access the loans and also to motivate another member to be more active and work extra harder and it can enhance peer pressure on the loonies to repay their loans on time. The result is Yunus’s bank has a 98 per cent rate of loan repayment better than most banks internationally.




André, C., Garcia, C., Giupponi, G., & Pareliussen, J. (2013). Labour Market, Welfare Reform and Inequality in the United Kingdom.

Boulhol, H. (2013). Improving the Economic Situation of Young People in France.

Bollé, P. (2009). Inequalities and financial globalization: a timely report. International Labour Review. 147.

Denisova, I. (2012). Income Distribution and Poverty in Russia.

Fournier, J. M., & Garcia, C. (2013). Strengthening Social Cohesion in Luxembourg Making Efficiency and Equity Go Hand in Hand.

Immervoll, H., & Richardson, L. (2011). Redistribution Policy and Inequality Reduction in OECD Countries What Has Changed in Two Decades?

Jamet, S., Chalaux, T., & Koen, V. (2013). Labour Market and Social Policies to Foster More Inclusive Growth in Sweden.

Jones, R. (2007). Income Inequality, Poverty and Social Spending in Japan.

Jones, R. (2008). Public Social Spending in Korea in the Context of Rapid Population Ageing.

Jones, R., & URASAWA, S. (2012). Promoting Social Cohesion in Korea.

Joumard, I., & Londoño Vélez, J. (2013). Income Inequality and Poverty in Colombia – Part 1. The Role of the Labour Market.

Lewis, D. (2011). Economic Perspectives on Transport And Equality.

Leschke, J., & Jepsen, M. (2012). Introduction: crisis, policy responses and widening inequalities in the EU. International Labour Review. 151.

LüBker, M. (2007). Inequality and the demand for redistribution: are the assumptions of the new growth theory valid? Socio-Economic Review. 5.

Sassi, F., Cecchini, M., Lauer, J., & Chisholm, D. (2009). Improving Lifestyles, Tackling Obesity: The Health and Economic Impact of Prevention Strategies.





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