History – Term Paper Example
The Distribution of Income and Wealth Income and wealth in the United s appears to have a complicated history. While Walton and Rockoff (1997) suggest that inequality has come from the rich getting more in real terms while the working class is being marginalized, it must be noted that real incomes along with worker productivity has also increased with time. The chapter itself concerns with economic progress and the development of wealth therefore it is only logical that their economic survey shows how the distribution of wealth changed with time.
In essence, it seems that the political and economic ideologies of the prevailing times dictated who gained and who lost in the American economic system. While looking at the broader picture it is easy to agree with Walton and Rockoff (1997) when we consider the data and analysis provided by Krugman (2006) who shows how political realities have affected incomes and wealth.
Regarding the distribution of income and wealth, I can agree that the data reveals more about inequality between the rich and the poor rather than equality between Americans. With the given data, it seems that the levels of material wealth and the financial well being for colonial Americans was not equally distributed. For example, In the Southern states, 70% of the total wealth was held by the top five percent of the total population. Understandably, a growing inequality in wealth and income followed the very process of colonial settlement but other factors also have to be included in the equation. It becomes easy to agree with the suggestions given by Walton and Rockoff (1997) concerning the occupation, marital status, and property ownership as indications of one’s standing in the social order. Similarly, race and sex could also be considered as major factors towards the accumulation and possession of wealth.
Krugman, P. 2006, ‘Wages, wealth and politics’, Economist’s View. [Online] Available at: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2006/08/paul_krugman_wa.html
Walton, G. and Rockoff, H. 1997, History of the American Economy, Harcourt Brace.