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The Distribution of Wealth

Why is it important to examine wealth along with income? Be sure to discuss how the measure of wealth differs from income as well as trends.

Why is it important to consider the ethnic make-up of surgeons, lawyers, news reporters, or government officials?

How is wealth distributed? What groups of people have wealth in the U.S. (is it evenly distributed or do some people hold the majority of the wealth, if so who are they)?

What impact does race have on an individual's ability to access certain jobs, or the types of jobs that offer upward mobility for the many rather than the few?

Americans often claim that individuals should be willing to accept any job, but what part do cultural beliefs play in the motivation to accept and keep a low-income job? What are the social costs of this? Do these outweigh the potentially meager income benefits?

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Why is it important to examine wealth along with income? Be sure to discuss how the measure of wealth differs from income as well as trends.

One line of thought equates the measurement of well-being with wealth and realized income. Another line of thought equates the measurement of power with wealth and income.

You can consider whether power is a measurement of well-being in a First World nation such as the United States.

The following article is the source of the information below. Peruse the article for a more detailed explanation:
http://www.nber.org/chapters/c6148.pdf

According to Eugene Steuerle, measures of well-being involve a contrast of means with needs (p. 91).

In modern times, however, income has come to dominate other measures such as property as the prime measure of ability to pay and eligibility to receive. A major explanation for this shift is the increasing importance of wage income to most households' well-being (p. 94).

Wealth refers to the value of the assets held by an individual. It is also used interchangeably with "net worth."

With respect to trends, some assume that a high level of personal income will lead to a high level of wealth. With respect to wealth inequality and income inequality, it is more difficult to measure wealth inequality than income ...

Solution Summary

This solution will assist the student in discussing how the measure of wealth differs from income as well as examine the distribution of wealth and access to jobs with respect to minorities.

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