By Jalen Manzie
Americans know about income inequality and choose to brush the uncomfortable feeling to the side because it does not directly affect them due to the color of their skin. A big part of why so many Americans are living under these terrible conditions is because 1 percent of the population who just happen to be white earn the majority of the nation’s income.
That is only part of the problem. In addition, billionaires are not recycling money to the rest of the population. Instead, they make sure the money finds its way back into their pockets, thus ensuring future success for their families.
Income is the amount of money you earn on a yearly basis after taxes while wealth is your assets that are able to increase in value over time. If you don’t have a steady income, then it would be harder for you to purchase things such as a house or to make stock investments.
People of color are being held behind by the progressive and regressive taxes that play a role in a family’s income. For some families, their taxes increase when the payer’s income increases, which basically a good way to keep one’s lifestyle stagnant. The more you earn, the greater percentage of taxes are taken out. On the other hand, a regressive tax actually increases as the individuals income decreases which in fact makes them move backward financially.
These situations have a way of reoccurring for those living under the poverty line who seem to never catch a break. It is one thing to be poor and Caucasian, but it is another to be a person of color, and broke because people would think twice about helping someone of color before helping a white man. Things are even harder for women, especially women of color. Knowing that women make up half of our work force and are only paid 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man is degrading and disrespectful.
I always hear people talking about how amazing America is and how it is the land of the free and home of the brave when in reality we are slaves to the government and corporations running our nation. We don’t do anything but sit back and accept what is given to us as long as we are earning enough money to keep the lights on and food on the table. There is always talk on how to make the world a better place and ending poverty for good, but I believe that if we want to find the true essence of what it is like to be free and have equal rights for people deserving of it, we must find ourselves first.