Social Condition vs Social Problem Essay

276 WordsOct 8, 20122 Pages
The article I am doing is a Reason magazine opinion piece by Shikha Dalmia criticizing an essay wrote by Stanford University’s David Grusky in The Boston Review’s forum “What to do about income inequality”. In Grusky’s essay he explains why income inequality cannot be solved by focusing on redistributive taxation alone. Grusky believes the government should do more to address the socioeconomic stratifications by addressing inequality in the labor and capital markets. Drawing on conflict theory principles, Grusky notes that the rich and powerful have built self-serving institutions to economically repress the proletariat while creating the illusion of laissez-faire capitalism. To give context, Dalmia disagrees with the conflict theorist perspective proposed by Grusky regarding income inequality. Dalmia points out “Any indictment of capitalism worth its salt has to show not just that the rich are getting richer, but that they do so by making the poor poorer... Facebook recently floated an IPO making Mark Zuckerberg the richest 27-year-old in America. I didn’t notice my bank balance dip”. Many libertarians like Dalmia view income inequality as a social condition, rather than a social problem. As discussed in lecture this is an important distinction. For a social condition to be considered a social problem it must be considered harmful to society and enough people must believe that the condition can and should be changed. Libertarians take a functionalist approach to income inequality in capitalist economies, believing that in order for the economy to function there will always be people at the bottom of the totem pole. The great thing about America is the belief that with honest hard work, anyone can better

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