Income Inequality in the United States

Module 2: Discussion Forum

New Foundational Skill

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Decision Making

Baseline Skill

Critical Thinking

Baseline Skill

Listener

Baseline Skill

Organizational Skills

Baseline Skill

Positive Disposition

Baseline Skill

Presentation Skills

Baseline Skill

Research

Baseline Skill

Time Management

Part 1: Initial Post

Reflect:
In your life outside of school, think about some investigation you have done to satisfy your own curiosity. (Keep in mind the difference between “homework questions” and “research questions” as noted in What Is Research? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.)

What was your research question?
What kind of information did you have to gather in order to answer it?
What sources did you use to gather the information?
CSU-Global Writing Center Guide to Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Were you successful in answering the question?
And, if you are willing to share, what was your answer?

Write:

Respond to the bullet points.
Your post should be at least 150-200 words.
The post does not have to be grammatically perfect, but you should use standard English (no text-speak, please) and normal capitalization rules.

Part 2: Responses to Peers
After you have posted your own main response to the Discussion assignment, post at least two substantive responses, a minimum of 100 words each, to other students’ main postings, offering specific feedback about the ideas they posted. You must post your main Discussion posting before you can reply to other students.

A substantive post will do at least ONE of the following:

Ask an interesting, thoughtful question pertaining to the topic
Answer a question (in detail) posted by another student or the instructor
Provide extensive additional information on the topic
Explain, define, or analyze the topic in detail
Share an applicable personal experience
Provide an outside source (for example, a website) that applies to the topic, along with additional information about the topic or the source (please cite properly in APA)
Make an argument concerning the topic.

Module 2: Critical Thinking

New Foundational Skill

Decision Making

Baseline Skill

Critical Thinking

Baseline Skill

Organizational Skills

Baseline Skill

Research

Baseline Skill

Time Management

Baseline Skill

Writing

Business-Enabling Skill

Communicating Data

Business-Enabling Skill

Oral & Written Communication

Business-Enabling Skill

Project Management

New Economy Skill

Complex Problem Solving

New Economy Skill

Critical Thinking

New Economy Skill

Emotional Intelligence

New Economy Skill

Judgment & Decision Making

Important! Read First

Choose one of the following two assignments to complete this week. Do not do both assignments. Identify your assignment choice in the title of your submission.
Option #1: Exploring a Portfolio Topic; Developing a Working Thesis (Local/State)

In Module 1, you were asked to review the assignment instruction for the Module 8 Portfolio Project. The Portfolio assignment requires that you select a local or state social issue to explore causes and possible solutions. As an academic writer, it is vital you form a working thesis about your topic early, so that you can shape your research and form an inquiry plan about the research material that you will be using. You will also need to select and analyze key concepts of the topic early in the research process.

For this Critical Thinking Assignment, you are to compose a working thesis that takes a definite position on an arguable issue and maps a few of the main points you plan to explore. Specifically, your working thesis should state a problem, describe and evaluate at least one aspect of the cause, and offer one potential solution. Be sure to accurately decipher your assignment (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Your paper should accomplish the following:

Identify the particular topic (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. you have decided on.
Develop a research question.
Describe a specific controversy that exists within this topic. Identify the sides (and there may be more than just two sides). Explain why each side has the beliefs it does.
Define which side you agree with and why.
State the overall claim that you want your essay to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt. (This will be your working thesis, and it is apt to change as you progress in later weeks. It is fine to start simple, for now, and build in more complexity later. Be sure to review the thesis tools used in this module. Also consider this video on writing a thesis: “Developing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..”

For example, one could explore the recent boom in real estate values in a specific area of the nation or world. While such a situation could be positive, it’s also possible that any dramatic increase in the cost and availability of housing could cause problems for some people. Within this topic, key concepts need to be discovered such as: what are the effects of changes in home valuations or how does sudden population growth affect a city? You will need to state and clearly specify your approach and position on the topic and argue the validity of it. You will also need to understand any possible arguments against your position.

Before you make a final discussion, try brainstorming. Choose two or three potential topics and explore the key concepts involved to see if the topic holds your interest and is achievable.

Requirements:

Use third person. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Assert your academic voice.
Choose a topic related to a problem you would like to address and then ask a question about how to solve the problem. The question must start with the phrase, “What would it take to . ..?” Answer the question with a thesis that names the problem, cause, and solution.
Describe why you made your final selection, and discuss in some detail the key concepts you think are important to that topic.
Cite at least two sources for this assignment. You will have to cite several credible sources in your final Portfolio Project, so start exploring credible sources now. In academic writing, it is always best practice to cite credible sources such as a scholarly journal article. The CSU-Global Library is an excellent place to search for credible, scholarly sources. The following resource at the CSU-Global Writing Center should help you assess a source as credible: Types of Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
Your written paper should be 2-3 pages in length not counting the required title and reference pages.
Your paper must be formatted according to CSU-Global Guide to Writing & APA (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
You may use the template paper for this course. (attached below)

Refer to the Critical Thinking Assignment Rubric in the Module 2 Folder for more information on assignment expectations and grading.
Option #2: Exploring a Portfolio Topic; Developing a Working Thesis (National/Global)

In Module 1, you were asked to review the assignment instruction for the Module 8 Portfolio Project. The Portfolio assignment requires that you select a national or global social issue to explore causes and possible solutions. As an academic writer, it is vital that you form a working thesis about your topic early so that you can shape your research and form an inquiry plan about the research material that you will be using. You will also need to select and analyze key concepts of the topic early in the research process.

For this Critical Thinking Assignment, you are to compose a working thesis that takes a definite position on an arguable issue and that maps a few of the main points you plan to explore. Specifically, your working thesis should state a problem, describe, and evaluate at least one aspect of the cause, and it should offer one potential solution. Be sure to accurately decipher your assignment (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Your paper should accomplish the following:

Identify the particular topic (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. you have decided on.
Develop a research question.
Describe a specific controversy that exists within this topic. Identify the sides (and there may be more than just two sides), and explain why each believes what it does.
Define which side you agree with and why.
State the overall claim that you want your essay to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt. (This will be your working thesis, and it is apt to change as you progress in later weeks. It is fine to start simple, for now, and build in more complexity later. Be sure to review the thesis tools used in this module. Also consider this video on writing a thesis: “Developing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..”

For example, one could explore the recent boom in real estate values in a specific area of the nation or world. While this could be a positive situation, any dramatic increase in the cost and availability of housing can become problematic for some people. Within this topic, key concepts need to be discovered such as what are the effects of changes in home valuations or how does sudden population growth affect a city? You will need clearly specify your approach and position on the topic and argue the validity of it. You will also need to understand any possible arguments against your position.

Before you make a final discussion, try brainstorming. Choose two or three potential topics and explore the key concepts involved to see if the topic holds your interest and is achievable.

Requirements:

Use third person. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Assert your academic voice.
Choose a topic related to a problem you would like to address; ask a question about how to solve the problem. The question must start with the phrase, “What would it take to …?” Answer the question with a thesis that names the problem, cause, and solution.
Describe why you made your final selection and discuss in some detail the key concepts you think are important to that topic.
Cite at least two sources for this assignment. You will have to cite several credible sources in your final portfolio project, so start exploring credible sources now. In academic writing, it is always best practice to cite credible sources, such as a scholarly journal article. The CSU-Global Library is an excellent place to search for credible, scholarly sources. The following at the CSU-Global Writing Center should help you assess what a credible source will resemble: Types of Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
Your written paper should be 2-3 pages in length not counting the title and reference pages, which you must include.
Your paper must be formatted according to CSU-Global Guide to Writing & APA

 

Expert Answer

Discussion part

Discussion

In American society, the issues of mass shootings and gun violence have been frequent, especially over the last ten years (Metzl & MacLeish, 2015). Out of my own curiosity and interest, I decided to investigate the issues and identify why mass shootings occur and if the widely proposed solution, arming teachers, was likely to assist in the control of the problem. My research question was “is arming teachers in schools and universities the best solution to gun-related violence and mass shootings in the United States?” In order to answer this question, I had to conduct some research on the matter. The information gathered had to be relevant to the topic and the research question. For this reason, the information that I gathered had to be about mass shootings that have occurred in the past, gun-related violence in the American society, methods proposed for controlling the increasing number of mass shootings, proposals aired on gun violence control, and gun control.

This information was helpful in arriving at the solution to the research question that I came up with. Since this was personal research, I did not put it down in writing. I obtained the relevant information from online sources such as online magazines and newspapers, journals, articles, and websites. I was successful in answering the research question since I found evidence that in the past cases of gun violence in schools, there were fewer numbers of casualties where a teacher or security officer with a gun protected the students and other staff members by shooting the attacker. As such, I concluded that arming teachers was a good way if controlling gun violence and mass shootings in school, even though I did find it the best solution to the problem. This is because I found a few cases where the gun of a teacher was used by a student to injure other students.

References

Metzl, J. M., & MacLeish, K. T. (2015). Mental illness, mass shootings, and the politics of American firearms. American journal of public health, 105(2), 240-249.

CT Part

Exploring a Portfolio Topic: Developing a Working Thesis (National/Global)

Income Inequality in the United States

One of the major social problems facing the United States today, and several other nations of the world, is income inequality (Braun, 1997). More than a quarter of the total number of American workers earn less than $10 an hour. This group of low-income earners includes people who work in the service industry, including fast food workers, cashiers, and nurse’s aides. Since the end of the 2008 financial crisis, the rich have continued to get richer in the United States (Saez & Zucman, 2016). According to past studies, the top ten percent income earners took home more than fifty percent of the total income in the United States in 2012. To make matters worse, the top one percent carried home approximately twenty percent of the income. By the year 2015, the top ten percent income earners in America averaged more than nine times as much income compared to the bottom 90 percent, with the top one percent averaging over forty times more income than the bottom ninety percent (Saez & Zucman, 2016). This income inequality has resulted in several problems in the country, ranging from increased levels of poverty to low standards of living and higher rates of crime.

Several reasons for and explanations of why income inequality exists in the United States have been forwarded and discussed in past research and in the media houses. Several publications have discussed the social problem and provided reasons for the problem and how it can be resolved. Many people and organizations have expressed their concerns on the increasing income gap in the country, stating that the increasing number of immigrants is the leading cause of the income inequality in the country (Kraus, 2017). The justification proposed for this reason is that immigrants, especially those who move into the United States in pursuit of employment opportunities and a better life, provide companies and other forms of businesses with cheap labor that is readily available. An increased population results in increased availability of cheap labor in the country. Businesses, therefore, take advantage of this situation, offering low wages and salaries for job positions (Dabla-Norris et al., 2015). In response to these claims, several agencies and people have stated that the best remedy for the income inequality in the country is to prevent American companies and businesses from outsourcing workers or employing immigrants.

While this resolution is supported by several people and social analysts, some people do not think that it is logical or even fair to prevent American firms from outsourcing cheap labor or employing immigrants. This group of people does not believe that this would be a solution to the problem of income inequality in the United States. They propose that investing in human capital would be the best solution to the problem and that the U.S. should accept the global wealth redistribution that has resulted in cheap labor availability. In this research, the issue of income inequality will be discussed widely to investigate why the problem arises, its effects in the country and on society, and how the problem can be eliminated or dealt with in the United States. The research questions for the study will be:

RQ1: What are the reasons behind the income inequality in the United States?

RQ2: Would preventing American companies from outsourcing labor solve the problem of income inequality in the United States?

Increasing numbers of immigrants and the availability of cheap labor from overseas have been proposed as the main reasons for income inequality in the United States. The Chinese economy, for instance, has been blamed for the availability of cheap labor. Companies in the United States and all over the world have resulted in employee outsourcing from countries such as China where labor is cheap and readily available. A higher population in the United States, resulting from increased birth rate, better healthcare capable of minimizing the rate of deaths (Ross et al., 2000), and increased immigration, also results in the availability of cheap labor since people are desperate to acquire jobs and earn a living. Availability of cheap labor has been blamed for the income inequality that the country faces today. A group of people believes that the best solution to income inequality is the prevention of companies in the United States from acquiring cheap labor that is outsourced (Dabla-Norris et al., 2015). It is proposed that with the outlawing of labor outsourcing and prevention of immigrants from entering the country, companies would have no option but to employ the citizens of the country, who will demand better pay and work conditions.

In this research, the issue of labor outsourcing is investigated to determine whether it is the main cause of the income inequality problem. Several other causes of income inequality, such as globalization and business deregulation will also be discussed in the paper. I do not agree with the idea that preventing companies from outsourcing labor will solve the income inequality problem. Preventing labor outsourcing would be punishing companies for taking advantage of the global redistribution of wealth. It would not be a fair practice and ay result in American companies moving to other countries where labor is cheaper. Setting up policies that will prevent immigrants from entering the country will also not solve the income inequality problem since cheap labor will still be available overseas. I agree with the group that proposes investment in human capital as the solution to the problem. The thesis for this research will be: Investing in human capital is the best solution to the income inequality problem that the United States faces today. The people in the top bracket of high-income earners must realize that those in the bottom bracket of low-income earners cannot bear the brunt forever.

The low-income earners should be provided with access to employment training and education by the government. Through this, the American labor force will be improved with relevant and highly marketable skills. Investment in human capital is the best solution to income inequality since it will result in an increase in the individual wealth. By bringing all workers up to a minimum skilled standard, companies will have to improve salaries for skilled employees. In addition, self-employment will be boosted as people will acquire necessary entrepreneurial skills. These solutions will solve the income inequality problem in the United States.

References

Braun, D. D. (1997). The rich get richer: The rise of income inequality in the United States and the world. Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Dabla-Norris, M. E., Kochhar, M. K., Suphaphiphat, M. N., Ricka, M. F., & Tsounta, E. (2015). Causes and consequences of income inequality: a global perspective. International Monetary Fund.

Kraus, F. (2017). The historical development of income inequality in Western Europe and the United States. In Development of Welfare States in Europe and America (pp. 187-236). Routledge.

Ross, N. A., Wolfson, M. C., Dunn, J. R., Berthelot, J. M., Kaplan, G. A., & Lynch, J. W. (2000). Relation between income inequality and mortality in Canada and in the United States: cross sectional assessment using census data and vital statistics. Bmj, 320(7239), 898-902.

Saez, E., & Zucman, G. (2016). Wealth inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from capitalized income tax data. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 131(2), 519-578.

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