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There is no such thing as a perfect free
market, government sets the rules by which the market functions. These rules
are necessary to construct a free market. Although, who do these rules benefit
and who do they hurt? Over the past 30 plus years, when the economy began to
shift many of the rules governing our market began to shift as well. There is a
correlation between political polarization and widening economic inequality.
With money comes the capacity to control polices. People abuse their wealth by
lobbying for bailouts, subtilizes, and taxes that are going to benefit their
wealth. In the last presidential election there were billionaires contributing
money to candidates. Thus, putting the government on the auction block, and
showing how we are losing equal opportunity in America. When inequality was
lowest top tax rates were higher. When inequality was highest tax rates on the
wealthy went down. Taxes at the top were never below 70% until president Ronald
Regan dropped these taxes. Most of the income the rich makes are capital gains,
which is only taxed at 15%. ( ) This causes a
negative trickledown effect, and where it starts is in Washington. If the
wealthy are not paying their fair share, and if the middle class is stagnant
and do not pay much in taxes because they do not make as much money. Then, a
budget crisis happens along the line causing less revenue sharing for the
states. This can lead to low support for public higher education, so when state
funding went down tuition prices went up to compensate. People would be less
concerned with income inequality and wealth if people had an equal chance to
make it. If everyone had a chance to work hard and have an upward mobility
there would be no inequality, but as income inequality rises forward mobility
is less than it was before.

“The same technology,
that brought globalization and automation bestowed ever larger rewards for people
that had the right education and connections to take advantage of
globalization.” (Robert Reich) Higher education is what lifted people out of
poverty and into the middle class during the great depression. In America, 42%
of kids in poverty will not get out, compared to Denmark where only 25% stay
there. So, who should we emulate? The best answer is the United States.  After WWII, “The great prosperity” happened
and the economy boomed causing for low inequality. The United States, made
education a national priority, particularly higher education. By 1940, only 5%
of adult Americans had a 4- year college degree, then over time it exploded.
The government paid college for those who returned from war. Also, universities
made it cheaper to afford college. In the 1950’s, the United States had the
greatest educated work force than anyone in the world. We also had labor
unions, “by the late 1950’s almost 1/3rd of workers were in a union.”
This gave average workers leverage to get a larger share of the growing
economic pie. The United States, built the largest middle class during this
time. When the economy expands, productivity grows, then wages increase, as
well as tax revenues. This causes workers to buy more and companies to hire
more creating a larger job market. By the government investing for a highly
skilled work force we can successfully compete in this new global economy. 

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