Inequality and Welfare State

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Introduction

Inequality is one of the most debated topics in the society and since it is largely visible in society and it has been described to be the most daunting challenges facing the society currently. Various examples of inequality have come to the spotlight and have been attributed to a number of social, economic and political factors. Under the UN Sustainable Development agenda for 2030 various approaches and techniques have been suggested which are inclusive of the development of policies that are aimed at leveling up instead of leveling down, developing of suitable wage and salary framework and improving the literacy levels (Friedtl et al, 2015).

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Developing Policies that Aim to Level Up not Level Down

It is important to understand that even though Inequality is influenced by a number of factors that are beyond the control of human nature, other factors can be influenced and adjusted to relatively reduce the inequality gap being witnessed in society. Redistribution of resources is the major approach that can be employed in fighting inequality in society. The policies developed should aim at bridging the gap by moving the individuals from the lower places up instead of choosing to lower the individuals on the extreme end to lower places (Mahl, Loontjer & Parang, 2015). This can be termed as a targeting approach that seeks to improve the quality of life of the individuals who earn less or in the poverty bracket as per the international poverty line.

The policies can adopt various forms such as increasing the wages and salaries of individuals that earn low instead of looking for ways of reducing the salaries of individuals that earn more. This approach can choose to concentrate on. Also, governments can opt to create more job opportunities that absorb the unemployed in the society to the employment bracket so that the income distribution is fairly equitable. Investing more on industrialization and emphasizing on good governance can help achieve a society where majorities are able to cater for the basic commodities without straining and enjoy the pleasantries of life fairly same as the rich in society (Abbas, McLean & Carpenter, 2010). Fiscal policies can help deal with the income inequality in society and promote its reduction through raising of fiscal revenues to finance appropriate social policies especially those that sensitive sectors such as public health and education and making sure that the policies serve that are in most need.

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Monetary policies can be developed to control inflation which has a profound effect on the distribution of income within the society touching on social and economic spheres. High rates of inflation have a detrimental effect on the poor which results in increased inequality gap; inflation discourages saving that could have been used o invest in additional investment activities that would have served to increase the income levels of the household (Friedtl et al, 2015). The policy also includes offering banking solutions such as loan lending at relatively subsidized interest rates.

Developing Appropriate Wage and Salaries Framework

According to Abbas, McLean and Carpenter (2010) income inequality is one the commonly incurring form of inequality in society. Income inequality can majorly be attributed to the wage and salaries frameworks that have a big range between the lowest paid individual and the highest paid individual. The framework advocated is the one that promotes increase of the minimum of wages and salaries so that it can support the individuals in living well, some economists have argued that the low earning individuals should be exempted from paying tax in attempts of increasing their available disposable income and taxing more the individuals who earn more so as to facilitate effective redistribution of wealth. This can be further reinforced by the government through the government subsidizing the cost of basic commodities. However, this framework experiences a lot of objections especially from those individuals that earn more who argue that it is not fair for them to be taxed more because they have worked so hard to get to the positions that they are in and so the high income is just but a reward of their hard work and this has indirectly affected the levels of individuals productivity because of fear of being taxed more (Friedtl et al, 2015).

Improving Literacy Levels

The government needs to embark on campaigns that seek to improve the literacy levels in society. Learning institutions such as universities apart from offering courses that are tailored to make students excel in the job market should educate the students about job creation by promoting and funding innovative ideas developed by the students which can turn into investment features that greatly employ a significant number of individuals (Friedtl et al, 2015). Also, the student from these learning institutions can carry nationwide campaigns that are aimed at teaching locals on various business ideas that they can invest in as compared to just waiting for formal employment from the government. However, this method as received objection that it is largely ineffective and cannot yield significant results.

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  1. Abbas, A., McLean, M., & Carpentier, V. (2010). Tackling inequality through quality: A comparative case study using Bernsteinian concepts. Global Inequalities and Higher Education. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 241-267.
  2. Friedl, A. et al. (2015). How to deal with inequality: Welfare system challenges and European responses (No. 85). Kiel Policy Brief.
  3. Mahler, V. A., Loontjer, K., & Parang, S. (2015). Income Inequality and Government Redistribution: A Cross-National Study. Journal of Comparative Politics8(1), 75.
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