Thursday, January 24, 2008

Inequality Discussion

In our class this week and last week we've been looking a bit at poverty and inequality as issues related to social work and issues of social justice. One point I tried to make is that in a global perspective the top 80% of the American population would be wealthier than 95% of the population in most of the nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The very poorest Americans live with a level of wealth and material consumption approximately higher than 97% to 98% of the population in most of the poorest countries. So, from a global income perspective, or a global standard of living comparison, almost all Americans are in the top 5%, in the wealthy category.

It's a point to consider. I'll let the students decide whether there are implications to this observation.

Then, after looking at some conservative arguments that inequality isn't so bad, and isn't really very extreme in our society anyway, I tried to show you a short propaganda film trying to make quite the opposite point. Here are two links that might help you, if you have access to a computer with the capacity to play video and sound (unlike the computer in our "smart" classroom at UIS): Try the War on Greed website or else the version of the film posted on You-Tube.

Check out the viewer responses to these films. What are your reactions to the films, or the reactions to the films?

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