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High Income Inequality Helped Early Societies Spread, Study Finds
This relates to class structure as well as stratification
Huff Post BUISNESS March 20, 2014 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/02/class-warfare-societies_n_987882.html There has been much written lately about income and wealth inequality. As the administration tries to grapple with a debt crisis, sociologists have much to consider about the widening gap between the haves and have not’s. Why do cultures have a class structure, rich, poor and middle – instead of being egalitarian with resources shared equally by everyone? With the information surfacing around income inequality, a new study indicates that unequal access to resources brings about stratification, (Rich v. Poor, Haves v. Have not’s), and causes migration, displacing egalitarian societies. Researchers at Stanford used computer simulation to compare migration for egalitarian and stratified societies. (1)
The researchers determined that when resources were consistently scarce, egalitarian societies – shared resources – remained more stable than stratified societies. Unequal sharing in the stratified societies gave those societies more incentive to migrate. Therefore, during periods of shortage, stratified societies were able to migrate, and egalitarian societies were not able to adapt to changing conditions as quickly. Stratified societies push egalitarian societies away from resources.
Today stratified societies vastly out number egalitarian societies, and those numbers are increasing worldwide.
Some additional economic data to prove that stratification exists in the US today. The total net worth of the bottom 60% of US household’s, (today 100 million), is less than that of Forbes 400 richest Americans. (2) This does not appear to occur because the ethic of equality is being replaced by a more selfish equality, but instead by stratified societies spreading out and taking over egalitarian societies. In addition this widening gap in monetary equality may be hindering the economic recovery. (3) International monetary fund study showed that greater income equity spurs economic growth. With the top 1% of American earners, controlling 40% of the wealth, and the top 1% of wage earners take in 25% of the national income every year. (4) In LA County, Data shows that people are now moving to more affordable housing but there are few jobs available in these new locations. (6) I would pose the following question:
Do we, as good sociologists recommend to the current administration that we need to view monetary policy in the US and globally more in a Conflict manner, equal access to resources for all? On the other hand, should we continue with the Functionalist approach, allowing the capitalist economic system to function, allowing those in society to work the way to the top of the socio-economic status? Capitalists believe this will eventually balance the economy and allow everyone equal access to resources. In short, should we suggest socialist economic policy or capitalist policies to balance the economic inequality?

REFERENCES http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/02/class-warfare-societies_n_987882.html (1) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-09/su-sot092811.php# (2) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/09/raising-taxes-poor-rich-wealth-gap-bottom-50-percent-top-1-percent_n_955476.html?view=print&comm_ref=false (3) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/20/income-inequality-economic-growth_n_969933.html?view=print&comm_ref=false (4) http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105 (5) HTTP://WWW.HUFFINGTONPOST.COM/2011/09/28/BUFFETT-RULE-POLL_N_985154.HTML (6) http://www.npr.org/2014/04/05/299507201/americans-are-on-the-move-but-in-the-wrong-direction?ft=1&f=1001

High Income Inequality Helped Early Societies Spread
Relate to class structure as well as class stratification
There has been much in the news about income and wealth inequality. (The haves v Have not’s; Rich v Poor). Researchers at Stanford used computer simulation to compare migration for egalitarian societies and stratified societies. (Egalitarian societies share resources, stratified societies group according to socioeconomic status)
The research found that when resources were scarce, Egalitarian societies shared resources – and remained more stable. Stratified societies tended to migrate in search of additional resources – pushing egalitarian societies away from resources.
Early in social history, all societies were egalitarian. Now stratified societies vastly out number egalitarian societies, and those numbers are increasing worldwide.
Additional data to prove stratification: * Total net worth of the bottom 60% of US households (100 million) is less than that of the Forbes richest 400 Americans. (This is not because an equality ethic is displaced by a selfish ethic. Rather by stratified societies spreading out and taking over egalitarian societies) * Widening gap in monetary equality may be hindering recovery * A International monetary fund study showed that greater income equality spurs economic growth * Top 1% of American wage earners control 40% of the wealth and they take in 25% * In LA County, Data shows that people are now moving to more affordable housing but there are few jobs available in these new locations.
I then pose the question: Do we as good sociologists recommend the current administration adjust practices to a more Conflict approach? On the other hand, do we continue with the Functionalist approach that capitalists believe will allow those that work hard will get to the top of the socioeconomic status? In short – Socialist economic policy or Capitalist economic policy?…...

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