explanation of wealth distributions

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  • EXPLANATIONS OF WEALTH DISTRIBUTIONS
    • BLAMED THE POOR
      • First theories of poverty blame the indervidual for the poverty theyre in
      • SPENCER said that the poor were those who had failed to do the best for themselves
      • SPENCER said state shouldnt intervene to help poor as it sets an example to others
      • this was a common early theory for explaining wealth distribution
    • FUNCTIONALISTS SAY UNEVEN DISTRIBUTION IS GOOD FOR SOCIETY
      • As societies develop they have to find a way of allocating people to the most suitable roles and jobs. most important jobs need to be rewarded more highly.
        • TUMIN believes that DAVIS AND MOORE ignore all the talent and ability in the WC which society doesnt use
        • DAVIS AND MOORE some principles of stratiforcation
      • arguments have been critisiced as they assume that the best jobs are allocated based on talent - other factors are the case: class etc
    • IT IS BASED ON MARKET SITUATION
      • market situation is how valuable their skills are for society and how scare their skills are
      • it is simply about supply and demand of skills - high demand for them makes them worth more.
        • plumbers can earn alot currently as there isnt a lot of them but people need their skills
    • MARXISTS BLAME CAPITALISM
      • argue that social groups which have low levels of wealth are the powerless ones in society
      • capitalism thrives on inequalty of income - if it was equal there wouldnt be any profit and this is needed for capitalists to keep power
      • oppression of the proletariet (WC) is needed - widening rich poor divide is evidence
  • RICH POOR GAP
    • The gap went down in the 1970s
    • in the 1980s the gap widened and the top rate of tax went down so the rich kept most their earnings.
    • increase in the number of single parent households (they tend to have less money) this means more poorer households
      • there are also more two earner households (where both parents work). this contributes to the statistics showing an increase in rich households
  • SOME SOCIAL GROUPS ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE POORER
    • women tend to be poorer than men becuase theyre more likely to be single parents than men - working mums tend to have to work part time so less income
      • single parent families tend to be poorer as its hard to get good work and look after the kids
        • disabled people face discrimination in the job market and therefore may have to rely on benefits so have a low income
    • older people tend to be more poor becuase theyre retired
      • some ethnic minorites tend to be richer or poorer

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