SOCI 461 Lecture Notes - Redistribution Of Income And Wealth, Industrial Revolution, Social Stratification

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Income redistribution and taxation:
-have idea of rugged individualism; that those who work hard deserve rewards and those who are lazy and unwise
deserve less
-contrasting idea of collective responsibility implies that as members of the community we ought to look out for
one another
Against redistribution:
1. Decreases the motivation for people n both groups to work hard
2. Cost is high; requires agency to first collect and then allocate
3. Some families and individuals will cheat and deceive
-some will hide earnings to pay less tax or receive more welfare
For redistribution:
1. A society w/ reasonable degree of equality is a better place to live than a society w/ heightened levels of
2. An extra dollar to a poor family is more helpful than to a rich family
3. Improving material well-being of the poor enhances social well-being of a rich family
4. Reduces the risk of crime and political conflict since poorer families are less likely to seek legal means of
earning income or unite in protest over living conditions
International Differences:
Global Inequality:
-Canada is one of the richest countries in the world despite income inequality
-Angola is one of the poorest countries on the earth
-most Angolans live in houses made of cardboard, tin, cement blocks
-life expectancy is 38 yrs
- > half population is unemployed or underemployed
-poverty rate is 70%
-however, Exxon and Chevron drill for oil (85% of GDP) in Angola and so there is a gated, heavily guarded
community in Luanda where the North Americans who work there
-global inequality is the differences in economic ranking of countries
-cross-national variations in internal stratification are differences among countries in their stratification systems
-thus it is possible for 2 countries to be equally rich, but the gap b/w rich and poor is different w/n each
-an inequality b/w rich and poor country is staggering
-much of the wealth of rich countries has been gained at the expense of the poor countries
-people living in poor countries more likely to experience extreme suffering and are less educated
Internal Stratification:
-Gini index is a measure of income inequality
-its value ranges from zero to one; zero indicates that every household (or income recipient) in the
country earns exactly the same amount of money
-one indicates that a single household earns the entire national income
-nearly all societies have Gini indexes of 0.2 and 0.6
-Sweden has the lowest, Canada is around the middle
-Russia, China, and the US have the highest
-Canada’s income inequality is about average
-higher inequality rates and higher poverty rates tend to occur together
Development and Internal Stratification:
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