Briefly describe what you believe is a major domestic problem confronting the United States – socially, economically or in health care. Indicate how you think this problem could be resolved.Socioeconomic disparities between the upper-middle classes and lower class are increasing in unbelievable proportions.

Simply examining the wage gap yields a proper perspective of the difference between the rich and poor: the top 10% earn more than nine times as much income as the other 90% every year. This extreme discrepancy thrusts the poor—who tend to be racial minorities—into a vicious cycle that impedes upward mobility. For example, effects of poverty such as inadequate education result in low income, and low income households are less likely to be educated. Proof of socioeconomic differences between the rich and poor are seen in every strand of life, especially in healthcare, education, and policy making. In her book The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander highlights the effects the war on drugs had on the difference in wealth between the upper class and the racial minorities who disproportionately make up the lower class. She questions whether we truly live in an egalitarian society or whether we live in a new, more developed version of Jim Crow and racial discrimination that plagued the United States for centuries. Alexander, as well as others distraught by the gap between rich and poor, question why nearly 40% of African-American and Latino children are in a state of poverty? Why are low income children four times more likely to dropout of school? Why are low income persons more likely to encounter the criminal justice system, and more likely to face harsher punishments?The difference between the wealthy and the impoverished is the biggest problem confronting the United States, but how do we solve the problem? Increasing educational opportunities by decreasing tuition costs will encourage many young students to work hard and achieve academic success.

Increasing teachers’ wages will similarly improve the quality of education. Reforming the tax system to help the poor manage their income better will help them with the financial struggles they face. Additionally, ending the war on drugs will decrease minorities’ encounters with the criminal justice system, allowing minorities to make a life for themselves.

These reforms can all be funded by decreasing the military’s large budget, and using that money to level the playing field among all racial, social, and economic classes.The socioeconomic gap affects healthcare as well: low income individuals have lower life expectancies and less access to proper healthcare. This is where I am going to make an impact. I know I want to become a doctor, and when the time comes, I am going to use my skills as a physician to address the socioeconomic gap in healthcare. By providing care that today might only be seen in rich communities to poor communities, I will offer the underserved the care and opportunities they deserve.


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