Economic inequality encapsulates the unequal distribution of income in terms of the amount of money people are paid and in the dissemination of wealth (Starmans et al. 2017). Economic inequality is not only prevalent among different countries or states but is also prevalent in different groups of people. The most important aspects on the basis of economic measurements are made involve consumption; wealth and income. There are many ways of measuring economic inequality such as the Gini coefficient being one of the most efficient tactics. Other methods of measuring the same involve Inequality Adjusted Human Development Index. Several negative aspects involve diminished social mobility, educational differences and wider gradient in the opportunities to learn. It is also that root cause of elevated rates of crime as well as pitiable health.
Human well being is a wide concept that encompasses diverse factors such as material well being, physical health, emotional stability and virtual relationships with friends and family members (Smith et al. 2016). It encompasses recreation and work and how an individual feels about personal safety and community. There are many aspects of human well being which involve indicators for social education outcome, emotional state, physical state, household income and many more. This assessment envisions laying prominence on the negative implications of the wide gap between rich and poor. It also elaborates the vital elements of human well being. It effectively brings forward a more transparent picture of both the notions mentioned above.
Income inequality has been rising in different countries in recent decades. The average disposable income of the richest is elevating whereas the same for the poor people is diminishing day by day. The gap in terms of income is even more striking in the context of the highest earners. In societies, income is considered an integral aspect responsible for the broader social and economic inequalities (Verguet et al. 2016). It is often characterized by inequality on grounds of access to high-quality education, decent employment opportunities and access to adequate healthcare services.
The gap between rich and poor is resulting in the exclusion of people and preventing the poor families from accessing the required and relevant services especially the health care services in the society pushing them to the verge of vulnerability. The gap between rich and poor is increasing and it is a matter of concern because the widening of this gap can slow the economic growth and can also reduce social mobility. The widening division in the society is also a threatening aspect in terms of stability of the societies and can also be a hurdle in the development of consensus in terms of meeting the common challenges.
There have been many studies conducted over reviewing the social determinants of health and its association with the gap in a society in terms of rich and poor. The studies have demonstrated a visible link between health and socio-economic background especially occupation and health. Health inequalities are quite persistent; it directly impacts life expectancy (Verguet et al. 2016). The gradient in life expectancy with people belonging to higher socioeconomic status than those, whose socio-economic status is lower, is virtuous. It can be also stated that people with better income structure and high paying jobs on an average live longer as compared to people living in poverty. Health inequality and poor health outcomes are associated with economic inequality and are an outcome of the same. Authors Verguet et al. (2016) have stated that occupation is an integral criterion associated with economic inequality. People with low income have higher mortality rates and are more likely to indulge in activities like smoking and drinking.
People with low socioeconomic status and poverty usually witness social exclusion by those having higher socioeconomic status. Low income and income insecurity are some of the cardinal reasons that social cohesion is weakening between rich and poor people in societies. Authors Gruijters and Behrman (2020) have stated that in the societies where the income differences are lower, the individuals experience that the social environment is more hospitable and is less hostile. The social environment is built as a result of cohesion in society (Gruijters and Behrman 2020). Due to income differences, social affiliations are usually diminished as a result of which the psychosocial welfare of people with low income is damaged and exposed to chronic stress situations. As a result of the widening gap between rich and poor people, the willingness of society to co-operate with each other and for driving the prosperity is also reduced. It is rooted in the perceptions of the people that they decide to cope up with the people with a similar socioeconomic status.
The education gap between rich and poor children is one of the fatal outcomes of economic inequality in society. It is one of the clearest manifestations as a result of a broadening economic inequality. The widening educational achievement gap is one of the obvious outcomes, this is so because wealthier families are able to a afford good education institutions and are having access to virtuous educational prospects and career options whereas people belonging to the poor section with lower income are not able to afford the expensive private schools. It also fumes the gap between math skills and reading skills between the two different sections of the society (Gruijters and Behrman 2020). This is largely due to the fact that the wealthier section of society is able to ensure that the children attend pre-kindergarten and have access to better resources. And hence, only a few individuals receive and enrichment and effective education and get the prospects of choosing future career options. The education gap is also applied to differences in the place in ethnicity and racial inequality, as it is also rooted in the economic inequality (Rao 2019).
Income inequality plays a detrimental role in barricading economic growth; it hinders the global objective of development. The increment in income inequality can lead to lower transitional GDP per capita growth. The widening gap between rich and poor can have negative consequences in a long-term on the level of GDP per capita (Afonso and Jalles 2016). Economic inequality hinders growth and at elevated levels, it can also result in an increment in the burdening of the economy. The elevating food price and lower incomes are some of the key challenges that they will face in an economically unequal society. Political instability is another outcome of a disturbed economy. It hence, disturbs the property rights, capital accumulation and the state of repudiated contracts (Afonso and Jalles 2016).
Sociologists, organisations and governments have evaluated the link between crime and poverty. It has been a subject of extensive discussion in the literature as well. It has been reported that places with a higher gradient of inequality in terms of income have high incidences of crime. Income inequality is significantly correlated with crime rates (Buttrick and Oishi 2017). Crimes such as robbery are associated with people having low income which is usually conducted as a result of monetary needs or disturbed household financial status.
Human civilization is significantly dependent upon the natural ecosystems as it performs the role of a fundamental life support service. The indicators of human well-being act as a proxy for quality life that an individual leads (Smith et al. 2016). Human well being is associated with receiving attention from policymakers, world, practitioners and academics. It is also associated with comprehending the natural environment and the ecosystem services. The conceptual model of human well-being basically incorporates economic, environmental, basic human needs and subjective happiness.
It is one of the critical pillars on the basis of which the human well being can be defined. It incorporates the physical as well as psychological needs of an individual. The primary drivers of the basic human needs encompass shelter, food and water. Employment is also vital and the cardinal requirement for effective human wellbeing. This is associated with the amalgamation of mental as well as physical needs with the quality of life and the relationship with ecosystem services (Potts et al. 2016). The basic human need of an individual is also associated with the restorative benefits of nature as it effectively impacts directed attention and the stress in the environment human relationship. The connection between an individual and nature is a significant focus when basic human needs are considered.
Interacting with the ecosystem is known to improve the problem-solving abilities in individuals along with cognitive thinking and also assists in focusing attention, benefiting early childhood development, promoting independence and many more. The basic human needs form the key pillar of the holistic wellness of an individual (Potts et al. 2016). A virtuous mental and physical health also contributes to basic human needs. The key needs such as sleep, shelter and food fall under the umbrella of the basic needs that an individual requires.
According to the Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the needs such as psychological needs, self-esteem and safety needs are crucial to be met for developing a strong sense of well-being (Bouzenita and Boulanouar 2016). Economic development is crucial so that all the economic desire of individuals is fulfilled. Economic needs are basic requirements for surviving. It involves an investment portfolio, the overall wealth and many more. The utility, reliability and popularity of the economic indicators vary from one individual to another but they tend to measure the well being of an individual in terms of short term benefits, immediate benefits, value work etc. One of the key economic needs of an individual is retrieving the benefits of education, and non-resource values such as of the ecosystems and the services (Gottlieb et al. 2017). The economic well being of an individual is also associated with future financial security. It encompasses the capability of an individual to make economic choices and cultivate a sense of personal fulfilment, security and satisfaction in terms of making personal, financial choices and employment pursuits.
The environmental need of an individual is related to the desire to have minimal exposure to contaminants that are toxic, noise pollution, light pollution, clean water, clean air, better environmental conditions and acceptable levels of biodiversity. It is a cardinal for individuals to get access to a good atmosphere to live in. Environmental well being for an individual is associated with the ecological footprint of the community. It is a complex indicator of sustainability. The simplistic environmental needs of individuals are the desire for having good water, quality air and diminished degradation of the ecosystems and the environment. It is a key need of an individual to ensure that the environmental sustainability is maintained by ensuring that the air pollution is reduced and the purification services for removing the airborne particulates and maintaining a moderate air temperature are fostered (Anderson and Patrick 2019). The minimization of exposure to toxic contaminants is closely associated with the desire of the individuals to have good physical health, this is so because the toxicants can adversely impact the ecosystem in a number of ways and ultimately pose a negative influence on human health.
The poor environmental conditions can impact human health by disturbing sleep duration and patterns. Light pollution can impact the sleeping patterns of individual potential and can also result in the death of the migratory birds. It does influence the environmental need of an individual for having equilibrium in the biodiversity. The alterations in biodiversity can directly impact the social and economic activities of humans. The loss of biodiversity is disturbing the capacity of the ocean to maintain water quality and provide food to the marine animals and hence, disturbing the fishery activities. It is impacting the management and regulatory decisions in terms of conservation of the environment (Anderson and Patrick 2019). The global climate change is a matter of concern among humans and can affect the biological, physical and biogeochemical characteristics of the ecosystems which can in turn adversely impact the species distribution; biodiversity is fisheries, production in shoreline, protection and can also increase the spread of diseases among humans.
It is the final and most critical element of human well-being. The drivers of subjective happiness involve social cohesion and sense of place, happiness, affection, community vitality, choice, life satisfaction, freedom, identity, respect towards nature and choice. Life satisfaction is one of the most cardinal driver of happiness for an individual, it is a focal point of subjective happiness. It is a measure of well being as it deals with the ability of an individual to cope up with the daily life situations, the satisfaction of the relationships, self-concept, achieving the goals and mood (Sen 2017). It is also associated with developing a favourable attitude towards life along with an assessment of the current feelings.
Happiness is another key factor of subjective happiness as it allows an individual is enjoying a greater quality of life utilising the personal strengths, diminishing the weaknesses, functioning at a higher level, employing the abilities and skills for contributing to the own well-being and of the society. It is basically the state or quality of life and the satisfactory condition of existence of a person. It effectively contributes to the well-being of one. Freedom is important for wellbeing as it is not only associated with material well-being but also involves the individual and social factors such as health and education (Sen 2017). Cultural wellbeing is also imperative for subjective happiness as it allows an individual to have freedom in terms of practising their own culture and belonging to a certain cultural group. It also cultivates a sense of being valued for the differences in terms of roots, beliefs and history.
The above-depicted assessment has effectively described both the considered subjects. It can be inferred from the essay that people with better income structure and high paying jobs on an average live longer as compared to people living in poverty. Also, due to income differences, social affiliations are reduced as a result of which the psychosocial interests of people with low income are injured and are exposed to chronic stress situations. The widening educational achievement gap is because wealthier families are able to afford good education institutions and are having access to virtuous educational prospects and career options as compared to poor people. It is also a factor impacting the level of GDP per capita. It is also contingent from the essay that it is related to high incidences of crime.
Human well being is interpreted in different ways; it is actually a positive mental, physical and social state of an individual where discomfort, pain and incapacity are diminished. It is basically associated with meeting the basic needs, the sense of purpose and able to accomplish the goals and participate in society. It is elevated by strong and inclusive communication practices, personal relationships, virtuous health, rewarding employment and an attractive and healthy environment and security in terms of financial and personal aspects. The key elements of wellbeing discussed in the essay are basic human needs, subjective happiness, economic needs and environmental needs.
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