By Mark Mansperger, associate professor of anthropology and world civilizations, WSU Tri-Cities
There doesn’t need to be as much strife and poverty as exists in contemporary America. In some nations, such as New Zealand, city residents will not understand a question about avoiding the “bad part of town,” for they have no such areas.

Mark Mansperger.

Economic inequality in the U.S. has soared over the past 45 years. What sense does it make to fault people for being poor while at the same time supporting policies that transfer increasing amounts of wealth to the richest Americans? Governmental policies need to structure a more equitable social environment and encourage more generosity among the aristocracy.

Our approach for too long has been to use the police to hunt down those who don’t behave lawfully, to ignore racial inequities, and to blame people for their own impoverishment, without realistically evaluating the underlying causes. Providing good schools, jobs, and addressing the issue of rising economic inequality can vastly improve matters. There’s plenty of wealth in America, among high-income individuals and corporations, to attain the same beneficial social results that citizens in other countries achieve.

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