Paper Prompt – Inequality and Politics in the United States

There are many forms of inequality in the United States. With respect to wealth distribution, levels of income and wealth inequality have always been higher in the United States than in other rich democracies. Today, fifteen percent of Americans live below the federal poverty line and poverty is concentrated in minority populations and single parent, female-headed households. Looking at political influence, organizations that represent wealthy interests in society pay thousands of lobbyists in efforts to manipulate lawmakers.

In your essay, address the subject of economic inequality in the United States and discuss how it affects political inequality. In addition, conjecture how average Americans might ameliorate the problems of economic and political inequality. Discuss the role that social movements have played in the past in trying to improve the plight of the poor and underprivileged in the U.S. Use specific examples to defend your arguments.


Submission: A physical copy of the paper must be turned in at the beginning of class on Thursday, April 17. No late papers will be accepted without prior permission. Exceptions will be made only for instances of documented illness or documented family emergency.

Length: The total length of your paper should be no less than 2.5 pages and no more than 4 pages.

Format: Papers must be typed and double-spaced. Use standard margins (“normal” margin setting in MS Word) and a common 12 point font (Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, etc.). Papers that do not use standard margins or a widely used 12-point font will be penalized.

Title Page: All papers must have a title page with the student’s name and e-mail.

Citations: If you quote an author directly, you must use quotation marks around their words and footnote the quotation (including the page number). Do not use block quotes (long quotations) in your paper.

Style and Grammar: Make sure to edit your paper for spelling, grammar, and style. Try and finish a day or two in advance so you can reread and edit your paper.