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Essay by Robert Reich

Robert Reich’s essay ‘Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer’ explains the prevailing economic inequality among three groups of workers. The group of routine producers is getting poorer at a faster rate; the group of in person servers is getting poorer at an uneven and slower rate; while the group of symbolic analysts is getting richer by the day. This is diverging from a time in which there was no economic gap among the workers in these groups. “All Americans used to be in roughly the same economic boat” (Reicher 291).

Basing on Reich’s perspective, a lot of factors have contributed to these economic inequalities. The main reason is that the labor market has disintegrated into global webs and “national borders no longer define our economic fates” (Reicher 291). Shift of routine production from industrialized to developing nations, increased immigration-both legal and illegal, and increased demand for insight and clever problem solving, are the basis for these inequalities. Firms are in search for the cheapest labor so that they can maximize on profit. This labor is easily available from immigrants from developing nations who are willing to work for a fraction of the minimum wage initially offered to the U.S workers.

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In this sense, immigration seems to have a negative impact to the American labor force and is thus not a hopeful sign. Most people believe that immigration has opened doors for cheap laborers who will take over most of the jobs of the American. The American people in turn are not willing to sell off their high skills for lower than minimum wages. Immigration has led to stiff competition especially in the routine producers and in person servers groups, who are losing their jobs because of the extremely low wages being offered, but accepted by immigrants.

Reich (295) predicts that the U.S labor force will comprise of even more immigrants in the future. With the consequences of immigration labor, the uneven income and wealth distribution will further widen. In conclusion, unless the immigration laws are reformed to accept only highly skilled labor in the workforce, the future economy of the U.S is doomed.

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