Inequality. Stephanie and Peyton are working the midnight shift at a fast-food restaurant, where…

Inequality. Stephanie and Peyton are working the midnight
shift at a fast-food restaurant, where they make slightly above the national
minimum wage. Business is slow, and they begin discussing income inequality
after a Mercedes SUV full of college-aged kids comes through the drive-thru for
burgers and shakes. Stephanie believes that the growing disparity between the
rich and the poor is wrong: “It’s just not fair that people like us are poor
and often out of work, while millionaires and their kids are living large.”
Peyton is not so sure. “Well, millionaires work hard for their money. They
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Inequality. Stephanie and Peyton are working the midnight
shift at a fast-food restaurant, where they make slightly above the national
minimum wage. Business is slow, and they begin discussing income inequality
after a Mercedes SUV full of college-aged kids comes through the drive-thru for
burgers and shakes. Stephanie believes that the growing disparity between the
rich and the poor is wrong: “It’s just not fair that people like us are poor
and often out of work, while millionaires and their kids are living large.”
Peyton is not so sure. “Well, millionaires work hard for their money. They
deserve to enjoy the fruit of their labors.” Stephanie says, “But we work hard
too. I could work forever at this minimum wage job and never get ahead. Most
rich people start out with an advantage, go to a good college, and then get
richer. And that’s not fair.” Peyton responds, “It may not be fair, but
capitalism is the only system that works, and everyone deserves a chance to get
rich. Would you prefer a communist system where nobody has that chance?”
Stephanie shrugs. “Maybe not communism,” she replies. “But I say we should tax
the rich more heavily and use that money to reduce the burden on the poor and
unemployed.” Peyton shakes his head, “Do that and you’ll ruin our country.

Whose side are you on? Do you agree with Stephanie or with
Peyton? Is there a third alternative? Explain your answer with specific
concepts discussed in this chapter.

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