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Why the Rich Are Getting Richer

Summary and Response to “Why the Rich Are Getting Richer”


“why the rich are getting richer, and the poor, poorer” by Robert Reich talks of the economic gap between the well-up people and the ones living below the poverty line and how it grows large daily. He says that all Americans are sailing in different boats with one sinking fast, another slowly, and the last one uprising gradually. Robert argues that the boat sinking very fast carries with it, routine producers. These he says are losing their jobs due to America’s tendency and practices of outsourcing employment to the third world countries. People in these states get a portion of whatever the Americans get as payment, which saves the firms right amount of money. He goes ahead to give examples the outsourcing companies which are on the look-out to offer jobs to residents in Singapore rather than hiring personnel from Louisiana and Shreveport.

He explains that the second boat, sinking gradually, are the people who hold positions like cashiers, tellers, and car washers. He says that such jobs are being taken up by robots and other technological machines. Robert states that the third one carries the symbolic analysts (REICH 38). These refer to America’s outwits like the politicians, artists, scientists, and others of such caliber. Robert writes that the gap is enlarging because of the advancing world communication. Some of America’s firms started falling in the 1990’s leading to the producers and the servants getting fewer payments while the ‘white collar’ laborers started getting higher payments. Reich concludes the article by writing that the corporations’ failure and the mushroomed world communication networks were the sources of the outsourcing.

The article has some pros and cons. To the most considerable extent, I agree with Reich that the gap is widening since the rich are accumulating ‘everything’ for themselves whereas the poor are drifting in the opposite direction. I loved the facts that it explains about outsourcing. I have experience with outsourcing. There was a time I could not access my wireless internet thus had to fix the routers. I contacted the router firm, and it sounded as though firm’s calls were outsourced to India. Every time I tried calling them I would be linked to a person with an Indian accent.


In the current economic crisis, the rift expands each day making the ones at the center to stretch to one extreme ends. However, there do not seem to be any reconciliation measures to block this disparity since the economy is losing national borders. Several reasons are playing a part and swaying every reason for the drift, but the main factors influencing the ‘hourglass’ economy are seniority, increased automation, outsourcing, and secessions (REICH 45). With rank, labor unions are a significant player. The production jobs are disappearing at a fast rate in the traditional unionized companies, where remuneration have tried keeping up with the inflation. The positions of the older workers are safeguarded by seniority while the young ones are the first to be laid off.

Mechanization of the workforce and the raised automation is also a primary aspect of the ‘hourglass’ economy. The use of technology is advancing at a very at a fast rate. Employing more ‘labor-saving’ machines shrivels up people their jobs. Such jobs would have been carried out by laborers creating more job opportunities.More people become casualties of the modern society unemployment.


Robert Reich is a senior chancellor who has served as the secretary to the labor ministry during Clinton’s administration, where he emerged out as one of the ten efficient secretaries of the time. He is a well-known auditor of one magazine and an award-winner in one of the documentaries. Robert left his job at the ministry just to have adequate time with his sons. He has been into top-notch employment as well as the political field. Riech vied for the governor seat although he was unsuccessful in 2002. He has therefore interacted with the varied audience, analyzed, shared their issues, and thus increased his scope of knowledge. Reich is an excellent communicator who has notably given the steady decline of unions and has played a part in shaping the national dialogue.

Reich’s audience is motivated by his high-volume productions which have wooed some people to his work and views. He is a source of inspiration and motivation to many. The integrity of his passion inspires things that face ordinary citizens. He is infectious regarding opinions and successful in interacting with the public. Reich has risen the radar gradually, from being a poor man’s son who goes high to advise the president and prominent persons in the government. He is a preeminent voice in the definition of issues of the current time.

Convincing the author and its effectiveness

In the entire article, Robert Reich writes about the enlarging drift between the top section of the society from the lower end. He embraces metaphors in explaining how the economy is going downwards for the poor and upwards for the rich. He writes that we are all sailing in a boat where the poor are in the lower class and can work for any amount of money. The middle class is in a way stagnant at the same position although it is going downwards financially slowly. Such has been contributed to by the inclusion of machinery in production, replacing attendants. Many immigrants are searching for jobs, and the government tries saving on the security and retirement benefits for its retiring citizens. The top class is going up and up beyond anyone since they are the ones ditching out ideas to the foreign nations who are not in a position to think by themselves (REICH 32). The upper cohort comprises of scientists, architects, doctors, engineers, and other high men who are tasked with vital activities in the nations. Their increased demand is thus making them get fatter remuneration and becoming more productive than the ones in the middle and lower levels. There should be devised means to keep the small class salaries from stooping too low as Reich puts it across. However, these are just put in place not because one cares but only to make them be able to keep purchasing the essential products. The gap is growing more significant between the poor and the rich, which are visible with growing years. The rich are molesting the poor by taking their jobs and doing all that they feel like with them. They get to the extent of firing them and replacing them with machinery that is more effective and cost less. The number of immigrants is rising each decade which threatens the future of laborers. If the economic status continues going upwards with a downhill slide, many people will find themselves living in extreme poverty while others are stinking rich. Many rich people will turn down assistance and offers that they make to the poor even when in a position to help.


Many industries, more so the ones owned by foreign owners are very much automated and are likely to get a notch higher in years. Routine productions of employment contribute a small percentage of the costs of production. The number of items produced by real personnel is declining sharply due to the uprise of the computer-integrated robots which are taking over employment. Outsourced personnel does the same work that the citizens of that country would have undertaken.

Works Cited

REICH, ROBE RT B. “Why the rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer.” The way class works. Routledge, 2009. 31-42.




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