As we continue to read The Great Divergence, I’m learning more about the causes of inequality and which seem to be most at fault. Many argue that Immigration is a factor in the rise in income disparity. Illegal or not, foreigners tend to come to this country with little money and work low pay jobs. For low skilled American labourers, one may assume that their jobs are being taken from them leaving them unemployed and out of luck. This could be seen as a reason for the rise in the lower class, however Noah finds that many of these immigrants fill job sectors with high demand and low supply, or otherwise begin their own businesses actually employing more people. He notes that their influx into America in the late 19th, early 20th century DID have a negative impact of job wages for unskilled workers however. In this way, immigrants do hurt our lower class, only the result is negligible. Ultimately it is revealed that their overall contribution to the nations economy is around $10 billion a year as well as paying more taxes than they ultimately receive back in benefits.
Another perceived impact on inequality is the rise of woman in the workforce. They have entered jobs once almost entirely occupied by males. Their introduction to the labour market has greatly raised the number of workers when calculating the unemployment rate.
Woman have actually saved families from a rise in the cost of living by giving them a dual income. At the same time, this raises the risk of families having financial problems because it doubles the odds of a parent losing their job. So ultimately it is necessary for woman to join the labour force so that families can support themselves, but it also causes more risk for dual income families.