Economic Inequality in the “Greatest Country of the World”
Assessing citizens’ views on the role of their state in the world arena is a tool that allows characterizing specific beliefs from the perspective of social, economic, and other factors. Concerning American identity, one can agree that the United States is at the top of the world rankings, and various criteria form this opinion – technological advances, career prospects, and many other metrics. At the same time, according to Leopold, the perceptions of US exceptionalism differ among people depending on age. Older citizens tend to believe that the American democratic society has created the greatest power with progress in various fields and dominance in economics, politics, and trade. However, the skepticism of young people is logical since several decades ago, America outstripped most of the world powers in terms of progress, but over time, the movement has slowed down, and today, the exclusivity of the state is not obvious.
Among the issues that deserve particular attention, one can mention social and economic inequality. Leopold notes the technological advances of the 20th century but also points to a critical wage gap between individual classes. The United States has managed to create and maintain a dynamic system of trade relations; nevertheless, it is this factor that may be considered a key aspect determining the high level of economic inequality in the country. The largest business corporations are located in the United States, and their rapid growth contrasts with the development of other industries and their income significantly. As the best approach, one can measure economic inequality by comparing the wages of the population and drawing conclusions about the apparent predominance of certain industries over others. Therefore, the country’s exceptionalism can be called into question due to the issue of economic inequality.