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April 25, 2018 / C H Thompson

Marxist explanations for social inequalities in wealth, income and poverty

  • Marxists argue inequalities are an outcome of the ruling-class owning the means of production (the factories) who exploit their position when employing the working-class.
  • By owning the means of production the ruling-class capitalise on the profits generated by their working-class employees
  • The ruling-classes exploit the working-classes by getting them to work as hard as possible for lowest wage possible.
  • The ruling-class then invest their profits in more plant and machinery to generate even more profits.  The outcome of such a process is social class inequality

Evaluation

  • The weakness of the Marxist explanation ignores the upper middle-classes as they don’t own the means of production but earn incomes large enough to earn vast amounts of wealth like Elton John
  • It ignores wealth won on lotteries such as Euro Millions
  • Marxists never identify what amount is too much wealth or too high an income therefore many middle-class occupations can be seen as giving people too large an income and making someone too wealthy
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