Inthe article “Rich brain, poor brain,” Sapolsky addresses thefactors surrounding the gap between the rich and the poor in America.According to Sapolsky, the US economy favors the wealthy over thepoor making it hard to break the cycle of poverty. For instance, thepoor have higher tax rates and lower interest rates than the wealthy.This gives the wealthy an upper hand in accumulating more wealth.Sapolsky also implies that poor people engage in counterproductiveactivities more often than rich people do., and he associates thisbehavior with cognitive traits. He also indicates that engagement incounterproductive behavior can be explained by function of thefrontal cortex of the brain. He concludes that poor people have ahigher cognitive load than rich people do do since they overwork thefrontal cortex due to financial constraints. This in turn leads topoor decision-making and counterproductive behavior.
KarlMarx is a renowned philosopher. He explored the gap between the richand the poor over 160 years ago, and his analysis of the classes hasbeen used greatly in understanding the economy. Marx considerscapitalism as a political and economic system comprised of thebourgeoisie and the proletariat classes. Education maintains thesetwo classes in the society by ensuring a constant supply of workersand a constant supply of benefactors. The workers form the poor classalthough they are the ones in charge of all the production processes(Aronowitz and Giroux 114). On the other hand, the rich are a tinynumber of people at the top of the ladder who own the productionindustries and factories. Most of the profits end up in the pocketsof the rich while the poor share the meager leftovers. Thus, the poorearn just enough to survive although they are responsible foreconomic development. On the other hand, the rich maintain controlover trade by oppressing the poor through little pay. The poor cannotimprove their status due to lack of resources, and the rich amassmore power and wealthy as they invest in more businesses. Thisensures that the gap between the rich and the poor is alwayswidening. According to Marx, the cycle of poverty cannot be brokenunless capitalism is sacrificed. The major source of the gap is theprivate ownerships of businesses. Private ownership encourages wealthaccumulation leading to unfair distribution of resources (Aronowitzand Giroux 115).
Marx’sideology has faced many criticisms. For instance, critics believethat the theory is incomplete. Thus, it needs the support of othertheories to be viable fully. His theory is also criticized ofinconsistency, which implies that he draws contradictory conclusionsfrom his theories. Anarchists believe that Marx’s conclusion thatthe gap between the rich and the poor can only end if capitalism isabolished is not viable. This is because capitalism is seen as anexercise of freedom in the trade market. Further, it is possible thateven the proletariat who succeeds will despise the workers aftergaining monetary power. There is therefore no guarantee that givingthe proletariat power will reduce the gap between the rich and thepoor. Other critics also believe that Marx encourages revolutionsince he believes that the poor must revolve against the rich toreduce the income gap (Aronowitz and Giroux 119).
Aronowitz,Stanley, and Henry A. Giroux. EducationStill Under Siege.Westport, Conn: Bergin & Garvey, 1994. Print.