The Pursuit of Happiness: How Wealth Inequality Undermines Core American Values (thesis)
Throughout the course of American history, the right to the pursuit of happiness provided the foundation for ideas such as the American Dream which preaches that Americans can "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and elevate their social and economic standing through hard work. However, do Americans truly have the freedom to pursue happiness if their income mobility is limited and they are restricted to the economic class to which they were born? Some argue that this poverty trap is the result of a lack of access to resources such as education or credit. Others argue that intergenerational poverty is exacerbated by geographic location or even by an unlivable minimum wage. But the most accurate answer to the question of what separates the rich from the poor is also the simplest; it is money. And more specifically, it is wealth. This paper will argue that wealth is a vital resource in ensuring economic mobility and that the current distribution of wealth violates the rights recognized in the Declaration of Independence. [From Intro]
Capstone; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Emma Richardson is a member of the Class of 2019 of Washington and Lee University.