The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

Senior Sarah Aurelio stands as one of the 39 valedictorians in the Class of 2024. Continuing her academic journey at USC Aurelio will major in communications.
CLASS OF 2024 VALEDICTORIAN Q&A: Sarah Aurelio
Katelyn Ahn, Cub Reporter • May 21, 2024
Graduating at the top of her class, senior Radiyah Ahmed commits to University of California, San Diego, to major in international business.
CLASS OF 2024 VALEDICTORIAN Q&A: Radiyah Ahmed
Katelyn Ahn, Cub Reporter • May 21, 2024
Seniors from the instrumental department eligible for the Conservatory of Fine Arts awards take a moment to celebrate with their certificates at the Laureate Ceremony in the Performing Arts Center [PAC] on Monday, May 13.
Photos of the Week (5/13-5/17)
Kyuwon Han, Seowon Han, and Chloe Kang May 21, 2024
Episode 11: PETS, PETS, PETS — Monet Favreau's Tortoise
Natasha Niazi and Hailey Kim May 20, 2024

King for a day: ‘Eat the rich’

An+artists+interpretation+of+the+writer+and+her+thoughts+on+socioeconomic+issues+in+America.
Jacqueline Chang
An artist’s interpretation of the writer and her thoughts on socioeconomic issues in America.

This is the first part of a series of stories written by five of Accolade‘s top editors as if they were to be “Kings for a day” — all of which originally appeared in the “Photo Finish” special section, which focused on the upcoming Nov. 3 general election in our Oct. 30 print issue. The full issue can be read here. One story will be posted per day until Election Day on Nov. 3. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that every hour, the average American makes $27.13. 

In that same hour, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos earns approximately $13.4 million.

The stark disparity between the majority of Americans and one billionaire serves as a reminder of the ever increasing wealth gap between the top 5% and everybody else in America. 

If the amount of money Bezos makes in one hour isn’t shocking enough, according to a 2017 study published by Oxfam, a nonprofit group striving to end global poverty, eight billionaires (one of them being Bezos) owns half of the wealth on earth — or the equivalent of the combined incomes of 3.6 billion people. 

While I can applaud the effort that went into becoming a billionaire — an anomaly only made possible by the wonders of capitalism — the increased concentration of money in the hands of the rich is only becoming more alarming by the years. 

As socioeconomic gaps divide the middle class into either poorer or richer classifications (and more into the former, unfortunately), the standard of living in the U.S. falters for the majority of Americans; the weighty consequences bleed into different aspects of American society, gradually breaking down the stability of our nation. 

Just like how fixing the underlying problems of socioeconomic inequalities can eventually lead to a more evenly distributed economy, implementing straightforward economic legislation can prove beneficial in repairing the problems caused by the lack of disposable income. 

For instance, simply increasing the taxation of billionaires and other extremely wealthy individuals can be accomplished by enforcing a progressive tax system. Even though the United States has technically already implemented this structure, in which the upper class gets taxed more than the lower classes, the loopholes within the system allow the wealthiest elites to pay the least amount of taxes. 

In order to remedy this economic loophole, the top 5% of Americans should be taxed on not only their wages, but the rest of their assets to get an accurate amount of money from those who earn the most.  

Weighty consequences bleed into different aspects of American society, gradually breaking down the stability of our nation.

— Annie Bang

Despite the ideals the traditional “American Dream” sells, ultimately, the notion that hard work is positively correlated with one’s income paints a false narrative of working class citizens by blaming their economic pitfalls to moral reasons such as sheer laziness and greed. 

Seeing as our society today runs on the backs of essential workers rather than the richest elites, it’s about time we make the efforts to bridge the increasing socioeconomic gaps to build a more equitable society for tomorrow. 

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Annie Bang
Annie Bang, Web Managing Editor
After spending her first year on staff as a junior sports editor, senior Annie Bang moved up the ranks to become one of two web managing editors. During her time on staff, Bang wrote a variety of stories, but mainly focused on eSports coverage, sports columns and her personal favorite, movie reviews. Aside from working for the Accolade, Bang is also involved in the school’s varsity track and field team as the hurdle captain, multiple clubs such as Model United Nations and Amnesty International, and lastly the International Baccalaureate program. Her hobbies include reading, running, painting, and playing with her two cats.
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