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Vanessa Freije, '17

Economics and French majors; Indianapolis, Indiana

“The United States is currently suffering from low socio-economic mobility, or the increasing difficulty for families to move between social classes. Hard work and determination no longer guarantee economic success, and the rigid social reproduction of economic status is becoming the disturbing norm. Those born into a high socio-economic position are able to acquire the education and opportunities necessary to remain at such a level, while those born into poverty lack such means and become locked into the cycle. This lack of social mobility is associated with income inequality and the threat of further social stratification, which would detrimentally widen the gap between the rich and poor; this is eerily reminiscent of the Gilded Age period during which the middle class was created. I believe that this is particularly a pressing matter that affects not only the economy but society as whole. 

"In my opinion, the current largest ethical concern lies in the inner-city educational systems due to their lack of resources which perpetuate the socio-economic positions of the students. A lack of monetary support in such neighborhoods creates a severe shortage of teachers and learning materials. Those living in poverty congregate in inner-city areas due to the cheaper cost of living, and overcrowding exacerbates the problem. Without the means and encouragement to preform well on standardized tests, many of these students do not make it to graduation let alone college; meanwhile, their private school counterparts are often applying to Ivy League schools. Educational inequality is a primary contributor to the growing economic divide, and lends itself to social reproduction that renders the ‘American Dream’ nearly impossible to the average citizen.”

Vanessa Freije is a sophomore Economics and French major who also plans to study Political Science. In addition to being a student intern at the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, she is a Management Fellow and an active member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Vanessa believes that the overlap between politics, economics, and sociology are very strongly related, and would like to learn more within in these disciplines to better understand the current state of the economy in regards to social needs.