As long as the capitalist economy dominates throughout the world, the debate on socioeconomic inequality will always be a heated one. Some economist debate that organized labor and the greed of corporations, especially CEO's lead to a large inequality in America. Palo Alto, California is a good example where a strict contrast in socioeconomic conditions exists. On the other side of the debate are other economists, who say that Americans are wealthier now than they have ever been before and we will continue to get wealthier as a whole. Five points are used to further their case: progress of key economic sectors, progress of health "leading to increase in life span, shift of wealth to human capital, gains in women's rights, and increase in more hours devoted to non-employment activities such as leisure and family activities. .
Some people believe that stratification has beneficial consequences. Of course, these people are on the higher end of the stratification hierarchy. They believe that the harder one works the more they will achieve, thus promoting production in society. However, individuals at the lower end of the stratification system disagree with that. Their social status prevents them from achieving their best because all of their benefits and advantages are given to those of higher status. The lower class is instantly denied society's privileges, which tends to discourage them, often leaving them feeling helpless. Unfortunately, this helplessness tends to be viewed by many higher classed people as laziness. What is not realized is that stratification is a character of society, and not just a reflection on individual differences. Stratification is universal but variable. It involves beliefs and persists over generations. The lower class often questions the point of its effort into an unforgiving society when the outcome is inevitable. This all ties in with the numerous reasons that cause poverty and homelessness.