Equal Opportunities Throughout American History

The concept of equal opportunity challenges may seem to arise from political and social factors making people not have equal chances in different parts of the world. Using the political theory approach, one may realize that this perspective has far-reaching implications and attracts counter-arguments from everyone. There are multiple policies that have been enacted to address the issue of equality across the country targeting aspects of race, immigration, and socio-economic justice for all people living within the country. In reality, it has been hard to achieve equal opportunity for everyone because of persistent racism, wages and salaries gaps, housing policies, and cultural disparities.

In the history of America, there has always been concern about racial disparities against various communities. At the same time, racial injustice and economic unfairness displayed towards some communities indicate how discrimination has persisted in several states within the nation. African Americans living in the USA have been the main victims of this biased treatment across different generations in this country. According to Reed (2019), inequalities are presented in several layers and may depend on the governmental approaches. Logically, the basic social and economic disparities witnessed during the colonial eras included forced slavery on the Africans alongside other colonies. For instance, while the Native Americans were focusing on white-collar jobs, the African Americans were first introduced to hard labor in plantations and factories to help the country realize rapid economic growth during the industrial revolution.

At the same time, immigration laws do not seem to promote equal economic growth in developing countries but aim at trapping their talents. One may notice that although the borders are sometimes closed for foreigners yet, the country is offering green and student scholarships to top talents from underdeveloped and developing countries. Upon acquiring the necessary skills, the immigrants are then offered job opportunities to help them create the industries in the country. This approach limits wealth creation for the immigrants but promotes sustainable use of cheap labor to achieve their national goals without consideration of the other countries. In return, the country remains at the top of the economic hub worldwide in terms of economic performance while the workers’ original homelands remain dependent on their support. Such a tactic has been a major design employed to delay international competition, alongside salaries and wage gaps.

The people who promote equality in wages and salaries argue that for the longest time in history, some African American workers have been subjected to injustice in different settings. Some consider access to medical health as a sector marred with biases and inequality. Others consider educational access as another area where there is evidence of inequality among people from different races. Still, some individuals consider white privilege as a real threat to equality in opportunity in almost all sectors of the economy (Caplan, 2019). Therefore, many politicians tend to use these bias factors as campaign tools, promising to enhance equal human resource reward and development.

The productivity of human resources is not equal in all states. According to Caplan (2019), different states have varying rates of capital reward to human resources with missed opportunities towards creating an equal society for all. Further, the country creates boundaries for immigrants who would easily grab the existing opportunities to earn more. Different programs such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) clearly indicate that there are differences in opportunity availability for different populations. Ideal occurrences indicate that policy formulations aim to streamline equality of opportunity for everyone in societies. Such a scenario indicates that there is an imbalanced set of socio-economic alignment, which triggers the desire to enhance equal opportunity for all.

The other burden of equality of opportunity is in luck egalitarianism. Primarily, people’s differences in values, culture, education, and personalities often result in different circumstances, which are often a demonstration of luck. As a result, people’s needs differ according to their circumstances, opportunities and luck. It is possible to get African Americans leading big US firms, others employing the Native Americas to work in their organizations. However, such variations are often presented as minute percentages of the larger population and might be insignificant in conclusive decision-making.

Other sectors such as the housing and social security systems have also portrayed the image of inequality among populations. As a result, it is important to understand the reasons why there are unequal burdens and segregation in access to affordable housing and security among different communities in the country. Typically, the enduring white-black arguments stirred controversial arguments across generations on how race implicates equality in societies. Thus, the housing policy is one of the indicators of inequality of opportunity for residential premises among African Americans in the country (Reed Jr., 2019). Likewise, the education outcomes also help us understand the variations in opportunity equality among different populations in the country.

To conclude, equality of opportunity requires fairness and open competition for all populations. However, the history of American development portrays one which has been immensely affected by racism, favoritism, and segregation from time immemorial. The continuous argument about white privileges raises concern over the ideology of supremacy, which then limits equal access for everyone all the time. The key indicators of inequality of opportunities exist in different policies, residential patterns, workplace statistics, and other historic injustices among the black communities.


Caplan, B. (2019). Open borders are a trillion-dollar idea: Tearing down all barriers to migration isn’t crazy — It’s an opportunity for a global boom. FP News. Web.

Reed Jr., A. (2019). The new deal wasn’t intrinsically racist: How today focus on “racial disparity” can distorts our understanding of structural inequality. The New Republic. Web.

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1. DemoEssays. "Equal Opportunities Throughout American History." July 30, 2023. https://demoessays.com/equal-opportunities-throughout-american-history/.


DemoEssays. "Equal Opportunities Throughout American History." July 30, 2023. https://demoessays.com/equal-opportunities-throughout-american-history/.