Class InAmericaCradle to Grave FinancialDestinyCan you really ever changeyours?
Myths…. The United States is Essentially a classless society, equal in the eyes of the law and in basic needs such as health care and education. We are all getting richer. We are essentially a middle class nation. In the United States anyone can be a Millionaire.
Mantos, Class is America p. 9The Wealthy “The wealthiest 1 percent of the population 34 percent of the total national wealth.” “The richest 20 percent of Americans hold nearly 85 percent of the total household wealth in the country. Approximate 338,761 Americans earn more than 1 million annualy
The Wealthy Continued… There are nearly 400 billionaires in the U.S. More than 3 dozen of them worth more than $10 billion each.
The Rest of Us…….. Itwould take the average American earning $49,568 (and spending absolutely nothing at all)a total of 20,174 years to earn just 1 billion. THAT’S 298 LIFETIMES!!!! 1 in 8 people live below the federal poverty guidelines. An estimated 3.5 million people, 1.4 million of which are children experience homelessness each year!
It is only getting worse…. While the real income of the top 1 percent of U.S. families more than doubled between 1979 and 2003, the middle fifth only grew about 9%. Economic growth tends to be a spectator sport for the majority of American families, however economic decline is more “inclusive” with lay offs impacting those with the fewest resources to fall back on.
The Pyramid….“To help his students visualize the distribution ofincome, the well-known economist PaulSamuelson, asked them to picture an incomepyramid made of children’s blocks, with eachlayer of blocks representing $1000. If we were toconstruct Samuelson’s tower today, the peak ofthe tower would be much higher than the EifelTower, yet almost all of us of us would be withinsix feet of the ground.” (Manstios Class inAmerica P.180)
Realities… Mantisos Class in America “The middle class in the United States holds a very small share of the nations wealth and that share is declining steadily.” (p. 183) “Class affects more than life style and material well-being. It has significant impact on our psychical and mental well being.” p. 186 “Class has significant impact on our chances for educational achievement.” (p. 188) “Inheritance laws ensure a greater likelyhood of success for the offspring of the wealthy.” (p. 188)
Approaches.. The object of this article is to inform the reader of the inequalities of the distribution of wealth within American society. The author has researched financial data to come to the conclusions stated. The researcher is looking at the Critical approach because they are looking at the larger power structures such as inheritance laws and economic structure as the reason behind the injustice.
Questions?????? The article discusses that class may no longer be visible due increased marketing of designer clothing. What do you think, is it becoming increasing difficult to determine if someone might need financial assistance just by looking? Is this a good or bad thing? The article touched very briefly on the subject of inheritance laws. Do you feel someone should simply be able to be born into wealth or poverty that then determines their future?