(Here is an old journal i posted on FA a year ago. While all of this is mostly common knowledge today it is something that was overlooked greatly back when i wrote this and is only now starting to get attention. And if you don't know about this then here is a chance to be educated on one of the major problems occurring in the U.S. today.)
This is something I thought about in my cultural anthropology class several months ago when the topic was brought up by the teacher for lecture. The topic to be covered was politics in different cultures. Obviously this inevitably led to more talk of our own government in the U.S.A. and some interesting side conversations. This led me to thinking about something I didn’t bring up in class (due to being lost in thought on it) but wanted to and maybe should have. It goes off of what was taught by the teacher to be the structure of the social class system in the U.S. and how it impacts ever day life for people in that country. In order for you to understand my following hypothesis you must know the U.S. social structure as explained by my teacher.
Starting with the lowest bracket of social class is what was called “Lower Class” which was primarily composed of the poor and minority groups. Just above this is the “Working Class”, composed of people working hard labor jobs (blue collar workers). The working class is a mix of both poor and medium wealth families and individuals. Next is the “Middle Class” in which there are people subsisting off service based jobs (white collar workers). The middle class is composed of people who have a range of wealth from medium to high amounts, beginning to border what would be considered wealthy. Which brings me to the next level of social class; the “Lower – Upper Class”. These are the people who managed to obtain a substantial amount of wealth within their own life time. They are people like Bill Gates and Steven Jobs. The final tier of social class is the “Upper – Upper Class”. These are the people born into wealth and prominence. They are often the wealthiest members of the society but not always. Even if they do not have the most wealth they still have the most power because of the prestige carried by their family name or status. These are people like George H. W. Bush and Paris Hilton.
Laid out, the social class structure would look like so:
• Upper – Upper Class (born into wealth)
• Lower – Upper Class (obtained wealth)
• Middle Class (white collar worker)
• Working Class (blue collar worker)
• Lower Class (poor)
Now, according to my anthropology teacher (as well as from what I’ve personally witnessed about society) the current main focus of the U.S. government is to shift from being a state society that is primarily driven by industrial labor and towards one that is more reliant on service based jobs. This is evident in the steady decrease of industrial manufacturing jobs in the U.S. (most being sent to other countries to continue operations) as well with the increase in service based jobs. These low skilled manufacturing jobs (as they’re referred to being since they don’t require higher education beyond grade school) are primarily worked by the members of the working class. The service based jobs that the government wants to move society towards working more of are primarily worked by the middle class and require college level education. The main goal of this vision (as I see it) is to move society towards being more wealthy and educated, as well as working less dangerous jobs. The only problem with this vision is the very fact that society has not removed the social barriers that are inhibiting the poor and minorities from obtaining the education or other necessities to become middle class citizens. Not to mention that colleges are taking advantage of the high influx of low and working class students (as motivated by public speeches from people like Barack Obama) that are attempting to get a good education in order to obtain these service based jobs that are the so called “future of our nation”.
So far, the process of replacing manufacturing jobs with service jobs has been going on for around 40 years now. I am guessing that the federal government was hoping to have the nation transformed within a 50 year period. If this is so, then the process has utterly failed to meet its goal as the majority of the working class has yet to obtain employment with white collar jobs. The majority of the U.S. population sits within the low and working classes. If the current trend of this failed process of advancing the nation’s populous in social status and living conditions continues, the poverty rate of the country will actually grow as those in the working class continue to fail to obtain middle class jobs and are thrown into deeper poverty due to a lack of industrial based labor. If this is the true outcome of the failed process, the U.S. will likely be comprised of around 50% poor with an even smaller percentage being dedicated to the wealthy and those who are better off.
6 years, 7 months ago
31 Dec 2011 08:25 CET