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The True American Class System. The Great Divide.

Updated on September 19, 2016

No Man is an Island - especially within the classes

most neighborhoods are inclusive, not integrated.
most neighborhoods are inclusive, not integrated.
Everyone (classes) are simply one part of the whole (Global Society)
Everyone (classes) are simply one part of the whole (Global Society) | Source
Entire Human networks merging together
Entire Human networks merging together
social networking within each class
social networking within each class
living on the streets
living on the streets
low income and homeless people in need of basics to survive
low income and homeless people in need of basics to survive
street side beggars
street side beggars
poverty in the city slums
poverty in the city slums
slum living
slum living
low class neighborhood
low class neighborhood
mobile homes in trailer park
mobile homes in trailer park
City Housing
City Housing
modern middle class suburbia
modern middle class suburbia
middle class America
middle class America | Source
upper class home
upper class home
upper scale apartment living
upper scale apartment living
Mansion in Newport R.I.
Mansion in Newport R.I.

The Great Divide

(And never the twains shall meet).

The U.S. class system is becoming far more distinct, and more deadly to the average American citizen.

The only winners seem to be those who know how to play a corrupt game of monopoly.

Caste: A system of rigid social stratification characterized by hereditary status, endogamy (marriage within a specific group as required by custom or law) and social barriers sanctioned by custom, law or religion. (courtesy of Webster's dictionary).

Although the above is the dictionary description of the east (class) system of Hinduism and seems to be all inclusive, the American caste system also fits into this description with some very sharply distinct variations. The history of endogamy was very real a few years ago when it was illegal to marry people of another religion, race or color - still frowned upon by many even today, but now legal under the law.

Social classes in America range from the homeless to the mega wealthy with some very rigid lines of separation between them; and other less obvious lines, or barriers, that can make the distinction between classes blurred in some instances.

American socioeconomic and sociocultural class structures:

The homeless:

  • There may be some hereditary factors here but it is not considered relevant for the purpose of this discussion. Children born into the homeless class are secondary to: single parents, unwed mothers, or families who were forced into this position by virtue of unforeseen, and unwanted, circumstances such as job loss, illnesses that broke them financially, destructive forces that they had no control over, (like tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, etc.. ) without adequate insurance coverage to help them recover.
  • These unfortunate individuals make up the current rising numbers of homeless in America.
  • Other factors that contribute to the homeless society are the mentally ill that cannot fend for themselves without assistance of some kind. When the government decided to close all the state run facilities that housed this particular group they placed them into community based group homes and literally washed their hands of any responsibility toward them. The bulk of these folks (men, women and children alike) were ultimately forced into the streets to survive, or die. It did not matter, either way, to a now growing, governmental and general public, apathy toward what they considered - just a useless drain on public funds.
  • We also have those prisoners that were released after incarceration for inappropriate ludicrous laws regarding drugs, alcoholism, and the mentally disturbed (including post war veterans with "PTSS" - post traumatic stress syndrome).

The Poor:

  • This group is one step from being homeless but manage to maintain their homes and feed their families with very little money and minimal nutritional sustenance.
  • In rural and suburban areas the poor congregate in such places as run-down trailer parks, or government subsidized apartment complexes.
  • The urban poor, live in Ghettos. The origination of this word came from a dark time in our past history, when the Jewish people were forced to live on "Gheto island", and later it was used to describe a section of a city where Jews were formally required to live. Today the term 'ghetto' simply describes any section of a city in which numbers of a minority live, because of social, legal or economic pressures. It also describes any group or situation that confers an inferior status, or limiting opportunity (including many geriatric housing facilities.) All of this group has little, or no, chance of moving up a rung on the social ladder without help of some kind. The first and most important help being education, that is continually denied to them due to the cost that would be put on government budgets.

Lower Middle Class:

  • People who were able to find and keep steady employment and had a deep desire to not be forced into poverty or homelessness. They reside in upscale mobile home parks, or in the ghettos without the distaste of going hungry, but not enough resources to move upward on the social ladder. For the area that i live in, the saving grace for many of the poor and the circumstantial homeless people, was giving them a chance at a better life when WalMart opened a super center in this area a few years ago. Although WalMart has been given a lot of bad press of late, it was the only saving grace for some people in this economically depressed area.

Middle Class:

  • This group has better jobs, better pay with some benefits, and more financial stability.
  • There are 3 subdivisions of a socio-demographic nature.
  • A) Rural: farmers, local small business owners, and eco-conscious individuals.
  • B) Suburban: people who desire both country life and city life. (Closer to nature and closer to city conveniences).
  • C). Urbanites: city dwellers who want a good life, without the toil and drudgery of the rural/suburban and the convenience of everything they need being close at hand. (And of course pizza deliver)

Upper Middle Class:

  • financially stable and able to save and possibly invest. This class includes occupations such as: small business owners, business managers, store supervisors, accountants, etc..

Upper Class:

  • fundamentally financially well off - doctors, lawyers, business managers, directors, department heads, etc.. Most of these groups aspire to eventually move to the wealthy class.

Wealthy Class:

  • millionaires: neuvo riche versus old money. Successful business owners, owners of several businesses or branches of business, successful investors, wall street traders, or any successful businesses that usually take more from the economy than they give back.

Maxi Wealthy:

  • Billionaires and trillionaires. Those who totally exploit humanity at every turn and at any cost. The money hoarders, those that harm society more than help it. Those that take more than they need, or deserve. (The Bernie Madoff's of this world). Those with no conscience, remorse, sympathy or empathy for anyone of lesser means.

Within each class there are many groups, clans, sects, families, or whatever one wishes to label them. They are comprised of similar traits, attributes, nationalities, religious beliefs, or any other commonalities they may share.

There are also broader, more extensive familiar groups that cross all socio-economic barriers. State, regional or national groups such as motor cycle clubs, race car fans, racetrack fans, religious based humanitarianism and of course the largest of the subcultures that cross all barriers without prejudice - the gay community.

From the top looking down (from rich to poor) each "class" considers themselves to be "above" those below their own. Of course this may be true on a financial basis, but certainly not on humanitarianism, decency, respect or tolerance.

These traits may be more prevalent in the upper classes, but are also present in all the others. Example: the poor will accept a 'friend' of any class as "family", whereas the wealthy will never consider accepting a friend that is not at least closely tied to their own, and, if so, then only to a minimal extent (servants, valets, food servers, or any one that provides them with a 'service".

Note here: due to the extensive length of this discussion, i will stop here and continue with part 2 in my next hub and appropriately named:

The True American Class System - The Pyramid of Evil.

Hope you join me there. thanks.

by: d.william 04/28/2011

American middle class - final stages of destruction

© 2011 d.william


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    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Hi, and welcome to my hubpages. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. All comments are always welcomed.

    • Topnewhottoys profile image


      7 years ago from Salisbury, Maryland

      Good perspective, you used a pretty broad brush in some areas, but overall well-stated


    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thanks for your comments and observations. And you are, of course, correct. I deliberately did not state that each class was inclusive in their behaviors as there will always be exceptions to every positively avowed statement that one makes on any subject.

      So i make every effort to leave that possibility open to the interpretations, of those exceptions being present, by those who read the articles that i write.

      And recognizing that there are indeed, wealthy people who give back generously to their communities, i specified my intent by adding in parenthesis (the Bernie Madoff's of this world). Thanks for pointing that out though, it is important to give homage to those who are generous and give back to society.

    • Credence2 profile image


      8 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Hi, D. Yes most of the ones that have large sums of money can be and are selfish plutocrats. But, there are many like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who seem to have a conscience and at least try to recognize that the world does not revolve around them

      "For the rich man, the entire world is a brothel"

      I also think that you will find some evidence of resistance by those in the lower classes to accept those that are beneath them. The caste attitude and system is infectious even giving those with little reason to gloat a sense of superiority that they are not at the next level down. It is not as prevelant as with the upper classes but I have observed the process, all the same. My older aunts and uncles talk about a time when social class was much more important and having money alone did not necessarily mean that you were accepted in certain circles. Much like the concepts of 'old money' vs "new money"

      Thanks for an interesting hub

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      It is indeed sad to see young college grads working at Walmart....Soon the middle class will be nonexistent. Thank you for a well written hub.

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thanks for your comments. They are well appreciated.

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thanks for you comments. Now i am scared that your expectations of the second part are way too high. LOL.

      And you are right about the scariness of the reality of losing one's job, and ending up homeless. A few years ago, i was fired from a nursing job because i refused to falsify documents that were cheating the medicare and medicaid system by AvMed insurance, here in Florida. When i challenged the firing, and filed a complaint with the state unemployment compensation agency, they requested an immediate investigation into my allegations (i had plenty of proof in writing) and AvMed insurance backed off, and changed their termination to state that i was "laid off" because the job i was doing was no longer needed. So, like the good corporate entity, the state dropped their investigation thinking i would be satisfied just being allowed to collect unemployment compensation. They were wrong. I did collect unemployment for a few months, but i did not let it go. Today, that insurance company no longer owns the agency for which i worked back then. I am sure they only got a slap on the wrist.

      If i had not aggressively stood up for myself, i would have been blackballed in this part of the state, this happens quite often - small town, powerful insurance company that owns half the town, etc..

      I had just bought a home, and without that workers comp i would have lost everything.

    • sligobay profile image


      8 years ago from east of the equator

      Thanks for a great article which accurately reflects reality of modern America. great read.

    • Jillian Barclay profile image

      Donna Lichtenfels 

      8 years ago from California, USA

      Dear d.william,

      Like a good novel, I think I know where this is headed, but cannot be sure. Not to rush you, but have to have the second part! So hurry! Know that it is rude to rush creative genius, but...

      It is interesting to note how quickly one can go from upper middle class to homeless in this currently terrifying economy...

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. The 2nd half will be posted tomorrow. I just have to proofread and add a link.

    • tlpoague profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      I found this a facinating read. It is interesting to see the way some people treat each other even when their finances are in the same class. Great job! Looking forward to the next one.


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