The True American Class System. The Great Divide.
No Man is an Island - especially within the classes
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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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..
- fundamentally financially well off - doctors, lawyers, business managers, directors, department heads, etc.. Most of these groups aspire to eventually move to the 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.
- 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
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© 2011 d.william