The Lower Class of Society??? I Think Not...
What is the Lower Class?
In today’s society if you do not have an education, life can become very difficult. It is no longer an easy task to find good paying jobs that do not require an educational background of some sort. Today it is even beginning to get difficult to find jobs when you do have an educational background such as a college degree. So the people in today’s society who are lacking an education are finding that their financial outlook in life is not very promising, and that it is very difficult to support a family on the amount of money they are making in their minimum wage jobs, unskilled jobs. Individuals who are stuck in low paying jobs that require no skills are being branded with the title of the lower class of society. The public is also beginning to unfairly associate these unskilled workers with being the slackers, bums, or drug addicts of the American society. This all stems from the fact that the individuals making less money usually live in less appealing areas, which have lower performing schools due to the many issues teachers are dealing with on a daily basis. The lower classes work just as hard as the upper classes do and therefore they deserve to be treated with respect from the rest of society and they should not be looked down upon. Our society is a series of steps of which we build on one another. The many classes would fail without the other.
Individuals who have been categorized as “lower class” usually have an educational background that extends no further then graduating from high school or receiving a GED equivalency. These individuals who are in the lower class social structure probably have gone straight from high school right into working. The only kind of jobs that the “lower class” can usually find are your basic service jobs, factory work, and other unskilled work. Lower class jobs usually require a lot of physical work and are usually very low paying. The lower class jobs also have little or no benefits and usually do not offer a paid sick time, a retirement plan, a good insurance plan, or paid vacations.
The people who are stuck working in these lower class jobs do not deserve to get paid as little amount of money as they receive. Even though they do not have a high level of education this does not mean they do not deserve the right to live a financially stable life. All individuals deserve the right to get paid at least enough money to survive off of, without being thrown into a spiraling debt. All individuals deserve to make a living wage. A living wage is a wage that is high enough to guarantee that ever person will make enough money to put on the table and to pay their bills without going into debt. This allows the person to be able to work and take care of their family without worrying about losing their homes to foreclosure or having their utilities turned off.
People who are in the lower class also have the right to work at a job that will provide benefits for them and their families. I do not see how not having an education justifies not providing an employee with benefits. What if one of their children becomes very sick and needs medical attention and care? Are you willing to tell the people who are in the lower class of society that their children’s lives do not matter because they did not receive a higher level of education and the job that they are working at does not provide insurance coverage for them and their families. Many people who have lower paying service jobs do not receive insurance because their employer does not off insurance to their employees. Also, in many cases, the workers of these low paying jobs cannot afford to get their own insurance, so they are stuck without any coverage at all. I believe that everyone in America who has a job should have some form of insurance. Employers should be made by law to provide an insurance plan for their employees. All people, no matter what social class, deserve the right to be covered by some form of health care by their employers. I realize President Obama has enacted national healthcare but from what I have read, this is not as effective as he hoped it to be. However, some type of national health care needs to be provided whether it is governed by the nation or by employers. No one’s life is worth more than anyone else’s life. We are all human beings and we all deserve the same health care no matter how much money we make.
Another big problem with today’s lower class jobs is that employers do not offer a retirement plan to their employees. The people who are working in these jobs do not make enough money to solely build their retirement fund. Employers could offer to match what the employee is placing directly into a retirement plan, like many do in the higher class jobs. People with low paying jobs such as service jobs will work their entire lives until the day they die because they can never afford to retire.
Also, people who are in the lower class usually unfairly get categorized by society as being a bum or a slacker. Society does not know the reasons of how or why a person is in the financial situation that he or she is in. They have not lived that person’s life so what right does society have to place judgment on another human being? The person who society is judging could be in that situation because he or she lost their job and could not find another job that paid as much as their previous job or maybe that person did not have enough money to further their education after they were finished with high school and they were forced to go straight from high school into the work force. A lot of people who are in the lower class social structure are very HARD WORKERS, who have families that they love very much and that they are trying to support. The following excerpt written by Susan Sheehan is just one example of a person of the lower class who is a hard worker and who also has a family to take care of. This small excerpt is from a story about a man whose name is Kenny, he has two children and makes a living hat involves lifting sixty pound sand bags. “Hauling sandbags is not easy for Kenny, who contracted polio when he was eighteen months old and wore a brace on his left leg until he was almost twenty. He is now fifty-one and walks with a pronounced limp and twists his left ankle easily” Not everyone in the lower class is a slacker. This man, Kenny, who is in the lower class as defined per society, has a physical ailment and yet he is still working hard each and every day. He does this to support himself and his family. There are many people who just had a run of back luck and could not find a better paying job, and these people do not deserve to be included in the assumption that a person of the lower class equals lazy, unintelligent, beer drinking, doping person who never wanted to amount to anything in life. We, as a society, need to wake up and realize that not all people who are in the lower class of society are all the same. The people who are in the lower class of society are not all on welfare like society tends to think. Many are working five days a week, for forty hours a week just like anyone else. The only difference is that they are getting paid a lot less than someone with and education is.
What Role Does the Government Play?
This is where the government needs to come in. The nation needs to enact a nationwide living wage so that every person in America has a chance to live a life that is not full of debt and uncertainty. People need to get paid more than just $7.25 an hour. A person living alone cannot support themselves on $7.25 an hour, so how is one with a family supposed to be able to live off of $7.25 an hour? It cannot be done, no matter how many kinds of luxuries a person gives up. Even if a person does not have cable and cuts back on spending in every part o their lives they will never have enough money to support a family and themselves on merely $7.25 an hour.
Now, I am not saying that people who are in the lower class are totally and completely not to blame for the situation they are in. They helped to put themselves where they are today. They could have tried their hardest in school to obtain excellent grades and to receive scholarships to attend college, and further their education. Or they could have worked while they went to a community college and tried to attain an associate’s degree, so they would be able to get a better paying job, which would have provided better benefits for them and their families. I am only saying that society does not need to help make things worse for the people who are in these situations of not making enough money. The lower class population has it hard enough already, and we do not need to make things harder on them. All people deserve to get paid a living wage. People who work hard every day of their lives, for 40 hours a week, and still are barely able to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table for their families deserve a little help from the rest of us. They deserve the right to be treated with the same respect as other classes and they deserve the right to be paid a suitable wage that will allow them to support themselves and their families.
Find More Information With Social Classes:
- Understanding Society: Class in America
- America’s Four Middle Classes | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project
There isn't one American middle class; there are four. Each is different from the others in its attitudes, outlook and financial circumstance—sometimes in w
- PEOPLE LIKE US: Social Class in America
- Class Matters - Social Class in the United States of America - The New York Times
This series examines the role of social class in the United States of America. It explores the ways that class -- defined as a combination of income, education, wealth and occupation -- influences our destinies.
- Social class in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia