Why We Need To Talk About Social Class

Us citizens in the United States like to believe that our country is a land of absolute upward mobility. If you work hard enough and have enough dedication, you can get as much economic power and stability as you want. We comfort ourselves by heart-warming stories of those rare people who have gone from rags to riches.

This tends to make Americans unaware of the issues of social class, or the idea that the economic class you are born into is pretty much where you are going to live during your life and that true upward mobility into higher classes is nearly impossible.

It’s an idea that is the antithesis of everything we are taught schools, but that is the reality of life in any industrialized country.

Take education. I was born in an upper-middle class lifestyle where I went a good public school and had the money for college. Because of the jobs that my parents had the people we associated with, I had the opportunity to get a decent education that prepared me for higher education. But people born into lower economic class environments generally do not have that luxury. They may not have parental support at home and the facilities of their schools will be lacking. That does not mean that they just slack off and refuse to learn (although that is certainly a big part of the public school system) they do not have the opportunity for the education of upper and middle classes.

That changes life. For every success story of lower class students making it through college there are dozens of stories about students who just can’t hack it at a higher education level, if they can even pay for it in the first place. Too bad right?

But education has far-reaching impacts. It effects what sorts of jobs people have, what sort of environment they raise their kids in and even gets into specific experiences like war and drafts. My plan for a draft is really simple. If it starts happening I will go sign up for the Air Force and try to get flying transport planes, hopefully far away from the front lines. Fortunately I’ve had the education that gives me the opportunity to pass qualifications tests. But what about somebody who never had the chance for a good education?

Everywhere you look social class raises its ugly head. As James Loewen stated:

Social class is probably the single most important variable in society. From womb to tomb it correlates with almost all other social characteristics of people that we can measure. Affluent expectant mothers are more likely to get prenatal care, enjoy general health, fitness, and nutrition. Many poor and working-class mothers-to-be first contact the medical profession in the last month… Rich babies come out healthier and go home to very different situations… Poor babies are more likely to have high levels of poisonous lead in their environments and their bodies… Rich children benefit from suburban schools that spend two to three times as much money per student as schools in inner cities or rural areas. Differences such as these help account for the higher school-dropout rate among poor children.

And how often is this talked about? Unfortunately, discussing social class is (at least subconsciously) considered anti-American. It directly runs contrary to the idea of American exceptionalism and takes pages from Marxist and socialist thought.

For now, there are so many possible solutions and answers to dealing with the issues of class, but the most important thing we can do now is acknowledge it. Talk about social class in academic settings, bring it up in history discussions. Don’t let politicians (on both sides of the aisle) lie to you about it, because they benefit the most from the continuation of social class equilibrium.

Only then can we really start dealing the issues our country faces.

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One response to “Why We Need To Talk About Social Class

  1. Ever watch the news on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC,? This issue is talked about on a regular basis. The problem is HOW it is being talked about. This issue is almost always discussed within the narrow little confines of political correctness and Marxist theory. For instance, genetics play a role in everything we do. You will discover that no matter what endeavor you choose to participate in, whether it’s art, music, academics, business, sports, etc., there will be a very small percentage who are gifted. There will a small percentage that are good, there will be a large percentage who are average, and there will be a small percentage who are just bad at it. Life is the same way. I am not saying that genetics is everything and that environment does not play a role. But anyone who doesn’t recognize that genetics plays a role is simply being dishonest.

    Culture also plays a role. Ever wonder why Nigerian black immigrants have such a high percentage of people in Ivy League schools? It’s because they have a different culture. The same can be said of many Asian cultures. They were never taught the “Victim Mentality” that is being taught to our African American youth by the Left. And they have not participated in the Hip-Hop culture that glorifies gangsters and antisocial behavior. I know this to be true from experience, not theory. I used to work with Youthful Offenders within the Department of Corrections. It was only the kids who were able to shed the victim mentality perpetrated by the left and get away from the Hip-Hop lifestyle who were able to stay out of prison and make something or their life. They had to come to the realization that it was their own fault that they were in prison, not the government’s fault, or the rich, or bigotry, or society, it was THEIR fault. Then, and only then, were they able to make a good life for themselves.

    This is a complex issue that I could go on about for hours. I am not saying that there is no validity in Marxist theory because there is, but only to a point, and it should only be used as one tool among many to analyze the world we live in. When I went to college we were exposed to a huge variety of ideas. Now, our Universities have turned into Marxist Churches turning out robots who are incapable of thinking outside the narrow little Marxist box. The most disturbing aspect is that they have become anti-free speech and are intent on shutting down anyone who does not worship at the alter of Marx. Anyone who does not agree is branded a racist, bigot, homophobe, women hater, etc. All that does is shut-down the free exchange of ideas, which is what this country is all about. This is NOT the tolerant Left that my Mother used to be a part of.

    President Johnson declared war on poverty 50 years ago. How well has that worked out? Some of the most dangerous cities in America, like Chicago and Baltimore have been managed by the Left for many decades. How well has that worked out? Jesus stated over 2000 years ago that the poor will be with us always. Maybe he was smarter than people give him credit for. He is probably right. All we can do is try to give the kids a decent start in life. So, I agree that education is extremely important. But, it is how we choose to educate them is MOST important. They need REAL life skills on how to make good life choices and decisions. NOT more victim mentality. They need usable skills and trades NOT Gender Studies and Navel Gazing. We have too many kids graduating from school with useless degrees and find themselves working at Burger King.

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