The rich, and the poor.- For most of us, anytime when either of these two words is mentioned, our minds try to recollect what it means to be one or the other as we wait to hear what the next person has to say about the subject. And more often than not we tend to think that people living in poverty and those that are rich are fundamentally different. But nothing could be further from the truth. Poverty and wealth, just like one's view of global warming, is just a matter of perception. I believe that people living in poverty and the rich have a lot of fundamental similarities in the way they live and have been living over the years and they all have a lot in common.
To begin with, poverty and wealth are both systemic. Perhaps the bible defines it better in saying that "The poor and the rich have this in common: The Lord is the maker of them all" (qtd. In New International Version, Prov.22:2). Both the poor and rich were born into the world endowed with the same natural gifts. A mind to think, a body to work and socialize with, and time. The only thing that can, therefore, make them different is the structures that have been put in place by society with an aim and a function. Perhaps one that depicts poverty as being inherently harmful and the other as being inherently positive. And the poor mostly try to maintain the existing structure in a way that most benefits them- through the help in forms such as grants and coupons while the rich ensure they extensively acquire capital enough for themselves and the next generations.
In many ways, everyone needs a few basic things for survival. Whether wealthy or paupers, all we need is food, shelter, and clothing- along with health, education, and of course human rights, both the rich and the poor get all of these things. The constitution endows us all with inalienable rights as U.S. citizens. - Right to life, freedom of speech and religion, unemployment compensation, minimum wage, legal representation and the like. The only difference that exists is the subjective opinion of how we choose to enjoy this thing. For instance, whether one thinks that a two bedroomed room is enough for them and their children or whether they prefer to have a seven bedroomed house where they can accommodate guests.
Gone are the days of slavery when there used to be dinning places set apart purely for the whites and others for the African-American people. Nowadays, both the rich and the poor can meet and interact in various social and public places. For some reason, they all have set up structures with which they identify themselves and relate to. The wealthy like to live in wealthy want to live in leafy estates and dine in refined places with arguably exaggerated prices perhaps in a belief and desire to be higher than life while the poor like to draw back in comfort to places that don't hurt their pockets and mostly like dining in simple places where what is of importance for them is not elegance and refinement but rather basic requirements of food and shelter.
Poverty and wealth, like genetics, are both mainly passed down through generations. Wealthy people hand down strategies to their lineages on how to maintain their wealth and reap enormous benefits from 'the system.' The wealthy kid spends time seeping in information, whether passively or explicitly, on how to maintain their family wealth through the conversations they overhear their parents discussing price points while the paupers' child keeps learning on how to spend the least amount of money in electric bills.
The needy and the affluent are both are recipients of welfare. The wealthy, receive substantial amounts of government subsidies in the multi-million dollar businesses they operate and as a result, much of the money they would usually have spent gets back to their pockets. The needy also receive their fair amount of welfare through unemployment compensations, donations and welfare checks which go a long way to help them with their bills.
Both the moneyed and the moneyless play a trick that is as old as the biblical Adam and Eve. - The blame game. They all accuse each other of being the conceivers of the chaos in the world. The weak claim that they reach orchestrate confusion and disorder because that is how they benefit. On the other hand, the rich affirm that the poor are responsible for their misfortunes and only they are to blame when things go wrong. Some maybe would go further to say that the world would be better off without the other. A good case in point is the situation in the middle east where radical extremist religious groups believe and claim that the privileged western nations are the reasons why the world is full of mayhem and as such would go on to wish for and work towards western annihilation yet the world of the West believes that the radical actions of the extremist group pose a threat to the world at large.
Seventy-seven percent of people with at least $3 million in investable assets come from middle class or lower backgrounds while 19 percent of them reported growing up poor (Little 2016). This points out to the fact that the perception of the rich people that exists does not depict the majority of the financially successful people in society. No one side of the social divide is different from the other, easily become rich or poor. The differences between them are intentionally structured to exist. The social inequalities are put there for perspicuous intentions; the one helps the other. The labor of the destitute helps in making the wealth of the affluent who in turn are enabled to employ the former.
Despite these glaring facts, an element of jealousy exists between the two social classes. Both sides believe that the other domain is somewhat more privileged. The well-off people are jealous of the costless things the poor enjoy at the expense of the taxes they pay while the destitute are jealous of the privileges the other social domain enjoys. This has trickled down even into politics where political aspirants run their campaigns on the promise of helping either side come out of the unfavorable position that they have been put through. Obama care is based on the idea that there should be affordable healthcare for all persons. Donald Trump ran his political campaign partly on the promise of getting rid of the affordable healthcare act and advocating for tax reduction for the rich. And both schools of thoughts received enormous support based on the point of social pedigree that people lay.
I am therefore convinced that the perception that people have of the differences between the privileged and the unprivileged are nothing more than what they are. - Opinions. The bottom line is, both the rich and the poor have a lot of fundamental similarities in the way they live and have been living over the years, and they all have a lot in common. And the definition of sound or privilege or success is merely subject to contentment with what one has.
The Holy Bible: New International Version. Zondervan, 1984.
Little K. 10 Traits Rich People Have in Common. CNBC.25 May.2016:https://www,cnbc.com/2016/05/25/10-traits-rich-people-have-in-common.html
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