Stephen Marche in his We are not All Created Equal examines the reality and causes of inequality in human civilizations. According to his article, humans were never meant to be equal, and the major factor that segregated them was their income. The income levels have increasingly dividing the society as the people chase the illusion of the American dream. Their frustrations have led to the development of the movement, Occupy Wall Street that sought to fight for the rights of the middle class. In their article The making of the 99%, Barbara and John Ehrenreich echoed the Stephens sentiments. They examined of the illusion that hard work makes wealthy people and the equal opportunities offered every person to succeed in life. They addressed how the segregation formed based on income was slowly fading as the 99% of the people realized that equal opportunities were just a myth. Both articles reflected on how the economic recession had made middle class discover the truth they were different from the low class as long as they kept their jobs. The dream of ever rising to be one of the wealthy first class people was just an illusion that was not going to happen.
Stephen argues that the background a person comes from determines the position one holds in the society. The illusion that hard work helps change the fate of a person is misplaced and unworkable in the modern society. According to Stephen, there are limits to where the hard work of a person can help one grow. Many people had believed that working hard and getting an education would help one rise from poverty and become successful in life. However, the number of unemployed graduates is very high in the country. The rest work in fields they did not study and have little use for the knowledge they acquired in the university. The access one has to opportunities depends on the people he knows and the background from which he comes. He argues that the middle class is slowly fading as more people become miserable owing to the economic recess. As the middle-class fades, there are two distinct groups of people that emerge; the poor and the rich. While the rich become wealthier, the poor and the middle class become more miserable as they struggle to make ends meet. Hard work only helps people maintain their class and survive; there are little or no opportunities for them to change their social class.
Ehrenreich gives a brighter view to this view arguing that there exist two classes of people; 1% of the extremely wealthy people that control the world and the 99% of the rest. In his argument, he eliminates the existence of the middle class arguing that they live in an illusion world bearing false hope of becoming as rich as the to 1%. The division between the middle class and the poor is just a false sense of achievement owned by the middle-class thinking that they are better than the poor. However, the economic recess in recent years has proven to the middle class that they have very little to separate themselves from the poor and the homeless. When they lost their jobs in the economic recess, they realized that the American system does not help them keep their class. The American law requires that companies should offer support to workers after retrenching them for six months to one year. The workers could no longer afford to maintain their lives status.
As they joined the poor people in the streets, they realized the illusion of the middle class. They realized the greed of the 1% that controlled the world when they claimed their insurance benefits. The desire of this class was revealed as the poor workers languished in pain while the rich feasted on their benefits. The middle class started fading as people realized the fact that the world belonged to the powerful and wealthy 1% who control the world.
Stephen Argues that the opinion that poverty was a matter of choice as people made the wrong decisions in life was quickly fading. As people experienced the pain of losing their hard-earned money during the economic recess, they realized that poverty was not a matter of choice but background. Most graduates who have to stay without jobs and survive on loans have realized that no matter how good you make your decisions, the fate of your future is far beyond your control. The delusion of equal opportunities in the job market hits them and they have to settle for small manual jobs to earn a living. The opportunities in the society go to people with connections with people in power. Despite their hard work, the people from poor backgrounds have few chances of survival in the American society. The equality that was experienced during the massive increase of the middle class is gone. As a way of fighting for equality, the Occupy Wall Street Movement is a revolutionary force that can change the world if people unite.
Barbara and John Ehrenreich argued that the middle class have a tendency of defending the rights of the 1% rich people in the country. Their aspirations of becoming part of the 1% rich in the society make them blind to their sufferings and defend the rights of the minority rich. The middle class is the most divided social class as people divide themselves according to their small differences in earnings. Visions of acquiring wealth and becoming part of the 1% wealthy people forces the middle class to segregate as people fight one another to chasing an illusion. However, as the economic recession hurt the people, they realized that they were chasing an illusion and began uniting forming the Occupy Wall Street Movement. This movement comprises of young professionals who have been frustrated in the job market and seek to promote equality in access to opportunities. Barbara agrees with Stephen that the Occupy Wall Street Movement can change the world if ran in the right way.
These two articles reveal the delusion of the equal opportunities in America. As the economic situation in the country got worse, the middle class, which entails the majority of American citizens, realized that they do not have equal opportunities for accessing wealth as their leaders. This discovery has ignited a need to fight for equality and thus the emergence of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. This movement can make a revolutionary change as it entails 99% of the American population. However, divisions limit the ability of this movement to achieve anything. Both articles agree that there is need to fight for equality in a fast changing world. If there is unity in the movement, then the chances of achieving equality are high.
American Class System - We Are Not All Created Equal, by Stephen Marche. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a11919/american-class-system-0112/
Barbara Ehrenreich, & John Ehrenreich. (2012). The Making of the 99%. The nation. Retrieved from http://www.thenation.com/article/making-99/
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