Gap Between Rich And Poor

By Chelsea Hengesbach

rich poor

rich poor

One of the biggest factors that divide America into two is income. Money creates a gap between the rich and the poor. Money creates gap between what is called the Upper Class, Middle Class, and the Lower Class. A person’s income determines many things that go on in their life including who they hang out with. Social class also determines how people view others. It is likely that a person assigned to the upper class would not be seen with someone of a lower class and vise versa.

What is the hierarchy of social class?

Every American is associated to one social class. Most believe that the country is stratified on American’s occupation, income, and educational attachment. The most common hierarchy of social class has three tiers: Lower Class, Middle Class, and Upper Class.

Lower class, also known as the poverty class, is the lowest class that one can belong to. Calculating the average income in this class depends on many factors. Members with a family of four who belong to this class make an average of $23,000 in the household annually.

The Middle Class has two different classifications: Lower Middle and Upper Middle. Members associated with this class can make an average income anywhere from $32,000 to the high end of $100,000.

Finally, the Upper Class is the highest class an American can belong to. This class is often referred to as the “5 percent.” Members of this class make an average of $150,000 or more annually.

What makes each class themselves?

The three tiers are split up between general characteristics: Upper class associates those who have significant control over corporations, upper middle class is a vast majority of salaried professionals including lawyers and engineers, middle class has relatively low professional careers such as small business owners, and poverty have a majority of non-college degree workers whom have such jobs like salesperson or housekeeper.

The number of members that belong to the Lower Class has jumped up to one-third of the United States population. Which is an eight percent increase according to Pew Research survey. More than half of this class has had to cut down spending just to be able to afford the bare-essentials. The members of this class often lose the idea of the American Dream saying that it is now becoming harder to get ahead and that hard work often does not pay off for them.

The Middle Class is actually becoming vanished. As time goes on, rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer. The middle class is now experiencing more difficulties. These difficulties include spiraling debt burdens, falling asset values and spiking unemployment. Many people believe life without a middle class means no economic recovery.

“Without a strong middle class, the dream of a sustained economic recovery will turn out to be just that, a dream,” said Christian Weller, a senior economist at the Center for American Progress.

The Upper class is called “5 percent” and “1 percent” because that is how many people belong to that category. There are mainly two ways to be in this class: the concept of old money and new money. Old money refers to the people whom have inherited their money. These people have recognizable family names such as Rockefeller and Kennedy. New money are those who have had money in the family for only a generation or two. Such people include Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and other celebrities, athletes and business people

What do American’s think about the gap?

Some Americans do not even know how bad the gap between the rich and the poor has gotten. American’s believe that income class is really an economic game, meaning those who are in the wealthy class win and those in the lower classes lose.

Americans also believe that differences in the economic status depend on skill and effort. Some social theorists believe that inequality exists in America, but they also believe that there is really no clear line drawn between the lower and middle classes. Other social scientists believe that one with low income but feels happy often refers to themselves in a higher class than what others would see them as. And wealthy people who are dissatisfied with life do not feel as if they are in a higher class.

What are some of the problems between the rich and the poor?

Roughly two-thirds of the United States believes that there are strong conflicts between the rich and the poor.Across party lines, most Americans said the chance to get ahead was mainly a luxury for those at the top. 

Across party lines, most Americans said the chance to get ahead was mainly a luxury for those at the top.

 Most people view the rich as ones with more education and therefore means that they are smarter. Some American’s even believe that one is born into the class that their family came from because one sets their achievements based on their parent’s achievements. No matter how many people do not approve of or how many do not think about the gap issue, it is apart of almost everyone’s lives. For example, two people both get hurt in a high trafficked area. One of those people is dressed in raggedy old street clothes (lower class) and the other dressed in a suit (clearly part of upper middle class or upper class). Out of those two people, the person in the suit is going to be helped while others walk passed the person dressed in raggedy clothes because upper class members are viewed as being above everyone else. Also, It is viewed as not socially acceptable to be seen with someone from an opposite class. Usually, people from different classes have different views and beliefs. The classes are also often viewed differently by other people.  For instance, more Upper-class individuals are more likely to view the rich as hard-working and more Lower-class individuals view the wealthy as being less honest among average people.

The gap between the rich and the poor is growing as time goes on.


3 thoughts on “Gap Between Rich And Poor

  1. James Kodet

    This was a great post! I really like how your video showed what people in this society are thinking about the money that’s going between the rich and the poor. I have to say the numbers that were said surprised me but then again I started to do some thinking and I realized how much it has grown over the years. While taking a sociology class they showed the difference between each class the rich the middle class and the poor and now that I look back each of the numbers have changed the richer seem to keep getting richer and the poor become poorer and something that I noticed is that with the way that minimum wage is going up its only becoming harder for the poor and there needs to be a big change.

  2. Sicilee DAngelo

    There is a huge difference between the rich and poor. They are treated different. Some people believe they are just alike but their not. When I saw the data I was shocked. It’s grown and will continue to grow. Increase in minimum wage will only feed into this and make the cost of living sky rocket. It is not as easy as people seem to think. Society thinks money goes different places. For once, society is right this time. The gap between the rich and poor is huge.

  3. Socrates Nyongobela

    The gap between the rich and poor has always existed, and I think that is what makes the world. Many people who come from lower class families have come to the acceptance of remaining in that class forever. Some of them would look in their families’ lineage if none of the decedents were wealthy; they learn hopelessness, they take poverty to be an inheritance. And this is a good attitude somehow because if a person does not accept his or her status and try to become rich in a minute, someone may end up robbing or doing some unlawful acts. No matter how we try and whatever we’ll do–increase wages, create many jobs, or provide free higher education– we will still have a divided society. The rich will continue to be rich, and the poor will remain poor. However, it doesn’t mean that people in the lower class should not look for ways to raise their income. People should work to get money to meet their live’s basic need; food, clothing, medical expenses, and shelter. And making sure that they are happy with their lives, that’s the most important thing. I think it’s a waste of time to keep lamenting because others are rich, they are having a good time, or spending big. It is impossible for all of us to become CEOs, doctors, or everyone to get a Ph.D. There still going to be salespersons, housekeepers, cashier, etc. The most important thing is to get everyone satisfied with his or her social position.

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