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