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Am I "Reverse-Classist"?

Has our society lost its all of its moral fiber? Is there anything that can be said for the upper class/ wealthy in this country in regards to the basic values that our country has been predicated on? Why have we veered so far away from the concept of equity and equality that we are lost in an abyss of alternate realities for the upper class as opposed to the poor, working class? Why have so many economic institutions been set in place to benefit the very narrow upper percentage of wealthy people despite the overwhelming needs of people like me? Why has the tax burden been shifted to working class (financially poor) families like mine despite rich people’s ability to easily handle the tax burden they deserve?

It is because of the countless institutions that work hand in hand in disguising how they continue to rob the poor man of any freedoms, whether it’s financial, social, or civil. Who runs these organizations? The wealthy. Who benefits from finding loopholes to screw over those who are powerless? The wealthy. This may be an odd contrast to tradition classism, but on many levels I think I might be what you call “reverse-classist?. Being a black man from the inner city in a predominantly white institution of higher learning I am very grateful for the opportunity to get an education, but at the same time dumb-founded by the things I’ve been learning about how my family and friends are oppressed on a daily basis, while students from wealthy families enjoy many freedoms that are denied to people of lower classes. While taxes for dividends, estate, and capital gains (all taxes that affect primarily those of the upper class) have decreased 79%, 46%, and 31%, respectively, payroll taxes (which affected everyone else- middle class, working class, and poor) have increased 25% since 1980 (Ore, pp. 220-221). What does this mean? The wealthy leaders have found loopholes to maintain and intensify their greed, while the average working man/woman continue to watch himself/herself lose ground on the fundamental concepts of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

I believe that this disparity has the strongest correlation with the educational systems that deprive lower classes of even being aware that they are continuously being put in increasingly compounding situations of ignorance while all the while perpetuating this breakdown of awareness to succeeding generations. Cultural capital is rarely, if ever, gained by those who come from backgrounds that never received it in previous generations. Access to opportunity is all anyone ever needs to find their own potential, and if you never learn the value of opportunity through educational enlightenment, you are subject to many forces that you never have the opportunity to become aware of, let alone change. This is the key component to the “educational stratification? that lower class people experience. It is sad to say that my educational experience is an exception to the norm. But why can’t the poor get an equal education to those who are wealthy? I’m willing to bet that if the wealthy were forced to pay their fair proportion of taxes and for the government to properly appropriate these taxes to those who needed it the most, this problem could be resolved. But since it is the rich who ultimately decide where the money is allocated (that is, away from the poor), I doubt this shameful practice will ever change (unless we start from the top down by voting for the right president- go Obama!). This is why I could consider myself “reverse-classist?. No offense to my fellow students from wealthy backgrounds. It just sickens me to think that my family pays higher taxes than your family when I’m willing to bet they have an exponentially higher income than some of ours. And at no time will these institutions be willing to undercut themselves at the expense of helping millions of families living check to check with exorbitant expenses ranging from healthcare to coping with home foreclosure and continuous bouts with unemployment.

Comments

Your blog post is definitely well written and well supported. As I read this I couldn't help but think of how 'rich' or 'higher' class people often criticize lower income and poor families. They often scold them for "not working hard enough" or "being lazy. On the other end of things, many of the 'higher' class families just fall into the wealth and use many "loop holes", as you stated, to keep the wealth and power. They never make full attempts to help the lower classes. In the end, it would appear that the poor MUST work hard to survive and live, whereas the wealthy only need to do enought to protect what they already have.

The comment above was posted by me (Jaleesa Cohen)..I did not mean for it to be anonymous!

I think your blog is very well written! I believe you point out many of the issues that contribute to the crisis that America is currently in. Much of what you mentioned has been brought up in the presidential debates and is much of what the different parties disagree on. As you stated, the wealthy pretty much controls everything to a point where it is only beneficial to them, instead of to those who have been ripped of there equality. However I hope that after Nov. 4th of this year, America will be restored and altered in a way that benefits those who actual need and deserves it.