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FIQWS- Comparing and Contrasting The Rich and The Poor

Nearly 46 million individuals in America live in poverty. Roughly 3% of Americans have a net worth of $1 million dollars. How does the quality of life of these two groups differ? How are they possibly similar? The United States is one of the richest countries. Yet, the amount of poverty found is astonishing. 

What classifies someone to be under the poverty line? When a person lacks basic human necessities to survive. This is when they are officially considered to be in poverty. Their income is so low they cannot afford enough food or shelter. Poverty affects people of all ages and backgrounds. They suffer through unhealthy living and eating conditions. Also, they experience extreme lack of medical care. Homelessness in cities is also at an all time worse. Veterans return from their deployment usually suffering from mental illnesses. They find it difficult, falling into the pits of poverty. Law prohibits the homeless from sleeping in certain areas. They are even restricted from entering businesses. Their struggle is often unrecognized and invisible to the public.

The areas that are most affected are surprisingly not big inner cities. You wouldn’t expect this because of the lack of funds neighborhoods experience. Additionally, there is an over-population and lack of resources in many. The areas of America struggling the most are the South and SouthWest. 

The long term effect living in poverty has on children is shocking and worrisome. This is due to the overwhelming amount. They are more likely to be born with physical problems and diseases. This is all because of the lack of nutrition and medical care. As they grow, this can become worse and lead to mental illness. Their ill state of health causes a significant amount of lost school. Most times, they are forced to turn to any means necessary to survive. Whether this means prostitution, selling drugs, or any other activity. Unfortunately, those turning to the easier but illegal options suffer the consequences. They must deal with a justice system that doesn’t pity the poor.  The poor die 10 years younger than the rich. The life expectancy gap increases between social classes. This grows even more with gender.

The vicious cycle of poverty tends to continue through generations, leading to many negative consequences in the lives of those affected by it. They are more likely exposed to the possibility of alcohol and substance abuse, less access to education, unhealthy living conditions, and disease. All of these things lead to more violence and higher crime rates in the neighborhood, as it is already an unstable living space. 

Rich individuals of this country enjoy a glamorous and comfortable life. 1% of the richest in the world hold half of global wealth. They get to experience the best of the best. The highest quality food and living conditions. They receive  great education, brand new clothes, and the list continues. How the rich stay rich is very important. They wisely invest their wealth, planting seeds for the future. They are familiar with how the economy works. Also, they integrate themselves into the stock market and such. By having the option of becoming an entrepreneur, they start their own business. This takes great bravery and risk taking. Thinking and planning for the future is crucial. We also have the wealthy to thank for their donations. We can enjoy benefits from some of their charities. An example of this is the Highline in New York City.

Not all in the upper class obtain their wealth through working traditionally or simply being born into a family with wealthy lineage. Many of them created their own wealth. In fact, there have been cases where people came from low on the social hierarchy and climbed their way to the top. I believe this requires a combination of luck and wisdom. A person can work endlessly everyday of their life and never obtain their end goals, but with a bit of luck, the hard work can balance out and gets a push. Icons such as Oprah Winfrey, Ralph Lauren, J.K Rowling, and so many more were born and raised in a poor environment. They worked diligently and fought through the obstacles in their lives, becoming famous names anyone would know. 

The difference between the rich and those who live in poverty is clear. Their quality of life cannot be compared and barely has similarities. Within the same country, we have people living lavishly, and we have others whose struggles are ignored. This is not to say the wealthy should be blamed for anything or that they do not deserve their riches. While many of them work hard for their status, others do not. There are many sides to this topic but one thing is undeniable: the wealthy and those living in poverty have polar opposite lives, and actions should definitely be taken to help those who desperately need it. 

 

Reference(s)

Waxman, Chaim. “THE STIGMA OF POVERTY.” ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1974. Web.

Adams, Tucker. “Poverty in the United States.” ColoradoBiz 39.1 (2012): 10. Web.

“Poorest Dying Nearly 10 Years Younger Than the Rich in ‘Deeply Worrying’ Trend for UK.(Report).” Pediatrics Week (2018): n. pag. Print.

Davydov, Youri, and Greselin, Francesca. “Comparisons Between Poorest and Richest to Measure Inequality.” Sociological Methods & Research (2018): n. pag. Web.

FIQWS- The Classification of the Upper, Middle, and Lower Classes

We live in one of the wealthiest countries on Earth. Despite this, the U.S has a significant difference between social classes. Annual salaries are a huge part of one’s status in this country. Our population is categorized and classified into groups. By separating the rich from the poor, we create division in society. Three classes exist, which are used to isolate differences in wealth and status. These three classes are the upper, middle and lower classes. They measure the wealth a person holds, categorizing them based on this.

The upper class is the highest social and economic status possible. This class is associated with the rich and privileged. More often than not, they were born rich. Often, they have high paying jobs. For the most part, they receive their income through their salaries. However, I agree that there are also those who gained their riches through investing and other methods. Often, they have the possibility to be self-employed, building their own company.

A frequently used term when referencing the upper class is the “1%”. In other words, only 1% of the entire nation is considered upper class. They are incredibly wealthy with a prestige status, living beyond comfortably. Members of the upper class also tend to have the highest levels of education. It is often said that they have the power to shape and influence the media, public opinion, trends, and even businesses. 

The middle class is one of the largest of all social classes. This includes one-third of the nation’s population. People in this category are commonly nurses, professors, or paralegals. They work for their salary, but can still live comfortably. The middle class is also considered to be very educated individuals. Although, they share similar qualifications as the upper class. This is not to say they are quite as high. While educated, their highest education level is generally a bachelor’s degree. 

Lastly, there is the lower class. Often referred to as the poor; these are people with low education. They mostly struggle finding a job or a stable source of income. And, often judged and seen as a burden to society. Perhaps because of their appearance or the stigma created by others. They are essentially at the bottom of the social hierarchy. The lower class usually works very physically demanding jobs for little pay. Their highest education level will often be a high school diploma. They often rely on food stamps and welfare checks just to survive. I agree that the lower class often faces unfair discrimination, a point that needs emphasizing since so many people still believe the lower class is lazy and don’t truly need or deserve the government’s financial help. 

Clearly, the three main social classes differ tremendously from one another. There are people living fabulous and comfortable lives. While others struggle to stay fed and alive. Many factors play into the reasons why some people are at the top of the pyramid. While others are living in poverty. Of course, there are other subcategories in between these three main ones. But the upper, middle and lower classes identify and represent the social hierarchy of America. They highlight how much power one has simply based on their incomes. Clearly showing the qualities necessary to be considered a certain status. I believe social classes hold great significance to them. They are used by society to place value and worth to people.  

 

Reference(s)

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-sociology/chapter/the-impacts-of-social-class/

 

FIQWS- Are Governments Necessary? Why and Why Not?

The concept of a government has been around for quite some time. It was crafted as a way to put order in place. They establish who has the power in a society. Some government systems have been toxic in the past. They’ve taken advantage of the power and responsibility their job holds. Many of them, however, have done their job correctly, demonstrating good leadership. I believe governments are necessary to have a functioning civilization.  They have an important role, setting rules and laws to follow. This is not to say there is no corruption present in government. Although there is, they’re crucial to society nonetheless. There are multiple pros and cons to having a government. They can be beneficial and their role in society can be crucial. 

They serve many functions, and work through societies to enforce its policies. They make the decisions regarding the well being of the public. Through an organized system, we can see goals that were written. These goals and objectives were created by our founding fathers. Through time and trial and error, a lot has been learned. Our past leaders set the precedent to guide future leaders. One of our most important rights is our ability to vote. We have the chance to have a voice in our nation. Electing a politician with similar morals and ideas increases positive changes in communities. 

Governments are extremely important for a functioning society, setting in place guidelines. Humans need rules to set precedent for behavior. If there wasn’t one, living our lives would be much more difficult. People would take advantage of each other, doing as they pleased. Even with laws in place, people commit crimes and acts of violence. Because of laws set by the government, people behave a certain way. Essentially, laws are made to ensure our safety and natural born rights. They guarantee the security of our freedom. While it is true that having a government is beneficial to citizens, it is not necessarily always true.

There have been plenty of governments that overused their positions of power. They didn’t prioritize the interests of their people, leading to corruption. Not everyone is meant to lead, and handle the responsibility that comes. Some officials have evil intentions. It’s unfortunate that civilians have to be fearful of their nation’s leader. Corruption is something us as citizens have to pay the consequences for. Unjust detention rates and discrimination in the justice system are two examples. These two stand among countless other injustices faced because of corruption present. My point is not that all governments around the world will do horrible things and mistreat their people. However, this isn’t to say that these kinds of events have not occurred. 

My conclusion, then is that having a government in place is definitely necessary. Without some type of power in control, no society can function. Especially in the kind of world we live in today, it’s crucial. At the same time, it places disadvantages in the lives of many. I do believe the government has its pros and cons. When the benefits outweigh the obstruction, its necessity is obvious.

FIQWS What Leadership Means To Me

Thinking of leadership, a variety of thoughts come to my mind. To question leadership is to question how we live day to day. It is to question what qualities make a “good” leader. Who can determine what good truly means? The influences of leadership are all around, more often than we think.

I do not think a worldwide definition of leadership exists. When the word “leadership” is googled, the following is what it says. “The action of leading a group of people or an organization”. According to the internet, a leader is someone in charge of others. They could also be in charge of a company or group. I believe leadership is a word that has many interpretations behind it. People’s opinions differ as to what they believe makes an appropriate leader. Many factors have to be taken into consideration. The thousands upon thousands of different cultures and civilizations is one element. People’s morals and opinions differ depending on their backgrounds. Saying leadership has one definition is inconsiderate to billions of unique people.

I cannot say what the singular definition of leadership should be. Nor can I say what specific qualities a leader should possess. There will always be a differing opinion. I can, however, state my own opinion on the matter. To list a few, I believe leaders should be humble and kind-hearted. On the one hand, any kind of leader should be strong willed and fearless. On the other hand, they should still accept help from others. A leader should be quick witted and open minded. If a leader isn’t compassionate towards the people they rule, they won’t be successful. He/she must be selfless enough to know how to value others above themselves. This is not to say they must show selflessness all the time. They should also possess enough selfishness to not be used.

I believe anyone can be a leader. Regardless of the scale, leadership is in every aspect of life. They can be powerful like a King or Queen, ruling a nation of people. A leader can still have someone above them, leading them. They can be the founder of a high school club. They could be a citizen taking initiative in a dangerous public situation. Leadership can be a first-grader sitting with a bullied student, inspiring more to join.

In short, leadership is the cause of many positive changes. It has also been the reason behind harmful situations. Being influenced to do the wrong things can very easily happen if bad leadership isn’t recognized. Being a bad leader is putting yourself or others in harm. Having role models who can teach valuable lessons is an underrated form of leadership. My point is this: leadership itself comes in every form, magnitude,and situation imaginable. To define it is impossible, as people will always have unique opinions. We live in a society and world that is constantly changing. Without some form of leadership, chaos would be created. It gives us structure, in whatever way we choose to see it. It is a guarantee of freedom.