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Published:September 24th, 2008 11:11 EST
America The Classless Society?

America The Classless Society?

By Vincent Gonzalez

Class just about determines everything in our lives. It determines where we live, how well we are educated, who our friends are, what we do for a living, and what we come to expect from life. Regardless of where you find yourself on the economic spectrum, class determines nearly every aspect of our lives.


            Nowadays, it has become common in the United States to rarely utter phrases like, "upper class," "ruling class," and the also so popular, "working class." We try to avoid terms that classify us along economic lines. People fear using words such as "class" because they are afraid of the ramifications that phrases like these pose. They are afraid of the wrath that society might unleash upon them.


            In many ways, people`s views of the United States are that it is a classless society. In the United States in particular, people shirk away from discussing or even debating class in public because, in many ways, class identity has been stripped from popular culture. What the public fails to understand is that the less time it takes for us to recognize class, the longer it takes for us to address the problem and potentially solve it.


            It seems that the United States either has a set of beliefs that obscures the reality of class differences, or discussing class and recognizing class distinctions are not significant to U.S. society. With at least one-third of the American population living at one extreme or the other on the economic spectrum, it`s hard to justify the claim that we live in a classless society. As you can see, the contrast between the rich and the poor is sharp.


            In order for us to bring about change in the United States, we need to adapt policies and practices that narrow the gaps in privilege, income, and wealth, and start reversing trends that further polarize us as citizens.