Social class describes the different "layers" that exist in society. These "layers," or classes in society, are divisions on which civilization has been running since its onset. In the early 19th century, racial grouping was the structure used in the American South. America was divided into distinct social classes with the African Americans at the bottom of the social ladder, whereas the plantation owners who controlled them were at the top of the social ladder. The present American system of social class, based on a capitalistic economy, arguably consists of three basic "layers": The Upper Class, The Middle Class and the Lower Class. The social class of an individual is most commonly based on income or level of wealth and background, while other factors such as education, literacy, race and individual tendencies also affect identification within a certain class. Historically, it has always been difficult to move from a lower class into the upper echelons of a societal system. Also, the global financial crisis accelerated disparity of wealth between the rich and the middle-income citizens made the U.S. economy even more unstable. Poverty in wealthy capitalist societies has always existed and it will continue to exist unless a fundamental change in economic philosophy proceeds to balance the system from top to bottom.
The United States has the greatest economic inequality of any developed nation. The gap between the rich and poor in America is the largest it has ever been in nation's history. The United States has developed into the rich few and the many poor. The concept of mine supersedes the concept of sharing. The wealthy do everything to stay rich and powerful. The wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small number of families. For example, in 2004, the wealthiest 1% of families owned more than 30% of total net wealth, the top 10% of families owned over 70% and the bottom 90% of the population owned less than 30% (1). The top 10% uses control and misdirection to maintain status quo. They manipulate the mainstream media, workforce, education system, banks, energy supplies and government to large degrees. Misdirection is used to keep people in a constant state of fear from outside forces so that they don't focus on their economic situation at home. America always has an outside enemy bent on causing threat. As soon as the Cold War was over, the Middle East became a new target.
Figures 1 & 2. Distribution of U.S. Wealth
Continues shift of wealth among social classes affects poverty levels. Poverty involves a wide set of deprivations, including lack of material wealth. Poverty, for many people, means that life is a constant struggle to obtain the merest necessities of existence. Financial aid and government assistance programs have been set up in hopes of improving this growing problem (2)(3). However, those programs are too expensive to maintain with the growing poverty levels. The present strategies against poverty, such as Welfare, are not only ineffective, but detrimental as well. As a sufficient alternative, the nation should impose more restrictions on the qualifications for financial aid and deduct a minimal fee from one's pay to be saved for a time where it might later be needed.
Figure 3. Percentage of People in Poverty in the Past 12 Months by State: 2007
Some people may attempt to argue that Welfare is more advantageous. One may say that some individuals may not be able to survive without this financial assistance. If a minimal amount of money is taken away from the paycheck of the individual to be set aside and used whenever necessary, this would prove to be more than enough to support that person. This eliminates the need for government intervention with provided money. For those who have a fee extracted, this can be given back, preferably in retirement payments, so that money would remain in the government store at a constant amount, so as to assure that the...