Class is out.
Posted by imamberbug
When you think about class, which group do you put yourself in? More and more of us these days are falling into the lower class.. or maybe you went to school and got your degree and landed a solid career, so you find yourself in the middle class.. or are you one of the lucky 1 percent in the upper class and have it all? Well, if you’re a student like me who works full time and attends school full time, you may very well be in the low to middle class bracket. To be a bit more clear, dictionary.com defines socioeconomic class as, “people having the same social, economic, or educational status.” Where do you think you fit?
So why is class so important to some people? From what I have observed in my 35 years on this planet and in this country- class is your status and where you fit in in a consumerist-society. If you are in the lower class bracket you’re probably just squeaking by, trying to make ends meet. Middle class folks tend to be living comfortably with a home in the suburbs, driving a decent car, and have a steady income as a professional in the work force. Hell, to me that’s really all you can ask for! But then there’s the upper class… living the good life, the so called American dream. They can afford their fancy cars, live in their mansions, and just might be a millionaire or more. Wow, lucky them!
What I have been noticing since the American and Global economy has taken a dump is that it seems like the middle class is being squeezed out and more of us are finding ourselves in that lower class range. Most of us are growing poorer and poorer, while very few are accumulating all the wealth. We now live in a corporate-consumerist society, thanks to our greedy government and the policies we have allowed them to make. Since Globalization, our country has lost more and more jobs… outsourcing labor in order to pay someone in a remote country pennies on the dollar, as opposed to an American factory worker who they would have to pay a decent amount because of our wage and labor laws. Corporate focus is to make a profit and we are the ones that lose because our government does nothing to stop this outsourcing of work! Chris Carlsson discusses Globalization in his book Nowtopia, “ ‘Globalization’ is the buzzword of our time, describing in a word the redesign of work, computerization, relocation of production within and without national borders, rolling back of unions and the welfare state, privatization of public goods, rapid and extreme concentration of wealth and power, and the reduced reliability of jobs and careers” (25).
But guess what? Americans are growing more dissatisfied with what has become of our great nation and we are ready to see real change! A good example of this is the upcoming election and the “Occupy” movement you either witnessed or were apart of last year. During the summer months of 2011, we saw something we haven’t seen in a long time. Americans uniting for a cause and protesting against the government and corporations that control our society and hog all the wealth. The “Occupy” movement wasn’t only here in America, but in other countries as well, like what we saw in London, England. I remember the protesters saying “We are the 99%!” They were unhappy with the 1% accumulating all the wealth in a short amount of time while also receiving major tax breaks that are deemed unfair by the rest of the 99%. Unfortunately, the “Occupy” movement was a failure and nothing has changed since. I believe one of the reasons the “Occupy” movement failed is that after a while people went back to what they are used to and resumed their old habits. When Christmas came I observed my friends, that were so against corporate rule, buying their Christmas gifts at stores that are owned by the very corporations they were so against! Another reason I think the “Occupy” movement failed was that there wasn’t any real clearly defined demands and a lack of leadership on their part. Also, we need to keep in mind that the 1% have almost unlimited resources and control and did quite a bit to keep the protestors down, making them look bad on the news and having unconstitutional riot control protocols when people were simply doing what the 1st amendment allows them to do… have the FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY.
So, with the Occupy movement being squashed… what can we do about our situation? For starters, you can read and study up on your voter information guide and VOTE this November! If you want to see real change take your grievances to your congress man or woman and talk to them about changing the laws! Petition! Stop buying from corporate owned stores and instead shop with local retailers. Plant a vegetable garden and grow your own food instead of shopping at grocery stores, besides it is much cheaper and healthier than the chemical laden produce they sell to you at a regular supermarket! Learn how to sew, design, and make your own clothes. Don’t drag yourself deeper and deeper into debt by trying to live above your means by using credit cards and spending money you don’t have for things you don’t really need. There are so many things you can do to change society and that change starts within you… Be content with what you have! You have a roof over your head, shoes on your feet, food in your mouth, and family and friends that love you. Don’t let greed, pride, ego, and arrogance get in the way of your pursuit of happiness. Something that I heard that has always stuck with me, “Money can be a great tool, but it can also be a terrible master.” In this dog-eat-dog world nobody wants to be a victim. Some of you are even willing to step on others to achieve wealth and status. But let me tell you, my friend… Nobody dies wishing they had more stuff. You can’t take material things with you when you die, because it all burns up in the end. What matters in life is what you do with your life and the people you love. Take care of each other. Be remembered for the kind of person you want others to see you as, not for what you owned. Heck, you’ll probably even sleep better at night and start to enjoy life a bit more when you learn to let go of all those earthly possessions holding you down.