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Lower Class vs. Upper Class

Ivan Navarro
Ms. Garcia, Mr. Stoll
October 28, 2014

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Everyone dreams of living a successful lifestyle filled with adventures and riches. Most people
hardly get to accomplish their dreams of living a successful lifestyle due to the backgrounds they
might come from or the lifestyle they live. The United States of American is a country of
diversity amongst all races. The population in the United States consists of 63% Whites, 12%
African Americans, 17% Hispanics and the other 8% consists of other races. Majority of the
population consists of the white race, consequently making every other race a minority race.
Being a minority race leads to being looked down on or hardly fitting in to society. In the
United States, most Hispanic and African Americans are classified as being minority races.
These minority races have it roughly harder than most races in the United States. Societies in the
United States are composed of the upper and lower class societies. Lower class societies in the
United States are composed of mainly Hispanics and African Americans. The reason being is
due to the fact that these two minorities make up most of the lower class in the United States.
Both the upper and lower class societies encounter different living lifestyles. Most of the upper
class societies acquire different life styles consisting of advantages that lower class societies are
not capable of obtaining.

The Lower Class is an idea of separation between social statuses. The Lower Class is
typified by poverty, homelessness, and unemployment (Types of Social Classes of People
Cliffs Notes). Poverty is the main thing that makes up the Lower Class and there seems to be no
end to it. Poverty can be considered a chain reaction often affecting generation after generation,
a chain reaction that often interferes with health care, food consumption, resources,
transportation, living arrangements, proper clothing, water supply, heat supply, electricity and
phone service (VanFleet 37). Not having any money means that you cannot make ends meet.

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Due to that, the struggles that the low income families face are outrageous. Most low income
families share a lot of similarities. One of those similarities is ethnicity. The Lower Class
consists mainly of two minorities. Those minorities include the African American race, and the
Hispanic race. Both African Americans and Hispanics face similar struggles. One of those
struggles includes salary. Being part of a low income family has to do a lot with how much you
make in your job. Most low income families have at least one full time working parent, but their
pay is approximately nine dollars an hour. That means that the person gets paid minimum wage,
and has difficulties trying to prosper in life. In 2014, The Federal poverty guideline is an annual
income of $23,850 for a family of four (Federal Poverty Level About News). $23,850 a year
is not enough money for a family to live a comfortable life. The low income families have to
restrict themselves and limit themselves to going out and buying certain things because they
barely make ends meet. Not only does it affect their lifestyle, but it also affects the children
living in the household. The reason that it affects the children is because the parents are never
there to give them moral support, and also most low income parents have very little if not hardly
any education and cannot help their children with their studies. That not only affects the children
when they are young, but it tends to affect them when they are growing up and maturing in life.
According to Joseph Rowntree, Research has shown that someone who has grown up in poverty
is disadvantaged well into adulthood. This is to a large extent because people from disadvantaged
homes are less likely to get good educational qualifications (Experiences of Poverty and
Educational Disadvantage Joseph Rowntree Foundation). The reason being is because children
are like water sponges. They absorb everything they see and try to follow the footsteps of their
parents. So if a child sees his parents being unemployed and they are okay with it, the children
will also think that it is okay for him not to get a job when hes older. The kid will absorb what

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he sees and sometimes what he sees can affect him/her until their adulthood. Those are not the
only struggles that low income families face. Another struggle that low income families face is
health. Stay healthy is a key part in life because that allows you to live a longer life. But how are
you supposed to stay healthy when you barely have enough money to put clothes on your back?
Those are the questions that low income families ask themselves. Being part of the Lower Class,
it is more difficult to receive medical help because of how pricey it is. According to Rothstein,
Lower-class children have twice the rate of poor vision of middle- class children, partly from
prenatal conditions, partly from how their eyes are trained as infants and toddlers, with more
television watching and fewer manipulative toys. They have poorer oral hygiene, more lead
poisoning, more asthma, poorer nutrition, and less-adequate pediatric care (Social Class
Leaves Its Imprint Economic Policy Institute). The children from nowadays are the future and
are the ones that will keep the world running, but how are they supposed to succeed when some
children have more advantages than others? Everyone should be equal and should be able to
provide for their family equally, but the sad truth is that it will never happen. Social Statuses
make the world go round, and that is what separates the people of the world. The Lower Class
has fewer advantages and struggle everyday to try and prosper, while the Upper Class has
everything within reach.
The Upper Class consists only of the elite. The Upper Class is the highest social position
in the social hierarchy. The Upper Class is divided into two different classes. Those classes
include the Lower- Upper Class, and the Upper- Upper Class. The lowerupper class includes
those with new money, or money made from investments, business ventures, and so forth. The
upperupper class includes those aristocratic and highsociety families with old money who
have been rich for generations (Types of Social Classes of People Cliffs Notes). The Lower-

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Upper Class is seen as the people that are new to the rich world and are sometimes looked down
on by the Upper-Upper Class. Regardless of them being part of the Lower- Upper Class or the
Upper-Upper Class, they are still extremely rich. As a matter of fact, the Upper Class makes up
1 to 3 percent of the United States population, and they hold more than 25 percent of the
nation's wealth (Types of Social Classes of People Cliffs Notes). This means that the Upper
Class has the most power in the social hierarchy and in society. The Upper Class hardly ever
struggle financially, and they live life to the fullest with all sorts of expenses and luxuries. In
order to be considered part of the Upper Class, the minimum income starts at one million dollars.
Just to get an idea of how rich some people are, The top .01% of the population, with an annual
income of $9.5 million or more, received 5% of the income of the United States in 2007. These
15,000 families have been characterized as the "richest of the rich" (The Upper Class
Boundless). With all that money, the Upper Class are able to spoil themselves unlike the lower
class. The Upper Class, Live in exclusive neighborhoods, gather at expensive social clubs, and
send their children to the finest schools (Types of Social Classes of People Cliffs Notes).
Spoiling themselves can vary in a ton of ways. Some of those ways include being able to choose
the food they eat. When people are poor, they have no choice but to eat the food that they can
afford, but when people are rich, they can choose between the foods they want to eat. For
example, they could choose if they want to eat healthy or non healthy food. Also, one of the
biggest advantages is being able to go to the doctors if anything happens. If they become sick,
They can seek medical care immediately and not just hope it goes away (30+ Examples of
Middle to Upper Class Privilege). Now a day it is so expensive to go to the doctors clinic or the
hospital to get medical help. The co pay and emergency bill increased so much that it is making
it nearly impossible for people to get help. Only the rich are the ones that can get help and keep

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themselves healthy at all times. Those simple advantages are extremely important because that is
what separates a person from the lower class to the upper class.
Being aware of what is happening around the world is very crucial. It is crucial because
people need to know how society portrays them. Society views everyone in a different
perspective. The Lower Class is growing at an outrageous speed, and that is because more and
more people are becoming part of the lower class. Everyday more and more people are losing
their jobs and become unemployed. It is important to know about the Social Statuses because it
involves everyone now and everyone in the future. The children are the future and they need to
be given the proper education in order to excel in this world. In order for them to excel, everyone
that is part of the lower class needs to receive help so that they can be exposed to the real world.
All of this needs to motivate the people in order for them to do something and help the lower
class. The number of low-income working families rose from 10.2 million in 2010 to 10.4
million in 2011, representing nearly one-third of all working families (U.S. Low-Income
Working Families Increasing Population Reference Bureau). The numbers of low income
families keep on growing and they have reached top numbers and have broke history. If people
do not do something to stop this outrageous growth rate, then soon the Lower Class will be
extremely enormous. The total number of people living in low-income working families now
stands at 47.5 million, including 23.5 million children. This total could reach 50 million in a few
years and is roughly equal to the combined population of the states of California, Oregon, and
Washington (U.S. Low-Income Working Families Increasing Population Reference Bureau).
The gap between the Lower Class and the Upper Class is extremely enormous. According to the
Wall St. Journal, a 2008 study of wealth in the United States found that the richest .01% (that's
one-hundredth of one percent, or 14,000 American families) possess 22.2% of the nation's

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wealth. The bottom 90%, or over 133 million families, control just 4% of the nation's wealth.
The remaining top 9.99% made ends meet with what's left, 73.8% (The Growing Gap Between
Rich and Poor in "Classless" America The Market Oracle). According to the investment groups
recent findings, the top one percent of wage-earning households in the US were reaping in
around $1,264,065 in 2012 or around 41-times as much as the average income for all wageearners, who pulled in a comparable meager mean income of $30,997 that year (Inequality gap
between super rich and poor continues to widen RT). According to the article, the top 0.01
percent of the nations top-earning households brought in more than $30 million apiece in 2012
or around one thousand times what the average American earned (Inequality gap between
super rich and poor continues to widen RT). According to RT, Since the 1980s, the top 0.1
percent of the wealth distribution, or those who have more than $20 million in assets, has seen
big increases, and the top 0.01 percent, or those with more than $100 million, has seen even
bigger ones. But there hasnt been a big jump in wealth inequality for people below the 0.1
percent (Inequality gap between super rich and poor continues to widen RT). Every day the
rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. There seems to be no end to this, unless
people unite and help each other out by giving each other opportunities to prosper in life.
Majority of Upper class societies do in fact obtain different types of lifestyles in
comparison to the lower class and have disadvantages that the upper class does not. Throughout
the years the lower class population has increased enormously. Many lower class African
Americans and Hispanics have struggled throughout the years trying to maintain stability for
themselves and their families. Being able to provide for the family is a crucial thing, and now a
day it is becoming more and more difficult because of the salary that the Lower Class makes.

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The gap between social classes is increasing at an enormous rate as the years go by, and there
seems to be no end to it. While the Rich get Richer, the Poor get Poorer.

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Works Cited
"30+ Examples of Middle-to-Upper Class Privilege | It's Pronounced Metrosexual." Its
Pronounced Metrosexual. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.
<http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/10/list-of-upperclass-privilege/>.
"The Growing Gap Between Rich and Poor in "Classless" America." :: The Market Oracle. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2014. <http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article23189.html>.
Hirsch, Donald. Experiences of Poverty and Educational Disadvantage. York: Joseph Rowntree
Foundation, 2007. Web.
"How Obamacare Makes The Federal Poverty Level Relevant." About. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct.
2014. <http://useconomy.about.com/od/glossary/g/Federal_Poverty_Level.htm>.
"Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge." "The Struggles and
Predicaments of Low-Income Families and Children in Poverty" by Jennifer VanFleet. N.p., n.d.
Web. 28 Oct. 2014. <http://scholarworks.umb.edu/humanarchitecture/vol1/iss2/6/>.
"Inequality Gap between Super Rich and Poor Continues to Widen." - RT USA. N.p., n.d. Web.
27 Oct. 2014. <http://rt.com/usa/sadoff-inequality-rich-poor-685/>.
"Social Class Leaves Its Imprint." Economic Policy Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.
<http://www.epi.org/publication/webfeatures_viewpoints_social_class_leaves_imprint/>.
"Types of Social Classes of People." Types of Social Classes of People. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct.
2014. <http://www.cliffsnotes.com/sciences/sociology/social-and-global-stratification/types-ofsocial-classes-of-people>.
"The Upper Class - Boundless Open Textbook." Boundless. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.
<https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/stratification-

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