28 January 2010

Inequality: The Rich-Poor Divide

It's interesting listening to Americans (citizens of the USA) describe themselves as far as class alliance goes since what is called working class in other countries can be called "middle class" in the States. I think of middle class as those who fall socioeconomically between the working class and upper class. In the United States more people identified themselves as middle class than as lower or "working" class (with insignificant numbers identifying themselves as upper class).

These are trait which I see as being Middle Class:
--Achievement of University education.
--Holding professional qualifications, including academics, lawyers, engineers, politicians and doctors regardless of their leisure or wealth.
--Belief in bourgeois values, such as high rates of house ownership and jobs which are perceived to be "secure."

What brings this about is that there was a story on the News last night about the Rich-Poor gap in Britain. The BBC also has this story on its website as well as Lord Heseltine and Phil Woolas discussing the rich-poor gap.

Oddly enough, I have yet to see similar stories on the US Media outlets. In fact, I find it rather interesting that the US is having so many problems with implementing health care, and has had for nearly a century. Also, I wonder where the US falls in this chart of inequality: above or below the United Kingdom?

Oddly enough, I have a feeling that the US is more unequal than the UK, but can't confirm this. It's nice that the US electorate can be so easily distracted by wedge issues. Even more interesting that the Right can exploit single issues and manipulates religious faith to direct workers into voting for candidates who are a threat to their economic interests.

What I like is the ending comment that the policies needed to address inequality "will always be controversial since they mean neutralising the advantages of wealth. A prospect that those with money and influence will fight hard against."