Economic equality- is it important?
I strongly believe that economic equality is something our country has altogether lost at this point. It seems that the top 1% wealth holders in the U.S. have slowly taken over every bit of this country’s business as well as it’s government. Through reading “The Spirit Level”, I really got a good look at the issues and the problems associated with inequality. America has always made claims of being a fair society, where any citizen has an equal chance of making a good life if they work hard. I feel that in the past people with wealth were expected to help out the poor or give back where it was needed. The rich were seen as the ones who create jobs, give to the poor, and basically keep our country strong. I think it is clear to all that this is no longer the case. The top 1 percent doesn’t seem to care anymore. They don’t need to care anymore. They have all the power. Their wealth only grows, while the rest of us seem to struggle more and more. Through all this they have become more distant and less like ordinary people, losing whatever empathy and understanding they may once have had. They have stacked the cards against us. All of this inequality has made us lose our trust and sense of community. We now see an unjust system without opportunity.
The less two people have in common, the less connection there will be between them. This can make people feel alienated from the others and see things as an us versus them issue.
This leads to judgment and mistrust, which can turn into anger, jealousy, and low self esteem to name a few. Our level of inequality is so large that it can seem as though so few have almost everything while the majority have almost nothing. There seems to be a lot of importance put on status partly because we base our self worth on success and possessions. As we feel worse, the rich are getting more luxuries. This makes us strive even more to attain these luxuries sometimes at too great a price. At any rate, all this makes anxiety levels in the poor population very high. Anxiety can be physically hard on the heart and other health issues affected by stress. The amount of heart related diseases has grown with inequality. Also anxiety can really affect people mentally. It can often lead to depression and the stress can make people feel suicidal. All these pains can often cause people to seek relief in the form of illegal drugs for pain relief or violence to gain respect. This is only the start to the problems inequality rates are tied to.
To identify a positive educational experience that I remember is not easy and then a teacher who made a difference in my life is hard for me to do. From about Kindergarten to 8th grade, I went to a private Christian school. The few things I liked over all those years were these 2 foot inflatable alphabet characters in kindergarten, playing my tenor
saxophone in the band, and this one outcast boy who was my friend for a couple years. I think if my family knew what would happen because of the kids in this school; maybe they would have done something. Unfortunately, no one realized the damage that would be done to me in those 6 years. I know that I never looked forward to school and often came home crying from being teased or excluded. Emotions were not given any credibility in my home, so I was told to not cry and quit giving the kids a reason to exclude me. All this turmoil going on in my little world may have prevented me from enjoying much at school. Through the years of this, I began to hate these kids for how they made me feel. It destroyed my self worth and a depression set in. In my teen years, I found friends in the stoner kids because they did not exclude anyone and I felt accepted. I still am so affected by these kids who were so hurtful to me and yet turned into successful adults with nice lives. I have had a life of struggles…