The Poor, the Middle Class, and the Rich in America

This is the fifteenth Blog in a series regarding the state of leadership in America. The Revolutionary War and the US Constitution made it clear that all men are created equal and that there would be no classes of men in the new Republic. Despite this we constantly hear our politicians refer to the poor, middle class and rich in their speeches, political campaigns and proposed policy initiatives targeting one or more of these groups, which I will refer to as pseudo-classes. While it is possible to move from one pseudo-class to another based on individual initiative, money, invention, higher education, and so forth, if you label somebody as being a certain category long enough, then with that comes a whole host of perceptions and misperceptions about the people in that pseudo-class. We don’t need anything more to divide Americans into camps. We already have political parties and the labels of conservative and liberal to perform that role. We don’t need to complain about the people in these pseudo-classes as if they fit some murky caricature. They do not. Our modern-day pseudo-classes are built upon wealth or the lack thereof and more specifically, government defined yearly income for the poverty level and richest Americans. However, there are no clear definitions for membership in any of them. Being poor is not a character flaw. Being rich does not require an apology. Everything is fluid and in today’s America, there are no fences imprisoning a person in one particular class. A quality education is the ticket that can increase salary, self-esteem, and upward movement. As one nation, we do not need any rallying cries from politicians attempting to pit one pseudo-class against another or lay blame for America’s financial problems on a particular class. We are all citizens of this great Republic and we all need to work together to improve the well-being and livelihood of all Americans. This is the land of opportunity and people need to recognize that, appreciate it, and take advantage of it. Where people can pull their own weight, we should expect them to. Where they physically or mentally cannot, then we need the community outreach to provide a safety net to assist them. And most importantly, we must stop referring to people as members of some ill-defined class. There shouldn’t be any classes in America by definition of our own Constitution.

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This entry was posted in Business, Government, Leadership, Leadership DNA, Management, Paul Okum, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Poor, the Middle Class, and the Rich in America

  1. Mambert says:

    All men are created equal is the self-evidence to combat social injustice, prejudice and all types of despicable thinking. However, it is necessary to classify the society in accordance to the economic level of the people, in order to avoid usual economic punishment from those with strong economic Power, against those without voice.

    • paulokum says:

      Understood, but dividing people into classes for any reason, invites prejudice, resentment and misuse of power. Further, classes put labels on people that are quite unjust.

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