Social mobility in American Society
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Social Mobility of American Society
American Middle class has suffered tremendous setbacks as part of different recessionary periods. Nevertheless, these cycles of deterioration is enhancing with the passage of time. The ever-widening gap between the top 1 percent of rich and bottom 90 percent of the rest presents the most alarming outlook to middle class American citizens. In order to explain the very barriers to social mobility of American middle class, three analysts have provided a more diversified outlook regarding this highly concerning topic.
Among these very barriers includes, the cyclic recessionary period as part of the American economy has proved to be the massive hurdle. Besides that, the factors of wealth, income, cultural diasporas, and most importantly, unemployment are some of the most decisive factors leading to such changes. Under the prevailing condition of plutonomy, as Kapur, Macleod and Singh (1) have described plutonomy as the economic growth “consumed by a chosen few”. This has surely leaded towards a major barrier called economic inequality among the top 1 percent and bottom 90 percent.
Within the sub domain of economic inequality, income inequality is another major issue faced by middle class Americans. Nonetheless, during the recessionary period, it is quite common that the economic inequality shrinks thereby giving some space for the middle class to prosper. However, it has not happened during any of the recessionary periods faced by the American populace. Besides the drops in income of the top 1 percent of the wealthy group, their share of the national income has escalated during the year 2008. Also, during FY 2009, their corporate profits have also started to march upwards since the very beginning of that year. Considering a broader perspective of different classes of people living in almost every part of the world. During the year 2009 to 2010, there has been a flat line behavior of market under the domain of daily wages of workers. The unemployment outlook under the current scenario has also become quite major. It was observed that for every job application in Detroit and Miami, a total of six people were unemployed. During the March, the unemployment rate has been at its zenith of 12 percent for Americans with high school diploma. Nevertheless, it has been 4.5 percent and 2 percent of college graduates and professional workers respectively. Considering the educational outlook of middle class Americans, it is evident it does not guarantee a better job prospect.
Industries have also faced the very same downfalls during the course of American financial history, and it has indirectly impacted the middle class Americans at large. The financial sector has proved itself to be the most viable business during the last few decades besides the crash of Wall Street followed by mass layoffs. During the time span of first quarter from FY 2007 to FY 2010, finance has suffered reduction of jobs by mere figure of 8 percent as compared to 17 percent and 27 percent of manufacturing and construction sectors respectively. Whereas during the recession periods, the unemployment rates in insurance and finance sectors were quite below during the recessionary time span as well. Under the current domain, the rich 1 percent is on their way towards recovery whereas the bottom 90 percent have suffered from an irreparable damage. Hence, the middle class jobs in which some of the workers are overpaid in contrast with the technological substitution (also called innovation) and labor overseas have wiped them out of the picture of current economic growth. After the crash of stock markets, most of the workers are paid much more as compared to others having similar competencies. While witnessing the current economic conditions, it can be reflected that the children that are born rich would become richer because of enhancement of their assets and wealth.
Nevertheless, the status quo cannot sustain for a longer amount of time and change is necessity of time. For saving the middle class from extinction, there is surely not a single policy that can help them. However, different approaches and combination of policies can be used for that. Some of them are targeted for enhancing the growth rate; whereas, others provide reaping the fruits of that growth. However, the beginning of bringing about this change should start with the reassessment for the globalization outlook and its impact on the very fabric of American society.
For creation of different opportunities for middle class Americans, multinational companies have a proven track record of providing enhanced growth of US economy. Since FY 1990, they are providing a total of 31 percent of growth in real GDP. However, from 1999 to 2008, the United States multinational firms have reduced their domestic workforce to about 1.9 million people while increasing foreign employment as much as 2.4 million. Surely, the globalization cannot be limited in a developing country; however, different methods should have to be incorporated to improvise those changes.
Continuous development and innovation are other key elements for reducing the economic disparity. Since the beginning of 1970s, the United States has allowed production to different countries as soon as the goods are matured, and their manufacturing routes become a part of the routine. During 1990s, it has allowed the formation of better economic prospects along with the creation of new jobs and enhancement of income growth all around the nation. However, this wheel has broken, and the United States no longer enjoys that very advantage of innovation. The reasons for such short spanned boom are because of seamless connections and communication together with the diffusion of human capital as compared to the past.
Surely, America has tremendous potential to serve as a global innovator and places like the Massachusetts high-tech corridor, North Carolina Research Centre and Silicon Valley are the potential gateways for innovation. Hence, harnessing the power of innovation should have a higher priority for investment rather than consumption. Hence, on the bigger picture, it can be a part of enhancing and broadening both private and national wings of investment for Research and Development (R&D) and scientific research purposes. Another aspect is to enhance the educational outlooks for the middle class Americans. The difference on educational grounds also inhibits the middle class to become an active part of the American society. In this regard, different vocational trainings along with better schooling prospects should have to be provided to the middle class American citizens. Similarly, career-excellence programme and different apprenticeship opportunities are another mean for paving pathways for the very same group (Reynolds 2).
All in all, American society has not undergone irreversible change based on the current circumstances of wealth inequality; however, substantial efforts should have to be done in order to reduce this accelerated pace of deterioration all around the United States.
Reynolds, Andy. ‘Can The Middle Class Be Saved?’. The Atlantic. (2011): 1-8. Web. 26 May 2015.