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Cheyenne Archuleta

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Is having a social class inevitable?

Will the gap between rich and poor be omnipresent? Can it be abolished? If you propose socialism to get rid of the classes, are you very sure the gap will not come back? Should we then solve this problem or leave it be?

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    Nov 7 2013: The tendency of groups of people over time to gradually divide into rich & poor has always been with us, and seems like some natural-human law. In the Old Testament God recommended a "Jubilee Year" every 50 years where all existing debts were to be 'forgiven' (cancelled out) and then it would start all over again on a more equal basis. Certainly the idea of "canceling debts" every-so-often has some merit if you want a more equal society.

    What is perhaps more important (given the above-mentioned tendency), is social mobility. In other words that rags-to-riches is still possible, and encouraged. In this respect the U.K is doing badly since the 1980s (since Margaret Thatcher was prime-minister). Social mobility has dropped severely, and it is this that gives rise to entrenched class division, as well as entrenched economic division. If people can't better themselves through hard work, then as hope is gradually lost, so anger and antagonism rises - which eventually leads to some kind of civc disruption.
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      Nov 8 2013: i would like to know more about this social mobility. how does this work? what does this solve?
      • Nov 19 2013: I think that a society that offers good opportunities for social mobility (the ability to move into a different class, ideally UPWARD mobility) is most ideal. Not all people have the same desires. Some seek basic comfort as opposed to luxury. For instance, some people seek a simple home while others want a mansion. I think it is fair to let those who want more than the basics, pursue these desires as long as they are able to achieve their goals without violating the human rights of others. If upward mobility was accessible to any hard-working, ambitious, reasonably talented person, I think that the issue of class would not be a problem. There would be no injustice if it was possible for every average worker to have the basics that they needed and for those who wanted a little more, or even a LOT more, to be free to work harder and get what they wanted. One could argue things like it is still not fair because their environmental footprint would be too big ... but I think that could be counterbalanced by those who chose more modest living in exchange for greater leisure time and less stress. Unfortunately, there is no magic line that can guarantee a connection between hours worked and a big fancy house. The odds are often improved, sure, but the very great majority of people will still find it difficult to move from poor to middle class or from middle class to upper class. I have heard that in the U.S., most of the young generation will have less wealth than the generation that proceeded them and that this is not because one generation worked harder. It's because of factors beyond the individuals' control, changes in the economy that began to shift around 1972. To me, this is the root of the problem: there is no warranty-backed guaranty to link one's effort with a certain reward. One may work very hard, even go to college and follow every rule, yet be STUCK in poverty. This is especially true when we look at the global quality of life inequities.

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