So I am taking this class called Class, Status, and Power (sounds kind of redundant calling it a class doesn’t it?). I am enjoying the class; it is putting many things in perspective for me. First of all, I found out what class I am in. It is a depressing thought, but who am I to complain, it’s just the way things are. Now social class, as defined by Gilbert, is income based. So accordingly, I am in the underclass. And for those of you who don’t know or can’t guess, that’s the lowest class you can be in. Personally, I have no problem being there. It’s how I lived my entire life, but I would be lying if I said I want to stay there indefinitely. But here I am getting way off topic.
I took the GRE this past August and I brought up a question that was asked on the extra section I had to do. Since this is from the ungraded portion, I doubt they care that I use it. I was asked the question, “Should the government finance higher education for those who cannot afford it?”. Now, my response was “Hell, yeah!” This is because of my lovely lack of funds that I say this. I have one more semester after this one and I only have $800 to my name. Unfortunately, I am also working on applying to graduate schools so my little supply of money is quickly going to dwindle down the drain. Now, I bet you’re wondering where I am going with this. While discussing education and social class one class period a girl from my group, the illustrious and rich Miss S, said that she doesn’t believe the government should pay for education.
I can understand that viewpoint if you’re going that’s our tax dollars being used, but that was not her argument. No. Her argument is that the poor get poorer, the rich get richer, so what is the point of paying for poor people to go to college? If I was a cartoon character you would have seen my jaw hit the table. I honestly didn’t think that she would say that. The fact that she did with two people in our group in the lower classes, was totally idiotic. Let’s go live in India with their caste system, or better yet, let’s go back to Feudal times when social climbing was damned near impossible. (I am not talking about the backstabbing, scheming to land a rich man/woman social climbing, but the work your ass off to better yourself and move up the ladder kind of social climbing.)
One of the problems with lower classes of people is the fact that they have limited opportunities. Well, going by S’s method we shouldn’t let them have any opportunities to further themselves because in the end they’ll just end up poorer — so why bother? With that attitude, is there a reason for poorer people to exist? If their life won’t get better, but worse, then what have they to live for? We talked about hope being a driving factor behind the poor. Take away hope and you have a broken people who really have no point to their existence. If all poor people thought this way, do you think suicide rates would be higher?
Just to point out a fact, S is majoring in social work/human services. She plans on working in social work, which generally entails working with and helping a lower class of people. Gasp! How can this capitalist (aka highest you can go on the social/income ladder) class girl with a bad attitude help the less fortunate at all? It really makes you wonder. At least it makes me wonder. Even thinking about it now, four days later, I still shake with anger. We deserve a chance — don’t take that away from us.