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To Have Or Have Not Essay, Research Paper

To Have and Have Not

Michael Lind

Michael Lind wrote the article To Have and Have not about the ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor. He comments with heart and knowledge on the fact that the prosperous are increasing their wealth by taking from the poor. It sounds like and basically is the story of Robin Hood. He writes about the amount of power the wealthy have, segregated work places, the crooked political system, and tax reforms. But what amazes me the most is that he too is part of the overclass. This first hand knowledge of the system gives Lind such a strong base for his argument, and allows the reader to trust his words that much more.

Over the last several years in the United States it has become more and more evident that the gap between the rich and the poor is growing. Not only is the gap growing, but the government is doing very little to stop it. Slowly the poor are being shifted away from the center of wealth and being replaced by the already wealthy. It s a shame how a few people with large cheque books can run the most powerful country in the world, and yet the general public are being redirected to think this problem is a minimal and insignificant issue. The truth is that economic and social inequalities have been growing in the United States at an alarming pace. The inequalities exist because the wealthy want to have more, and the power to obtain more; To do so people must give up their wealth and thus cause the economic gap.

Not only is the United States segregated based on the upper class and lower class, it seems that prejudice is also appearing in a hidden manner. Take for example an executive building. You ll notice that everyone working there looks the same. Of course their opinions, value systems, and beliefs may differ, however they are almost always white and mainline protestant. This new and still growing oligarchy is about 20 percent of the population and is evenly spread across every state. What is even more amazing about the American oligarchy is that they pride themselves solely on their individual merit. To them its not because they were born into upper class, nor that they had the opportunity to get an education, but merle on their own IQ, virtue, and genius. Lind uses a great example of this when he says,

Had we been switched at birth by accident, had we grown up in a ghetto or barrio or trailer park, we would have arrived at our offices at ABC News or the Republican National Committee or the ACLU in more or less the same amount of time.

No wonder the American oligarchy thinks that the reason blacks and Hispanics do not live in the suburbs with them, or go to the same schools, is because they are lazy and have no initiative to do so. This is yet another classic example of their ethnocentricity and stubbornness.

Lind goes on to say that over the last few generations politicians are creating tax-reforms that end up hurting the poor and helping the rich. Which increased the gap between the rich and poor. After the Reagan-era tax reforms, most of the American people owed more taxes than they would have owed if the 1977 tax laws had been left untouched; not to mention that only the wealthiest 5% gained any benefit from these tax laws. Newt Gingrich s Republicans are currently promoting yet another blessing for the wealthy. Under the tax-cut legislation passed by the House, which Gingrich called the Crown Jewel , people earning $350,000 a year would receive a tax reduction of $13,000, while families making $30,000 a year would get only 50 cents a day. What a deal for the wealthy! And despite much warning, the United States now sits second to last among major industrialized countries in the rate of taxation on income and last for economic equality.

Borrowing only accounted for 5.3% of federal spending in the 1960 s and has increased to 29.9 % in the 1990 s. Transfer of wealth from ordinary American taxpayers to rich Americans represents the interest payments on the debt. The inequalities of wealth are far greater now then in the 1930 s and yet the American overclass blames everyone but themselves. Why should that surprise us? Of course they re going to blame everyone but themselves. If they consider for one second that it may be them that cause this gap, then that would be a flaw to their perfect stature.

If the years progress at the rate America is going now, the gap between the rich and the poor will constantly get bigger. The two social status groups will find themselves segregated to the point in which they are either hiring help, or are hired help. Americans will not need to move to a third world country to be able to afford stay-in maids, gardeners, and chauffeurs, because they will be able to afford those luxuries at home in the United States. So until their corrupt political system makes amendments to protect the poor, the United States is on a highway that leads to segregation.


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