Middleclass pride in America has lost value due to recession. In the lastthree years, the Great Recession has taken away that so familiarsense of security which the middle-class workers have held onto formany years. A recent survey done by the Pew Research Center foundthat 55 percent of Americans report experiencing one or morerecession-related calamities: unemployment, missed mortgage or rentpayments, reduced paychecks or blown household budgets. Thegovernment economic statistics have revealed that the the middleclass Americans are struggling to support their lifestyle. Medicalinsurance programme subscribers, consisting mainly of low incomeearners, have greatly increased in numbers, divorce cases are at anall time high, the inability to create balance between work and lifehas spanned out of control, and the funds to support childreneducation have been depleted as the rates of loan default and baddebt escalates.
ThePanel Study of Income Dynamics, considered the most reliable datasource in the world in matters concerning the determination of“intergenerational economic mobility” revealed how a person’seconomic standing compares to that of their parents. For instant, itdid reveal that the individualistic character of typical American isa key determinant factor in one’s level of success. Other studieshave shown that Americans desire to develop more and help othersthrive through sharing financial knowledge. This study furtherreveals that Americans who are based in other nations are highlyself-driven and bigger achievers than their home based counterparts.At the same time, it was found that a considerable percentage ofblack Americans are yet to rise above the federal poverty line.
Immediatelyafter the great recession, in 2009 the PEW Economic MobilityProject established that Americans were more pessimistic about theirown finances but have a positive outlook on their future economicprosperity. Americans parents were found to be highly uneasy abouttheir children’s success. It was also found that Americans weremore concerned about financial stability and security than with theirindividual upward mobility. Individual character and attitudes werefound to be a critical factors in accelerating success compared toother conventional factors such as gender, race and religion. Thepush for equal distribution of income, equal access to education,creation of job opportunities, provision of basic needs to the poor,and promoting a saving rather than a consuming culture were found tobe important pursuits in actualizing American dreams.
Inmy view, the key to achieving equality and equity among all Americansocial classes must have its roots on equal rights and distributionof income by Government to all states. Individualistic culture shouldnot be encouraged because it breeds inequality and inequity amongminority groups and races. Access to resources and opportunitiesshould be encouraged by all races. This would result in fairdistribution of wealth and development among all states andindividuals, and this would therefore, promote economic development.
Geewax,M. (2010). Living In The Middle: Series Overview. Retrieved From
Dwyer,D. (2012). Five facts about achieving the American Dream. Retrievedfrom
ThePew Charitable Trusts. (2011). Economic Mobility And The AmericanDream Where Do We Stand In The Wake Of The Great Recession. Retrievedfrom,http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/2011/05/19/economic-mobility-and-the-american-dream-where-do-we-stand-in-the-wake-of-the-great-recession1
RichardRothstein Report reveals that there was a time years ago when animmensely racist housing policy existed in America. The reportfocuses on the government actions that led to escalation ofsegregated atmosphere especially in St. Louis metropolitan area. Itsroot cause was deliberate attempt by real estate players and federalagencies, state and local governments topromote racialdiscrimination in the housing market
Whereasmany did acknowledge that the issued needed to be tackled head on,the St. Louis department of Justice accepted the same, but took noaction in response. In 1980, federal court order was issued whosecontents included an instruction to federal, county and citygovernments to devise plans to combat segregation issue.
TheAmerican housing segregation policy have their roots in the 20thcentury, an era which is particularly synonymous with cases ofreparations which were based on housing covenants that restrictedblack americans from having equal right to housing. This era isfurther associated with government policies that prevented the blacksfrom accessing mortgages. The Federal Housing Administration’ssuburban whites-only policy continued for long time, it sanitized itsmanual, removing literal race references but still kept demanding for“compatibility among neighborhood occupants” .
In1959, the United States Commission on Civil Rights concluded thatonly 2 percent of all FHA-backed loans had gone to blacks. This wasone of the steps that could have helped to fight housing segregationin America that created tensions between the government and theBlacks. For instance the blacks frequently accused the government ofunreasonable arrest, unjust court rulings in federal courts,discriminative house buying policies and difficulties in accessingmortgages.
Thecontents of the Economic Policy Institute report of October, 2014offers proof that there was a prolonged cold war between the racesand tension between blacks and whites. The report was releasedfollowing the gunning down of unarmed black American teenager MichaelBrown by the police. According to this report, life is far much worsefor blacks – they are racially discriminated by neighbours, theyendure higher levels of poverty , they constitute the highestpercentage of unemployed citizens, their schools are in poor stateresulting in poor performance, oppressive policies, privateindustries tax favoritism, restriction of resale of white owned landor occupation to African Americans, segregated housing projects,denial of adequate municipal services leading to spread of slums, residential zoning.
Amore powerful cause of metropolitan segregation in St. Louis and inother areas around the nation were the explicit intentions offederal, state, and local governments to create racially segregatedmetropolises for instance in St Louis where prejudice anddiscrimination are synonymous with implementation of court decisionson any matter. The segregation rules remained evident in America evenafter 20th century and researchers have deeply been focusing onunderstanding the racial segregation patterns. It has further beenargued that segrregation has also denied African Americans right toeconomic empowerment and subjected them to low or poor class evenwhen their education level is valid to uplift them to middle levelstatus.
Inmy own view, the Housing Urban Development commission can onlymitigate housing segregation policy by creating none discriminativepolicies, abolishing restrictive covenants that hinders white fromresiding with African Americans, provision of adequate municipalservices to all ghettos and ensuring equity in provision ofsubsidized suburban services and amenities which will result inequal development of all urban areas.
Rothstein,R. (2014).The Making Of Ferguson Public Policies At The Root Of ItsTroubles. EconomicPolicy Institute.
Coates,T. (2014).The Racist Housing Policies That Built Ferguson. TheAtlanticMonthlyGroup.
Accordingto this video footage available online, there is increase in thenumber of high school dropouts among the students in New York highschools. This is ironical to the enrollment rate. Some teachers andstudents think that calling their schools drop out factories isunfair. A case in point is Robeson High School, where there was amass outcry when the issue of high drop-out rate was raised. Manyschools have been faced with low graduation rates every year. It doesnot matter whether the schools are dominated by whites or Africans.
Frontlinegroup took keen examination of the case of increased dropout rate inhigh schools and middle school where the study shows that studentsare mainly below adulthood age. Frontline made their investigation inreference to Sharpstown senior High School using interview andquestionnaire tools of data collection and ensuring equalparticipation of various groups within the institution. They alsoincorporated external groups like community Education Partners andpeer educators.
Accordingto students , many reasons for drop out is based on followingreasons: Lack of appreciation and motivation from teachers andparents , failing in many subjects consistently, inadequate parentalguidance and poor confrontation by seniors, immense home chores, poorfamily reunions due to work-life imbalances among other issues.
Parentsand teachers on the other hand had very different perspective. Theycited ignorance by the students on importance of education,psychological and emotional instability of students resulting fromminor and secret issues or resulting from family issues, peerpressure cases (desire to be like college students).
Deanza,a peer educator makes points out that students may drop out of schooldue to lack of motivation and counseling. Due to this, students mayview life in schools as hard and decide to quit studies. Deanza alsoquotes that in some schools they put too much effort on curriculumaccomplishment while ignoring co- curricular and talent developmentstudies, this demotivates and negatively affect student’sperformance.
Robert,the principal at Sharpstown high school also brought the teachersperspective on main reasons for dropouts and gets a dig on parentswho pursue to earn more family income forgetting their parentalroles. He mentioned the inability of parents to instill virtuals anddiscipline. In his view, all these makes students unmanageable. Hefurther reveals that the parents should take their children toschools that best suits their talents and hobbies.
Inmy view, if students dropout cases are to be tamed, measures shouldbe taken and implemented carefully. Initiatives should be introduced to increase not only the rate of enrolment but even more important tomotivate the learners and keep them focused through their schoolingjourney. At the same time, it should be clear that there are tangiblerewards for remaining and completing education. For instance, thehigh unemployment rates are clear to all, including young learners.Such state of affairs does more harm than good to their motivationlevels.
DailyVideo. (2011). DropoutFactories’ Fight to Raise Graduation Rates. Retrieved Fromhttp://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/daily_videos/dropout-factories-fight-to-raise-graduation-rates/
Aportrait of students in Crisis and those waging a daily struggle toget them to graduate. Retrieved from,http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/dropout-nation/