In a country which prides itself by one of its slogans, “The Land of Opportunity”, there continues to be a growing disparity between social classes that isn’t going away. In fact, according to a recent Pew Research Center study, “Three-in-ten Americans (30%) say there are “very strong conflicts” between poor people and rich people. That is double the proportion that offered a similar view in July 2009 and the largest share expressing this opinion since the question was first asked in 1987.”
No longer are “race conflicts” or “immigrants versus native-born” top concerns in American society. Although the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement in 2011 raised awareness of the conflict, it has been on the rise for several years. According to the survey, “Virtually all major demographic groups now perceive significantly more class conflict than two years ago.”
Is this a republican or democrat issue?
The simple answer is no. According to the same survey, “The result is that majorities of each political party and ideological point of view now agree that serious disputes exist between Americans on the top and bottom of the income ladder.” This is probably the most significant trend, and seems to say that big media sources who try to mask the conflict with creative buzzwords, or clichés, don’t understand this growing awareness.
With this sentiment growing regardless of politics, what impact will this have for Middletown, USA? How will these beliefs translate into social, economic, and political trends in 2012, and beyond?
Let us know how you think it will impact our local community.
For more information about the Pew Research Center’s social trend survey, visit Pew Research Social Trends.