hairylunch (hairylunch) wrote,

Poverty vs. Wealth

The NY Times had a special feature called "Social Class in the United States of America." There are some good articles in there.

The first is titled Social Class and Marriage in the United States of America, and talks about how socioeconomic class can be as big (or bigger) a barrier as race or religion. From the article:
It is not possible to say how many cross-class marriages there are. But to the extent that education serves as a proxy for class, they seem to be declining. Even as more people marry across racial and religious lines, often to partners who match them closely in other respects, fewer are choosing partners with a different level of education. While most of those marriages used to involve men marrying women with less education, studies have found, lately that pattern has flipped, so that by 2000, the majority involved women, like Ms. Woolner, marrying men with less schooling - the combination most likely to end in divorce.
Support that our society is getting more and more stratified? The communication issues mentioned parallel those described in the article, Who Needs Harvard, that I read and wrote about a month ago. Another quotation from the article that hits home was:
On the rare occasions when they are all together, the daughters get on easily with the sons, though there are occasional tensions. Maggie would love to have a summer internship with a human rights group, but she needs paid work and when she graduates, with more than $100,000 of debt, she will need a law firm job, not one with a nonprofit. So when Isaac one day teased her as being a sellout, she reminded him that it was a lot easier to live your ideals when you did not need to make money to pay for them.
While I don't come from the amount of wealth that Isaac does, my Dad does very well. While I don't think it'd be fiscally responsible of me to go to Harvard Business School and then do non-profit work, I do have the option. (Hell, it probably wasn't the most fiscally responsible thing for me to do VISTA for two years.) Another bit I can relate to is when the rich woman talks about the awkwardness of helping her son get a car, but not her step-daughters, which isn't that different from my brother and I getting cars, but the step-brother who grew up with his dad only getting help to get a car.

I haven't read the other two articles, but they're definitely on my list . . .

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